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The 2012 NBAA Compensation & Benchmark Survey includes demographics on 645 aviation departments that responded to the survey. The demographic characteristics of the 3,870 individuals covered are presented in four types of tables: base salary, total compensation and the minimum and maximum salary ranges.
Following the tables of base salaries, there is a table that analyzes total compensation. In this case, the count, average, and median, as well as the first and third quartiles and 10th and 90th percentiles, are provided and are arranged next to the average and median base salaries for the same types of positions.
The survey requested the minimum and maximum salary if ranges were established by the company. As might be expected, the composite data for salary ranges are based on a smaller number of respondents than the base salary information. There are separate tables for the minimum values and maximum values, with a full set of descriptive statistics for each.
Many of the tables report median values, along with the mean or average value. The median is that salary which is in the middle of the salary range – higher than half of all salaries in the category and lower than half of the salaries. The average is the total of all salaries divided by the number of individuals reporting salaries. The average value can be distorted by unusually high or unusually low numbers. The median, however, is not influenced by extreme values.
Other statistics used in the salary tables are the quartile and the percentile. This statistic is similar to a median in that it is the salary that divides all salaries into two groups, one group containing 25 percent of the salaries and the other group containing the remaining 75 percent. The first quartile, therefore, is that salary which is higher than 25 percent of the salaries but lower than the remaining 75 percent. Similarly, the third quartile is that salary figure which is higher than 75 percent of the other salaries presented. The 10th percentile is that salary figure which is higher than 10 percent of the salaries but lower than the remaining 90 percent. In turn, the 90th percentile is that salary figure which is higher than 90 percent of the other salaries in the table. The mean value combined with the quartiles, 10th and 90th percentiles, the median, and the minimum and maximum, provide a very detailed description of the salaries paid in the responding aviation departments.
It should be noted that in order to protect confidentiality, composite data are only presented when four or more individuals are included in a particular category or when results do not reveal or disclose information about a responding department.