Metro Vancouver Salary Survey – vacation days

It’s time for another raw data reveal. This week: vacation days!

I previously shared data on the types of nonprofit and charitable organizations that had responded so far, and the different types of benefits offered.

Reminder, survey deadline July 31! FAQs and survey link here.

This week is fun because I get to play with box plots!

When sharing salary and compensation data there are a variety of numbers that could be shared, and I’m choosing to share numbers using a special kind of chart called a box plot. Data nerds may be wondering why I’m not sharing the whiskers, and the short reason is I haven’t done data validation yet and there are a few outliers that would make really long whiskers.

Why a box plot? Because averages are (often) the devil. Outliers that are really high or low can skew the numbers. Instead, medians are the way to go in this case.

Please explain this ‘box plot’ you speak of

Example of a box plotInstead of using averages, the box plot focuses on the median, which is the middle number if all numbers are all lined up in numerical order.

In a the ‘box’ of the box plot, the line cutting through the box is the median, and the outline of the box the middle 50% of all numbers in the group. The box then includes the middle quartiles. These are the 25% of responses above and below the median.

A weakness of the box plots in this post is they do not include the outer 50% of responses. In this example, we don’t know the least or most number of chicken figurines per household. Instead, we know the “kind of sort of average range even though average is used incorrectly in this sentence.”

In the example provided, of all the people asked how many ceramic chicken figurines they have in their houses, the median is five. Twenty five percent of respondents have between five and nine figurines, and 25% have between three and five figurines.

Disclaimer about the following chart

The information on vacation days that I share below is only meant to inspire curiosity and is not good for any decision making. The information is not disaggregated by organization size or any other identifier—it lumps all organizations together and is based on submissions to date. The data quality has not been validated. Finally, I have not provided any analysis or context.

Minimum and maximum vacation days at different job levels

Respondents were asked to provide the maximum and minimum number of vacation days provided per year at each job level. For example, in one organization, some managers may get as few as 10 vacation days per year, and others get as high as 25 days per year.

This chart shows the ranges provided at the minimum, and the maximum levels.

I only included one plot for ED/CEO because most organizations only have one person in this role, so minimum and maximum numbers are the same.

I didn’t include the VP level because there are too few submissions at this point, and didn’t include Director level because I accidentally deleted a column and didn’t want to go back and fix my work for this teaser blog post. I will definitely be including directors in the report.

Chart of minimum/maximum vacation days per year at each job level. Median numbers are: ED/CEO 20; Manager 15/18.5; Specialist 15/22.5; Coordinator/Assistant 10/15.

This chart shows that the median vacation time for executive directors is 20 days per year. Fifty percent get between 15 and 25 days per year.

For manager roles, the “median” organization provides between 15 and 18.5 vacation days per year. Coordinators and assistants have identical median minimum and maximums. The lower range median for both is 10 vacation days per year, while the upper range median is 15 days per year.

Next week: ED/CEO salaries!

Remember, please share this survey with your professional colleagues who lead nonprofit and charitable organizations. Copy and paste this:

Hi fellow unicorn nonprofit leader:

Have you filled out the Metro Vancouver salary survey yet? It would be great to have current, hyper local data on compensation among our organizations. The survey link and FAQs are here: