If you're an association executive in Washington, chances are that your counterparts in New York and Chicago are earning more money than you are.

A recent compensation survey by McManis Associates Inc. of 305 educational and professional associations around the country shows that association executive salaries vary widely depending on the size of the organization's budget, its location and the role of the executive.

The purpose of the survey was to provide a way to compare salaries and benefits among associations.

"As budget size and responsibilities grow, associations must upgrade their salary and benefit packages as well," the report's introduction concluded. "Simple salary reviews and benefit schemes no longer suffice; compensation must be administered systematically . . . Effective management of a complex compensation program requires up-to-date knowledge of the total compensation packages which other associations provide."

The survey contains information on the salaries for 46 positions from chief administrative officers to general clerks. Salaries for top-level personnel had the broadest range. The median salary range for cheif administrative officer ranged from less than $25,000 to more than $70,000.

The range of salaries for support personnel was not as great and did not tend to change as much with the size of the association's budget.

Salaries in Washington tended to generally run behind those in New York and Chicago. For example, the median salary for a chief business officer in Washington is between $26,000 and $30,000 compared with between $31,000 and $35,000 in Chicago and between $46,000 and $50,000 in New York.

But salaries for program specialist, program assistants, administrative assistants, and chief adminstrative services officers were higher in D.C. than anywhere else in the country.

Some Washington association employees also may not be making as much as their peers in the federal government. Personnel directors in the largest local association group surveyed (those with a budget of more than $3 million a year) had a median income of between $21,000 and $25,000. The salary for a GS-12 with six years of service will be $30,543 under the new federal pay schedule.

The survey found that in 82 percent of the associations that responded the work week was shorter than 40 hours. Forty two percent had a 37 1/2-hour week and 40 percent had a 35-hour week. Most associations offered their employes between eight and 11 paid holidays a year. Almost 90 percent of the associations provided basic hospitalization insurance 80 percent offered major medical insurance.