In the past year,
the demands of your job…
Average current salary,
in U.S. dollars per year
Average amount of additional
compensation each year
Do you feel fairly compensated?
Efforts to encourage women to move into the industrial
distribution industry has increased, and while the industry as a
whole has certainly seen an increase in female workers, our
survey shows there is still a very long way to go. Of the executive-level respondents, just over six percent are female. That’s actually
up one percentage point from our 2017 survey, but down from
the record of 11 percent female turnout in 2015.
Some other executive demographic respondent stats:
• Nineteen percent of the executives hail from the U.S.
Northeast; 26 percent are from the Midwest; 29
percent are from the South; eight percent are from the
West; and 18 percent are from outside the U.S.
• The majority—61 percent—are employed at companies
with less than $25 million in annual sales; just under 19
percent are at companies with $25-100 million; 16 percent
are at companies with at least $100 million in sales; and
four percent are at companies with more than $500 million
in sales revenue. As a reference point, our 2018 Big 50 List
No. 50 company had $135 million in 2017 sales.
• This year’s group of executives is more highly educated
than the 2017 group. About 80 percent of 2018
respondents have at least a college degree—up two
percentage points year-over-year. Nearly 29 percent of
respondents have a graduate degree.
• The executives have been in the industry for an average of
27 years; with their company an average of 19 years
(down from 23 years in 2017) and have held their position
for an average of 13 years (down from 14 years in 2017).
While most of 2017 and all of 2018 have been great times
for industrial manufacturing in the U.S., a lot of economists
are predicting a mild recession in 2019. Even so, most
indexes tied to this market, the PMI, the fastener distributors
index, and the numbers for cutting tool consumption and
manufacturing technology orders, are all showing strong.
More than 21 percent of the executive respondents say they
have faced salary or benefit cuts in the past year—up from 16
percent in the 2017 survey and 13 percent in 2016. On the
contrary, more than 54 percent of this year’s group say they
have received some form of a raise in the past year—down
two points year-over-year. Of those receiving a raise, the
biggest chunk— 25 percent—say they received a considerable
performance-based raise. Around 15. 5 percent say they
received a standard increase raise, while almost 21 percent say
they have been rewarded with a stronger benefits package
(nearly four percent) or been given more incentive-based
opportunities for cash rewards (nearly 17 percent).
Omitting obvious outliers, the adjusted average salary of
this year’s group is almost $163,000—down $24,000 from
the $187,000 adjusted figure in the 2017 report. With an
executive title often comes significant compensation perks
such as bonuses, 401k contributions, education
reimbursement, or other additional cash. The executive
respondents indicated an annual compensation amount
increase this year at $134,000—up $34,000 from the 2017
survey—for a total 2018 average salary & compensation
package of $297,000—up $10,000 from 2017.
The executives say their jobs have become tougher in the past
year. More than 79 percent say their job demands have gone
up—up nearly 11 points year-over-year—while those who say
their job demands stayed the same was at 16 percent.
As expected, our executive group has the highest rate of
job satisfaction—though it was much closer this year than in
the recent past. Almost 82 percent of executive respondents
say they feel fairly compensated—down six points year-over-