What is your age range?
Welcome, once again, to Industrial Distribution’s annual Salary Report, where we strive to create a clear picture of industry pay rates, workload, responsibilities, and
job satisfaction. Typically, we kick off this segment by establishing
a bit of context. Before we can truly understand the state of the
industry, it helps to know whether relative wealth is growing (or
not) amongst the general population.
According to a report in November by CNN Money, median
household income fell slightly to $51,017 a year in 2012, down
from $51,100 in 2011 — a change the Census Bureau does not
consider statistically significant.
But taking a wider view, the report says, “reveals a larger prob-
lem: Income has tumbled since the recession hit, and is still 8. 3
percent below where it was in 2007.”
The good thing is that, out of the three industrial distribution
company job functions we surveyed, all segments show earnings
well above the national average for households. Whether things
are better off than they were before the recession (or at least
even) is harder to determine, as earning power is the more rele-
vant factor. Still, for most, incomes and benefits are headed in the
right direction — up. But many will tell you, so is the workload.
Read on for the specific factors affecting compensation, including the satisfaction levels of our readers. Distributed via email, the
2013 Industrial Distribution Salary Report survey again funneled
respondents into three separate question pools based on where
they identified their specific job functions. The following results
are based on three separate sets of data from Executives (Owner,
Chairman, CEO, CFO, CIO, COO, President, or VP); Mid-Level (
nonsales) Management (Product, Operations, Branch, Purchasing); and
Sales Representative/Manager. The split came in at 27 percent executives, 34 percent mid-level management, and 39 percent sales
rep or sales management.
We typically find the executive level group is a more male-domi-
nated segment, and this year is no different. Ninety-five percent
are males, which is consistent with last year’s result (93 percent),
with the average age pushing retirement: 40 percent say they are
60+ (See Figure 1). Additionally:
• Most of the executive respondents to this year’s survey repre-
sent smaller companies. In fact, nearly 64 percent say their annual
revenue is less than $25 million. Only four percent are from the
largest industrial distribution companies of $500 million or more
in annual sales.
• This group has a lot of education behind it. Only five percent
say they have “no college” under their belts. On the other end of
the spectrum, 40 percent have a college degree and 31 percent
have a graduate degree.
This year’s executive survey respondents tell us their average
base salary is around $170K, which is an approximately five per-
cent decrease from the base salary reported last year. This is also
a lower number than reported in 2012, and there may be a few
factors in play here:
• For starters, one in four executives say they’ve faced either
salary or benefits cuts in the last year, whereas one in five said the
same in 2013.
• Secondly, the average tenure in the industry continues to
shrink incrementally, supporting the idea that executive retirement and succession is beginning to have an effect. In 2012, our
respondent group said they’d worked in the industry for an average of 30 years. In 2013, that timeframe shrunk to 28. 5 years, on
average, and this year it’s down to 27 years.
The amount of additional compensation this group derives from