It’s one of the most contentious areas we cover each year, and results are in for our annual Salary Report. Read on for the specific factors affecting compensation,
including the satisfaction levels of our readers. Distributed via email, the 2015 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 (non-sales) Management (Product, Operations,
Branch, Purchasing); and Sales Representative/Manager.
The split came in at 30 percent executives, 29 percent
mid-level management, and 41 percent sales rep or sales
This year’s executive group once again boasted the highest pay rates, but also the most longevity and experience
within their individual career paths. This group, nine out
of ten of whom are males, tend to be the oldest bunch.
In fact, 44 percent are likely inching towards retirement
at 60+ years of age, and only 22 percent are 49 years or
below (Figure 1).
In terms of business profile, their distributorships look
• 56 percent oversee companies with $25 million or less
in revenue. Only six percent are at companies of $500
million+ annual sales, and the remaining 38 percent
land in the mid-sized bracket.
• 34 percent are located in the Midwest, while the sec-
ond largest group, 22 percent, is in the Northeast.
percent in the west, and 14 percent outside of the U.S.
Our executive group this year boasts an average base
salary of 179K$, which is basically on par with what we’ve
seen over the past few years. On average, these executives earned another $100K in additional compensation,
including bonuses, 401K contributions, educational reimbursement, and other additional cash.
It’s no surprise that the highest paid group is consistently the most satisfied, year over year, with their overall
package. For the C-level group, that satisfaction level has
even increased since last year: this year, 87 percent say
they feel they are fairly compensated, compared to 84
percent who said the same in 2014 (Figure 2). Additionally, only one in ten said they’d fallen victim to a salary or
benefits cut in the past year, a stat that’s improved signifi-
cantly over 2014, when 25 percent said the same. The year
prior, 20 percent had taken a hit. For some respondents,
they have their eyes on more long term benefits, especial-
ly those with an ownership stake in their businesses. Said
one, “The payoff is in the future value of the company.”
Said another, “I get a percentage of the profit.” Others
are willing to wait, as the business is grown. Said one, “I
know the profitability of the company, (and my) compen-
sation is proportionate to it.” Added another respondent:
“We are building a regional business. My expectations
are for greater financial compensation over the next two
And while 37 percent have not received any sort of
increase over 2014, the majority have, in fact, seen a pay
or benefits increase in the past year. Specifically:
• 23 percent received a cost of living increase based on
What is your age range?
2015 Salary Report
Do you feel you are compensated fairly?