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February 29, 2008
Survey Identifies Best Paid Manufacturing Managers
A new survey that closely examined the salaries of manufacturing managers across the United States identified the job factors that have a significant impact on pay. It also found that, overall, manufacturing managers are satisfied with their jobs and career paths.

Overall, IndustryWeek's 2008 Salary Survey found that the average salary for a manufacturing manager is $105,581 in 2008, down slightly from $106,588 in 2007. This slight decline in average salary notwithstanding, the survey found that 73% of the 1,350 survey respondents reported that they were either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with manufacturing as a career path and 74% were very satisfied or satisfied with their current job.

IndustryWeek identified the best-paying industry sectors and geographic regions. It found that manufacturing managers in the Pharmaceuticals/Healthcare industry reported the highest average salary ($137, 010). Also near the top of the list were salaries for the Apparel/Textiles industry ($130, 954), Chemicals ($122,023) and Construction/Building Equipment ($114,998). Near the bottom of the list were salaries for the Paper/Printing/Publishing industry ($96,822), Automotive/Transportation Vehicles & Equipment ($94, 399) and Woods Products/Furniture ($90,862).

Interestingly, while 40% of all manufacturing managers live in the North Central region of the country, it is the one of the lowest-paying geographic regions for manufacturing managers, who earn an average of $100,752. Only managers in the South Central region ($98,569) make less. The best paid manufacturing managers were from the Pacific region ($116,035), followed by the South Atlantic ($113,128).

Managers who had a staff size of over 100 employees had a significantly higher average salary ($130,730) than their counterparts who managed between 51-100 employees ($115,099). And, those aged 60 or older had a sizably higher average salary ($122,871) than their younger counterparts in their 50s ($113,438) and 40s ($105,903).

The survey also reported average salaries of managers by gender, race, experience, corporate revenue, seniority and job responsibility, among other factors.

IndustryWeek also provided a number of other insights regarding the demographics and characteristics of manufacturing managers:

  • 71% hold at least a bachelor's degree
  • 71% have more than 15 years of experience in the industry
  • 46% have spent more than 10 years with their current employer
The survey notes that a problem facing U.S. manufacturers is "a dearth of young people entering the industry." Just 3% of survey respondents were in their 20s and only 18% were under the age of 40. "[T]here's no getting past the reality that attracting and retaining talent to the field is one of the most pressing needs for manufacturers at companies of all sizes," IndustryWeek explains.

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