Slow Creep

Manufacturing and distribution salaries rising modestly

Manufacturing and distribution salaries appear to be rising slightly as the U.S. economy exhibits shaky signs of a modest recovery. Compensation data provider Compdata Surveys shared evidence of that modest growth in data it collected from nearly 1,100 manufacturing and distribution employers across the country.

The average salary for warehouse managers, for example, grew 3.3% over the past year, reflecting a better-than-average increase, while production workers, packers and forklift operators saw gains of less than 1%. Quality assurance managers saw their salaries dip by 1.5%.

Until economic improvements attain footing on solid ground, we can expect salary increases for most jobs to be modest at best," according to Amy Kaminski, Compdata Surveys director of marketing.

Not surprisingly, salaries varied by region. Manufacturing managers in the Southeast earned the highest average salary, at $94,500, for example, compared with manufacturing managers in the Midwest, who held the lowest average at $81,600.

Average salaries for select job titles are:

Production scheduler / $46,500
Tool and die maker / $47,300
Warehouse manager / $69,600
Quality assurance manager / $80,700
Manufacturing manager / $84,700

Source: Compdata 2011 Compensation Data Manufacturing & Distribution survey

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