Canadian manufacturing salaries are up 4.4%

EMC-PLANT survey shows owners and top management are upbeat.

July 3, 2012   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO: Management-level pay in a Canadian manufacturing sector dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) rose 4.4% in 2012 after a more impressive 4.8% increase in 2011, according to the results of the second national salary benchmark survey conducted by the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) and PLANT magazine, a Glacier Media Business Information Group publication.

The 2,003 responses from executives and managers who shared personal information about salaries and bonuses show how their businesses are faring and surprisingly, despite all the obstacles and the economic uncertainty plaguing global markets, those who occupy ownership or management-level positions are upbeat.

Most (60%) report no change in employment status since the last survey (Fall 2010) while 22% note that although they hold the same job and salary, they’ve taken on more responsibility because of reduced staff.

The average salary for all manufacturing titles is $103,605, a 4.4% increase over 2011 when the inflation rate was 2.9% (as of April inflation was holding steady at 2%). Statistics Canada pegs the average weekly wage for manufacturing at $962, or $50,024 for the year.

Predictably, the big money is going to owners, senior executives and plant managers who tallied more than $100,000 a year.

CEOs and presidents are at the top of the salary hierarchy averaging $181,609, followed by owners/partners ($162,302), vice-presidents ($158,718), directors ($125,704) and plant managers ($102,660).

Owners and partners saw the biggest percentage increases in 2011 (8.7%) and 2012 (5.9%), ahead of the overall averages (4.8% and 4.3%), which are nonetheless, higher than the 1.1% Statistics Canada reports unionized labour has earned as of April, year-to-date.

Engineers average $90,592, maintenance managers $89,052, materials managers $78,936 while many of the other categories, including administrative management, purchasing/supply management, quality managers, and technician/technologists earn between $70,000 and $73,400.

About 25% reported at least some of their compensation comes from overtime pay, which averages 5%.

Forty-one per cent have a university degree, 42% have a college or trade/technical school diploma and 14% have a high school education or less. University grads score the highest wage rate at $121,389, 26% ahead of the next-best paid trade/technical school grads at $96,439.

Most put work-life balance ahead of all other desired work conditions and 83% are satisfied with it (although they’re working hard, averaging 47.3 hours on the job). But they’re also very happy with their jobs overall (89%), job security (88%), vacation time (84%), benefits (78%) and compensation (77%).

Company revenues increased for 60% of them or stayed the same for 24% last year.

“These are very positive results that go back three years when senior executives were cautiously optimistic, then optimistic and now beyond that,” says Al Diggins, president and general manager of EMC, a not-for-profit consortium of Canadian manufacturers. “I’m delighted to see it. My sense is talking to [companies] that they’re getting busier and busier so this trend should continue.”

Most of the respondents (72%) have management roles in their companies, while 18% identified themselves as having an ownership stake as partners or minority owners.

Their businesses cover a range of interests from fabricated metals to sophisticated electronics with 16% identifying their organizations as large (more than 500 employees) and the rest falling under the SME category, 71% of them at least partially unionized.

Compare your annual salary to the industry average.

Download a pdf of the EMC-PLANT salary survey results.

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