Plant managers at lube manufacturing plants and distribution facilities are compensated handsomely for overseeing a complex operation day in and day out, gauging from the 75 respondents who provided anonymous insights to the LubesnGreases 2018 Lubricants Industry Salary Survey.
On average, plant managers earn $141,300 in a year, with median compensation reaching $120,000 - meaning that half earn more than that amount, while half earn less - the survey found. This exclusive study is conducted every other year to poll compensation for key management positions in the United States lubricants industry.
This years group included 42 plant managers at lubricant manufacturers, who reported average earnings of $161,600 and a median salary of $150,000, and 33 respondents who work at lube distributors and earn a mean salary of $115,400 and median annual compensation of $100,000. Thats a difference of $46,200 in average salary and of $50,000 in median income from what their manufacturing counterparts make.
A plant manager in 2018 is, on average, close to 52 years old and has between 22 and 23 years of experience in the industry, has spent 10 years in his or her current job and supervises 35 employees. Those at manufacturing plants oversee 45 workers, compared to 22 for those at distributors.
It should be noted that direct comparisons cant be drawn from the results of this years survey and the data gathered in 2016. Different responses are given by a new group of plant managers, and higher or lower salaries do not necessarily mean that wages have gone up or down in two years.
However, its worth highlighting that plant managers at lube manufacturing facilities make an average of close to $28,000 more in 2018 than what respondents reported in 2016, while those who work for lube distributors saw a modest gain of almost $2,500 compared to two years ago.
Where the Rewards Are
For some plant managers, the size of the company can determine whether a paycheck is heftier. Four of the respondents in this years survey said they make an average of $112,600 per year at companies with 10 or fewer employees, with a median wage of $88,000.
But the numbers climb for 48 percent of plant managers who work at companies with 11 to 200 employees, where salaries range between $104,000 and $129,500 on average, with a median of $100,000 to $123,500.
The remaining 47 percent of respondents work at some of the larger lube manufacturing and distribution companies - those that employ more than 200 people. Those managers bring in between $152,800 and $191,000 on average and have median earnings of $127,500 to $185,000.
Most of the respondents in this years survey - 39 out of 75 - work in the manufacturing and distribution powerhouse that is the Central U.S. On average, plant managers can expect compensation of $124,300 in the Northcentral region and of $164,500 in the Southcentral U.S., and median earnings of $100,000 to $150,000, respectively.
The Eastern U.S. is the second most-represented area in the 2018 survey, with 27 respondents. Plant managers who work along the east coast can expect an average compensation of $141,600 in the Northeast and $150,000 in the Southeast, with medians of $120,000 and $152,000, respectively.
Many in this years cohort received a raise in the past year - 60 percent overall, with 71 percent of lube manufacturing plant managers and nearly 46 percent of lube distributors saying they saw a bump in their salaries.
Seventy-five percent of managers expect to receive a bonus. As with salaries, the number reaches higher for those at manufacturers (nearly 79 percent) compared to distributors (70 percent).
Other forms of compensation vary between manufacturers and distributors. Three in 10 managers at a lube manufacturing company expect to receive stock from their company, compared to 6 percent of those at distributors, while 29 percent and 27 percent, respectively, expect some form of profit sharing.
About 6 percent of managers at distribution facilities expect a commission based on sales of products, an option that is not expected for lube manufacturing companies.
More insights on plant manager compensation are available in the October issue of LubesnGreases. In November, the monthly magazine will present the results of salaries for sales and marketing executives, and of laboratory and technical managers in the December issue.
The complete 2018 Salary Survey report will be available for purchase and immediate download on www.LubesnGreases.com starting Nov. 26.