- MBS Recruiting

FLORENCE, MASSACHUSETTS, April 29, 2019 – Compensation of professionals in the plastics industry posted another healthy gain last year, according to the 2019 Plastics Salary Survey conducted jointly by SPE-Inspiring Plastics Professionals and MBS Advisors.

This year’s participants reported their base salaries at an average of $106,354 and their total compensation (including performance incentives) as $134,229. Those numbers are greater than 5% and 12% respectively from the previous year’s survey result. A total of 1,439 plastics industry participants contributed their income information to comprise this year’s survey.

“This year’s survey is eye-opening. While pointing to the recurring correlation between growth in the plastics industry and growth in compensation, there are other compelling trends which are equally significant,” said Patrick Farrey, CEO, SPE. “Demographic variables such as gender play a key role when looking at pay. This year’s survey indicates that women in the industry were more likely than men to have received a significant raise in 2018. This is relevant data when we discuss the gender pay gap in the plastics industry and is a trend we will explore more deeply in future studies.”

The survey shows a significant increase in performance pay, also known as commission, bonus, and profit sharing. “Aggressive business growth in the plastics industry over the past two years paid out for employees last year, in the form of salary increases and significant incentive pay,” surmised Dennis Gros, president of the Recruiting division of MBS Advisors. The average performance compensation is $27,875 in this year’s survey. That’s an increase of 50% compared to last year.

The 2019 survey generates the following additional data for the year ending last December:

  • C-level executives, whose titles usually begin with the word Chief, earned total cash compensation of $224,165. The sample size was 154.
  • Work in the finance department paid out second, at $201,190; however, only three people comprised the sample.
  • Human Resources came in third, at $162,341. The sample size was 16.
  • In the Engineering department, compensation averaged $109,997 with 435 participants.
  • Sales generated an income of $143,253 according to 273 participants.
  • Product Development paid a healthy $131,758 with a sample size of 260.

“The ownership risk/reward pendulum swung in favor of owners,” Gros noticed. “As a group, they paid themselves a salary of $145,714, and their incentive pay—which, for an owner, is profit—added $208,143. These are likely smaller companies, but the total of $353,857 surpasses the overall compensation reported by Chief Executive Officers of typically larger companies,” he continued, “who reported an average overall compensation of $331,945.”

What drives compensation? Demand, according to Gros. “Plastics manufacturers need employees. Employees are scarce. Compensation goes up. 2018 was the year of the raise.”

SPE-Inspiring Plastics Professionals is 84 countries and 22,500+ members strong, SPE unites plastics professionals worldwide–helping them succeed and strengthening their skills through networking, events, training, and knowledge sharing.

No matter where you work in the plastics industry value chain-whether you’re a scientist, engineer, technical personnel or a senior executive-nor what your background is, education, gender, culture or age-SPE is here to serve you. www.4spe.org

MBS Advisors is an employment recruiter serving companies in plastics, packaging, molding, and machinery. The firm identifies and places approximately 100 middle and upper-level professionals every year. Cumulative first-year compensation totals more than $200,000 million over the firm’s history. MBS also provides M&A advisory and investment banking services for injection molders, plastics processors, and engineered component manufacturers. www.mbsadvisors.com

Click here to read a short article that Plastics News wrote about our recent survey.