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6/14/2015 | 3 MINUTE READ

Continued Optimism, Job Satisfaction Shown by Plastics Survey

Originally titled 'Continued Optimism, Job Satisfaction Shown by Plastics Salary & Industry Survey'
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Latest plastics salary survey by SPE and Gros Executive Recruiters shows continued uptick in both salaries and job satisfaction.

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There is continued optimism and a high-level of job satisfaction among employees in the plastics industry, according to the latest Plastics Salary and Trends Survey conducted by Gros Executive Recruiters and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). The results show that average base salaries in the U.S. grew 0.7% from 2013 to $104,722 in calendar year 2014, and job confidence and growth expectations have remained high for both managers and non-managers.


The 2015 survey of 1,250 plastics professionals, which tracks earnings during the full calendar year 2014, showed a continuation of a five-year trend of confidence in both the plastics industry and individuals’ personal job security.


 In the 2014 survey, 75% of participants expected their employers to deliver a salary increase, with most expecting a raise of 1-3%, according to Dennis Gros, president of Gros Executive Recruiters. “The 2015 survey shows a slight increase in base salaries—so at least some employers gave raises. Total compensation, however, was down by about 2%.” The decrease is attributed to the fact that average cash compensation—which includes base salary plus incentives such as bonuses and commissions—fell by 2.5% from last year. In 2014, participants reported $122,301 total cash compensation, but he figure in the 2015 survey was $119.576.


Still, optimism prevailed, with an overwhelming 85% of managers surveyed indicating they expect an increase in compensations this year, as did 77.2% of employees, according to Gross. Moreover, plastics employees indicate confidence in their job security with 76.9% of this year’s respondent saying they are “very” confident that their jobs will exist in 12 months, and another 19% were “somewhat” confident.


Advice to managers on employees: ‘Keep the Ones You’ve Got’


The survey results show that job confidence expands into job loyalty and high morale, with only about 7% describing their job situation as ‘unhappy’. “Manager can expect challenges in finding new employees, because only 16% expected to be active in looking for a new job. For managers this means ‘Keep the Ones You’ve Got!,” says Gross.


Once again this year, employees surveyed said they expect pay raises of 1 to 3% or more. Meanwhile, 55% of responding managers expected their companies to increase the number of full-time employees.


Ventures William De Vos, CEO of SPE, “There will be a continuation of growth opportunities over the next several years within the plastics industry. This year’s polling again shows improvement in the perception of job stability, and anticipation of higher earnings. We should continue to see a healthy turn in the plastics industry, especially in the Unites States.”


Age & Education Level Are Factors in Compensation


Respondents in the 21-34 age group reported an average base salary of $71,394. The average jumps to $99,318 for the 35-44 age group, continues to climb to well over $100,000 for the 45+ age groups, and reached a maximum of $131,587 for those over 65. Total cash compensation reflects an even higher gap by age, with the 21-34 age group reporting $76,911 on average compared to the 65+ age group reporting almost double at $149,375.


Education plays a significant role in determining pay. Respondents with a post-graduate degree reported an average base salary of $115,873 and average cash compensation of $131,847, whereas those with a high-school level education reported an average base salary of $77,557 and average cash compensation of $92,500.


Respondents in executive management reported higher base salaries and total cash compensation than all other job titles. The average total cash compensation for job titles grouped as “Executive Management” was $158,489, followed by titles grouped as “Sales, Marketing, Customer Support” at $137,734.


A detailed report of the full survey will appear in the September issue of SPE’s Plastics Engineering magazine. SPE member can obtain a copy, with detailed information by logging into their accounts on SPE site.



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