Salary Survey: Amid positive numbers, we lack youth

One of the many benefits that Modern is able to bring to warehouse and distribution center professionals is its ability to tap into Peerless Research Group (PRG), our in-house division that has the power to survey more than 80,000 readers to offer the most comprehensive market snapshots available.

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One of the many benefits that Modern is able to bring to warehouse and distribution center professionals is its ability to tap into Peerless Research Group (PRG), our in-house division that has the power to survey more than 80,000 readers to offer the most comprehensive market snapshots available.

This month in Modern, I’m happy to report that we’re able to offer features that put context around two of the more important surveys of the year—in this case, one that we believe will improve a portion of the findings of the other.

Starting on p. 26, senior editor Josh Bond digs into the results of our “9th Annual Salary Survey,” a report that offers a complete look at current compensation ranges based on experience and education, as well as offers visibility into job satisfaction.

This year, the survey results offer a bit of a mixed bag. First, warehouse and DC professionals tell us that they continue to be well compensated; they’re consistently challenged to keep pace with the digital economy; and, quite frankly, a vast majority just love their jobs.

In fact, the job satisfaction numbers are quite staggering, including 71% who report that they’re “very” or “extremely satisfied” with their jobs and 95% saying they would recommend the materials handling profession to others.

And while the compensation and satisfaction numbers remain impressive, we do find growing evidence of a lack of “young blood” coming into the business, a fact that does trigger a bit of concern when we consider the high satisfaction numbers. This year we found a significantly larger number of veterans weighing in. In fact, a record 24% have spent 30 or more years in the industry, up from a previous high of 18%. And while the number of respondents over 65 held at 7%, the 55- to 64-year-old group grew 5% this year, while the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds remained at 9%.

“It’s hard to imagine a more appealing career based on respondent feedback,” says Bond. “But still, the average age is creeping up and the younger blood is only trickling in. The industry is changing fast and the old guard is wholly embracing the change. That said, companies also recognize that they will need fresh ideas from a new crop of motivated individuals.”

Well, the results of our “2016 Warehouse & Distribution Center Operations Survey” indicate that the continued uptick in investment in best practices, technology and automation might help to draw that younger crowd.

“We found encouraging news across the board,” says editor at large Roberto Michel who puts context around this year’s report (p. 52). “The survey clearly indicates that respondents have taken action and are confronting the complexities of omni-channel fulfillment.” In fact, one key takeaway that we pulled out of the findings is that e-commerce is now affecting nearly every sector, be it manufacturing, distribution and retail.

According to our research team, this mentality that revolves around “the new speed of business” may be the sole reason we’re seeing processes evolve and automation investment jump—and could be the catalyst we need to bring in a new crop of professionals who have IT in their DNA.


About the Author

Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He’s been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years. You can reach him at [email protected]

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From the November 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for the fourth time in 20 years and shorten order delivery time from 10 days to three.
10th Annual Salary Survey: The Price of Performance
Let’s put Automatic Data Capture (ADC) Technology to Work
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