Salary Survey Exclusive: Southwest a hot spot for growth, confidence

By Bob Vavra, Editor January 17, 2007

Plant Engineering’s exclusive Salary Survey appears in the January issue, and it takes an overall look at how plant managers and plant engineers around the country view their job and their future. In drilling down on a regional basis, we find stronger confidence on the West Coast and Southwest.

One-third of plant managers in the Southwest believe their salaries will increase more than 4% in the coming year, compared with the national average of 20%. Plant managers in the Mountain, Pacific and North Central regions also see more likelihood of a larger pay hike than those east of the Mississippi.

By the numbers: My salary will increase 4% or more in 2007:

Southwest33%

Mountain25%

North Central24%

Pacific23%

Average20%

Northeast18%

Midwest16%

Southeast15%

That correlates to the security plant managers find in their work:

By the numbers: I consider manufacturing a secure career:

Southwest74%

Mountain73%

North Central69%

Average62%

Southeast61%

Pacific60%

Midwest60%

Northeast52%

Plant managers in the west also see a greater potential for continued growth in their businesses in the coming year:

By the numbers: The number of employees in my department will increase in the coming year:

Southwest39%

Mountain38%

Pacific37%

North Central35%

Average29%

Northeast27%

Southeast25%

Midwest21%

There was also a great disparity by region in those who believed their departments would shrink in 2007. The national average was 18%, with a range from 24% of Midwest respondents compared to just 6% among Mountain regional managers. It was pretty much uniform on staff sizes remaining the same, however %%MDASSML%% the 53% national averages was within 6 percentage points either way.