Fleet Management Compensation Survey: Recovering economy reflected in median salary increase

 

Fleet Management Compensation Survey: Recovering economy reflected in median salary increase

Source: FleetAnswers and Lori W  How does your salary compare to the industry average? If you received a salary increase in 2012, you were not alone. A stronger economy is likely the catalyst behind results of a compensation survey conducted by FleetAnswers that found a full 58% of respondents saw a salary increase in 2012, up from 49% in the previous year.

Over 240 fleet professionals from 45 states and Canada took part in the annual compensation survey conducted by FleetAnswers. The survey sought to measure the median salary for fleet professionals, managers and directors in 2012, and analyze the driving forces that determine salaries. The annual compensation survey has been conducted since 2010. For the first time, compensation information for fleet professionals--a category that includes fleet supervisors, team leaders, superintendents, coordinators and specialists--was included in the survey.

The largest proportion of fleet managers earned between $90,000 and $100,000 in 2012, while the greatest proportion of fleet director salaries fell into the $100,000 to $110,000 range.

Median annual salaries continued their upward trend. The median annual salary for fleet managers has climbed from $84,360 in 2010 to $88,740 in 2011, and to a new high of $91,000 in 2012. For fleet directors, the media annual salary has trended upward from $103,000 in 2010 to $105,000 in 2011, and now $109,000 in 2012.

The 2012 survey gathered information on the median annual salary for fleet professionals for the first time in 2012 and found the median annual salary to be at $81,500.

Results of the latest survey also suggest that income levels, at least for the highest-paid positions, edged further upward in 2012, with 65% of fleet directors and 32% of fleet managers indicating they were receiving annual salaries in excess of $100,000.

Compensation based incentives

More Fleet Managers and Fleet Directors received performance based compensation incentives in addition to their annual salary in 2012 than they did in 2011 and 2010. 47% of Fleet Managers and Directors received performance based compensation incentives in addition to their annual salary. This percent is up from 34% in 2011 and 2010.

However, less than half of fleet manager and fleet professionals received performance based compensation incentives in addition to their annual salaries in 2012, compared to 51% of fleet directors who did.

Even though there were fewer fleet managers and directors who received incentive based compensation of up to 10% of their annual salary in 2012 than in previous years, more respondents received incentive based compensation between 10% to 15% and over 26% of their annual salary in 2012 than in previous years.

Similar to the 2012 average salary, which increased for 58% of Fleet Managers and Fleet Directors, 34% of them also saw their incentive based compensation amounts increased from 2011 to 2012.

Education and Certification

The largest proportion, 35%, of fleet managers, directors and professionals responding have earned a bachelor's degree as their highest level of education reached, while about 13% have completed a master's degree program. Only 22% of respondents have obtained a fleet certification such as APWA and CAFM.

While fleet certification did not appear to play a noticeable role in overall median salaries, education played a role, particularly for fleet managers and fleet directors. Fleet directors with a Master’s degree earned the highest median income of $121,000 among fleet directors with other types of qualifications, and fleet managers with a Doctorate degree earned the highest median income of $106,000 among fleet managers with other types of qualifications.

Roles and Responsibilities

The largest proportion of those surveyed, 29%, managed fleets of 500 or fewer vehicles, while an equal proportion, 22%, were responsible for fleets of either 501-1,000, or 1,001-2,500. The survey showed those supervising larger fleets tended to have higher median salaries.

Half of fleet managers, directors and professionals surveyed indicated they are responsible for managing bargaining unit employees. About one-third have added responsibilities in organizations and departments other than fleet, though these added duties had little bearing on median annual salaries.

58% of respondents have less than 26 employees reporting to them. Of those respondents, Fleet Professionals earned a median salary of $74,000, Fleet Managers earned a median salary of $87,500, and Fleet Directors earned a median salary of $92,750. The survey showed those who have more employees reporting to them tended to have higher median salaries.

Significant Gender Gap

The gender gap was very evident when observing median annual salaries, with male fleet directors making over 30% more than their female counterparts. Male fleet directors had a median salary of $109,000 and while the media salary for women holding the same position was only $75,250.

Fleet management continues to be a very male-dominated field, particularly in upper-level management, with survey results showing a mere 7% of fleet managers, directors and professionals are women. Females made up only a tiny fraction (3%) of fleet director positions, typically the highest paid role among fleet management positions. Instead, the survey found women are more likely to work in lower management roles as fleet superintendents, supervisors, team leaders, specialists, and coordinators.

Leadership, Development and Training

Half of those surveyed said they work for organizations that provide leadership, development and/or training courses to their fleet employees. Such programs are popular with fleet employees with 95% of them having either attended or planned to attend these programs provided by their companies.

Comparison and Breakdown of Income

Income breakdown and comparison according to the following categories:

  • Changes in Annual Salary from 2010 to 2012
  • Changes in performance based incentives from 2010 to 2012
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Region
  • Industry
  • Years of experience
  • Education
  • Fleet size
  • Operation locations
  • Direct and indirect reports

To learn more about how your compensation compares to industry averages, please read the Full Fleet Management Compensation Survey