SPE 2019 Salary Survey Points to Strong Plastics Industry Work Trends

Contact: Chris Barry, cbarry@4spe.org, 203.740.5414

BETHEL, CT—April 29, 2019: Compensation of professionals in the plastics industry made a healthy gain last year according to the recently released 2019 Plastics Salary Survey, conducted jointly by SPE and MBS Advisors. A total of 1,439 plastics professionals participated in the annual salary survey and generated data for the year ending last December. This year’s participants reported their base salaries at an average of $106,354 but, while rising compensation can be a barometer for industry health, this year’s survey signified trends that are impacting the workforce in many ways beyond pay.

“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 emerging that are equally significant,” said Patrick Farrey, CEO of SPE. “Demographic variables such as gender and age, job satisfaction and hiring challenges, all impact compensation. We will explore each of these more deeply in future studies.”

One key point regarding gender that was presented in the survey is that women in the industry were more likely than men to have received a significant raise in 2018.  And, while average compensation in the plastics industry remains higher for men, women in the age groups between 35-44 and 55-64 made more money than men in the same age brackets. However, surmised Dennis Gros, President of the Recruiting Division of MBS Advisors, work roles may play a factor when it comes to salary and compensation between the sexes.

“As an indication, look at Human Resources department managers, directors and vice presidents,” said Gros. “The average base salary of three males in those roles was reported at about $98,833 while the average base salary of 13 female respondents is $157,249.”

Beyond compensation, the survey also points to work satisfaction as a key trending factor. Satisfaction ratings skewed toward the positive end of the scale with 75% of respondents agreeing with the statement, “Taking everything into account - my compensation, responsibilities, work environment, coworkers, etc. - I would say my company is a great place to work.”

But for managers, 88% who participated in the survey said finding qualified candidates continues to stand out as their most difficult challenge. Meeting compensation expectations and difficulty enticing candidates to relocate also provide hiring hurdles. And high job satisfaction within the plastics industry may also mean people simply aren’t looking for jobs.

“Hiring is challenging in 2019. The data verify our observation,” said Gros. “This year, more than half of hiring managers expect to increase headcount but only 13% of the workforce reports a definite interest in changing jobs this year.”
As a whole, the salary survey provides an indicator of how the plastics industry fares when it comes to work-life balance.

“Clearly, this balance is important for those working in the plastics industry,” said Farrey. “And while this year’s survey results illustrate that the needle is moving upward when it comes to compensation, gender issues and job satisfaction, SPE’s commitment to providing career development opportunities and encouraging young people to consider working in the plastics industry is stronger than ever.”

The 2019 Salary Survey is available to SPE members as a benefit of membership and for purchase by non-members at www.4spe.org.

About SPE-Inspiring Plastics Professionals
Together we can form your future. 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. Web: www.4spe.org Phone: 203-775-0471

About MBS Advisors
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. Web: https://mbadvisors.com Phone: 413-584-2899