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Show Me The Money



How much do you make and how do you compare to your peers?



Published November 15, 2005
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Snapshots make for interesting viewing not because they tell us who we are or where we’re headed, but simply what we were—if only for a brief instant. The same can be said for surveys. Sure, they can capture how someone feels about a particular subject, but only for a particular moment—especially when the survey involves such an emotionally charged issue as salary. Think about it. If you’re filling out a salary survey minutes after being turned down for a promotion or raise, chances are your answers may be influenced by your emotions.

That said, our first Salary Survey provides a compensation snapshot for those employed in the household and personal products industry. We arrived at these results from responses gathered at our website, Happi.com, from July 1 through August 31, 2003.

We asked all of our readers, including R&D personnel, corporate management and sales and marketing executives, to fill out the survey online to determine their attitudes toward their jobs, their salaries and what their biggest challenges are at work. So who is the quintessential Happi reader? It’s a 30-something man with a bachelor’s degree working in a cosmetic, fragrance and toiletry laboratory somewhere in the U.S.

In fact, those employed in R&D accounted for 48.9% of returns, followed by sales and marketing (24.4%), corporate management, including owners (11.1%), purchasing (4.8%), production (4.8%) and packaging (3.9%). For those respondents who didn’t fit any of these categories—2.1% of you—they’re listed under “other.”

How Much Do You Make?
When we surveyed our readership about compensation, we asked for information such as salary, bonus, stock options and benefits. What we discovered is that most folks don’t receive any bonus during the year and stock options are practically non-existent in this day and age. The median base salary for all respondents was $61,800. Like many other industries, salary inequality is evident in the household and personal products industry. According to our survey, women earned a median salary of $53,600, compared with $72,000 for men.

The median bonus was $1,000 for all respondents, but nearly 46% said they did not receive a bonus at all. Among those who did, the median bonus was $5,000.

That same discrepancy is even more pronounced when it comes to stock options. More than 90% of respondents said they did not receive any stock options. Among those who did, the median value of those options was $10,000.

Other Issues of Concern
Okay, enough about money. Certainly there’s more to a job than just a paycheck. So, we asked you: What’s the most frustrating thing about your job? Topping the list by a wide margin was internal politics, cited by 27% of respondents, with lack of advancement a distant second at 16%. Inadequate compensation (13.9%) and faster time-to-market pressures (13.2%) caused an equal number of headaches for our readers.

With all the mergers and acquisitions reshaping the industry, we were surprised by how few of our readers, relatively speaking, are concerned about job security. In fact, nearly 31% of you said it was very unlikely you would leave your company in the next two years.

Similarly, we asked you, how secure do you feel in your present job? On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being very insecure and 5 being very secure, more than 45% of respondents answered 4 or 5. In contrast, less than 9% said they felt very insecure. Despite all the M&A talk in the media, most folks in our survey don’t expect to work for a new boss anytime soon. We asked you the likelihood of your company being acquired during the next 12 months and 61% of you said very unlikely. At the other end of the spectrum, slightly more than 7% said an acquisition was very likely. One wag insisted there was a zero chance of his outfit getting purchased!

The Pay is Okay
Finally, we asked you how your present compensation reflects your level of responsibility. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being very dissatisfied and 5 being very satisfied, the plurality of respondents (nearly 31%) went right down the middle by checking off 3. Meanwhile, fewer than 14% said they were very dissatisfied and more than 9% were very satisfied.

On the following pages, we review the results of the salary survey by job function. We hope you find these results informative, and be sure to check our website for even more data on salary, bonuses and other compensation, job satisfaction and security and a host of other issues.

Management/Owner

A
s one might suspect, the folks who sign the paychecks are also the highest paid group in our survey. The median salary for all those in corporate management or owners is $96,000. By region, respondents from the midwest report the highest median salary at $116,500. Median salary outside the U.S. was just $74,500.

By degree, those with a master’s degree fared best with a median salary of $140,000. Those respondents who went on to finish their PhD apparently didn’t get their money’s worth—the median salary for those with a doctorate was $98,000. Still, that’s higher than those who received a bachelor’s degree ($71,000) as well as those who received a two-year degree, a high school diploma or technical training ($68,000).


There was a big discrepancy in salary when responses were divided by sex—men were paid $109,000, while women were paid just $69,500.

Interestingly enough, executives at industrial & institutional product companies were the highest-paid when ranked by industry sector (see chart). Compensation for I&I executives was well ahead of cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries (CFT) and soap, detergent and household cleaners (SDHHC).

More than half of those in management said they did not receive a bonus; among those who did, the median bonus was $13,500. Just 15% said they received stock options, with the median award worth $10,000. Less than half of respondents told us they receive benefits, with the median package totalling $12,000.

So what’s the biggest gripe among those in management? Inadequate project funding just beat out inadequate compensation. So you could say, the folks in the corner office are torn between getting a project up and running and getting a little more in their paychecks every week.

Research & Development

B
ench chemists and other members of the R&D staff accounted for nearly 50% of our survey responses. We appreciate the fact that so many R&D personnel took the time to answer our survey. Anyway, the median salary for all R&D responses was $60,000. When we broke results down by finished product segment, those involved in cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries had median salaries of $60,000. Meanwhile, R&D personnel in the soap, detergent and household cleaning business reported median salaries of $60,800. Those involved in raw material R&D had a median salary of $60,000, while those in I&I research reported a median salary of $70,000. We received enough responses among consultants to report a median salary of $45,000 and pharmaceutical researchers topped our list at $86,000.

Men reported a median salary of $69,500, compared to $52,000 for women. The median age for all was 39.

The median U.S. salary was $65,000. The northeast was the highest paying region in the country, with a median salary of $70,000, followed by the midwest ($68,000), south ($60,500) and west ($52,000).

We received a strong response (nearly 20% of replies) from outside the U.S. in this category. R&D personnel in Europe reported the highest median salaries ($50,000), well-ahead of Canada ($40,000), Middle East/Africa ($19,500), South America ($18,800), Asia/Pacific ($17,368) and Mexico ($17,000).

When it comes to salary by degree, those with doctorates fared better than those with less schooling. Respondents with a doctorate earned a median salary of $85,500, followed by master’s ($61,500) and bachelor’s ($57,000). Those who obtained another type of degree, technical school, etc., earned a median salary of $70,000.

More than 40% of respondents did not receive a bonus. Among those who did, the median bonus was $4,000. Less than 10% received stock options—for those who did, the median award was $8000. More than 50% of R&D personnel told us they did not receive benefits; for those who did, the median worth was $7000.

What’s the biggest complaint coming from the R&D staff? As one might suspect—what with the ongoing friction between marketing and R&D—internal politics (31%) far out-distanced lack of advancement (16.3%) and faster time-to-market schedules (15.5%). Heck, even inadequate compensation garnered only 13.7% of votes in the complaint department!

Packaging

R
esponses from packaging executives were among the lowest in the survey—representing about 4% of total returns. The median salary for the entire group was $76,500. Those involved in cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries were paid a median salary of $80,500, compared to $74,000 for soap, detergent and household cleaning executives and $70,000 for those who checked “other.”


Men’s median salary was $76,000, compared to $66,500 for women.

By region, the median salary outside the U.S. was $55,000, compared to $91,000 for the U.S. As the chart here shows, packaging executives in the northeastern U.S. earned more ($91,800) than those in other parts of the country.

Internal politics was cited as the biggest headache for packaging professionals (38%), just ahead of problems caused by faster time-to-market schedules (28%).

More than 40% said they were very unlikely to leave their jobs during the next two years, compared to 17% who said it was very likely. Half of respondents said they felt somewhat or very secure in their jobs and 66% said it was very or somewhat unlikely that their company would be acquired in the next two years.
Sales & Marketing

S
ales and marketing executives accounted for the second-largest number of survey responses. The chart at right shows that raw material suppliers pay the best, with a median salary of $70,000, in the household and personal care industry.

More than 30% of respondents didn’t receive a bonus; among those who did, the median was $8,125. The median U.S. salary was $73,500. By region, those in the midwest earned $71,000, ahead of the northeast ($70,000), the south ($65,500) and the west ($59,000). The numbers don’t jibe with the U.S. median because a significant number of responses did not include regional information. Those with a master’s degree ($76,000) fared better than those with a doctorate ($70,000) or bachelor’s ($55,000).



The median age of survey respondents was 36 and as the chart on the left demonstrates, men receive a higher salary than women.

More than 26% said it was unlikely they would leave their jobs in the next two years; in contrast, 21% said it was very likely. At the same time, less than 7% said they are very insecure with their job security, compared to nearly 24% who said they were very secure.

That secure feeling goes further as more than 53% said it was very unlikely that their company would be acquired during the next 12 months.

What’s the most frustrating aspect of the job for sales and marketing professionals? Internal politics was cited by nearly 33% of those who answered the question—well ahead of lack of advancement (17.6%).
Production/Plant Management

P
roduction/plant management responses accounted for less than 5% of the salary surveys returned. The median salary for this sector was $50,000. Those in cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries earned $50,000 compared to $40,000 for soap, detergent and household cleaning manufacturers.


Perhaps the most interesting statistic gleaned from this portion of the survey was the difference in salary by gender. Women earned a median salary of $50,000, compared to $52,500 for men, making it the smallest differential of all the job categories tracked by the Happi survey. Those with a master’s degree earned a median salary of $60,000, well ahead of those with a bachelor’s degree ($49,000).

The median age of those who took part in the survey was 45 and the median years of experience was 14.

More than half of respondents did not receive any bonus. Among those who did, the median bonus was $6,000.

What’s the most frustrating aspect of the job for those who work in production? Internal politics was cited by nearly 28% of respondents, just ahead of inadequate facilities (nearly 21%).
Purchasing

I
f you want to make more money as a purchasing agent, drop the cosmetics and head over to a soap and detergent manufacturer. But it sure helps to be a man! The pay for purchasing executives in the soap, detergent and household cleaner sector was far more than the compensation to those making CFT purchasing decisions ($70,000 vs. $41,750).

More shocking is the discrepancy between men and women. The median salary for male purchasing executives was $76,650, compared to just $44,000 for women. The gap was also wide when one factors in education.



Those with a master’s degree earned a median salary of $96,500 compared to $53,600 for those with a bachelor’s degree. The median age for respondents was 42.

More than 40% did not receive a bonus; for those who did, the median bonus was $3,000. The median age of respondents was 42 with 12 years of experience, including four years at the current job. More than 38% called lack of advancement the most frustrating aspect of their job, that’s ahead of internal politics (nearly 27%) and faster time-to-market schedules (19%).
All the Rest

I
t’s our most eclectic collection of job holders and includes folks working in government affairs, e-commerce and information technology. Yes, that’s a smorgasbord of positions, but we wanted to give our readers an idea of compensation for those outside the mainstream Happi readership. The median salary for the group is $80,000 and the median age is 42. More than half have a master’s degree. What’s their biggest complaint? Fifty percent said lack of advancement.



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