Warehousing Salaries and Wages

The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) conducts a biannual warehousing salaries and wages study to gather up-to-date statistics on the salary and employment practices in the industry.

The 12-page 2004 Warehousing Salaries and Wages questionnaire was mailed to 2,056 WERC members. Overall, 301 warehouses participated in the study, representing a response rate of 15 percent.

In addition to breakouts by warehouse demographics, compensation levels among non-exempt employees are broken out by the number of years served in their current position and by their years of warehousing or logistics experience. Generally, the higher the number of years served in the position or the greater the experience, the higher the compensation for those employees.

There are several instances, however, where this pattern does not hold. For example, operations managers with 15-20 years of experience earn a median base salary of $65,000 while those with more than 20 years of experience earn a lower median base salary of $61,300. Other than statistical variation, one explanation for this occurrence might be that employees who have worked for a long time may be nearing retirement and have experienced a flattening of their earnings, while others are in their more productive, upwardly mobile years.

Other key findings include:

• Thirty-five percent of the warehouses surveyed employ 25 or fewer full-time warehouse employees. This finding varies by the square footage of the warehouse. Thirty-five percent of warehouses with more than 500,000 square feet of warehouse space employ more than 200 full-time warehouse employees.

• The typical warehouse surveyed has 4,300 square feet of warehouse space per full-time warehouse employee.

• Thirty-nine percent of all warehouses surveyed have one work shift, while 34 percent have two work shifts and 27 percent have three. Compared with the first shift, the typical warehouse pays 30 cents more per hour to second-shift, non-exempt employees and 50 cents more to third-shift employees.

• Thirty-eight percent of persons service as vice president of logistics position have more than 20 years of warehouse/logistics experience.

• With the exception of the vice president of logistics, a quarter to a third of employees in other exempt positions have served in their current position for two years or less.

• Sixty-four percent of persons in the vice president of marketing/sales position supervise five persons or fewer, while 50 percent of persons in the vice president of logistics position supervise 26 persons or more.

In 2004, the warehouse positions earning the highest median salary and bonus were vice president of logistics and director of logistics, followed by vice president of marketing and sales.

Among non-exempt warehouse employees, the highest median hourly wages were earned by shipping/receiving clerks and customer service representatives.

The 2004 study shows the following median salary and bonus:

• Vice president of logistics; $147,625;

• Vice president marketing/sales, $106,500;

• Director of logistics, $113,350;

• General manager, $92,700;

• Operations manager, $64,400;

• Traffic manager, $61,375;

• Customer service manager; $52,500;

• Office manager, $42,750;

• Warehouse supervisor, $42,873;

• Salesperson (also includes commission and any other cash compensation), $54,999.

Median hourly wage was:

• Lift truck operator, $12.00;

• Order filler/picker, $11.00;

• Shipping/receiving clerk, $12.35;

• Customer service representative, $12.40;

• Warehouse worker, $10.50.

For more information, visit www.werc.org.

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