From manufacturing managers to quality control experts and procurement specialists, operations personnel professionals have stepped up to meet market demands under challenging circumstances. This has not only highlighted the industry’s potential for innovation but also presented a promising career future for these indispensable experts.
The Role of Operations Personnel in the Plastics Industry
Operations personnel in the plastics industry are tasked with a myriad of responsibilities to ensure smooth production. These include meeting planned manufacturing objectives such as production volume, costs, quality, delivery, and equipment performance; ensuring safety and health compliance; and developing the workforce.
The Rise in Salary Figures
According to the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP), operations/manufacturing managers in 2022 earned a maximum average wage of $108.17 an hour with an average of 10 years of experience. Regionally, the average salaries varied, with the highest being reported in the Midwest and the West.
The 2022 Plastics Salary and Trends Survey by MBS Advisors detailed average base salaries, bonuses/incentives, and total compensation for various roles. For example, a manufacturing manager could expect average total earnings of $110,125, while a quality director could earn up to $179,833. These figures highlight the lucrative nature of a career in the plastics industry operations.
Detailed Salary Figures for Key Roles in the Plastics Industry
- Facility/Building Manager: With an average base salary of $110,000 and an average bonus of $13,500, their total earnings average $123,500.
- Manufacturing Engineering Manager: This position attracts an average base salary of $114,644 and an average bonus of $13,250, resulting in total earnings of approximately $127,894.
- Manufacturing Manager: With a base salary of $99,667 and an average bonus of $10,458, the total compensation for this role is around $110,125.
- Manufacturing VP/Director: This senior role commands a hefty average base salary of $151,000 and a significant average bonus of $49,571, culminating in total earnings of $200,571.
- Operations Director or Manager: The average base salary for this role is $123,937, with an additional average bonus of $38,008, leading to total earnings of $161,945.
- Plant Manager: With an average base salary of $121,900 and a bonus of $35,900, the total compensation for this role is around $157,800.
- Product Development VP/Manager: This role fetches an average base salary of $124,000 and an average bonus of $19,667, resulting in total earnings of approximately $143,667.
- Product Manager/Specialist: The average base salary for this role is $114,425, and with an average bonus of $47,976, the total earnings reach $162,401.
- Production Manager: With an average base salary of $89,700 and an average bonus of $27,300, the total compensation for this role is around $117,000.
- Program/Project Manager: The average base salary for this role is $106,339, and with an average bonus of $16,403, the total earnings reach $122,742.
The Future of the Plastics Industry
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) in their “2022 Size and Impact” study pointed out several encouraging trends:
- Plastic manufacturing shipments grew 0.7% a year between 2011 and 2021, and 2.3% from 2020 to 2021.
- The plastics industry was the sixth-largest U.S. industry in 2020, as measured by gross output.
- Plastic manufacturing employment grew 1.8% per year from 2011 to 2021, and 3.2% from 2020 to 2021, outpacing manufacturing as a whole.
In 2021, plastics industry shipments totaled a massive $468 billion, expanding to $600 billion when including suppliers’ shipments. The industry’s employment also rose, with jobs reaching 1.5 million when suppliers were included. Ohio led the way in terms of employment, closely followed by Texas and California.
Given the industry’s considerable economic resilience and the burgeoning salaries for operations personnel, a career in the plastics industry appears more attractive than ever. As the industry continues to refine its supply chain transparency and capacity for innovation, opportunities for operations personnel are poised to grow, making it a lucrative and rewarding career path.