MANAGEMENT: Survey Examines Salaries Of Solid Waste Industry

How much money do you make?

Companies with less than $1 million in monthly revenues reportedly pay hauling managers with 10 to 17 years of experience $51,700 to $57,500, according to the Waste Industry Salary Survey.

Kimmel & Associates Inc., an Asheville, N.C., executive search firm for segments of the private landfill and waste hauling industry, conducted a salary survey to help employers develop accurate compensation packages for new employees and establish a guideline for current employee wages and to familiarize employees with fair and reasonable wages.

To examine the relationship between the region of the country, the gross revenue of the operation and years of related industry experience, more than 2,000 questionnaires were mailed to landfill and collection professionals with experience in general management, op-erations, engineering, finance, ac-quisitions and sales.

The base salaries of like positions vary largely between highly populated areas and more rural marketplaces, according to the survey. For example, the base salary of a waste professional in Los Angeles was ap-proximately 35 to 45 percent higher than the same position in Meri-dian, Miss.

The amount of industry-related experience also influences the salary of new employees (see chart). For example, a general manager of a collection company with more than $500,000 in gross annual revenue earns approximately $45,000 a year with five years of experience. Likewise, another general manager in a similar cost of living area with 10 years of experience averages ap-proximately $57,000, or 25 percent more.

While the compensation packages vary little among the larger companies, variety is the spice of life at smaller, private solid waste firms - even those within the same city. A company's gross revenue reportedly dictates employee compensation packages. A general manager with 10 years of experience at a collection company with an annual revenue of $600,000 will average a base salary of $55,000. Another general manager responsible for a collection company with twice that revenue averages a base salary of approximately $74,000.

Education affects compensation somewhat; however, it was impossible to report a specific figure. From the 700 people used in the survey, 56 percent of the respondents received bachelor degrees, 12 percent received master's degrees and 32 had not received any college degree.

For a copy of the Waste Industry Salary Survey, contact Kimmel & Associates, 25 Page Ave., Asheville, N.C. 28801. (704) 251-9900.