Compensation Update

In addition to “2011 Staff Level Compensation” from the May/June issue of CFMA Building Profits, this update offers more evidence that construction compensation activity continues to accelerate in 2011.

Highway, heavy, and municipal contractors with aggregates operations should note that sand and stone producers are projecting average increases of 2.9% for executives, 2.6% for exempt staff, and 2.7% for non-exempt staff in 2011. Although it is still early for a “perfect” 2012 estimate, current predictions show a slight rise, with executives expecting a 3.0% increase, exempt staff 2.9%, and non-exempt staff 2.8%.

The 2011-2012 Aggregates Industry Compensation Survey reports Plant Mangers for stone operations average $85,765 in base pay with a bonus of $9,027, while those responsible for sand operations average $72,755 in base pay ($7,448 bonus). CFOs averaged $195,659 in base pay with a bonus of $72,109, followed by Accounting Managers at $85,313 ($7,564 bonus) and Credit and Collections Managers at $68,842 ($6,304 bonus). The top Environmental Services position averaged $93,088 in base salary ($11,301 bonus) in 2011.

In 2011, non-union craft increases are predicted to average 2.8% (or 2.1% when firms freezing pay are added in). This is a positive sign, as the actual 2010 craft pay increases averaged 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively. The 2011 Merit Shop Wage and Benefit Survey indicates the New York/New Jersey region with the highest anticipated increase at 3.0%, while the South Atlantic and the Far Northwest regions reported the lowest average at 2.5%. The skilled trade with the highest projected increase is Plumbers, with an anticipated average of 3.03% (2.51% with zeros) followed closely by HVAC Technicians at 2.94% (2.61%) and Sheet Metal Workers at 2.93% (2.51%).

JEFFREY M. ROBINSON is President of PAS, Inc., which specializes in compensation consulting and publications for the construction industry. He can be reached at 800-553-4655 or