2004 Survey of Maintenance Salaries

Income of maintenance and reliability personnel varies widely. Our seventh annual survey provides some figures for checking your position.

How does your income match up with others in the maintenance and reliability community? It may be hard to find out where you stand because income figures vary so widely almost any way the data are tabulated.


Half the respondents receive between $57,000 and $90,000. The average income is $74,995.


Respondents 60 plus have the highest average income at $79,735.


At $77,635, maintenance managers have higher average income compared to $72,208 last year.


Average income of readers in the largest plants (1000 or more employees) led this year’s sample.

*The vertical brown line represents the income range within the group. The box shows the income range for the middle half (quartile two and three) of the respondents within the group. The green diamond within the box indicates the average income for the group.

That is what MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY Magazine has found out in all of its surveys of reader income. This year, respondents’ income ranged from less than $20,000 to more than $200,000, much broader than previous years. The lowest incomes were reported by practitioners working for nonindustrial facilities; highest incomes by executives with corporate or multiplant responsibilities in larger organizations.

Basic income profile
Average income of all readers responding to the survey was $74,995, somewhat more than the $71,153 registered last year and the $69,462 of the year before. The survey was conducted over a random sample of magazine readers, salaried and hourly, and we believe the data are representative of maintenance and reliability leadership.

Overall, 60 percent of survey respondents have worked in the maintenance trades or crafts. That level of craft experience was reported by respondents with a high level of responsibility: 44 percent for those who identified themselves with corporate/multiplant responsibility; 66 percent for plant managers; and 60 percent of maintenance managers.

Age and income profile
Half the respondents were 42 to 53 years old, with the average 47.3 years, older than the 46.6 years reported last year. Half the respondents received an income of between $57,000 and $90,000, more than last year. The income distribution chart illustrates the distribution in $10,000 groups. The midpoint was $74,000, lower than the average of $74,995.

The income by age chart that displays income distribution data vs age grouped by decades shows the wide variance of income within each of the groupings, with average income rising by age.

Education and registration
As expected, average income rose with the level of education. Average income rose from $67,260 for respondents with associate degrees, to $83,482 for respondents with bachelor degrees, and to $87,385 for respondents with advanced degrees.

Nearly 19 percent of respondents were registered professional engineers, certified maintenance and reliability

professionals, certified maintenance managers, or certified plant engineers. Average income of the professional engineer group was $86,509, roughly $4000 more than the average income of those with a maintenance manager or plant engineer certification, which were essentially the same.

Income by involvement
All respondents were involved in or responsible for plant equipment maintenance and reliability. That is the basic qualifying question on the application to receive MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY, and all respondents receive the magazine. However, they work at different levels and have varying responsibilities within the enterprise.

Respondents were asked to choose their level of involvement. Average income was $91,986 for corporate or multiplant involvement, $76,972 for plant management level, $77,635 for maintenance or reliability manager level, $68,021 for supervisor level, $76,971 for maintenance engineer, and $62,116 for technician level. The income by involvement chart shows a wide spread of income within each involvement sector.

Income by plant size
Respondents working in plants with 1000 or more employees received the highest average income at $80,220. The lowest average income occurred in plants with 50 to 99 and 100 to 249 employees, a pattern reflected in the data of earlier surveys.

Job responsibilities
Respondents were asked to indicate their job responsibilities by checking multiple items from a list. The portion of respondents checking various responsibilities in decreasing order are department performance, 65 percent; ordering or specifying plant equipment, 63 percent; ordering or specifying tools or supplies, 62 percent;

Hands-on troubleshooting of equipment, 61 percent; hands-on predictive maintenance analysis, 60 percent; time management and supervision of others, 59 percent;

Management of contract services, 58 percent; hands-on planning of maintenance work orders, 55 percent; department budgeting, 51 percent; engineering/design, 48 percent; hiring maintenance personnel, 45 percent; hands-on maintenance or repair of equipment, 44 percent.

The average span of responsibility included nearly seven out of the 12 responsibility items.

Respondents were contacted by e-mail and asked to visit a special Web site to fill out the survey questionnaire during a five-day period. The survey software did not collect respondent identification; however, respondents were given the opportunity to submit their email address separately to receive a copy of survey results.

For most questions, there were more than 990 usable responses. MT