Manufacturer Salary Results 2014

By Brian Rhodes, Published Aug 19, 2014, 12:00am EDT

IPVM has determined how much sales people, engineers, developers, and tech support are earning in our 2014 Manufacturer Salary Survey.

This is the companion to our Integrator Salary Survey 2014 report.

Key highlights include:

  • "Big Leagues" - Manufacturers outearn their integrator counterparts by an average of 35%
  • Regional - US compensation significantly outpaces rest of the world.
  • "High Rollers" - At manufacturers, sales people outearn their technical counterparts by 40% average.

Breakdown by Position North America

The chart below details how each manufacturer reported typical salaries for key business functions:


Sales made the most of the 4 types surveyed:

  • "Typically Sales people are ranged widely from $90k to $180k depending on their experience."
  • "Base is almost always the same...80-120 (Depending on experience) Commission plans, can be 1% - 5% of total sales revenue for a territory."
  • "$80K-$100K RSM's and $90K-$120K for Director (management) roles. Commission can be up to 5% for RSM's and up to 3% for Directors."
  • "$50K-$70k base and upwards of $100k-$250k with commissions."
  • "$60K to $90K base, commissions from $10K to $60K or more."

By contrast, integrator sales compensation averaged $40,000 less - $110,000 annually.

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Base vs Commission

While total compensation averaged $150,000, 'commission payments' (variable percentages of earned sales) can greatly inflate typical sales salaries. Amounts doubling base salaries are common, with the high-end values for very successful employees hitting $250K or higher.

  • "There are sales reps that make $150k-there are also reps that make $300k."
  • "20-200k Commission (again on structure. Overall average usually comes in at total of 100-200k/yr for quality RSM's."
  • "Based on targets and MBO's the range is $150-300k"
  • "Commission ranges from $50k to 200k depending, on region and productivity."
  • "Mostly $125-$200K, with a very few reaching $300K. Commission % is all over the board, normally 20-60%."

Systems & Sales Engineers

For many manufacturers, this position offers the best combination of high wages and stability, earning about $100,000 per year.

  • "Systems Engineers $60K to $100 K, Field Engineers $50K to $90K"
  • "Base: $75K-$100K Variable: $10K-$50K A "good" A Player SE will typically earn around $140K. A more junior SE will earn around $90K."
  • "Base $80-100K, ~120K total compensation at plan."
  • "Sales - $90K to $130K Field Engineers - $65K to $85K"

By contrast, integrator engineers averaged $25,000 less than manufacturer ones at an average of $75,000.


Several responses drew a distinction between 'Software Developers', who are compensated more highly than tech support, usually by 70% or more.

  • "Developers are in the 130 - $145k range."
  • "Most of our developers in the $90k - $125k range, but can earn bonuses based on business."
  • "Developers usually make $50k to $90k, based on experience and talent and education."

Tech Support

For many manufacturers, entry level technical positions take home $50,000 per year. Despite being the lowest average compensated position, the skillsets developed here can be a springboard into more lucrative areas of the company:

  • "Tech Support personnel make around $50K per year. Developers can make quite a bit more (upwards of $80K+) due to the difficulty and impact of the skills required"
  • " developer should get best pay, and then tech support (on site) and then tech support (inside)."
  • "Support people in the 85 - $105k range"
  • "Tech support makes between $45k - $75k, with junior positions most numerous."

How Do You Earn More?

Manufacturers had three specific recommendations for making more money:

  1. Work in Sales: While engineering or other technical positions may be more stable, sales positions earn the biggest salaries.
  2. Pick the Right Territory: In many cases, the biggest numbers come from high-profile markets, and reaping that exposure is key.
  3. Be Committed: Manufacturers made it clear - you get out what you put in. Professionals motivated to be excellent in all phases of their job will rise to the top as a result.

Manufacturer's color comments on these key themes are listed below:

Work In Sales

Overwhelmingly, the recommendation is move into sales. More than 45% of all responses offered some recommendation to move into Sales, or promote within the sales ranks:

  • "National Account Sales. Those who own the relationship can take the biggest slice of the biggest pie."
  • "Be a great salesperson in a highly productive territory like NYC, Texas, Chicago, etc."
  • "Sales is by far the most lucrative in terms of total compensation package on paper. "
  • "you should become a Sales person to translate your valuable knowledge into good wages"

Pick the Right Territory

Choosing the right geographic market also appeared frequently. Manufacturers clearly stated that success is hard work, but putting yourself in the right place to work hard gives you more results:

  • "Work for a manufacturer that has a good commission plan and has the products and territory to meet your compensation goal."
  • "Take positions in areas with the most potential customers."
  • "Big markets matter in success. More prospects mean more customers, equally bigger paychecks."
  • "Highest pay is for high risk areas like Nigeria, Iraq and Angola."

Several comments noted that the 'right' location is not always the most populated, but can also be where representation of competing lines are thin, such as conflict zones or difficult environments.

Be Committed

Finally, distinguish yourself with working hard to esteem your company and it's products. Whether it is contributing to sales effort, learning technical details in depth, or working to make the offering better, so just that and the money will follow:

  • "Choose a product that they are truly passionate about and absolutely believe in and become the most knowledgeable person in the world in how to use those products to solve problems. Once that's done... Be a great customer advocate and consultable resource to them."
  • "Work hard, push for progress, make money for the organization, set aggressive goals and achieve them."
  • "The most important thing here is to do what you like and what you're good at...regardless of where within the organization you fall. The happier you are with your position and the better you perform at that position, the more you will/should get paid to do that job."
  • "Communication, be highly visible & be very responsive."

Asia Compensation

In Asia, salaries for all positions is comparatively less than North Amercian counterparts, in some cases rather steeply, representing 40% in tech support and perhaps 20% of Sales equivalents.

  • "In Taiwan: the yearly salary for junior tech is about $16,000 USD. For more seniors (2 year experience) it can start at about $21,000 USD and stay on that range of 21000 to 28000 unless higher management or C level positions."
  • "Higher management (Directors, C-level people) can reach yearly incomes on the range of 60.000 to 70.000 USD on a good year."
  • "Here Sales will pay $32K - $50K and give 1% - 5% of total compensation."
  • "Some companies here (in Taiwan) the base salary stands for 90% of the income and at others its more about 50% - 50%. Usually the yearly salary is about in the ranges: $21,000 to $32,000."

Europe Compensation

In Europe, compensation is ~15% less than North America, after adjusting for currencies.

  • "Base ~£35-40K, Commission OTE ~£20K"
  • "As a starter, maybe 30,000 €, could end up to 100,000 € and more. Commission is normally between 2 to 10 % of the turnover you did with your products. Mostly, you get a Target: If you reach your target, the commission is much higher."
  • "Junior help desk/support will typically be 30-35K (GBP). Senior support 35-45K (GBP). "
  • "Internal sales (often junior level) = £25K + (GBP) (Plus commission which is approx 40% of salary) External with limited experience = £30-35K (Plus commission again typically 40% of salary) Experienced sales with proven track record and excellent industry reputation = £50K plus good commission. Usually £70-£100K packages if targets are reached."
  • "Base 50K (EURO) + 50K (EURO) Commission"

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