Features

R&D Salary Survey

August 10, 2005

Our second annual look at how much paint R&D staffers earn and what�s really on their minds as they spend countless hours in the lab.

Welcome to the second annual R&D salary survey conducted by Coatings World. We were quite pleased with the industry's response last year, and we were not let down in our second attempt. We polled a portion of our readers-research and development personnel involved in the formulations of paint and coatings from both the manufacturer and supplier sides of the business-to determine their attitudes towards their jobs, their salaries and what their biggest challenges are at work. This "snapshot" presents a quick state of the industry report from the men and women who are the heart of the market-those who drive the formulations further, improve technology, meet regulatory requirements and deliver new products to store shelves and customer warehouses.


Who Are You?
So who are you? Generally speaking, you are a 40-something male who attends between one and three trade shows year and is concerned with office politics! As was the case last year, the vast majority (87%) of our respondents were male and the median age was 44, with our oldest respondents still working in their 80s!

Our respondents came from coatings formulators, raw materials suppliers and academia. All told, 69% came from paint manufacturers and 24% from suppliers to the industry. The remainder came from "other," which includes academia.

In the following pages you will find the results of our survey. If you are a statistic, thank you for participating. If not, be sure to get involved next year. We look forward to hearing from more of you next year and publishing the results in November 2004.

Christine Canning Esposito

Demographics
   
   
 


Compensation
Respondents were asked to include bonuses, stock options and profit sharing and report that total in U.S. dollars.
Technician/Lab Support
  Median Compensation $30-40K
Median Compensation (U.S.) $40-50K
Median Compensation (Europe) $30-40K
 


Who pays more, and who gets paid more?
Salary differences between supplier and manufacturer as well as gender and regional breakdowns are included in the online version of this story at www.coatingsworld.com.

Chemist (including senior chemist)
  Median Compensation $50-60K
Median Compensation (U.S.) $60-70K
Median Compensation (Europe) $50-60K
   
(U.S.) Europe


Lab/Technical / R&D Manager
  Median Compensation $50-60K
Median Compensation (U.S.) $80-90K
Median Compensation (Europe) $40-50K
Median Years Experience 17
   
(U.S.) Europe


R&D / Technical Director
  Median Compensation $70-80K
Median Compensation (U.S.) $80-90K
Median Compensation (Europe) $60-70K
Median Years Experience 27
   
(U.S.) Europe


How satisfied are you that your present compensation reflects your level of responsibility?
Job Security
How secure do you feel in your present job? How likely are you to leave your company in the next two years?
   

Industry/Job Concerns

Office Politics As Usual
When it comes to frustration at work, office politics remains at the top of the list, and the number of those angered by it has grown. More respondents reported this as their biggest concern-32% this year compared to 22% in 2002. Yet, there is some good news, as it appears another concern is waning. Merger and acquisition fears dropped from 10% to just five percent this year. A concern on the rise? Time-to-market schedules. This year, 15% of our respondents reported this as the most frustrating aspect of their job. Last year, the same answer was checked off by 10% of our respondents.

What is the most frustrating aspect of your job?
 

Big Bucks for the Big Guns? CEO Pay at Coatings Companies
Thinking about getting out of the lab and into upper management? Here's some incentive to go and get that MBA which might help take you from the bench to the boardroom.

New York City-based executive compensation consultants Pearl Meyer & Partners has analyzed the average pay of chief executives in 2002. The study covered 200 companies across 17 industries, including some of the largest paint and coatings companies based in the U.S.

According to Pearl Meyer & Partners, Charles Holliday Jr. of DuPont had a base salary of $1,085,000 in 2002, with a $2.2 million bonus. At PPG Industries, Raymond LeBoeuf's 2002 salary was $880,000, with a $1.2 million bonus. Christopher Connor of Sherwin-Williams' base salary was $950,000, with a $994,000 bonus.

When tallying total direct compensation (which may include what Pearl Meyer & Partners called "other" compensation), Mr. Holliday recorded $3,317,625, Mr. LeBoeuf recorded $2,217,973 million and Mr. Connor tallied $2,133,355.

How did CEOs at related companies fare, such as at major supplier to the paint business?

Michael Parker of Dow Chemical's base salary was $1,014,200 with a bonus for $882,807; and John Hunter, III of Solutia tallied a base salary of $800,000 in 2002, with a bonus of $1.2 million.


Travel
How many trade shows/technical symposiums/education courses do you plan on attending this year?
 
 


Get Me Out of Here!
Respondents to our survey want more time away from the bench. The majority (68%) of our respondents attend one to three events per year, but if it were up to them, they would participate in more technical symposiums, trade shows and industry events.

According to our statistics, 63% want to attend more shows. As for the main reason why they don't get to attend more, budget restrictions topped the list (54%), followed by management/superior decision (20%), time restrictions (20%), travel restrictions (4%) and other/no answer (2%).


Compensation by Gender, Type of Company and Region *

CHEMIST
Median compensation female (U.S.): $60K
Median compensation male (U.S.): $70-80K

Median compensation at paint manufacturer (all regions): $50-60K
Median compensation at supplier (all regions) $60-70K
Median compensation at paint manufacturer (U.S.): $60-70K
Median compensation at supplier (U.S.): $70-80K

Median compensation Asia: $20-30K


LAB MANAGER
Median compensation female (U.S.): $60-70K
Median compensation male (U.S.): $90-100K

Median compensation at paint manufacturer (all regions): $60-70K
Median compensation at supplier (all regions) $70-80K
Median compensation at paint manufacturer (U.S.): $80-90K
Median compensation at supplier (U.S.): $90K

Median compensation Asia: $30-40K
Median compensation Eastern Europe: $20-30K
Median compensation Western Europe: $60-70KK


R&D DIRECTOR
We did not receive any responses from "female" R&D directors to present an accurate representation of compensation differences between men and women in this role.

Median compensation at paint manufacturer (all regions): $70-80K
Median compensation at supplier (all regions) $60-70K
Median compensation at paint manufacturer (U.S.): $80-90K
Median compensation at supplier (U.S.): $80-90K

Median compensation Asia: $30-40K

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