Salary Survey 2013
In previous years, we’ve also asked how experience impacts salaries. This year we asked if more experience equated to a higher salary when companies hired a new applicator. For applicators, 89.8 percent said experience did help increase the entry level salary. Only 7.9 percent said it did not lead to a higher base salary. Experience increased the base salary of applicators between $100 and $42,000. The average amount that experience increased salary was $5,587. The highest percentage of responses, (27 percent) indicated the base salary was increased by $4,500.
Based on these numbers this year, it appears that although employers are willing to pay more for experience and education, they are willing to pay slightly more for experience than education.
This year, we asked respondents to indicate what qualified an entry level applicator for a pay raise. Respondents could pick multiple answers. Here is the list they could choose from and the percent of each answer chosen:
- Earning additional education: 23.3 percent
- Earning a CCA certification: 24.7 percent
- Met bonus goals: 28.6 percent
- Hours worked: 33.9 percent
- Profit/state of the economy: 39.2 percent
- Customer service recognition: 43.1 percent
- Another year of experience: 64.7 percent
- Increased duties/responsibilities: 66.1 percent
- Positive attitude: 71.7 percent
- Manager’s discretion: 77.8 percent
- None of the above: 1.7 percent
In addition to base salary, we asked if companies offered applicators a bonus in 2012. Nearly 72 percent indicated they did offer bonuses. When asked what factor the bonus was based upon, 47.3 percent said it was acres treated, 28.5 percent said company profit, 1.5 percent said hours worked, 21.9 percent said overall job performance/discretionary and 0.8 percent indicated another factor.
AGRONOMIST SALARY TRENDS
Along with applicator base salary trends, we also asked for the base salary of the company’s entry level, full-time sales agronomists. This year, the average base salary for an entry level sales agronomist was $42,362. Last year, the average salary for the top agronomist was $56,927. Again, last year’s number is higher because we asked for the top sales agronomist salary instead of the base salary, which we asked for the 2013 survey. This year, agronomist salaries ranged from $18,000 to $100,000 compared with $32,000 to $150,000 in the 2012 survey.
The same as we asked for applicators, we asked if companies employed full-time agronomists. Of those responding to this year’s survey, 88.5 percent said they hired full-time agronomists. We also asked how many full-time agronomists they employed and answers ranged from one to 700, which again demonstrates that respondents ranged in size from small, local dealerships to large regional and national dealerships. Because of the wide range in answers, the average number of sales agronomists employed per company was 10. However, the largest percentage (56.7 percent) hired only one to three agronomists.