Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

October 30, 2013

New study documents region's wage scale

TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan employers have a new tool available to determine what’s a reasonable sum to pay their employees.

A study prepared by Northwestern Michigan College, the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and others seeks to document the salary and wage scales of the work force in northwest Lower Michigan. The 107-page report shows regional salaries vary widely and depend in large part on a worker’s experience, their time on the job and where they work.

The report shows a forklift operator at a small business can expect to make just shy of $11 an hour.

A carpenter working at a similarly sized small business can see a wide range in compensation, from $10 to $24 an hour.

An HVAC mechanic at a similarly sized company, meanwhile, can make up to $25 an hour.

A maintenance manager at a small business can make up to $54,000 a year. Licensed physical therapists at similarly sized businesses of nine employees or less can make up to $33 an hour.

Chefs at small restaurants are listed as receiving about $25 an hour, while cooks can make from less than $10 an hour up to $21 an hour.

“I think what stands out to me is the wide range,” said Janie McNabb, chief operating officer for Northwest Michigan Works at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, which also helped prepare the study.

“People want local data — right from the source, from local businesses,” she said.

At mid-sized banks, loan officers can make up to $90,000 a year. A senior loan processor is listed as having a pay range of $12 to $13 an hour. CDL drivers at mid-sized businesses can make between $12 to $18 an hour.

At larger businesses with 51 to 100 employees, chief executive officers appear to be doing well with salaries as high as $150,000 annually. Janitors at similarly sized businesses can make up to $15 an hour.

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