Warehouse growth rewards higher education, relies on contractors
- WERC's annual Warehousing & Logistics Industry Salary Survey Report revealed that for the most part, "compensation increases with the level of education." In the highest position surveyed — Vice President of Logistics — more than half had a four-year degree or higher.
- The report also found that 81.6% of companies employing warehouse workers used supplementary, temporary or contract workers, and second shift workers earn $0.57/hour more, while third shift workers earn $0.66/hour more.
- Warehouse worker turnover rate in 2016 was 25.7%, increasing from 22.2% in 2015.
The WERC wage survey results suggest the supply chain talent shortage is still a prevalent problem — employers are relying on temporary or contract workers — but also that obtaining a college degree and moving up the chain of command can pay off big time over the long run. In 2017, the average Director of Logistics earned $135,000 a year, up from $125,000 in 2016.
Further, warehouse managers are often responsible for updating their methods for greater efficiency, resulting in greater challenges and potential retraining for staff, which is encumbered by the higher turnover ratio.
The fact that warehouse employment is growing both in appeal and wages reflects the deepening effect e-commerce is having on the economy. While traditional retail is being disrupted, e-commerce is positively impacting employment.
The reasons are largely practical: proximity (even in 2015, Amazon had warehouses within 20 miles of 31% of the U.S. population) and pay. Rewards and bonuses are both common features of warehouse work, neither of which are on offer for traditional non-degreed positions.
- Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) Warehousing & Logistics Industry Salary Survey Report
- Supply Chain Dive Warehouses are 143% bigger thanks to e-commerce
- Supply Chain Dive 7 tips to adapt to the biggest trends in warehouse management