While I'm a distance from being called an academic, I've always felt that education is the road to professionalism; and that professionalism leads to increased compensation.
This statement may have you thinking that it states the obvious. And in a sense it does if all other factors are relatively equal. There are many variables, but my recent re-review of the salary surveys that we conduct raises some interesting questions.
Regularly reading the statistical study reports and the case history features in Automotive Fleet has to be strong support in learning the fleet manager position. Being lucky enough to train under an experienced fleet manager is rare, but priceless to gain knowledge. Networking among your peers remains an invaluable resource.
Beyond these avenues, I have always been an avid fan of NAFA's CAFM program, especially with its current curriculum. Many believe, as I do, that it's a demanding but highly worthwhile project to conquer. And earning a diploma should enhance one's ambitions for professionalism and rewarded compensation.
An analysis of our salary survey prompts some head scratching; especially comparing education levels between commercial and public sector managers. Now, I'm not trying to enter longevity of service, age, sex, number of vehicles managed and so on; just education vs. compensation.
Commercial fleet managers with either an MBA or a CAFM degree tap out at between $87,500 to $90,000/year. Public sector fleet managers who sport an MBA or a CAFM scroll roll out at $89,000 to$91,500. Is that close or what?
Now the public sector guys/gals may or may not have a better retirement plan (not asked in study) and over 28 percent of them get a "company car" vs. 24 percent for the commercial counterparts, but even this still makes it close, in my opinion.
What's puzzling is that everyone I talk to insists that the public sector job is much more demanding in every aspect. Here you have to be thinking about maintenance shops, heavy trucks, off-road vehicles, longer life recycling, political influences, and a myriad of other factors that many commercial managers simply don't encounter.
Still, the compensation is amazingly similar. Am I the only one puzzled by this anomaly? Help me out here.