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21 Percent of Fleet Managers Earn More Than $100K Per Year

With 60 percent of fleet managers earning between $60,000 and $105,000 per year, fleet management can be a lucrative career path. Take a look at how salaries break down by fleet size, geographic region, and more.

April 2013, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

 
While overall salaries range equally from as low as $30,000 to as much as more than $125,000, most fleet managers earn between $70,001-$75,000 and $95,001-$100,000 (9 percent each). The percent of fleet managers earning more than $100,000 per year has dropped from 33 percent in 2010, but is still higher than the 17 percent in 2008.
While overall salaries range equally from as low as $30,000 to as much as more than $125,000, most fleet managers earn between $70,001-$75,000 and $95,001-$100,000 (9 percent each). The percent of fleet managers earning more than $100,000 per year has dropped from 33 percent in 2010, but is still higher than the 17 percent in 2008.

At a Glance

The 2012 calendar-year Automotive Fleet Salary Survey found that: 60 percent of fleet managers earn a median income between $60,000 and $105,000.

67 percent of fleet managers surveyed received a salary increase in 2012.

29 percent of fleet managers received a cost-of-living adjustment in 2012.

25 percent of fleet managers received a company car with their position.

Note: You can click the chart above to see all of the charts mentioned in the article.


How does your salary compare with the industry? Fleet manager salary increases have started to slow, with only 21 percent of fleet managers earning more than $100,000 per year in 2012-CY. This is compared with 33 percent earning more than $100,000 in 2010-CY, yet up from the 17 percent in 2008-CY.

Salaries can range widely for fleet managers, from the low-end median income of $30,000 to the high-end of more than $125,000.

The majority of fleet managers surveyed earn between $70,001 and $75,000 (9 percent) and $95,001 and $100,000 (9 percent). A total of 60 percent of fleet managers surveyed earn a median income of between $60,000 and $105,000 (See Chart 1.)

The following information is based on the results of Automotive Fleet’s 2012 Fleet Manager Salary Survey.

Most fleet managers surveyed received an increase in salary in 2012 over 2011 (67 percent); however, this is down from the 71 percent who received an increase in 2010. (See Chart 2.) This correlates to an increase in fleet managers who received a cost-of-living adjustment in 2012 (29 percent), which was up from the 24 percent reported in 2010.
Of the fleet managers who received an increase, 71 percent received an increase of 0 to 3 percent, 20 percent received an increase between 4 and 6 percent, and 9 percent saw a more than 7-percent increase in salary over the previous year. Only 6 percent of the surveyed fleet managers received a decrease in pay.

Fleet managers that supervise at least one employee or more have a higher median income than those who supervise no staff, while those who manage between three and five employees reported the highest median income of $95,000. (See Chart 3.)

Also, education definitely plays a role in overall salary, with those who have some post-graduate study reporting the highest median income of $105,000, followed by those with a post-graduate degree ($92,500) and those who have obtained an MBA ($92,500). Fleet managers who have earned their Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) designation also reported higher median salaries, at $87,500. (See Chart 4.)

Another area that shows a direct correlation with salary is compensation by number of vehicles managed (Chart 5). Fleet manager respondents who manage more than 1,000 vehicles reported a median income of $97,500, up from the $90,000 median income reported in 2010.
In 2012, 23 percent of fleet managers were female, earning a median income of $62,500; while male fleet managers made up 77 percent of the industry and earned a median income of $77,500. (See Chart 6.)

This year’s survey also shows that tenure plays a definite role in fleet manager salaries, with those who have put in more than 20 years on the job earning a median income of $82,500; followed by those with 11 to 20 years at $72,500. (See Chart 7.)

Fleet managers are also increasingly receiving a company car with their position, up to 25 percent of respondents; an increase from the 11 percent in 2010 and 22 percent in 2008.

Fleet managers who report to personnel/human resources reported the highest median income at $97,500, followed by purchasing at $92,500. (See Chart 8.)

More fleet managers are reporting a pay increase based on performance-based incentives (51 percent) compared with previous years (36 percent in 2010 and 48 percent in 2008).

While fleet is a large part of a fleet manager’s overall job, like many jobs today it isn’t the only function they perform within their companies. The majority of fleet managers (51 percent) still only focus on fleet; however, 31 percent of respondents reported “other” responsibilities, including managing facilities, purchasing, safety, DOT compliance. Of the remaining survey participants, 19 percent also cover planning and managing meetings, 11 percent handle travel services, and 3 percent manage personnel relocation as well. (See Chart 9.)

When looking at the amount of time spent performing fleet-management related responsibilities, 56 percent of fleet managers spend less than 75 percent of their time on fleet management, with 26 percent spending less than 50 percent of their time. (See Chart 10.)

As noted, fleet managers aren’t always able to spend all of their time on fleet management. The majority of respondents, 89 percent, noted that they also develop fleet policies and procedures; 86 percent authorize preventive maintenance; 74 percent negotiate with their fleet suppliers; 72 percent negotiate pricing with new-vehicle manufacturers; and 70 percent manage their fleet management company. (See Chart 11.)

The salary of a fleet manager can also be impacted by the geographic region in which they operate a fleet (See Chart 12). Fleet managers in the West South Central region earn the highest median salary at $95,500; with those in the Mountain, New England, and Middle Atlantic regions reporting the lower median salaries at $67,500.

Finally, salaries are also impacted by age. (See Chart 13.) Respondents between the ages of 51 and 60, who also make up the largest percentage of respondents, reported a median annual income of $92,500. This was followed by those between the ages of 61 and 65 at $82,500 per year.

Now that the numbers are out, how does your salary compare with the industry?

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  1. 1. John Brewington [ April 09, 2013 @ 01:38PM ]

    Without knowing the number of respondents in each category and how responsibilities are assigned, it is hard to say whether fleet managers today are better off financial than before the Great Recession. Generally speaking, I find that many managers of small to medium fleets (both public and private sectors) are often underpaid for the duties they perform. Those with advanced schooling, significant experience, certification, and/or large fleets seem able to hold their own in the market place. Ultimately, the managers who pursue educational opportunities, actively seek advancement opportunities, and are willing to act on those opportunities will lead the pack when it comes to survey results. One element missing from the surveys was whether the participants were happy with their situations – money, while important, isn't everything.

 

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