Annual Pay and Compensation Report: Pay for Training and Development Professionals Remains Flat in a Tough Economic Year, According to the Latest Report from Mercer and SHRM.(Mercer Human Resource Consulting

By Vocino, Joe | T&D, January 2003 | Go to article overview

Annual Pay and Compensation Report: Pay for Training and Development Professionals Remains Flat in a Tough Economic Year, According to the Latest Report from Mercer and SHRM.(Mercer Human Resource Consulting


Vocino, Joe, T&D


With the U.S. economy still struggling, the stock market jittery, and corporations looking for any opportunity to cut costs, it's no surprise that pay levels changed very little over the past year for human resource professionals, including training and development professionals. In fact, pay for most t&d positions in 2002 was within 2 percent of 2001 pay levels.

A prime example is the most common job in the t&d arena: trainer. Median total cash compensation (includes base salary and annual incentive) for corporate trainers in 2002 was &S$45,000, just 1.1 percent higher than the 2001 pay level of $44,500. Likewise for training managers. The 2002 pay level of $73,500 was just 1.8 percent higher than the 2001 pay level of $72,200. Those figures are consistent with pay changes for all jobs in HR in the past year. Simply put, the tough economy kept the lid on pay.

These findings come from the "2002 Human Resource Management Compensation Survey," conducted annually by Mercer Human Resource Consulting in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management. The survey, considered the leading source of pay information for the HR profession, includes data provided by nearly 1100 U.S. organizations with more than 10.3 million employees total. The survey covers nearly 46,000 HR professionals in 109 HR positions ranging from top management to clerical. Of those, about a dozen jobs are in the t&d area.

For each position, the report provides statistical summaries for base salary, short-term incentive, total cash compensation (base salary plus short-term incentive), salary ranges, and short- and long-term (for example, stock options) incentive eligibility. The survey also looked at pay structures and pay increase practices affecting HR professionals.

Factors such as scope of responsibility, industry, and company size significantly affect pay levels for many positions, so the findings illustrate general compensation trends in the HR profession.

Pay levels in t&d

According to the survey the highest paid job in the training and development arena is top corporate organizational development executive, with median total cash compensation of $149,100. The next is too corporate training executive at $140,000.

Such pay level put hose professionals among the 10 highest paid executives in HR. side from top corporate HR management executives and top division or subsidiary management executives, pay levels tend to be highest for HR executives with responsibility for international HR and labor or industrial relations.

Mid-level HR, OD, and training managers (median total cash compensation of $92,700) rank relatively high compared to heir peers in other HR functional areas. However, training manager ran relatively low compared to their HR colleagues, who have a median total cash compensation of $73,500.

The highest-paid managers in HR are those with responsibilities for executive compensation ($125,000), labor relations ($108,100), and HRIS ($106,300).

Incentive pay

Incentive pay has become an important component of overall compensation for t&d professionals. Generally speaking, the more senior the t&d position, the more likely the job is eligible for both short-term and long-term incentives. But short-term incentives are far more prevalent for t&d jobs than for long-term ones. At the executive and management levels, three-quarters or more are eligible to receive short-term incentives. Those numbers fall off for less-senior jobs.

A smaller but growing number of t&d professionals qualify for long-term incentive awards, which include incentive stock options, non-qualified stock options, phantom stock, restricted stock, and performance units and shares.

Pay variables

Various demographic factors--such as industry, geography, and organization size--affect pay levels for HR professionals as they do for all employees.

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