Fleet professional salaries have risen very little from the prior year, to $78,210 on average, according to respondents to the Government Fleet survey. Those who managed a maintenance operation and a technician staff earned more than those fleet professionals who outsourced most or all maintenance work.

Although more than half of respondents said their salaries had increased in the past year, the vast majority said the increase was 3% or less. However, this is better than last year’s survey results, where 37% of respondents said their salaries increased.

Gilbert English, garage supervisor, Vehicle Fleet Services Division, City of Raleigh, N.C., said fleet employees at his agency are getting a 3% salary increase this fiscal year. He added, “Our City Council and city manager were able to balance the City’s budget without any cuts to our benefits, salaries, time, or personnel. There were positions cut through attrition.”

Despite the increases, there is concern about the future. A fleet manager in a growing city with 600 fleet units said that one major concern at his agency is how health insurance coverage will change in the near future.

There will be a large shift in fleet management with upcoming retirements. An alarming number of respondents (more than one third) said they plan to retire within the next five years. Only about one third of these respondents have a succession plan in place.

The survey also asked respondents if they plan to stay at their current agency until retirement — 77% said yes. Not surprisingly, those who plan to stay at their agencies are more likely to earn more and/or be closer to retirement age.

English said he enjoys his fleet job. “Employees are good, upper management is good, and [there is] plenty of room for advancement as our division is in a rapid growth stage.”

The fleet manager responsible for 600 units said he plans to stay at his current job as long as it makes economic sense. “One thing that would make me leave my current city is if they disregard Fleet Department recommendations without sound reasoning,” he said.

While the economy is getting better in some areas, other areas still face financial hardship. One positive thing coming out of this difficult time is the people who survive through it. Vince Olsen, CPFP, superintendent of Internal Services, Village of Algonquin, Ill., said, “In these times, having really good professional individuals ferret out and implement strategies to survive these conditions is critical. These individuals may be worth their weight in gold."

In July, Government Fleet solicited responses to an annual survey from its readership, receiving 218 qualified responses. The data from this section and most other sections in this issue, unless stated otherwise, come from this opt-in survey. These statistics comprise one of the largest pools of industry data collected.

View the results of the survery here.