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Eric Zimmerman

Decoding the Pay Scale in the Wide Format Print Industry

Joint-venture PSP survey helps to shed light on average earnings

Aug 29, 2023 12:22:28 PM


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While the wide format print industry continues to see substantial growth, little attention has been given to compensation for employees. Understanding average pay rates and wage trends is essential for employers and employees alike as it influences recruitment, talent retention, and overall industry sustainability.


To shed some light on the average pay in the wide format print industry, Keypoint Intelligence partnered with Big Picture magazine to survey print service providers (PSPs) in the United States. Our research aimed to provide a comprehensive overview that offers a deeper understanding of the current wage landscape and potential areas for growth and improvement.


The study yielded extensive valuable data, providing insight into the compensation landscape within the wide format print industry, highlighting pay scale trends in ownership and executive roles, sales roles, and design/production roles, as well as movements in benefits and culture.


I encourage you to read the article in full, but I wanted to share some key findings quickly.



Key Findings

  • Demographics: Respondents represent a diverse mix of wide format PSPs, 40% being commercial printers, 26% sign shops, and 24% wide format specialists. The study encompasses participants from various regions across the US.
  • Company Profile and Size: Most PSPs fall into the small to medium-sized category, with an average annual revenue of $2.9 million and 3-6 employees on average.
  • Ownership and Executive Roles: CEOs, presidents, owners, and other executive roles are full-time salaried positions, with most earning above $100k, many exceeding $250k per year. Compensation varies based on the specific executive role.
  • Management and Administrative Roles: General managers, HR managers, office managers, and accountants have diverse compensation structures. Salaries range widely, with roles being fulltime or parttime, salaried, or hourly.
  • Sales Roles: Sales VP salaries are fulltime and range from $100k-$250k annually. Commission structures are common, with 54% offering 10%-15% of the sales price. Various sales roles, such as marketing VPs and inside/outside salespeople, have distinct salary ranges and hourly wages.
  • Design and Production Roles: Graphic designers, production managers, press operators, finishing specialists, installers, and hybrid roles have diverse compensation models. While 63% of designers and 50% of production managers are full-time salaried employees, earnings vary greatly for other production roles, depending on whether hourly or salary, full or parttime.
  • Benefits and Culture: Approximately 60% of PSPs offer insurance benefits to full-time employees, while 47% offer a 401k for full-time employees. A total of 42% of PSPs offer flexible work arrangements, including work-from-home or hybrid schedules for certain positions.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

Based on the study results, we recommend that businesses customize compensation strategies based on job roles and responsibilities, promote professional development, implement transparent commission structures, expand benefits beyond healthcare, and embrace flexible work arrangements. By doing so, the Wide Format print industry can incentivize excellence, foster a performance culture, and acknowledge diverse roles while investing in employee well-being and long-term satisfaction.


Again, I highly recommend checking out the full article. It is quality reading.


In addition, a comprehensive report will be available very soon for subscribers to Keypoint Intelligence’s Wide Format Printing Advisory Service. If you’re not a subscriber, contact us for more info by clicking here.