Pay premium grows through the ranks

April 20, 2000

The wage differentials between adjacent levels of the supervisory hierarchy provide an interesting insight: The differential increases as the level of supervision goes up.

Pay premia above next lower supervisory levels, 1997
[Chart data—TXT]

First-line supervisors, on average earn 13 percent more than team leaders. Second-line managers earn 59 percent more than first-line and third-line managers earn 73 percent more than second-line.

The small differential between team leaders and first-line supervisors is best explained by looking at their occupations. Team leaders are often found in professional occupations, which tend to be higher paying. On the other hand, there are a large number of first-line supervisors in service occupations, which tend to be lower paying.

These data are a product of the National Compensation Survey. Find out more in James Smith, "Supervisory Duties and the National Compensation Survey" (PDF 92K), Compensation and Working Conditions, Spring 2000.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Pay premium grows through the ranks on the Internet at (visited October 01, 2016).


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