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By AICC Staff

September 21, 2021

AICC has released its 12th Independent Sales Compensation Report. Based on a survey conducted this past spring, it is the most comprehensive look at key sales compensation salaries and benefits being paid by independent corrugator plants and sheet plants in the United States.

This report received data from 62 independent corrugator and sheet plants. These companies employ nearly 5,700 full-time employees spread across the country. In aggregate, these plants sold approximately $2.1 billion of corrugated products in 2020.

AICC President Michael D’Angelo remarks, “Knowing where you stand is vital information in the competition for people—and especially vital when looking at the sales function. This report allows independents to benchmark themselves against others in the industry and in their region. It is a critical way for AICC member companies to ensure best practices and leadership.”

As of January 1, 2020, the mean base salary for sheet plant salespeople in the U.S. was $76,621, which is 5.6% higher than reported in 2019. This represents an increase substantially smaller than that observed between 2017 and 2019 (19%), but closer to increases seen between 2015 and 2017 (3.3%), between 2013 and 2015 (1.5%), or between 2011 and 2013 (7.5%). Total compensation, which adds actual commission/bonus paid in 2020 with the January 1, 2021, base salary, averaged $141,310—almost identical to the average reported in 2019 ($141,517).

The mean base salesperson salary at responding U.S. corrugator plants as of January 1, 2021, was $87,101, which is a 31.7% increase over the average reported in 2019 ($66,140). However, the average reported in 2019 was 17.7% lower than the average reported in 2017 ($80,339). Total compensation averaged $213,475, which is an increase of 2.6% over the average reported in 2019 ($208,053). Both figures are much higher than those reported in previous years.

The report offers detailed information on sales objectives, base salaries, bonus basis, customer relationship management (CRM) usage, social media activity, and more, from both a national and regional view to allow independent sheet plants and corrugator plants to benchmark their companies.

The report also reveals the responses to COVID-19-related questions about vaccination requirements, travel restrictions, and more. While these responses represent a snapshot in time, they still provide valuable insight into the sentiments of the industry.

All responses to this survey were collected and compiled by Association Research Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and have been held in strictest confidence. None of the data received has been seen by any AICC member or staff member.

All participants in the survey received a complimentary copy of the report. The full report is available for electronic download for $225 for AICC members and $415 for nonmembers.

If you have any questions about the 12th Independent Sales Compensation Report, contact Maria Frustaci at 703-836-2422 or

To order the full report, visit or contact Patrick Moore at 703-836-2422 or


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