Food & Beverage Production Operations Salaries – Kinsa’s Salary Series #11

December 19, 2022 in Career and Job Search Tips, Food & Beverage Industry Information, HR Best Practices



Beginning a food and beverage operations executive search is no small task. As an employer, you need the right people in leadership positions for your business to operate efficiently, meet production goals, coach employees, update processes, and improve the bottom line. Kinsa Group has worked with food manufacturing and food distribution companies across the US to find the right professionals who will fit the needs of each company’s unique operations model. We understand how vital these operations roles are. Let us help you find the key people who will keep your food and beverage business running like a well-oiled machine.

To help you better plan for new hires for your operations team or to simply retain your current employees, Kinsa Group has produced and shared our 2022 Food and Beverage Salary Guide.  We’re taking some time this week to expand on Operations leadership role specifics shared within these pages…

Attracting and Retaining Your Executive Operations Talent 

  • Chief Operating Officer professionals have experienced an 18% increase in base salary median from 2019 to 2022, going from $220,000 to $260,000.  If you are not keeping up with this change, you run the risk of not remaining competitive for top performers in this field.
  • Vice President of Operations roles saw a slightly more moderate increase over the last 3 years going from a median of $180,000 to a 2022 median of $200,000.  That’s an 11% increase if you’re counting.
  • Director of Operations maintained a steady median over the last 4 years at $150,000.  The range for Directors is quite large though at $80,000 on the low end to $300,000 on the high end!  This range is due to the variety of responsibilities that can be attributed to a Director of Operations title depending on the size of the company, and the team that one manages.  So make sure that your pay is competitive for the requirements of your role.

Where Do You Need to Be to Retain and Attract Your Plant Managers?

  • General Manager is another role that has remained fairly steady at $140,000 to $150,000 median over the last 3 years.  Currently, the median is down 7% from 2021 numbers at $140,000. General Manager titles can encompass a wide variety of tasks from operations to senior leadership and even sales responsibilities, so be sure to consult with one of Kinsa Group’s Account Managers if this is the title you select for your operations leadership position.  The range goes from $80,000 to $240,000.
  • Plant Manager median base salary was down in 2022 to $140,000 from $150,000 median in 2021 and 2019, and matching 2020 median numbers.  If you want to compete for the best talent though, you will want to be above the median in the $150,000 to $190,000 range as the high goes all the way up to $240,000.
  • Assistant Plant Manager base salary range is more narrow at $90,000 to $140,000, and a median of $120,000, which remained consistent from 2021 to 2022.
  • Facilities Manager also remained consistent from 2021 to 2022 at median of $120,000. The range was $80,000 to $150,000.

Retain and Attract Your Production Managers With These Salaries

  • Production Planning and Scheduling Manager reported a median of $110,000, with entry-level professionals at $80,000 and more experienced at larger operations at $160,000.
  • Continuous Improvement Manager median was $110,000 in the 2022 salary guide with the high end up at $150,000.
  • Project Manager median was also $110,000 and the range was $70,000 to $130,000.
  • Production / Operations Manager median base salary was consistent from 2019 to 2022 at $100,000, but the range goes up as high as $180,000 for these leaders depending on location and size of team.
  • Production Supervisor median base salary was $80,000, up 23% in the past 4 years from a median of $65,000 in 2019.  Supervisors typically top out at $110,000 or move into a Production Manager role once they’re at the higher end of $90,000 to $100,000.
  • Brewing / Distillery Manager roles are specialized, and small-scale operations vs. large-scale ones are really the primary indicator of where you need to be, but the median is $80,000 and the high end is $100,000 before moving into a Director level role.

Kinsa Group’s 2022 Food and Beverage Salary Guide

Direct your attention to page 9 of the 2022 Salary Guide to see the complete range of pay for Operations position titles from Production Supervisor to Chief Operating Officer.

Feel free to reach out to our team or contact us to assist you with launching a new search to hire an Operations professional for your company today.

Looking for the complete food and beverage salary insight guide? Download now for free and get access to the range and median of food and beverage salaries from C-Suite to Sales and Innovation to Operations.


If you are a Director of Operations or Plant Manager looking for your next food manufacturing career move, the Kinsa Group can help you discover the ideal match among our clients for your skills. Our recruiters are true food industry specialists who will listen to your career goals and find the position that aligns with your objectives. Search our Job Openings here!

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