When you are looking for a new career, one of the most important factors to consider is the amount of income you will earn, especially in relation to the cost of getting started and how long it will take to complete the training process. Although this may not be your most important consideration, you will want to know that the career you choose will be able to provide you with a comfortable salary.
In spite of the short training period required, F&I managers earn a relatively high salary that may surprise you.
How Do F&I Managers Earn Money?
F&I managers play an important role in the car sales process. After the customer has decided which vehicle he or she wants to purchase, the F&I manager’s job is to help the customer secure the financing necessary. This means that the F&I manager will work directly with the customer, as well as the entities that provide financing. F&I managers also complete financing documents and sell extra products available from the dealership, such as extended service contracts and other add-ons. Because many dealerships earn a large portion of their profits from these add-ons, promoting them to customers is one of an F&I manager’s most important responsibilities. F&I managers capable of selling these add-ons well will typically be able to get the best jobs and earn the most income.
F&I Manager Salary Structures
In the past, most jobs in the auto dealership industry were based solely on commission. This means that the amount of income earned depended heavily on the amount of sales they made. For F&I managers, this was actually beneficial, as many of them earned a great deal in commission.
Today, most auto dealerships do things differently. Instead of paying F&I managers and other professionals on staff solely commission, they use a balance of salary and commission. While this may have limited the total amount of earning for some F&I managers, it has been beneficial in other ways. For example, now that F&I managers earn a base salary, they are guaranteed a certain amount of income regardless of how well the dealership performs or how effectively they are able to sell add-ons during a given period. This provides more stability to their lives and reduces uncertainty. In addition, when F&I managers were paid solely based on commission, they tended to work much longer hours. With the new salary structure, F&I managers are able to earn a substantial salary while working a reasonable number of hours, which leads to a better overall quality of life.
How Much Do F&I Managers Make?
It is possible to find several estimates of F&I manager salaries. Although these estimates may differ widely from one another, they can give you a good idea of what you can expect when you begin working as an F&I manager.
Estimates from National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
According to NADA‘s annual Dealership Workforce studies, the average F&I Manager salary is around $142,000. This is the highest of the estimates listed here, but comes directly from NADA as a result of extensive yearly studies and information gathering.
Estimates from Indeed
Indeed collects salary data from anonymous individuals all across the United States, including both employers and employees. Indeed also incorporates information from recent job listings. Their current salary estimate for an F&I manager is based on information collected from 469 position within this industry. Currently, Indeed estimates the average salary for an F&I manager at approximately $96,662.
Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics bases its salary estimates on information collected from establishments all across the United States. Every six months, the BLS surveys a sample of approximately 200,000 businesses out of a total pool of 1.2 million businesses in order to develop its estimates.
For May 2018, the BLS estimated the average salary for F&I managers working at automobile dealerships to be approximately $95,630. This translates to an hourly wage of approximately $45.98. The BLS also estimated that approximately 12,350 people were working as F&I managers across the United States at the time the survey was taken.
Factors Affecting F&I Manager Salaries
Average salaries earned across the United States won’t tell you exactly what you can expect to earn as an F&I manager. The exact amount you will earn depends on the specifics of your situation. Some of the factors that may affect your salary when you begin working as an F&I manager include:
- The location of the dealership – In general, dealerships located in certain areas will pay more. For example, salaries for F&I managers tend to be higher on the East Coast.
- The number of hours you work – If you are paid by the hour, working more hours will lead to a higher salary. Working more hours also provides you with more opportunities to increase any commission you may earn.
- The dealership’s pay structure – The dealership’s pay structure will affect your overall income by determining how much money you are guaranteed, as well as your potential to earn commission.
- How well you are able to sell add-ons – If your dealership offers commission and you are able to sell add-ons to many of your customers, you will earn more money.
How to Ensure Success as an F&I Manager
If you are hoping for a lucrative and successful career as an F&I manager, one of the best things you can do is enroll in an appropriate training program. The Automotive Dealership Institute has been operating as the only licensed F&I trade school in the United States for the last 32 years. The program at ADI provides you with all of the knowledge and skills you need to become a successful F&I manager at any auto dealership, and it can be completed in as little as four weeks. The program at ADI also offers a superior job placement program so you can find the perfect position after you graduate, with more than 90 percent of graduates finding an appropriate position within 90 days of completing the program. If you are interested in a career as an F&I manager, contact ADI today to learn more or to get started.
Contact us today to learn more about the F&I training program at ADI