You are absolutely correct! Companies pay vastly different salaries for training manager positions. Why? One factor is how much the company values the training/learning/people development side of their business. Another factor is geographic location - the eastern states typically pay more than companies in the midwest, south and southwest. Top earners - again depends on what "top" means. Some big companies have CLO's. As you can imagine, they earn big salaries with big bonuses - just like the other "C" level jobs. Most organizations have training reporting into HR so top salaries are lower. A manager level is typically below a director or VP of learning, so salaries run 80-130K. Small company? Smaller salary, usually.
Want to improve your salary level? Get a Master's degree. Have experience leading people - in projects and administratively. Get P&L experience and know the business. Don't just focus on the people side of things. Get involved in the training industry and trade associations so you can build your network and be seen as an expert. Be strategic in your thinking. Convert outcomes of training into business metrics and measure ROI.
Good luck in your endeavors.