ASQ Salary Survey: Average quality job salary increased 3% in 2009

American Society for Quality annual salary survey shows that even in a tough economy, quality professionals with certifications and experience show salary increases.


In spite of the current economy, there is positive news for the quality profession. According to ASQ's (American Society for Quality) Annual Salary Survey, the average quality job salary went up 3 percent from 2008 to 2009, to just under $84,000. Moreover, as in past surveys, the results show that respondents' salaries increase as their experience in the quality field increases:
• Quality professionals with more than 20 years of experience earned an average of $94,029.
• Professionals with 10 to 20 years of experience earned on average $84,722.
• Those with 10 or fewer years of experience earned on average $73,271.

This trend of salary increases based on years of experience is also evident if broken down into specific job categories. For example, quality managers with more than 20 years of quality experience earn, on average, $4,657 more than managers with 10 to 20 years of quality experience and $10,095 more than managers with 10 or fewer years of quality experience.

Conducted by Quality Progress (QP), an ASQ publication, the recent survey underscores that while quality professionals have not been immune to the recent economic recession, there are still opportunities for professional and monetary growth.

Certification and Training Data

Of all survey participants, 57.8 percent stated that they have at least one ASQ certification. While certifications and training allow quality professionals to gain new skills and proficiencies, evidence shows that these items can also greatly increase a quality professional's earning potential.
• Managers who are ASQ Certified Managers of Quality/Organizational Excellence reported they earn a higher average salary than their counterparts without this certification. In the United States, the difference is $9,551. In Canada, the difference is $7,742.
• The top ASQ certifications held are Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) and Certified Quality Engineer (CQE).
• Respondents who completed one or more Six Sigma training programs report average earnings of $12,456 more than those who didn't.

"In spite of these tumultuous times, it is encouraging to see that the value quality professionals bring to their organizations to improve the top line, and contribute to the bottom line, is being recognized and rewarded," said Paul Borawski, ASQ executive director and chief strategic officer. "By taking advantage of ASQ certifications and training, quality professionals have been able to weather the latest economic storm and prepare for a brighter future."

This year, the effects of the economic recession were apparent. Almost 85 percent of those surveyed indicated that their organization is taking steps as a result of the economic recession that included pay cuts, salary freezes, layoffs, and hiring freezes. In addition, 4.9 percent of those surveyed indicated that they are unemployed, retired, or laid off.

ASQ (American Society for Quality)

ASQ (American Society for Quality)

For 23 years, ASQ has released its Annual Salary Survey, an indicator of the health of the quality profession using salary results. The survey breaks down salary information, submitted by ASQ members, into 24 categories such as job title, education, years of experience, and geographic location. A total of 9,072 responses were received this year, the vast majority coming from professionals who work in the United States or Canada.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., ASQ is a founding sponsor of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a prominent quarterly economic indicator, and also produces the Quarterly Quality Report.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, Manufacturing Business Technology, MBT

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