Control Engineering salary and career survey, 2015
Control Engineering research: While slightly less is expected for salary and significantly more for bonuses in 2015 compared to 2014, concerns about shortages of skilled workers remained highest on the list of challenges. This online report has additional graphics and details, with links to past research and related articles. NEW: Salary by engineering education, discipline, years, age.
Slightly less is expected for salary and significantly more for bonuses in 2015 compared to 2014, while concerns about skilled workers remained highest on the list of challenges. Company profits remain the largest criteria for bonuses, and job satisfaction gained strength over last year. Project management and communication skills remained the most valued skills or engineers after engineering skills, of course. These were among key findings in the 2015 Control Engineering salary and career survey and report.
Additional information and graphics appear with this online version of this article beyond what fit in the May 2015 North American print and digital edition, including discussion of more survey questions than would fit in print, more analysis, and additional data points, such as engineering salaries by engineering education, discipline, years, and age, information unavailable in time for the print deadline. Thank you to survey respondents; with 458 responding between March 12 and March 26 via a web-based survey, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.6% at a 95% confidence level. A gift card incentive was used.
Salary and benefits
The average base annual salary for the 2015 set of respondents to this year's Control Engineering salary and career survey was $90,367, down slightly compared to that of respondents to the 2014 survey, when the average totaled $93,373. In 2015, 73% expect a salary increase; 58% expect a 1%-3% increase. Only 9% expect a salary increase of 4%-6%, and 6% expect a more than 6% increase. A quarter of respondents expected their salaries to stay the same compared to last year, and only 2% expected a pay cut in 2014. See Figure 1 at the top of the page. While each set of respondents differs from year to year, this year the decrease was more than offset by an increase in bonus compensation.
The bonus compensation average among respondents is $16,166 in 2015, compared to $10,045 reported by 2014 respondents and $10,045 in 2013. In the 2015 survey, 28% are expecting more (up from 23% in 2014), 59% are expecting it to remain the same as last year's, and only 13% are expecting a smaller bonus. Seventeen percent of respondents expect an increase of 1%-3%; 3% expect an increase of 4%-6%; and 8%, an increase of more than 6%. See Figures 2 and 3.
A large majority of survey takers, 61%, said bonus criteria are largely tied to company profitability. Respondents indicated less importance for other criteria, including personal performance at 48%, then product profitability at 23%, safety at 21%, quality 18%, plant or line productivity 17%, reducing plant costs 16%, uptime/downtime 12%, and energy efficiencies at 8%. In 2014, profits drove 69% of bonuses. Without personal performance, which was included in last year's survey, the next most important criteria were safety, quality, and plant or line productivity. See Figure 4.
The majority of respondents, 85%, were satisfied with their jobs: 39% responded that they thought their jobs were satisfactory, and 46% reported that they love going to work every day, up from 39% last year. The survey found that the top five factors contributing to job satisfaction were technical challenges 44%, feeling of accomplishment 39%, financial compensation 28%, job security 25%, relationship with colleagues 24%, and benefits tied with location at 18%. Others, in order, rounding out double digits, were relationship with boss, feeling of recognition, advancement opportunities, workload, and company financial health. The lowest reported factor influencing job satisfaction was company size, at 2%. See Figure 5.
A large majority—74%—considered manufacturing secure, up from 67% of survey takers in 2014 and 63% in 2013. The increasing confidence corresponds with an increasing number of months of manufacturing growth (26 as of March) for the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) from the Institute for Supply Management.
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