Career, salary survey 2022: Engineering concerns

Leading concerns were workforce and supply chain shortages from respondents to the 2022 Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey research.

By Mark T. Hoske and Amanda Pelliccione May 25, 2022
Courtesy: Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2022

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand concerns including workforce, materials shortages.
  • Review economic, management and work-life balance concerns
  • Understand concerns including workforce, materials shortages.

Leading engineers career concerns were offered in a write-in question from respondents to the 2022 Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey research. Leading write-in concerns, organized into 10 categories, are workforce and supply chain/material shortages. Click here for the related 2022 article containing write-in career advice.

A sampling of major concerns include:

  • Lack of skilled workers in engineering. We have multiple job openings that are going unfilled because of a lack of engineers. We often extend offers to prospective employees 1,000 miles or more away from their “home” office.
  • Availability of parts – long lead time is going to have major impact on all projects.
  • The rate of change of procedures: Not having in place ways of doing the job prior to retiring ways that work.
  • My company cut too deep and is now paying the price with the inability to get equivalent skills in hiring.

Biggest automation, controls job concerns in next 12 months

To supplement the multiple-choice question about perceived threats to manufacturing, the write-in question asked, “Looking forward to the next 12 months, what is your biggest job-related concern?” Responses were grouped into 10 topical categories: “Workforce and workflow” and Materials and supply chain” were clear leaders among 130 replies, with 32 (25%) and 27 (21%) responses respectively (See table. Many responses listed more than one topic; these were placed in the first or main topic. Highlights are shown below, lightly edited for length and style.    

Table 2: Workforce and workflow was the leading write-in concern followed by materials and supply chain issues. Courtesy: Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2022

Table 2: Workforce and workflow was the leading write-in concern followed by materials and supply chain issues. Courtesy: Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2022

Workforce, workflow concerns

Employee retention

Filling engineering department openings

Finding enough skilled workers to meet demand.

Finding people who can pass the security screening; Integrating automation

Keeping up with technology

Keeping up with the demand post-COVID

Need to double staff to handle work load

Not enough time to get required tasks completed; training new personnel.

Too much after-hours work

Lack of skilled workers in engineering. We have multiple job openings that are going unfilled because of a lack of engineers. We often extend offers to prospective employees 1,000 miles or more away from their “home” office.

Raw workload: Lack of acknowledgement of overworked employees is a major concern.

Talent acquisition, finding enough good, quality candidates

Materials, supply chain concerns

Ability to obtain raw materials at reasonable cost.

Availability of parts: long lead time is going to have major impact on all projects.

Better supply chain management

COVID impact on supply chain, staffing

Getting sufficient materials, replacement parts, integrated circuits to meet schedules

Getting the raw materials. Structural steel is becoming a huge issue for us.

Headcount reduction if we can’t maintain production due to limited raw materials.

If shipping delays continue, projects could delay, which can cause gaps in billable work.

Material shortages resulting in lower sales and commissions

Not being able to deliver to our customers on time due to component shortages

Obtaining parts that can be end of life or low on supply. A lot of the integrated circuits we use and other passive components have been out of stock so we’ve been looked at alternates and substitutions a lot more.

The global supply chain crisis is hitting our business extremely hard. The lead times on all of the components of our machines have increased dramatically. Similarly, the costs of all of machined and fabricated parts has skyrocketed.

Economic concerns

Business and the economy get better

Currently, the economic and war impacts on deployment of 5G and streaming along with next generation of products.

Economic downturn negatively affecting the industry I’m in.

Economy slipping into recession

Economic crisis -> job security

Financial compensation and future market outlook

Unpredictable trend in global economy, developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine War. 

Company management concerns

An upcoming merger

Company direction, economy, part shortages.

Cybersecurity

Improved company leadership and strategy.

Lack of new capital for investment in new business opportunities

Lack of technical or process knowledge by immediate management

Management decisions on strategy of organization.

Poor quality board of directors and lack of strategic and financial vision

Success in marketing is the important challenge

The rate of change of procedures: Not having in place ways of doing the job prior to retiring ways that work.

While things have opened up as COVID cases have dropped, concerned with the industry reaction if the numbers go high again. (Knee-jerk reaction on capital and personnel). My company cut too deep and is now paying the price with the inability to get equivalent skills in hiring.

Politics/government concerns

Company survivability. The global economy is a major concern, as is China’s ever-increasing growth. America is being decimated by the abject greed and stupidity that emanates from Washington D.C.

Federal government interference, supply chain interruption and the ability to get products on time.

Getting to key people, best met at face-to-face events, blocked by bureaucrats who fear public events that encourage free speech.

Inflation is eating me alive; salary has not moved since 2014.

Lack of support for oil and gas industry

Political interference

World economy, innovation of products, efficiency in deliverables 

Work-life balance, health concerns

Body holding up

Continue with current workload.

Health

The amount of stress is always a concern.

Too much work; not enough resources. I do not want 2022 to be like 2021 when I had to put in 60 hours or more each week.

Traffic

Uncertainties regarding pandemic situation

Working from home or in the office, or hybrid

Workload is more than our team can handle.  We need to grow sales first before management will add people.

Career development concerns

Finding and developing my next opportunity

Forced to do additional responsibilities that have nothing to do with current skill set or abilities

Job security

No concerns. Plan to retire in July.

Not being faced with a challenging task

Project management skills

Project workload (too little)

Competitive concerns

China

Competition with upcoming focused start-ups and updating myself with technological developments!

Competition; lack of bids

Losing the U.S. dollar

Communications/presentation skills

Being recognized or being misunderstood to my detriment

Enhance my communications skills

Getting all coworkers to buy into a new philosophy of work ethic

Sustainability concerns

Growth of the GREEN products and its acceptance.

Rising energy costs and how to mitigate them

Shift in energy focus and country politics

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, mhoske@cfemedia.com. Amanda Pelliccione, director of research and awards programs for CFE Media and Technology, conducted the research and assembled the related report.

KEYWORDS

Engineering career advice, concerns

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Mark T. Hoske and Amanda Pelliccione
Author Bio: Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media; Amanda Pelliccione, CFE Media research director.