Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2019
Engineers are getting paid more, although fewer expect to get increases in 2019; top factors for determining job satisfaction are feeling of accomplishment, technical challenge, and financial compensation.
Engineers are getting paid more in 2019 ($101,450 in 2019 compared to $100,339 in 2018 survey respondents), and 74% expect to get a salary increase in 2019, according to respondents to the Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey for 2019. Additionally, technical challenge and feeling of accomplishment both rank higher than compensation for job satisfaction criteria. Typically, compensation only ranks highest when the economy is in decline.
As Figure 1 shows, 63% expect a salary increase of up to 3% in 2019 (up from 56% in 2018); 11% expect an increase of 4% or more (down from 19% in 2018); 25% expect the same (23% did in 2018); and just 1% expect a salary decrease (2% in 2018).
Upward salary pressures correspond with strong U.S. manufacturing results, 31 months of growth as of March, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) monthly purchasing manufacturers’ index (PMI).
Survey respondents for the Control Engineering Career and Salary Report for 2019 were invited to anonymously provide their annual compensation information and opinions on the current state of their facilities and industries. The 2019 Control Engineering Career and Salary Report reflects data gathered from 173 automation professionals; margin of error is +/- 7.5% at a 95% confidence level.
For non-salary compensation (Figure 2), 23% expect an increase (statistically equal to 21% in 2018); 9% expect an increase of 4% or more (15% in 2018); 60% expect about the same (58% in 2017); and 17% expect less (11% in 2018).
For base salary compensation, the minimum was $25,000 (same as 2017) and the maximum was $800,000 ($342,000 in 2018), for 162 survey respondents providing this information. For non-salary compensation, the 2019 average received among 162 respondents was $10,467 (up from $10,091 in 2018); among the 73% receiving a bonus (118 respondents) the average was $14,370 (down from $14,863 in 2018).
Two leading criteria for bonus compensation were company profits, 57% (down from 73%), and personal performance, 47% (down from 62%) in Figure 4. Rounding out the top five were new business and sales, product profitability, and plant or line productivity. Energy efficiency fell below double digits in 2019.
Job satisfaction factors (Figure 5) remained nearly the same for the top four year over year: feeling of accomplishment, technical challenge, financial compensation, and relationship with colleagues. Flexible work hours moved into the fifth spot from seventh.
What should get emphasis
The survey asked respondents what areas do and should get emphasis within their organizations and significant disparity continues between what does and what should receive emphasis. See Figure 6.
The top five areas that do get emphasis are budget and financials; customers and sales; operations; automation and controls; and safety.
Five areas that should get emphasis are automation and controls; safety; product development; customers and sales; and operations.
The gap between what is and what should be spent on training and education has widened.
The 2019 respondents noted that training and education should get more than six times the emphasis it currently does. The 2018 respondents noted that training and education should get more than three times the emphasis it currently does.
Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, firstname.lastname@example.org. Amanda Pelliccione is director of research and awards programs for CFE Media and Technology, email@example.com.
For much more information, download the Control Engineering 2019 Career and Salary Report for respondent regions, titles, functions, company size, staffing, views on energy, cybersecurity, and outsourcing, along with salary and non-salary compensation benchmarks by age, education, number of years with employer and industry, by job title, by job function, and by employees managed.
On the next pages, see related articles on: Advice from survey respondents and from Engineering Leaders Under 40; Retention; and Training.