Responses to a Design News 2010 salary survey revealed upbeat attitudes and stats for today's design engineers. Surprisingly, 40 percent of respondents received salary increases in the past year, while pay reductions, furloughs and other cost-reduction measures fell below 10 percent. Bonuses rose by 47 percent, averaging $9,000.
As to which industries paid the most for engineering talent, the highest paying categories were computers/peripherals, semiconductor and communication systems, where salaries averaged $103,000. The lowest paying industries were instrument/test equipment, machine tools and contract manufacturing, which averaged $74,000.
The Southwest and Mountain areas, well known for high-tech computer, semiconductor and communication industries, offered the highest salaries. On the other hand, the Pacific Northwest and Midwest offered the lowest salaries. Both regions are heavily populated with instrumentation, machine tool and contract manufacturing providers.
In terms of job satisfaction, 59 percent of respondents noted that engineers in their company were given due respect and 63 percent indicated they felt appreciated. On the minus side, 49 percent felt underpaid and overworked and just 44 percent felt their engineering skills were being fully utilized.
Job security was another factor that solicited a variety of responses. A total of 29 percent were not concerned about losing their job, while just as many were extremely or very concerned about being laid off. Those most concerned about losing their jobs blamed the economy, outsourcing and canceled orders/projects.
Check out this graphical analysis of the Design News Survey.
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.