The average salary of the largest percentage of respondents by job function (28.2%, automation/control engineering) was $105,650, which is a $1,610 increase over last year. The top five highest paid job functions are listed below.
Engineering management: $137,761 (6.6% of respondents), a $5,041 increase
Safety systems engineering: $129,285 (1.1% of respondents), a $7,255 increase
Consulting engineering: $127,398 (3.8% of respondents), a $3,108 increase
Sales (outside): $121,848 (4.5% of respondents), a $4,828 increase
Project management: $120,543 (3.5% of respondents), a $9,323 increase
Of respondents, 69.2% possessed a college degree or higher. The average salary of college graduates (without an advanced degree) is $109,029. The results show that those who attended at least some graduate school (but did not finish) were able to increase their annual salary by $5,647. Those respondents who actually completed an advanced degree reported an average salary of $123,004—that is a $13,975 increase (virtually unchanged from last year) over college graduates.A degree of higher learning
It turns out that we have extracted some pretty interesting data from this year’s survey. Be sure to read the entire article, because at the end I provide you with a recipe to achieve the highest salary.For example, the average salary in the U.S. has increased by 2.8%. Ho hum. The top paying job function is Industrial management. Did not see that coming! Actually, I did. So what do we have that is new to share this year?
There is definitely some good news. Salaries have increased slightly, but job satisfaction has increased more—by five plus percentage points. It is definitely a job seekers market. The demand for quality automation professionals continues to increase. In fact, if you are in the market for a new job, you will likely have multiple offers on the table. The bad news is the skills shortage is very real and will not get better any time soon.
So without further ado, InTech again collaborated with Automation.com to conduct the annual salary survey. Our survey had 4,674 responses from automation professionals located around the world, with 56% from the U.S. Because salaries around the world vary greatly, we broke out the U.S. responses only to avoid skewing results. All the results quoted in this article, other than average salary by region of the world, represent U.S. responses only.
When we asked respondents if their company has a hard time finding/hiring automationprofessionals, nearly 60% said “yes.” The job function that is hardest to fill, as identified by 61.9% of the respondents, is automation/control engineering. A distant second was instrumentation engineering (28.2%), followed by process engineering (17.1%).
There is nothing new here. We are in the middle of a skills shortage. By many estimates, we failed to train an entire generation of technical professionals. As the bar chart indicates, more than half (51%) of those surveyed said they will be retiring in the next 15 years.
Is there a silver lining? Many companies end up hiring retirees back to work as consultants, simply because they cannot find other employees with the necessary skills. It appears that the number of retirees who are willing to work after retirement is holding at 45.8% (exactly the same as last year). These respondents said they will retire in the next 10 years, but indicated they will continue to work part-time or offer consultingsolutions after retirement.
We asked our survey respondents to give us an idea of how the economy is affecting certain factors within their companies.Economic effects
For the majority of respondents (more than 60%), most of the factors like salary, bonuses, overtime, layoffs, and promotions remain unchanged. However, here are three positive signs within some companies:
35.4% indicated that hiring of new employees has increased.
32.2% indicate that salaries have increased.
24.8% indicate that overtime has increased.
If you made it to this part of the article, congratulations! As a reward, I would like to present you with the following recipe of how to achieve the highest salary:*
Get your B.S. degree (any type of engineering will do). An advanced degree will improve results.
Select an energy-related industry segment.
Select a large company, preferably one with 10,000 or more employees, and stay there for your entire career.
Get your professional engineering (P.E.) license.
Move into a management position where employees report to you.
Work more than 50 hours per week.
Blend in one spouse.
Add one or two children (optional).
Become a member of a prominent industry organization.
Allow ingredients to intermingle during your career.
*Editor’s note: results may vary depending on elevation.