For many, more work includes more managerial duties. The average number of employees that respondents supervised jumped from 11 in 2009 to 15 in 2010 to 26 in this year's survey.
Problem solving, technical challenges, and the chance to be creative were the reasons most widely cited as contributing to job satisfaction. "The opportunity to see the things I design make peoples' lives better," is how one respondent described it. On the flip side, the 10 percent of despondent respondents list office politics, salary, and little room for advancement or recognition as reasons for their dissatisfaction.
The diversity of the Design News community is reflected in the multidisciplinary makeup of survey respondents. Thirty-seven percent of you work in mechanical engineering; 24 percent are electrical; 11 percent, manufacturing; 5 percent electromechanical; 4 percent, software; 4 percent, controls; and 2 percent, materials. (The remainder selected "other.")
Whether it's the economy or inertia, most of you are staying put for now. Thirty-three percent say they're always open to better opportunities, 25 percent are not actively seeking a new position, and 19 percent say they're happy where they are. Only 9 percent are actively searching for a job, with another 14 percent admitting to "passive" interest.
For longtime engineers, both the joys and the pain points cited by fellow survey respondents will ring true. "Convincing upper management to think long-term about technology" and "Never sufficient time for launch of new products" are two examples penciled in as responses to our query about challenging job factors. Indeed, 47 percent of you found your job highly challenging, and nearly the same number said it was more stressful now than two years ago. That was mostly the result of heavy workloads, though balancing work and home life and keeping up with new technology were also enumerated.
Despite it all, the work itself still offers many of you intrinsic satisfaction. "Opportunity to develop meaningful products," wrote one respondent. "Build stuff in lab -- not just sitting in cubicle all day," wrote another. And then there was this: "Once in a while I get paid to put on waders and mess about in a creek."
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