Salary Survey: 2013 Delivers Bigger Paychecks

2013 is turning out to be a good year for engineers because for the third year in a row salaries have increased, and this year the average salary has broken the six-figure mark.

Job satisfaction stays stagnant this year, but more than half of engineers remain satisfied with their jobs. The only factor that experienced a decrease this year is the average bonus.

Our latest salary survey shows that the average engineering salary has increased to $100,664. This is an increase from last year's average of $96,813. Similar to last year, 69 percent of engineers have had an increase in their base annual salary while only 2 percent have experienced a decrease. The remainder reported their salaries have stayed the same.

The 2013 expected bonus is down to $10,537 from last year's $11, 906. However, it is up from the 2011 bonus average of $9,440. Seventy-two percent of engineers said their bonuses have stayed the same, while 16 percent received an increased bonus and 12 percent experienced a decreased bonus. It is interesting to note that the percentage of bonuses that stayed the same, increased, or decreased were the exact percentages we reported last year, even though the average bonus amount in dollars is down.

Our engineer
This year's survey of design engineers in the US has the average age of 48 and has been an engineer for 18 years. These engineers have been with their present employer for 13 years and have been in their current position for nine years. Forty-six hours is the average workweek and 71 percent say their weekly work hours have stayed the same since last year. More than half of those surveyed work in electrical/electronics engineering or mechanical engineering. Other disciplines include manufacturing, software, and materials. Ninety percent have a degree in engineering. Those with a Master's degree or Ph.D. earn the highest average salary of $115,800 and an average bonus of $13,036.

Salaries by region and discipline
Engineers in the West/Southwest (Calif., Nev., Ariz.) bring in the highest average salaries of $116,227 with an average bonus of $14,015. Coming in second are engineers in the South (Ala., Miss., Ark., La., Okla., Texas) with an average salary of $109,985 and an average bonus of $10,434.

At the bottom of the list are engineers in the Midwest (Mich., OH, Ky., Tenn., Wis., Ill., IA, Mo., ND, SD, Neb., and Kan.) with an average salary of $91,533 and an average bonus of $9,666. The Midwest was also at the bottom last year, but the average salary has increased from $88,838 in 2012.

Your job discipline plays a large role in relation to what you are taking home, and engineers working in controls make the most with a combined salary and bonus of $120,895. Electronic engineers come in second with a combined salary of $117,033. Although electronics was at the top of the list last year, the combined salary has risen from 2012's average of $110,782. The semiconductor industry continues to bring in the highest average salary of $115,290 with an average bonus of $17,990. Computer peripherals come in

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