In Q4 2016, Design News conducted a survey of engineers’ career and salary information. What follows is question-by-question data based on 1150 survey respondents from across the United States on a wide range of job- and career-related topics including salary and compensation totals, areas of engineering focus, career planning, opportunities for continuing education, and more.
Design News Senior Editor Rob Spiegel will present this data in the presentation, Are You Getting Paid Enough? - Results from the Design News Salary Survey , at the Design and Manufacturing Conference in Anaheim on Feb. 7 , 2017, at 11:45 am.
What best describes your career?
A full 45% of the survey respondents registered as mechanical engineers, while another 22% are electrical engineers. Other related careers represented in the survey responses include manufacturing professions (9%), materials engineers (4%), and consultants (4%).
What is your organizations principle function?
The types of organizations represented in the survey were spread out with an emphasis on manufacturing and production at more than 40%. Other functions include R&D, equipment design, mechanical system design, automation and control, and systems design.
What is the total sales volume of your organization?
Nearly 40% of the engineers who responded work at billion-dollar companies. Fewer than 20% work at companies with $10 million or less in sales.
In what industries does your organization participate?
Long-time bustling industries of automotive and aerospace remain vibrant. But engineers are also strongly represented in medical, manufacturing, energy, and communication.
How long have you been in engineering?
Of the respondents, the number of engineers who have been in their career for 30 or more years was high at 30%. Very few of the respondents have been in their careers for fewer than 5 years. That fits with the anecdotal information we see about Baby Boomer retirees who are not being replaced. Many companies are turning to automation tools to reduce their staff, even engineers. New software and equipment require less programming. Much of it is configurable, thus require less expertise to deploy and maintain.
What is your primary job function?
The work among the survey respondents is a blend, with an emphasis on product and system design. Other duties include R&D, manufacturing engineering, and test and evaluation.
Has your organization been involved in a merger or acquisition in the last year?
While it looks like these organizations are overwhelmingly stable, with only about 28% in a merger or acquisition in the past year, that’s only one year. If the survey had asked about the last five years, results would likely be more than 50% involved in a merger or acquisition.
Is your job more secure this year over last year?
A hearty 80% of respondents feel their job is either more secure or about the same. Only 20% feel their job is less secure. This is probably a function of a slow-but-steadily growing economy mixed with a shortage of people trained in industrial technology. Again, we’re seeing Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers without a sufficient young technical workforce to replace them.