The surveys have been returned and the data collated for this year’s look at engineering salaries and attitudes. And judging by one key finding, average salary, engineers are doing well. Last year they earned an average salary of $89,200. That figure rose a respectable 5% this year to $93,000, far outpacing the 1.3% raise expected by respondents for this year.
Engineers are also more content these days, with a higher percentage saying they felt fairly compensated for their work. Last year, only 67% said their pay was fair. This favorable view regarding pay likely affected how engineers looked at their jobs overall. Job satisfaction, for example rose, going from 90% satisfied in 2013, with only 18% extremely satisfied, to 97% satisfied this year and 50% extremely satisfied.
High On The Profession
This somewhat rosy year in terms of salary seems to have colored engineers’ opinion on their profession. Last year, a third of the respondents said they had considered leaving the engineering profession; this year that was down to about a fifth. And an overwhelming 93% say they would recommend engineering as a profession to a young person, a slight rise over last year’s 90%.
Comments from engineers who would tell youngsters to go into engineering include:
• “Engineering is an exciting, ever-changing field with limitless opportunities to solve problems and make positive impacts on industry and society. The world will always need engineers, and an engineered-trained mind is a practical tool in many aspects of life.”
• “If you like technology and problems solving, it’s a great profession.”
• “It offers rock-solid employment security, good pay, and a highly satisfying career.”
Those who would not recommend engineering to young adults have a much different view:
• “I would recommend getting an engineering degree because of the fundamentals teaches, but I would not advise making it a career. There are too many levels of bureaucracy to get through to get things done and too many decisions are made by outside forces. Instead, I would urge them to get a job that offers more direct control of the decisions being made.”
• “Historically, engineers have worked long hours under very stressful conditions for pay that is not much more than that of a lot of blue-collar workers. And since salaried personnel don’t receive additional compensation for working more than 40 hours per week, engineers earn much less blue-collar works on an hourly basis.”
• “The level of respect the profession once enjoyed from employers and society is no longer there. Engineers are viewed as just extremely high overhead.”