SEP-OCT 2018

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Recipe to maximize your salary As we do every year, we conclude our survey with a time-tested recipe* for how automation professionals can maximize their salaries. Like any great recipe, we tinker a bit, but the main ingredients have not changed much over the years. n Get your bachelor of science degree (any type of engi- neering will do). Then get your advanced degree (bo - nus points if you get your company to pay for it). n Live in the U.S. or Western Europe. California and Texas remain the highest-paying states for today's en gineers, but every U.S. region averages six figures. n Get into engineering/integration consulting, an area of great momentum. Chemical and oil and gas are also well-paying options. If money is your primary goal, avoid water/wastewater. n Show off your leadership attributes and get into man- agement. Management gets paid. n Become indispensable to your managers and com - pany. Become an expert on useful, new technology and trends. Your company will not want to lose you if you make or save money. n Stick with your profession—engineering has a lucra- tive career ladder. There are not many industries that have six-figure earning potential within 10 years of entry. n Advocate for yourself. At the end of the day, any profitable organization's priority is the bottom line, which means the person who will best look out for your bottom line is you. Other companies want your skills, and it is not wrong to remind your boss of that with an offer sheet. COVER STORY segment to report a decrease in annual salary. Every other segment posted an average annual raise of more than $3,000. The chemical industry (9.4% increase) and the industrial ma- chinery and equipment segments (9.3%) saw the highest av- erage growth over the past year. Pay your dues Of all the salary differentiators, however, none matters nearly as much as experience. As it has for every year of the survey, the 30- year veteran's salary greatly outstrips that of the rookie wrench turner. This year's numbers continue to tell the same story. If you have passed your 30-year mark in engineering, you are likely sitting pretty financially compared to the entry-level engineer, to the tune of an average salary al most $60,000 high- er. This seems to be common sense, but it also gives us the big- gest red flag when it comes to future engineering sala - ries. Although engi- neers at all lev- els of experience saw raises in 2018 (except for the 21–25 years of ex- perience group, interestingly), we also noted that 63.2% of respon- dents came in with 21 or more Years of professional work experience Average salary Percent respondents 2 or fewer $72,954 1.7% 3–5 $83,526 4.3% 6–10 $97,704 9.5% 11–15 $117,485 9.5% 16–20 $122,697 11.8% 21–25 $116,381 14.7% 26–30 $126,898 18.7% 31 or more $130,313 29.8% Average salary by years of experience *Results may vary depending on attitude. n years of experience, and just 6% with less than five years. There are many variables that prohibit us from reading into this statistic too heavily, but it does raise the ques- tion whether or not closing the skills gap would actually decrease the average engineer salary. Here again, however, this salary survey does not give us a definitive conclusion on how the skills gap is affect- ing the industry, more that engineering is an increasingly lucrative field to get into, with a significant capability to improve that standing throughout a career. Job satisfaction on the rise? While a high salary can be a big driver to that end, job satisfaction is not necessarily based on financial com - pensation. As such, we ask respondents to tell us if they are seeking other opportunities, in order to help gauge the mindset of today's engineer. Positively, over half of all respondents tell us they are not seeking new opportu - nities, passively or actively. Pay appeared to be a factor, as U.S.-based active job seekers had an average salary of $110,275—more than $14,000 less than those who were not seeking a new opportunity. The majority of job seek - ers, however, were just passively looking. They made up 37% of respondents, making about $3,000 more than active seekers and $10,000 less than nonseekers. Ap - propriately, the average salary was $119,354, above the averages for active and passive seekers, but below the average salary for nonseekers. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR Cory Fogg ( is the content editor at View the online version at INTECH SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 15

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