SEP-OCT 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 57

12 INTECH SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG COVER STORY Average salary by highest level of education Level of education Average salary Percent respondents High school graduate $100,128 2.5% Technical/trade school graduate $96,260 14.7% Attended some college $99,275 12.9% College graduate $117,636 54.2% Graduate school/ advanced degree $126,071 15.8% Average salary by years of experience Years of professional work experience Average salary Percent respondents 2 or fewer $63,023 2.8% 3–5 $73,948 5.7% 6–10 $95,625 9.8% 11–15 $110,930 11.1% 16–20 $115,096 11.7% 21–25 $118,487 15.3% 26–30 $119,580 17.6% 31 or more $125,672 18.8% had more than a 5% increase. This is not to say that companies are undervaluing their lower-level employees, but those numbers do not really tell a flattering story about today's typical engineering management. Engineering degrees do pay off Although the average tuition price may be climbing, engineering is definitely one field where a degree can pay off handsomely. Of respondents, 70% were college graduates and made nearly $20,000 more on average than their less educated colleagues. As the data indicates, graduate de- grees do pay off as well, to a nearly $9,000 increase, but not as signifi- cantly as the bump after earning an undergraduate degree. That said, the 2016 survey saw professionals with ad- vanced degrees earning $12,000 more than undergrads, so it is still entirely plausible that the engineering gradu - ate degree can pay for itself over time. Industry a significant differentiator In the automation climate of the U.S., industry is the second biggest differ- entiator in average salary, behind only years of experience. Your industry of specialization, according to this year's survey, can have a $44,500 impact on your salary. Despite its sag over the last couple of years, oil and gas remains the most lu- crative industry for American engineers. Average salary by region of U.S. Region of the U.S.* Average salary Percent respondents New England (Northeast) $120,156 4.1% Mid-Atlantic (Northeast) $109,745 10.1% East North Central (Midwest) $104,923 16.9% West North Central (Midwest) $103,044 10.0% South Atlantic (South) $106,355 15.3% East South Central (South) $109,480 5.0% West South Central (South) $126,690 20.7% Mountain (West) $103,528 6.9% Pacific (West) $120,801 11.7% An average automation engineer As usual, more than a third of our survey respondents are from the automation/ control job function, so we like to take an in-depth look at the statistics there as well. Yet again, the news is slightly less stellar than we would like to report. Our automation and control engi- neer friends have seen just a $6,487 (6.3%) average raise over the past five years, and a miniscule $1,393 (1.2%) in the past year. Again, this raised a few eyebrows, because many industry gi- ants are very concerned about a loom- ing skills gap, due to a bevy of retiring engineers. Well, usually when the sup- ply goes down and the demand goes up, the price for those in demand goes up too. At least, that is what I learned in high school economics. Assuming those lessons are still valid, we would expect to see these salaries significantly rise sooner rather than later. It depends on what you do Of course, there are plenty of other job functions for engineers too, and it would be very rude for us to ignore them. See the chart for the engineering jobs that are bringing home the most bacon. While not evident from this 2017- specific chart, those who work in pro- cess/manufacturing engineering and de- sign engineering should have a sit-down with their management. Those were the only two functions that saw decreases in average salary. Those decreases were not overly significant (2.0% and 2.9% drops, respectively), but every job func- tion containing the word "management" U.S. automation/control engineer average salary by year $0 $20,000 $40,000 $60,000 $80,000 $100,000 $120,000 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 $110,577 $109,184 $106,629 $103,916 $105,650 $104,040 $102,660 $99,241 $85,083 $82,622 $77,086

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of InTech - SEP-OCT 2017