This year we took a minimalist approach with our salary survey. We kept it short and sweet and only asked for the data that we felt was most important in determining your salary. Those factors include:
- Geographic region
- Job function
- Level of education
- Industry segment
- Years of experience
Salaries for automation professionals are holding steady. This steady level is not indicative of “what should be” the demand for automation expertise. I believe the issue lies with manufacturers’ unwillingness to invest in new technology, software, and operational improvements. Many facilities are operating on old technology and therefore are not reaping the true benefits of a fully integrated automation/business enterprise. I congratulate those manufacturers that have invested; it is only a matter of time before the masses follow. And, when they do, their demand for automation expertise will increase significantly. With increased demand comes increased salaries. That is, if automation follows the traditional economic model.
The good news is it is currently a job seeker’s market and will remain so for the long term. Because of the shrinking workforce, there are more jobs in the market than qualified automation professionals. In fact, if you are unhappy with your current job situation, there are other opportunities available. You just have to look for them.
Let’s dig into the salary data. InTech magazine again collaborated with Automation.com to conduct the annual salary survey. Our survey collected 3,448 responses from automation professionals located around the world, with 71.4 percent from the U.S. Because salaries around the world vary greatly, we separated out the U.S. responses to avoid skewing results. All the results quoted in this article, other than “Average salary by region of the world,” represent U.S. responses only.
Snap shot of typical respondents
The job function of the typical survey respondent was an automation/control engineer, accounting for 38.4 percent of total responses. The most prominent “years of experience” category was 31 or more, indicated by 21.7 percent of respondents. More than half (53.2 percent) of the respondents were college graduates with a bachelor’s degree, and 17.1 percent received an advanced degree. Of respondents, 82.5 percent reported salary increases this year, with the largest percentage (36.4 percent) realizing a 3 – 4 percent increase.
The largest percentage of respondents (25.9 percent) reported a salary in the $100,000 – $124,999 pay range. The second largest percentage (12.9 percent) reported a pay range of $90,000 – $99,999.