What’s in Your Wallet? Or What Should Be?

What’s in Your Wallet?  Or What Should Be?

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Seriously, what are you earning?  What do you think you should be earning in your Professional Area of Technical Competency (PATC)? Well, IEEE-USA’s February free e-book for members — the IEEE-USA Salary & Benefits Survey Report – 2015 Edition — could help you find out…

By all accounts, for most engineers employed in 2015 and beyond, the profession has remained a fine way to make a living. And this February free e-book offers members further insights and benchmarks for engineering income, salary, and compensation trends for the profession. While other engineering salary reports are available, IEEE-USA’s Survey is possibly the most highly regarded, because of its longevity (2015 marked the 28th survey) and the huge volume of responses. IEEE-USA has conducted the study most years, since 1972. In 2015, 10,215 U.S. IEEE members participated in the online survey — including 9,044 employed full time in their PATC, the most relevant group from both employer and employee perspectives. Practically all respondents in this group (96.6%) were employed full time.

The 2015 Salary & Benefits Survey was wide-ranging. It included differences in each respondent’s income, technology sector, level of responsibility, age, education, gender, ethnic background, geographic location — and a great deal more. Specific questions are included for the roughly 10% of U.S. IEEE members who are academics. Members who indicate half or more of their earned income came from fee-based consulting were not included, as they were queried for the 2015 IEEE-USA Consultants Fee Survey.

According to the 2015 Survey, the typical respondent is a male in his mid-40s, with an advanced degree, and about 20 years of professional experience. He is at the fifth or sixth of nine possible levels of professional responsibility; and he supervises a handful of others, both professionals and support staff.

Some 2015 Results/Trends

Engineers in the general PATC of Communications Technology (Broadcast Technology, Communications, Consumer Electronics and Vehicular Technology) enjoyed the highest median earnings — $150,000, according to the 2015 Survey. Those in Energy and Power Engineering had the lowest median income in a broad PATC category — at $116,175. Other especially lucrative subspecialties included Information Theory, Solid-State Electronics, Lasers and Electro-Optics, and engineering management — all at median salaries of $150,000, or more, a year. In the 2015 Survey, the only subspecialties with median annual salaries less than $100,000 were Education and the Social Implications of Technology.

Employment sectors remained significant in determining an engineer’s income, according to the survey. Private industry paid the most — with medians of $143,500, at defense-related companies; and $137,500 at other- than-defense-, or utility-related companies. On average, employees who earned the least worked for utilities ($114,050), educational institutions ($106,400), and state or local governments ($101,011).  The largest firms, those with more than 500 employees, tended to pay the best — $11,000 more per year than the overall median.

In a trend extending back to 2009, U.S. IEEE members who responded to the survey tended to work for large organizations: enterprises with more than 10,000 U.S. employees hired 27.9%; another 37.3% worked for establishments with 501 to 10,000 employees. Private, non-defense companies employed more than half (53.5%) of U.S. IEEE members in the workforce. When including defense-related firms, the private industry share rose to nearly two-thirds of our members in the workforce (64.1%).

Management jobs still yielded the highest median primary income in 2015, with a salary advantage of just less than $35,000 for those in general management. Technical managers, and those in marketing and sales, also did well. The lowest median wages were in education, teaching and training; operations, construction and maintenance; manufacturing and production; and engineering support.

From 1 February through 15 March, IEEE members can get their free IEEE-USA Salary & Benefits Survey Report—2015 Edition at: https://ieeeusa.org/shop/careers/ebook-ieee-usa-salary-benefits-survey-2015-edition/.

Log in with your IEEE Account, add the book to your cart, and use promo code FEBFREE18 at checkout.

In Addition, You Can Still Find Success through Learning…for Free

You can also still explore finding success through learning (for free) by listening to IEEE-USA’s second new audio book. Download your free audio book, Women in Engineering – Book 4, by right-clicking on this link and saving the MP3 file to your device.

For your listening pleasure… Relax and give your eyes a rest…


Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA eBOOKS; Editor of IEEE-USA ConferenceBrief; and InFocus Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight.

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