2009 Salary Survey: Engineers Proceed With Caution

Survey shows readers are concerned, yet confident in a down economy.

By Ken Schnepf, Managing Editor

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“In my opinion, one's work experience is not about what position he/she gets to or how much they make. The work experience (assuming one is adequately compensated for what he/she does so that reasonable needs external to work are met) is about the working with others and having pride in what you have done.

2009 Salary Survey
Figure 5: Lack of recognition remains the top reason for job dissatisfaction among survey respondents.

“As I look back over working for more than 40 years, the most pleasurable thing for me is the working relationships I have had and having had opportunities to help others in their job growth. I am not a saint by any means but at the end of the day money or what position I held were never big issues to me. What is important is the memories, most of which are good but there are bad ones too. The bad ones are pretty much my own fault based on behavior or performance.”

Split Decision As with previous survey results, respondents split about equally on whether negative public opinion of the industry bothers them; 16% (219) are troubled by it very much, another 41% (567) somewhat, while 9% (122) are not bothered by it at all and 34% (475) are not really concerned about it.

“People do not fully appreciate how many things that make their lives better are rooted in chemistry and engineering. Also, too many people are intimidated by science due to negative experiences in high school,” explains one respondent.

“Public opinion doesn't affect me, most of the time public has no idea what we are doing, why we are doing what we are doing and most important, the public really needs what we are trying to achieve, the public can't really sustain without what we are doing, should give us a little more credit for this,” notes another.

Ken Schnepf is Chemical Processing's Managing Editor. You can e-mail him at: kschnepf@putman.net.

iPod Winner
A total of 1,528 respondents took part in this year’s survey. Bob Cafera, senior manager manufacturing engineering, L’Oreal, Florence, Ky., was randomly selected as the winner of a 120-GB iPod Classic offered by Chemical Processing as an incentive for participating in the survey.

We appreciate the answers and comments we received from all of this year’s survey participants.

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