Lack of recognition remains the top frustration for most respondents 42% (655) (Figure 6).
"The recognition is typically not very good for the amount of effort you give, but the field is challenging and rewarding in other ways," remarked one survey participant.
Other leading gripes include the hours and workload, cited by 28% (445), as well as salary and benefits, noted by 26% (416). Several readers report having to do more -- and for much less.
"Compensation is flat, and not increasing as promised, but I'm still asked to do more. My position has advanced as far as responsibilities, but the title and compensation have not," groused one survey participant.
Respondents are split on the public's negative opinion of the industry (Figure 7). Nearly 38% are somewhat concerned about public opinion but another 38% remain unconcerned. Only 12% (211) are very concerned about public opinion and 11% say they aren't at all concerned.
Despite the split view, many respondents agree the public's perception could change with more positive media reports on the industry and improved corporate responsibility.
"Companies certainly have to do their job and go beyond the minimum regulatory requirements. If you do, and put safety and company image as a priority, you will be doing your part in improving the image of our industry," suggested one reader.
Another respondent proposed: "Engage, engage, engage. Host visits. Sponsor educational meetings in the schools and community. Sponsor emergency response training for local fire, police, EMT and other related departments. Volunteer the services of plant emergency responders into these functions for off-site emergencies. Maintain best-in-class safety, health and environmental performance. Be the employer of choice and the neighbor of choice, and your community will choose to support you and your continued 'social license to operate.'"
How the Data Were Gathered
A total of 1,722 respondents participated in this year's survey.
From January through March, respondents accessed the survey questionnaire via a link listed on the www.chemicalprocessing.com website, and in e-newsletters and e-mail blasts sent to readers. Additionally, those who follow Chemical Processing on Twitter at Chem_Processing and Facebook at Chemical Processing Magazine were encouraged to participate.
Congratulations! iPod Touch Winner
Dennis Glascock, process design and heat transfer lead at ConocoPhillips, Houston, TX., was randomly selected as the winner of an 8-GB iPod Touch offered by Chemical Processing as an incentive for participating in the survey.
"Thanks! I am very surprised to win. My Dad was always the lucky person in my family, so God bless my genetics!" he said.
We appreciate the answers and comments we received from all of this year's survey participants.
Amanda Joshi is Chemical Processing's Managing Editor. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.