2011 Salary Survey: Are Things Looking Up?

Annual salary survey points to some positive developments.

By Amanda Joshi, Managing Editor

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Pay raises and bonuses are on the rise, according to the results of Chemical Processing's 2011 Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey, although much else remains the same compared to last year's poll. An increasing number of chemical processing professionals say they received a salary increase this year. Last year, only 37% garnered a pay raise within the past 12 months. That number has now jumped to 56% (957), indicating the economy and the industry are on the mend (Figure 1).

But many respondents were quick to point out that the salary boost wasn't enough to make up for past pay cuts or wage freezes.

"We had a salary freeze in 2009, and for 2010, no effort was put into making up for that lost salary increase ...we got a paltry 2.5% this past year," grumbled one reader.

"Although raises were re-established at the beginning of 2011, this followed a year [with a] 7.5% pay cut, 401K match suspension, and [another] year of a salary freeze. The raises did not compensate for those past 2–3 years of lost compensation. The cost of benefits, meanwhile increased during that time," noted another respondent.

While salary increases provide a positive outlook, concerns about job security are split -- 51% said they aren't worried, while 49% voiced concern (Figure 2). These results are similar to last year's, although the concern was slightly higher then (52%). In addition, 49% report a slight chance they could be fired or laid off in the next two years and 23% indicate a moderate chance (Figure 3).

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