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2018 Salary Survey: Hiring And Salaries Steam Ahead

Aug. 20, 2018
Annual job satisfaction and salary survey shows mostly positive signs all around.

More companies are beefing up their technical staffs, according to our 2018 Salary and Job Satisfaction survey. About 30% of respondents in this year’s edition of our annual survey report staffing levels are somewhat or significantly larger than last year —up 3% from 2017. In comparison, in 2017, the number of respondents noting a hiring gain showed only a 1% increase over the previous year.

2018 Salary Survey Results Are In


More than 45% said staffing has remained the same — a slight (1%) rise from last year’s numbers; those reporting somewhat or significantly smaller staff levels dropped nearly 3% from last year.

This is on par with current economic reports. Chemical Processing’s January cover story “The U.S. Chemical Industry Gears Up for Gains, an annual report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), gives clear indication the chemical industry is doing well and heading in the right direction. “As new production expands to meet growing global demand, employment in the chemical industry will accelerate further. The industry should continue adding high-paying jobs through the end of the decade,” noted Martha Gilchrist Moore, senior director, policy analysis and economics, ACC, in the report.


Additionally, in June, Kevin Swift, chief economist of the ACC, in a mid-year state-of-the-industry free CP webinar (available on demand) further validated that employment is improving. “Since 2013, we’ve had gains in employment in this industry after years of declining activity,” he said.

Echoing this trend, professional networking site, LinkedIn, revealed in its June Workforce Report an increase in hiring, particularly in the oil and gas industry, which has seen a 5.2% rise in job openings in the past year. Nationally, across all industries, gross hiring in the U.S. was 4.5% higher than in May 2017, the report stated.

More Good News

In addition to the uptick in hiring, more survey participants note they received a salary increase and bonuses within the last year. Nearly 68% say they got a year-over-year raise, compared to just 56% last year. Those claiming it’s been 1–3 years since they received a raise declined from 35% to 25%. The average level of a salary increase came in at 4% and the average bonus is $6,887.43, edging up from $6,568.59 in 2017.

Job security also continues to remain positive, with 57% (versus 56% in 2017) reporting confidence in their job’s stability. In addition, similar to last year, 21% felt they had no chance of being laid off or fired within the next two years. Those that were moderately to highly worried they’d lose their job dropped from 34% last year to 30% .

One participant observed, “This is good field to go into for job security. Demand is high right now if you have the experience.”

To help you navigate your own career path, we’ve once again published the results of our annual salary and job satisfaction survey. Inside this PDF, which contains several exclusive charts and comments that don’t appear in the print issue, you will find analysis and data on myriad topics including:

  • Average Salary Earned
  • Job Security
  • Average Raises Earned
  • Hours Spent At Work
  • Job Satisfaction
  • What’s Bothering Engineers


About the Author

Amanda Joshi | Managing Editor

Amanda Joshi has more than 18 years of experience in business-to-business publishing for both print and digital content. Before joining Chemical Processing, she worked with Manufacturing.net and Electrical Contracting Products. She’s a versatile, award-winning editor with experience in writing and editing technical content, executing marketing strategy, developing new products, attending industry events and developing customer relationships. 

Amanda graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2001 with a B.A. in English and has been an English teacher. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and daughter, and their mini Aussiedoodle, Riley. In her rare spare time, she enjoys reading, tackling DIY projects, and horseback riding.

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