Daily Insight for July 27, 2012

Engineering and manufacturing remain lucrative potential careers, though finding jobs and remaining profitable remain a challenge.


ASME survey shows engineer salaries on the rise: Good news for engineers on the salary front: on average, base salaries rose 3% from last year.

According to a new salary survey by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), the average salary for engineers in 2012 is $95,603, an increase of $2,877 over last year. Annual income for engineers, including commissions and fees, increased nearly 4% from 2011 to 2012. (View The Engineering Income and Salary Survey)

The data were compiled from an online survey of 12,720 engineers in multiple age groups and employed in varied industry sectors and technical disciplines. Nearly 72% of the respondents indicated a salary increase.

Additional findings:

  • Engineers working in the field of ocean engineering represent the highest full-time salaried median income, $169,000.
  • The median annual income is the highest in California, Nevada and Hawaii, and lowest in the Upper Mountain states.
  • Nearly 57% of respondents are recipients of a standard benefits plan from their employers; the remaining group receives flexible benefits. 

“There has never been a more exciting time to be an engineer, and the results of the 2012 Engineering Income and Salary Survey confirm what we already know: Careers in engineering are rewarding on many levels,” said Thomas Loughlin, executive director of ASME.

“We hope the survey will be a resource to the many organizations that track employment and salary data on engineers,” said Alicia Karwoski, P.E., director of professional activities at ASCE. “We are encouraged to see engineering salaries on the rise at a time when more engineers are needed to spur technological innovation in the United States and around the world.”

ASME and ASCE have been collaborating on the salary survey report for the last five years. The firm enetrix, a division of Gallup Inc., prepared The Engineering Income and Salary Survey, a broad report which breaks down key income data and trends based on length of experience, supervisory responsibility, education level, gender, ethnicity, work location, and other criteria.


Web article: $100,000 manufacturing jobs going unfilled: CNNMoney reported this week (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/100-000-factory-job-whats-154000356.html) on an issue that people outside of manufacturing are just coming to understand and people within manufacturing already understand too well: the lack of skilled employees for plants around the country are leaving gaps in employment for positions that can command six-figure salaries.

“When I was an apprentice in the late '70s, kids were dying to get into manufacturing. There were plenty of factory jobs," Joe Sedlak, owner of Chesapeake Machine Company in Baltimore, told CNNMoney. “There are jobs for the taking today. But kids don't want them.”

"On TV, kids don't see many positive images of manufacturing," said Bill Mach, president of Mach Mold, Benton Harbor, Mich.


House bills designed to raise percentage of ‘Made in America’: Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), has introduced two bills in the U.S. Hose that his office said are “designed to create American jobs and jumpstart America’s manufacturing sector.”

The bills, H.R. 6216, the Make It In America, Create Transportation Manufacturing Jobs in America Act, and H.R. 6217, the Make It In America, Create Clean Energy Manufacturing Jobs Act, would raise the federal minimum of 66% American content to 85%, phased over three years. This level is in line with feasible bids received for new rail cars at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency (LAMTA). Garamendi previously introduced two similar bills that required 100% American content, and the new bills reflect substantial industry, public agency, and labor input.

“Our tax money should go toward U.S. manufacturing, employing American workers. When we Make It In America, Americans can make it once again,” Congressman Garamendi said.

“I commend Congressman Garamendi for leading efforts to create jobs, restore our economy, and move Democrats' Make It In America jobs plan forward,” said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. “His bills, which strengthen Buy American requirements for transportation and clean energy projects, are a key part of the Make It In America plan because they will ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on products made here in the U.S. I am proud to work with Congressman Garamendi to promote these and other Make It In America bills that will create well-paying, middle-class jobs, strengthen our manufacturing sector, and ensure more businesses and families can make it in America.”

“I can say with confidence that my new Make It In America bills are practical and reasonable, because an 85% Made In America requirement is in line with price-competitive feasible bids for new cars at BART and LAMTA,” Congressman Garamendi said. “It’s time for Congress to end the excuses and to give these jobs bills the up-or-down vote on the House floor that they deserve. We’re not just debating a piece of legislation; we’re debating whether to create millions of jobs with a painless change in policy.”

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