6 Dec 2018
This year we surveyed our membership to see what you were earning, what you thought about diversity at your organisation, the perks of your job, and what was important to you when looking for a new job. Here's what we found.
In general, salaries were steady this year, especially if you consider what people are earning based on their years of experience. For example, while the overall graduate category median was down, starting salaries and what graduates were earning in their second year of work were up.
We had a slightly better response to our survey in 2018 than 2017, which meant our sample size was larger. But this increased sample size is biased towards people in the early stage of their career: this year we had 1,021 people in the first five years of their career fill in the survey, compared to 725 last year. And we had 670 people in the fifth to tenth year of their career respond, compared to 577 last year. This greater representation of people at more junior levels is likely to have skewed medians lower this year.
However, when you look at salary by registration status for example, the median salaries for Chartered Professional Engineers increased across the board.
This year we’ve presented results in the same way we have for the past two years. This allows comparisons to be made between each year’s results and requires consistency of questions from year to year. But we're thinking about whether this approach needs changing. Feedback from our members indicates we aren’t always providing the kind of information you find most useful. We're also concerned about a seeming lack of consistency of data from year to year, resulting in medians that are hard to compare.
This year, in our full results, we’ve provided median salaries for each career stage calculated from this year’s responses. As a point of comparison, we have provided two figures. The first is labelled “Respondents’ median a year ago”. This gives the median answer to the question “What was your salary a year ago?”. It does not take into account that some people may have been promoted or moved career stage during the year. The second figure is labelled “Our 2017 results”. This gives the median from our 2017 remuneration survey for that career stage.
We also recognise that asking people to supply their own salaries is a process than can introduce error. People sometimes can’t remember what they were earning a year ago, or don’t understand the difference between base salary and total remuneration (which includes other cash benefits like super and bonuses).
If you have any feedback about the remuneration survey and what would work better for you, please get in touch.