Survey finds firms undervalue engineers

Companies in the UK are placing greater importance on commercial activities and not the engineering function on which most businesses depend.

Uk map

This is despite efforts even at government level to raise the status of engineering in the economy.

One of the key findings of a national salary survey carried out by Electronics Weekly is that design and development engineers on average receive salaries below the overall industry average of £46,321. The same is true for those engineers working in R&D and test.

See also: Electronics Weekly Salary Survey 2014 – The results, part I

The status of engineers within an organisation is still being undervalued when compared to commercial activities such as sales, marketing and team management.

The average salary for development engineers was found to be £44,415 which is £5,000 per annum less than the national average for sales and marketing staff.

This was the same at the time of the last salary survey in 2011 and situation has not improved in the last three years.

Sectors of the industry where salary levels are above the average are communications, consumer and components.

Those engineers, sales staff and managers working the communications sector are the most highly paid with an average salary level of £52,594, which is over £6,000 per annum over the industry average.

This is only slightly more than staff working in what they call the consumer electronics sector.

Those sectors with average salary levels below the average include the defence sector, aerospace and manufacturing services.

According to this year’s survey, the average salary level in the defence and aerospace sectors is £42,161, and in design and manufacturing services, which includes the EMS sector, the average is just £39,857 per annum.

The average salary level in manufacturing services has fallen slightly since the last survey in 2011 to just under £40,000.

The majority of those questioned in the survey, which was sponsored by recruitment consultancy European Recruitment, are permanent employees at companies across the UK. And 60% of respondents hold a degree.

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