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Electronics Weekly Salary Survey 2014 – The results, part I

How much do you earn? How much are you worth? Electronics Weekly publishes the results of its largest ever national survey of salary levels in the UK electronics industry, writes Richard Wilson


Respondents by sector

Respondents by sector

Whether you are a design engineer, sales and market executive or company CEO, you will be able to compare your salary with the national average in this survey which Electronics Weekly has carried out in association with recruitment specialists, European Recruitment.

Get the full results »

The survey results indicated that the national average salary of engineers, managers and sales staff working in the UK electronics industry has increased by 5% in the last three years to £46,321.

Salary increase

Overall, it seems that salary levels may be reflecting the increase in business confidence in the electronics sector in the last 12 months.

According to the survey of over 1,000 respondents from the UK electronics sector, the average salary increase in the last 12 months was found to be 2.5%. This would indicate that salaries in the industry are rising at above the annual rate of inflation.

More than half the respondents expressed a positive view of business confidence in the sector at the current time.

A third of respondents are earning over £50,000 per annum. While fewer than 10% are taking home less than £25,000.

One of the key findings of the survey 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.

Salary Survey Promo wk1 bThis was the same at the time of the last salary survey in 2011 and situation has not improved in the last three years.

Companies seem to still place greater importance on commercial activities and not the engineering function on which most businesses depend.

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.


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

Interestingly, 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 are permanent employees at companies across the UK. And 60% of respondents hold a degree.

This was a national survey of salaries and remuneration packages, but southern regions of the country had the greatest concentration of respondents. Three-quarters of those taking part in the survey work in the South East, South West and East Anglia.

Company size

The survey indicates that the larger the company you work for, the higher the salary level you can expect.

For example, if you are working in a company with more than 500 employees are you likely on average to be earning £48,732. This is £5,400 per annum more than if you worked in an equivalent role in a smaller company with less than 500 staff.

Professional experience

As one might expect, average salary levels increase with years of professional experience. So the industry average salary for someone in the 25-34 year old age band is £35,000. If you are aged between 45 and 54 years then the industry average salary is £50,863.

However, the increase with age, which equates to professional experience, is not uniform as you may expect.

The biggest increase in average salary appears between the 25-34 years and 35-44 years age bands. The average salary between these two age bands increases by more than £12,500 per annum, from £35,018 in the 25-34 year band to £47,777 in the 35-44 year band.

In comparison the increase to the next age band of 45-54 years is only £3,000 per annum.

Along with their basic salary, engineers, managers and sales executives working in the electronics sector can also expect to receive a range of different benefit packages.

Benefit packages

Even before recent changes in government legislation on workplace pensions, contributory pensions were still widely available in the sector. Over seventy per cent of respondents said their employer was making a contribution to their pension.

The most common employment benefits were healthcare plans, performance related bonuses and flexi-time.

However, you are more likely to be receiving a health plan benefit if you are working in sales and marketing role, than if you are in a development engineering role.

Interestingly, share option schemes are more common amongst design engineers than sales and marketing executives.

The research was carried out in February and March 2014 by Reed Business Insight. In order to provide a robust sample for the study, research took the form of a quantitative online survey conducted amongst more than 1,000 electronics professionals.

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A copy of the full survey results is available free-of-charge. Go to: www.electronicsweekly.com/salary-survey-results-form/

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