Salary figures do not add up

After reading the front page of The Engineer (2 October) I am completely bewildered as to the origin of the Engineering Council’s statement regarding average annual salary in the news story ‘Salary boost to fill situations vacant’. Clearly this is complete rubbish, as shown by the salaries associated with the job vacancies advertised in the […]

After reading the front page of The Engineer (2 October) I am completely bewildered as to the origin of the Engineering Council’s statement regarding average annual salary in the news story ‘Salary boost to fill situations vacant’.

Clearly this is complete rubbish, as shown by the salaries associated with the job vacancies advertised in the same issue of the magazine.

Although some of these are in the £30,000s for a management position, most are around £25,000 with some a lot less. People are either lying to the Engineering Council surveys, or the respondents are only among senior management. Hence, the results contain very skewed data.

I work for a well-known electrical engineering firm as a chartered engineer with a BSc (Hons), MEng and 10 years of experience in engineering analysis. My salary is only equal to the 1990 average of £25,000, never mind the 1996 average of £36,000.

I realise that my salary may reflect my ability and experience. However, mine is considered high by my company’s standards, in which the average salary, I would guess, is between £22,000 and £23,000.

I have no reason to think that salaries are much higher in other companies. They could be less. Two years ago I was seconded to another company in the group. They had just recruited a number of engineers from a rival firm, offering salary increases of 20 50%. My own company is not known for its high salaries, so what does this tell you about the rival?

I am tired of reading about ridiculously high average salaries when the same publications advertise job vacancies quoting much less.

Such stories in professional magazines contradict the facts published at the back in the recruitment sections.

And institutions that insist pay levels are no cause for concern, are not doing themselves any favours among engineers.

This may partly explain the lack of interest in membership of institutions that do not appear to be representative of the vast majority of their potential members.

I see no long term career in the engineering industry as an engineer. Therefore I am studying part time for an MBA, with the intention of moving into a more business-orientated position within the industry.

Name and address withheld