Still Growing

Salaries rise despite recession

I stand corrected. Contrary to my own predictions about this year’s salary survey, the average salary of U.S. quality professionals showed a bump—from $81,064 to $83,442.

Good news, yes, but there is also some less positive news among this year’s results. About 4% of this year’s survey respondents (there were 9,072 total) said they were unemployed. Of those, 60.7% said they were unemployed because their positions had been eliminated.

This suggests a correlation with another alarming trend: shrinking quality departments. Slightly more than one-third of the currently employed respondents indicated their quality departments have shrunk (part 1, section 14). Of those, nearly 80% indicated their companies had experienced layoffs.

Companies are also cutting back on raises: 38% of respondents said they did not expect one this year, compared to 11.2% who said the same thing in 2008 and only 7.6% in 2007.

On the brighter side, quality-related jobs are still some of the best to have, according to a recent article by Money magazine and PayScale.com. The report ranked three quality-related jobs in its top 50 list of careers with great pay and high growth prospects. Quality control engineer, manufacturing engineer and quality assurance manager came in at Nos. 37, 38 and 48, respectively. You can read more in Keeping Current. The full report can be found at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2009/snapshots/1.html.

QP’s annual salary survey is the most comprehensive of its kind, giving quality professionals data to gauge their own career paths, compare themselves to their peers and decide what steps might lead to a bigger salary.

This year, don’t miss the insights and helpful bits of advice straight from the mouths of quality professionals that are scattered throughout the salary survey, which can be found at www.qualityprogress.com/salarysurvey.

Also, remember the entire survey is accessible year-round under the Tools & Resources menu on our website. Survey results from previous years can also be found there, as well as links to other career-related information.

The survey itself—like any survey—can always be improved. If you have ideas on what we could do to make the survey more useful or accurate, please send them to me at editor@asq.org.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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