Salary vs. reality

I read the article on the 2010 QP Salary Survey ("Not Out of the Question," December 2010), and I do not believe this is an accurate depiction of reality. Many more are unemployed, and whatever sampling you had this year, I believe salaries are not as you state.

I’ve spent a long time in the profession—30 years—and I hire and manage personnel quite a bit. I am seeing thousands of unemployed people in the Chicagoland area alone and salaries nowhere near what you state. I have well-qualified quality engineers, quality managers and quality assurance personnel willing to work for a grand a week. Things are not that rosy.

Edward J. McCarthy
Park Ridge, IL

Money matters

Combining the mean (increased) with the median (stagnant), anyone can easily arrive at the conclusion that compensation for quality professionals mirrored that of the economy at large: The rich got richer.

Stephen Stanley
Aurora, CO

Industry issues

I noticed in reviewing the November 2010 QP that the U.S. gurus of quality ("Guru Guide") seem to have early backgrounds in common:

  • Walter A. Shewhart—Western Electric and Bell Telephone Labs.
  • W. Edwards Deming—Bell Telephone Labs, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Joseph M. Juran—Western Electric.
  • A.V. Feigenbaum—General Electric.
  • Philip B. Crosby—Martin Marietta.

The gurus listed are the individuals who developed early quality work and applied it in the fields of engineering and manufacturing, primarily in the sector of the economy called industrial product manufacturing. There does not seem to be a guru from any other area of U.S. industry.

Yet, if you look into areas in which ASQ is seeking to expand—on its website, in sponsored conference content and in QP—you see that ASQ does not have a quality leader to which it can point with expertise in those areas, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, nonprofit organizations and various levels of government organizations.

The bottom line: The historical quality principles that were tested and proven started in the areas I indicated but are now being applied in areas in which there has not been a significant leader, much less a guru.

Is there overreach by ASQ when it attempts to apply principles from one area to areas that are far removed from the original backgrounds of quality?

Larry G. DeVries
Eden Prairie, MN

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