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Report on Salary Surveys ™
Report on Salary
Surveys ™

ISSUE 22-3


March 2015

Demand for Engineers Growing, Pushing Up Salaries, Surveys Find



Demand for Engineers Growing, Pushing Up Salaries, Surveys Find


The demand for engineers is growing rapidly as business trends have created a greater need for the position.


At the same time, the average age of an engineer is 52, ac- cording to one survey, and many more engineers are older and headed rapidly towards retirement. Meanwhile, that survey said, there are not enough recent graduates to make up the differ- ence.

Surveys Find Companies Struggle to Find Critical Talent




Compensation Strategies:

These trends are pushing up salaries for many engineers and boosting the use of bonuses, according to several surveys.

Consultants Advise a Coaching Culture to Improve Performance


There are more projects that require the skill and knowledge of an engineer, Richard Zambrecca, president of Randstad Engi- neering, told Bloomberg BNA. Graduation rates of engineers have increased slightly but not enough to replace baby boomers, he said.

Surveys Examine Outlook for Import/Export Professionals


Surveys Report More Pay, Demand for IT Help Desk





Future Issues

News Briefs


EBRI Survey Reports Most Workers Satisfied But Want Change in Mix of Benefits and Wages


Studies Find Pay, Need for IT Professionals On the Rise

Consultant Advises Changes in Engagement Strategies

Study Examines HR and Big Data

Rebounding Job Market Has Employees Looking for Better Opportunities, Study Says

Survey on Administrative Staff Salaries

Report Details Pay for Credit Professionals

Research Shows Household Income Rose in 2014, But Not From Wage Increases


(No. 3)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts rapid job growth for many engineering positions. Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS projects the average growth to be 26 percent for petroleum engineers,

‘‘AAES tracks the number of engineering enroll- ments, the number of degrees that are awarded in engineering fields, and engineering salaries,’’ Glaser said. ‘‘Generally speaking, we’ve certainly seen significant growth in the number of engineer-

22 percent for biomedical engineers and 20 per- cent for civil engineers.

‘‘The last of these [civil engineers] is interesting, since the BLS may be responding to the need to re- place the country’s aging infrastructure,’’ Patrick Glaser, director of research at McKinley Advisors, told Bloomberg BNA. McKinley Advisors supports data collection by the American Association of En- gineering Societies, an industry organization.

‘‘From our data, and based on economic trends, I would predict that bioengineering, and energy- related engineering disciplines will be important. These are areas that have been growing at a very good pace, but also link to the needs of the economy going forward. Our statistics reflect sup- ply,’’ Glaser said.

New graduates also in demand. The de- mand for new graduates is just as strong, accord- ing the National Association of Colleges and Em- ployers (NACE). The NACE Salary Survey found that employers that plan on hiring new engineer- ing graduates intend to hire 7.8 percent more this year. In addition, engineering majors are projected to be the top-paid bachelor degree graduates from the class of 2015.

ing degrees that have been awarded, and this in- cludes bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates. In par- ticular, this includes fields like aerospace, bioengi- neering, chemical, civil, environmental, mechanical, nuclear and petroleum.’’

There have been slightly fewer graduates in cer- tain engineering areas, such as engineering man- agement, systems, computer engineering and electrical engineering, according to Glaser. How- ever, there has been growth in master’s and doc- torates in these fields, he said. It may be a sign that the science has matured and the value of an ad- vanced degree in the area may pay off, he said.

Engineers confident about job security. En- gineers’ confidence in their job security increased in the past year, according to the Randstad Engi- neering Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. engineers. The in- dex is from an online survey, conducted by the Har- ris Poll on behalf of Randstad Engineering among 116 employed U.S. engineers (ages 18 and over) in January, February and March of 2014.

The Randstad index found that 84 percent of en- gineers reported it was not likely they would lose their job in the next 12 months, and 66 percent are confident in their ability to find a new job. How-

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March 2015


(No. 3)


Table 1

Median salary for engineers


by type and region




















Industrial engineer










Quality manager










Mechanical engineer










Civil engineer










Electrical engineer










Petroleum engineer










Project manager










Chemical engineer










RF engineer










Source: Randstad

A BNA Graphic/rssf2102

ever, only 29 percent of engineers said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, the survey reported.

The Randstad guide is based on a survey with 2,000 participants and the salary data includes in- put from the Economic Research Institute (ERI). Salaries differ widely by title and region in the Randstad Engineering survey. A petroleum engi- neer earns the highest median salary across the regions, with $133,494 in Mid-Atlantic and $132,744 in the Pacific states (see Table 1).

Engineers are not that quick to change jobs, ac- cording to Zambrecca. ‘‘Engineers are very much in the driver’s seat. They tend to find comfort in do- ing what they’ve trained at. To get them to move, it would have to be substantial,’’ Zambrecca said.

The reluctance to switch positions may be why Randstad’s hot jobs in demand analysis found that there are over 130,000 current engineering job listings in early 2015, with an average ratio of 17 candidates available per job opening. Overall, 75 percent of companies say it’s difficult to find quali- fied people who are the right fit and it takes four to six months to hire an engineer, according to the Randstad survey.

To fill in some of the job gaps, 84 percent of companies use contingent workers for engineering positions, according to the Randstad engineering survey.

Pay differs by title and region. Despite the demand, salary levels have remained fairly con- stant, according to the ‘‘2014 Workplace Trends and Salary Guide’’ from Randstad Engineering. Salaries increased at 34 percent of organizations, while it remained about the same at 63 percent, the Randstad Engineering survey found.

An engineering project manager is another high earner, pulling in $114,776 in the Mid-Atlantic.

For most titles, the top-paying regions are in the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific regions.

The top in-demand jobs for engineers include mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and quality engineers, according to Randstad. The de- mand outpaces the supply of mechanical engi- neers, who earn a national median salary of $83,550, according to Randstad.

Consider hiring across industries. Rather than offer large salary increases that might lead to pay compression and pay scale distortion, compa- nies might consider using bonuses, according to Zambrecca.

Organizations might also offer relocation fees, and cover cost-of-living differentials for an engi- neer moving from a low-cost to a high-cost area, for example, Zambrecca said.


BNA March 2015


(No. 3)

Table 2: Salary ranges, for selected types of engineer


by region and size of company












Process Engineer



$59,405 – $79,738

$32,969 – $59,601

$55,057 – $78,127

$57,795 – $81,237

$58,695 – $120,126

$56,929 – $79,758


$62,452 – $82,175

$35,161 – $63,398

$56,619 – $78,809

$58,062 – $85,095

$60,949 – $124,794

$58,039 – $84,134


$66,149 – $85,632

$36,549 – $64,951

$56,917 – $80,686

$61,688 – $86,552

$65,963 – $126,429

$59,873 – $85,595




$58,694 – $79,216

$32,020 – $58,945

$54,187 – $77,037

$57,786 – $81,012

$58,528 – $118,688

$56,628 – $78,858


$62,301 – $81,347

$35,001 – $63,334

$56,545 – $77,843

$58,058 – $84,719

$59,705 – $124,357

$57,177 – $82,776


$63,439 – $82,222

$36,064 – $64,074

$56,839 – $79,082

$60,169 – $85,123

$64,197 – $125,835

$58,624 – $85,037



$56,265 – $76,364

$30,963 – $54,687

$50,923 – $72,299

$51,512 – $74,719

$55,127 – $108,228

$51,186 – $75,391


$57,016 – $78,609

$32,293 – $61,795

$51,397 – $73,391

$53,323 – $76,179

$56,115 – $108,688

$53,117 – $76,487


$63,373 – $78,963

$34,337 – $62,260

$53,193 – $75,933

$55,557 – $78,947

$57,587 – $112,841

$53,362 – $79,575



$54,756 – $75,292

$29,663 – $54,445

$49,135 – $70,917

$51,311 – $72,083

$52,407 – $106,143

$49,731 – $72,855


$55,461 – $76,564

$32,105 – $59,339

$49,726 – $72,396

$53,235 – $73,609

$52,716 – $108,239

$52,079 – $72,951


$61,784 – $76,726

$33,335 – $59,441

$50,188 – $73,777

$54,422 – $75,344

$55,502 – $112,202

$53,037 – $74,626



$62,929 – $81,363

$34,081 – $61,083

$55,279 – $79,182

$58,405 – $82,192

$58,712 – $120,930

$56,982 – $81,118


$63,771 –$82,895

$36,235 – $65,415

$57,675 – $79,934

$59,857 – $86,055

$61,003 – $125,992

$59,027 – $84,652


$67,376 – $86,055

$37,012 – $67,251

$57,882 – $80,735

$62,581 – $87,037

$66,774 – $126,696

$59,972 – $86,033

S= under $250 million in annual revenue M= $250 million to $1 billion L= over $1 billion


Source: Adecco


A BNA Graphic/rssf2103

Organizations might also be able to fill positions if they are willing to hire engineers across indus- tries, according to Zambrecca. ‘‘Engineers want very specific things for very specific jobs. If they are

and job seekers. To further validate the data, col- leagues in the Adecco nationwide branch network reviewed the figures and compared them with lo- cal hiring and salary metrics, according to Adecco.

out of work, they’ve been pigeonholed in that in- dustry,’’ Zambrecca said.


process engineer, for example, earns a range

For example, an energy company might con- sider hiring an engineer from the automotive in- dustry, he said. ‘‘What we’ve got to do is see what the foundation of their skills is, see if they can adapt to working on pipelines. Some companies have had success doing that. It’s up to the hiring manager to take a chance. Companies don’t have the luxury of a perfect fit.’’

of $56,929 to $79,758 at a small company (under $250 million in annual revenue) in the Northeast, according to the Adecco survey (see Table 2). At a medium sized firm (with $250 million to $1 billion in revenue), the pay range is $58,039 to $84,134, and the range is $59,873 to $85,595 at a large firm (over $1 billion in revenue).



project engineer has one of the higher pay

Salaries by company size. The size of a com- pany affects salary levels, along with region, ac- cording to the 2014 Salary Guide from Adecco. The guide’s salary figures are based on research conducted by CareerBliss, an online career com- munity, and data submitted by both employees

ranges, running up to a range of $66,774 to $126,696 at a large company in the West, accord- ing to the Adecco survey. At a small company in the West, the salary range is $58,712 to $120,930 for a project engineer. The project engineer prepares schedules and works in conjunction with or instead

March 2015


(No. 3)


Table 3

Table 4


Salaries and total compensation for engineers

by title


Salaries for engineers


by experience and with and without supervisory responsibility










Software engineering manager



Median salary




Vice president /VP of engineering



Starting median salary




Technical director/ director of engineering/ R&D/engineering manager


5 years of experience







years of experience






years of experience





Chief engineer/senior engineer/




20–25 years of experience




lead engineer/principal





35+ years of experience





Source: Engineering Workforce Commission of the American Association

President/owner/CEO/other executive management



of Engineering Societies


A BNA Graphic/rssf2105

Group leader/project team leader/project manager



By title, a software engineering manager earns the most, with a base salary of $157,611 and total compensation of $166,461, according to the Elec- tronic Design survey (see Table 3).

Systems engineer/







Software engineer




Department head/section head



Applications/systems engineering manager




Engineering managers saw an 11 percent in- crease in pay, following a 5 percent decline the previous year, bringing the average base salary to $121,921 and total compensation to $133,132, according to the Electronic Design survey. Operat- ing management experienced a 10 percent in- crease in pay to reach $119,740 in base salary and $133,230 in total compensation.




Design engineer/ project engineer/R&D engineer



Test engineer




QC/evaluation/test manager








Consulting engineer/scientist



Member of technical staff



Supervisory responsibilities pay off. The me- dian salary for an engineer is $62,500, according to data from the Engineering Workforce Commis- sion of the American Association of Engineering Societies (see Table 4).

Source: Electronic Engineering


A BNA Graphic/rssf2104


of a project manager, according to the Adecco guide.

Electronic engineering survey. According to the ‘‘2014 Engineering Salary & Opinion Survey’’

With supervisory responsibility, the median sal-

from Electronic Design, which includes responses from 3,000 participants, the average total com- pensation for an engineer is $106,482, which is a 1.3 percent increase from the previous year. Non- salary compensation and stock options rose 7 per- cent in 2014.

The average age of an engineer is 52, with an average of 27 years of experience, according to this survey. More than half of the engineers re- sponding to the Electronic Design survey reported being approached by a recruitment specialist or headhunter in the past year.

ary is still $62,500, but without it, the salary drops to $55,500.

Ten years of experience brings the median sal- ary to an overall $82,500. But without supervisory responsibility, the median salary is $77,500, ac- cording to the Engineering Workforce Commission data. The data is based on a survey of ‘‘thou- sands’’ of engineers, according to EWC.

How to fill engineering spots. Companies can fill some of the empty engineering positions with foreign workers, but the number of work visas is limited, according to Zambrecca. Organizations need to get the younger population interested in


BNA March 2015


(No. 3)

studying engineering, he said. ‘‘We have to find the ways to stress math and science at an early age,’’ Zambrecca said.

field, but engineering companies must recognize the level of competition in the marketplace. In our experience, they are sophisticated and do pay at- tention to these trends,’’ Glaser said.

Some companies have taken a very proactive approach at identifying universities that are a good fit with their needs, according to Glaser. ‘‘They ac- tively form relationships with these schools, recruit from them, and sometimes partner with and sup- port them,’’ he said.

The number of engineering bachelor’s degrees given out rose by 6 percent in 2013, reaching a to- tal of 93,360, according to the American Society for Engineering Education. The number of degrees given out for civil and environmental engineering rose 27 percent, while degrees in general engi- neering rose 20 percent, according to the ASEE.

Companies should continually evaluate how they are attracting talent, what benefits they are providing, and how this compares to other organi- zations, Glaser said. ‘‘AAES helps to facilitate an understanding of this by providing statistics on the

For more information: Find out more about the Rand- stad Engineering Employee Confidence Index at http://

Find the Randstad USs ‘‘Hot Jobs’’ list for 2015 at https://

The ’’2014 Workplace Trends and Salary Guide’’ from Randstad Engineering can be found at https://

Learn more about the American Association of Engineering Societies at

Learn more about the Engineering Workforce Commission at

The ‘‘2014 Engineering Salary & Opinion Survey’’ from Electronic Design can be found at http://

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Salary Survey can be found at http://

The American Society for Engineering Education can be found at

Surveys Find Companies Struggle to Find Critical Talent

Despite increased competition for talent, many companies overlook existing employees for poten-

told Bloomberg BNA. ‘‘Many companies identify

tial development and forgo training for new hires, according to several surveys.

Companies seek to hire talent but are being very selective, since many professionals who were un- employed during the recession may need to re- fresh their technical skills, the surveys found.

The inability to find the talent they need may be hampering business development, according to the latest Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlook from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

the lack of qualified workers as a barrier to poten- tial growth,’’ he said.

Organizations expect to increase headcount by 1.6 percent, but it could be as high as 2.6 percent if they could find the right workers, Esch said.

‘‘We do see that companies implement some training programs, especially when they are un- able to find totally qualified workers. If the workers have the basic skill sets, and they put them with a mentor, the new hires can contribute immediately to the bottom line,’’ Esch said.

A third of companies reported they were unable to hire the talent they needed because of a skills gap, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. Overall, 37 percent of companies are con- cerned about finding qualified workers, up from past surveys, Ken Esch, a partner in Pricewater- houseCoopers’ Private Company Services Practice,

Organizations are increasing mentoring pro- grams for employees as a way to develop skill sets, particularly in the manufacturing environment, ac- cording to Esch. In this industry, skills may have stagnated among workers who were downsized during the recession and when offshoring became widespread, he said.

March 2015


(No. 3)


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As manufacturing is brought back into the U.S.,
‘‘we’re finding there are not as many young work-
ers with the necessary skills,’’ he said.
Rapidly changing technology is another factor
causing workers’ skills to become outdated, ac-
cording to Esch. ‘‘The technology increases expo-
nentially year over year. For someone out of work
since the recession, the technology has passed
them by,’’ he said.
More than half of companies say they have no
preference for hiring internal versus external can-
didates, but act according to shifting business
needs, according to the AMA survey. About a third
say they focus on developing and retaining current
employees, while 11 percent expect high turnover
and recruit accordingly.
Most companies seek new talent. Only one-
third of companies focus on developing and pro-
moting employees from within, rather than seek-
ing outside candidates, according to a survey of
more than 1,200 executives and managers by the
American Management Association (AMA), a cor-
porate training and consulting group.
The AMA survey also found that 52 percent of
managers consider their employees to be less loyal
than five years ago, while 37 percent consider em-
ployee loyalty to be at the same level as before. At
large companies—with more than 1,000
employees—61 percent of managers say their
workers are less loyal than five years ago. Compa-
nies are not simply overlooking their existing em-
ployees, but seeking candidates who have the nec-
essary skills sets, which current employees may not
possess, according to Sam Davis, vice president of
AMA’s customized consulting solutions.
The survey, ‘‘Is Employee Loyalty Still Valued?’’,
was completed Dec. 1, 2014. Respondents in-
cluded 1,213 senior-level business, human re-
sources, management professionals and employ-
ees drawn from the AMA database of contacts.
During the recession, many organizations
downsized and asked remaining employees to
take on additional responsibilities, whether or not
they were qualified, according to Davis. ‘‘This cre-
ated a lot of stress and anxiety. People were asked


BNA March 2015


(No. 3)


do things they didn’t used to do,’’ he said. Com-

Soon-to-be graduates expect to require further learning, with 69 percent of 2014 graduates say- ing that they need more training or post-graduate education to get their desired job. The majority of students (80 percent) expect their first employers to provide them with a formal training program. However, 52 percent of students who graduated from college in the past two years say they did not receive training in their first job, the Accenture sur- vey found.

‘‘Graduates are leaving college expecting to re- ceive corporate training, but despite the skills shortage, there is still no material movement by or- ganizations to help close the gap,’’ David Smith, global managing director, Accenture Talent & Or- ganization at Accenture Strategy, said in a press release.

Underemployed and underpaid? Nearly half

panies can now hire employees with appropriate skills, he said.

Training is encouraged. The AMA encourages its member companies to provide training to em- ployees, since it demonstrates concern about em- ployees, both current and future, Davis said. ‘‘It’s one way to help with the development of their people. It creates a better environment, makes them better prepared and feel more valued,’’ he said.

Providing training is more than just encourag- ing, it’s become ‘‘almost a necessity,’’ according to Davis. ‘‘It’s hard to find talent, and the cost of turn- over is astronomical,’’ he said.

Many government agencies have an older work- force and will lose a large percentage of employ- ees over the next few years to retirement, accord- ing to Davis. ‘‘It’s harder for the government to hire new employees because they have to compete with the private sector. It becomes even more of an imperative to develop from within,’’ he said.

(46 percent) of those who graduated in 2012 and


consider themselves underemployed and

working in jobs that do not require their college degrees, up from 41 percent of recent graduates

participating in last year’s Accenture survey.

Training can also be a selling point to new hires, because it demonstrates an environment that’s conducive to career development, and can be- come a unique selling point during the recruitment process, according to Davis.

Graduates are also not getting the salary they had anticipated while earning their degrees: 41 percent of recent college graduates are earning $25,000 or less. Among those who were graduat- ing in 2014, 83 percent expected to earn more than $25,000, and 43 percent expected to earn over $40,000 at their first job, according to the Ac- centure survey.

Millennials entering the workforce will expect upward mobility and find training especially ap-

pealing, according to Davis. Companies that are in


competitive situation for talent may have an

Overall, 43 percent of recent graduates said they were willing to compromise on salary, com- pared with 33 percent of students who were about to graduate.

College students are planning for their market-

edge if they offer training to new hires and existing

employees, he said.

Recent graduates want more training. Re- cent college graduates expected to experience more on-the-job training than they actually re- ceived, according to a survey from Accenture. The Accenture ‘‘2014 College Graduate Employment Survey’’ polled 1,010 students who were graduat- ing from college in 2014, and 1,005 students who graduated from college in 2012 and 2013, to compare the perceptions of students preparing to enter the job market with the experiences of recent graduates already in the workforce.

ability after graduation, according to Accenture:


percent said they considered the availability of

jobs in their field when deciding a major, up from


percent in 2012. Of the 13 percent of 2012 and


graduates, 41 percent believe they would

have had more job opportunities if they had cho- sen a different major, and 72 percent expect to re- turn to school in the next five years, according to Accenture.

March 2015


(No. 3)


Wage growth may be on the way. Compa- nies report an expected wage increase of 2.75 per- cent for 2015, up only slightly from last year, ac- cording to the Trendsetter Barometer from Price- waterhouseCoopers.

Table 1


Employer spending on formal training


by industry sector



Share of

spending on

total spending


formal training

on formal

Wage increases may still be on the low side, but this could change in coming years as the competi- tion for talent increases, according to Esch. ‘‘We think that some of the demand is a bit of a precur- sor to wage increases,’’ he said.


in 2013

employer training


$91.6 billion


Transpor tation, communication, utilities

$25.1 billion


Finance, insurance,

$16.6 billion



real estate

Wholesale and retail trade

$15.9 billion


Little training for new employees. Another study, from the Center on Education and the Work- force at Georgetown University, ‘‘College is Just the Beginning; Employers’ Role in the $1.1 Trillion Postsecondary Education and Training System,’’ examined training in organizations.


$5.8 billion



$2.5 billion



$177 billion


Estimates based on analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Sur vey of Employer-Provided Training (1995) and U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (2013).


Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce A BNA Graphic/rssf2110

The researchers included Anthony P. Carnevale, Jeff Strohl and Artem Gulish. The researchers ex- amined 2013 data from government departments to determine how much employers spend on train- ing employees.

From that $1.1 trillion, $649 billion goes to- wards formal postsecondary education and train- ing each year; colleges and universities spend $407 billion and employers spend $177 billion of that on formal training, the study found. Employers spend another $413 billion annually on informal, on-the-job training. The services industry devotes the most money to formal training, at $91.6 billion, comprising 52 percent of national spending on training among all businesses, according to the Georgetown research (see Table 1). On the other hand, the manufactur- ing field accounts for 11 percent of all workers, but spends 14 percent on formal trending.

Companies spent only 3 percent of their training budget on employees age 24 and under, and 11 percent on those 55 and older, according to the study. Most of the budget (86 percent) went to training workers between the ages of 24 and 54, according to the Georgetown researchers. Also, they said, most of the business training budget is spent on college-educated workers; only 17 per-

cent goes towards training workers with a high- school diploma or less.

‘‘Employers spend more on training than col- leges because people only go to college for four years and continue to learn at the workplace for another 45 years. Therefore, there are a lot more students and a lot more years,’’ Carnevale, the re- port’s lead author said in a press release.

For more information: Find the Accenture ‘‘2014 Col- lege Graduate Employment Survey’’ at http://


Find out more about the American Management Associa- tion at The Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlook from Price- waterhouseCoopers can be found at en_US/us/private-company-services/publications/assets/


American postsecondary institutions, govern- ment agencies and employers spend $1.1 trillion annually on formal and informal higher education and training, according to the Georgetown re- search.

The Center on Education and the Workforce at George- town University report, ‘‘College is Just the Beginning;


Employers’ Role in the $1.1 Trillion Postsecondary Educa- tion and Training System,’’ can be found at https://



BNA March 2015


(No. 3)

Compensation Strategies

Consultants Advise a Coaching Culture to Improve Performance

Managers are the key to driving employee en- gagement; developing their coaching skills will go a long way toward improving engagement pro- grams and organizational performance, Heather Backstrom, consultant at Heather Backstrom Con- sulting, told a February webinar sponsored by the Human Capital Institute.

Another hindrance to manager coaching is not having compensation linked to coaching efforts, according to the HCI/ICF study. In addition, 27 percent of companies don’t evaluate the effective- ness of coaching, the study found. Among those that do, 58 percent rely on employee feedback and 42 percent rely on feedback from the manager.

‘‘There’s an alignment between a culture of coaching and engagement. Having coaching and

Defining engagement is a first step. Compa- nies need to understand what engagement is, so

engagement are really critical to the success of an organization,’’ Backstrom said.

Among employees working in an organization with a strong coaching culture, 65 percent rated themselves as highly engaged, according to the ‘‘Building a Coaching Culture’’ study by the Hu- man Capital Institute and the International Coach Federation. The study is based on a survey of over 500 respondents, interviews with coaching ex- perts, as well as academic journals, case studies and white papers.

Lack of engagement is costly. The results show up in the numbers: employees that are not actively engaged cost the economy an estimated $450 to $550 billion each year, according to Gal- lup research conducted in 2013, Backstrom said.

According to the HCI/ICF study, 60 percent of respondents from organizations with strong coach- ing cultures reported their 2013 revenue to be above average compared to their peer group. ‘‘We see alignment between revenue and engagement

and coaching. Having a strong coaching culture is really critical to the success of the organization,’’ Backstrom said.

The three main barriers to implementing a suc- cessful coaching culture are lack of time, limited ability to measure return on investment and bud- getary constraints, according to the HCI/ICF study.

one of the first steps is simply to define it, Rachel Karu, founder of EAE Development, a professional career development consulting firm, told the webi- nar.

There are two perspectives of engagement: or- ganizational engagement and individual engage- ment, Karu said. Organizational engagement is a practice that aligns teams and individuals so they do work that supports the organizational structures and processes, she said. Employee engagement occurs when they are aligned with the company’s mission and work and are willing to do what is necessary to be successful, she added.

The desired outcome for engagement is three- fold, according to Karu: to retain top talent, achieve desired organizational results and suc- cessfully brand the company to be an employer of choice.

Manager ’s keys to engagement. ‘‘Engage- ment really impacts every part of the employee’s life cycle, and research shows that the manager is critical to driving that employee engagement,’’ Karu said.

Karu said there are six keys to engagement that companies should expect for managers to be able to drive engagement: (1) talent acquisition; (2) on- boarding; (3) setting expectations; (4) coaching:

tactical and development; (5) feedback; and (6) performance management.

March 2015


(No. 3)


Compensation Strategies


Table 1

What are the most important prerequisites for a manager/leader to become successful using coaching skills?



important or


Very important




Demonstrated emotional/social intelligence





Demonstrated leadership ability





Positive performance









Informal coach training





Accredited coach training





Technical skills










Source: HCI/ICF

A BNA Graphic/rssf2101

Two of the biggest roles that managers play are as a coach and in identifying and leveraging em- ployee strengths, according to Karu.

ployees; 51 percent received less than 30 hours of informal coach training and 22 percent received no training at all. according to the HCI/ICF study.

The manager as coach. There are many as- pects to being an effective coach, according to Backstrom. For example, a good coach asks ques- tions to help an employee work through an assign- ment or project, listens, and gives positive and de- velopmental feedback to help foster growth, Back- strom said.

Coaching also needs to be personalized to be effective; a good manager needs to recognize em- ployees’ work, give credit and provide recognition, Backstrom said.

How frequently a manager works on coaching employees also matters, the HCI/ICF study said. The survey found that 58 percent of employees from a strong coaching culture said their manager coaches them daily, compared with 34 percent in other organizations.

Without training managers in coaching, ‘‘there’s a risk of a significant impact on the bot- tom line of the organization,’’ Backstrom said.

Among companies that identified as having a strong coaching culture, nearly 17 percent provide managers with more than 50 hours of coach train- ing, and 19 percent offer between 30 and 60 hours of coach training, according to the HCI/ICF study.

When asked what the key prerequisites are for manager/leaders using coaching skills, demon- strated emotional and social intelligence and lead- ership ability topped the list, according to the HCI/ ICF study (see Table 1).

Lower on the must-have list is whether or not these managers/leaders have received coach- specific training, either informally or through an accredited program.

Coaching conversations can occur during a scheduled meeting or in the moment, such as while passing in the hallway. Managers might also

For more information: Learn more about Human Capi- tal Institute webcasts at ‘‘Building a Coaching Culture’’ from the Human Capital Institute and International Coach Federation can be found online at

call, email or text employees to discuss matters, Backstrom said.

Few companies provide training. Many man- agers have received little training in coaching em-

Find out more about Heather Backstrom Consulting at Find out more about RAE Development at http://


BNA March 2015


(No. 3)

Surveys Examine Outlook for Import/Export Professionals

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics fore- cast slower-than-average job growth in the import/export field in 2012, but this outlook ap- pears to be changing as the economy has contin- ued to improve, according to Laurel Delaney, president of, a consulting and marketing solutions company.

Table 1


Average Salary for Import/Export Analysts and Clerks in Selected U.S. Cities








Los Angeles



‘‘I think we will see an uptick in hiring in this field as the global economy improves,’’ Delaney told Bloomberg BNA. Technology makes it easier to hire globally as needed and ‘‘allows you to

broaden your pool of exceptional candidates,’’ she said.





New York












El Paso













Source: ERI Economic Research Institute

A BNA Graphic/rssf2106

The global hiring outlook also looks brighter be- cause the S&P 500 companies achieved more than half their sales outside the U.S. in 2013, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, Delaney said.

‘‘If that continues, you’ll see hiring numbers on a global basis start to rise, no matter what kind of position it is, provided it supports a company’s global initiative,’’ she said.

Professionals in the import/export field need to have an interest in international matters, cultural empathy, multilingual capabilities and some inter- national experience, according to Delaney.

Salaries in selected cities. The overall aver- age salary for an import/export analyst is $71,200, according to the ERI Economic Resource Institute’s Salary Assessor (see Table 1). The ERI’s Salary As- sessor includes data as compiled from available published wage and salary survey sources.

In a major port city such as Los Angeles, the av- erage salary for an import/export analyst is $78,316 and the average salary for import/export clerks is $49,689.

The overall average salary for an import/export clerk is $45,651. The highest-paying city for both job titles is New York, at $82,597 for the analyst and $52,262 for the clerk.

Pay by title. An import/export analyst earns a median $52,204, according to data from Payscale (see Table 2). The pay range from Payscale com- pensation data comes from salary surveys from a wide range of industries and geographic locations. The data is validated by a survey system and com- pensation data team and falls within age require- ments, according to Payscale.

Table 2

Pay for Import/Export Professionals


by Title


Export Markets


Export Sales





Import Manager













Salary range

$39,827 – $86,486

$47,344 – $111,504

$37,326 – $95,589

$34,784 – $77,138

$28,521 – $50,596

$27,145 – $49,405


$0 – $9,817

$0 – $58,723

$0 $17,920

$0 – $6,411

$0 – $2,433

$0 – $2,591

Profit sharing

$1,340 – $9,696


$1,017 – $5,896

$277.50 – $5,000




$4 0, 02 8 – $9 0, 19 7

$4 7, 56 9 – $1 41 ,9 14

$ 0 $3 7, 50 0

$ 3 1, 31 7 – $7 8, 34 4

$2 7, 04 7 – $4 9, 8 8 5

$2 4, 01 3 – $4 7, 8 0 3

Source: Payscale

A BNA Graphic/rssf2107

March 2015


(No. 3)


Import/export analyst job responsibilities in- clude arranging communications and shipments between a sales group and its customers. These analysts are employed by a variety of companies that distribute products, according to Payscale.

ence in importing and exporting, according to Pay- scale. Most companies also require some experience in warehouse management or another form of managing experience, Payscale said.

The typical career path for an import/export analyst is to go on to the job of import manager, according to Payscale.

For more information: The ERI Economic Research Insti- tute’s Salary Assessor desktop software reports competi- tive salary, incentive, and base compensation ranges for over 6,100 job titles and 7,900 geographic locations in the US and Canada when combined with the Geographic Assessor. Call 800-627-3697 or visit http:// Data from can be found online at http:// Learn more about GlobeTrade at

The median salary for an import manager is $60,810. An import manager is generally ex- pected to have at least a high-school diploma or equivalent and a minimum of five years of experi-

Surveys Report More Pay, Demand for IT Help Desk Professionals

The help desk, desktop support or service desk field is a growing one, with substantial demand for professionals who can handle the technical skills

The help desk is needed to support the many technologies that businesses increasingly rely on, according to Meador. ‘‘The greatest asset to any company is the help desk, because everyone has a

required for the job, according to two salary sur- veys.

‘‘The field is growing rapidly,’’ Ivy Meadors, CEO of High Tech Solutions, a consulting firm for call center and technical support help desk opera- tions, told Bloomberg BNA.

Meadors helped to create one of the first help desks for a large communications firm in 1983, and is also a co-founder of the Customer Service and Support Professionals (CSSP) group, a profes- sional organization.

device, BYOD, and so on, and everyone needs help with it,’’ Meador said.

Not enough skilled workers. Adding to the difficulty is that there are simply not enough skilled professionals to fill the positions, according to Meadors. ‘‘There’s a shortage of skills, especially in Seattle. The University of Washington is trying to pump people out as fast as possible and Bellevue College also offers classes that involve teaching specific help desk skills,’’ she said.

Booming growth in help desks. The help desk field is growing exponentially, according to Meadors. Technology trends such as cloud comput- ing, mobility and BYOD (bring your own device) translate into a greater need for help desk profes- sionals to manager security, privacy and storage for the organization, according to Meadors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the job outlook to grow at a pace of 17 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average. The growth stems from the need for support services as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software, according to BLS.

There is also a demand for help desk profession- als in the Midwest and the Northeast, with the skills as difficult to find, Meadors said. ‘‘There is a demand across the nation. The help desk is hot,’’ she said.

Several levels of technicians. Companies are finding it difficult to find skilled professionals for help desk positions, according to the ‘‘HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report’’ from HDI, an as- sociation for technical service and support profes- sionals. The online survey was completed by 1,369 desktop support professionals representing 30 in- dustries.


BNA March 2015


(No. 3)

Table 1

It found that in 2012, 59 percent of organiza- tions reported their desktop support and service desk teams were separate, but this dropped to 52 percent in 2014, the HDI survey said.

Salary ranges for desktop support professionals





Dedicated Desktop




Service desk workers typically have better com- munication skills, according to Meadors. A service desk will handle matters such as setting up a ser- vice call, while a help desk handles troubleshoot- ing for devices, which requires more technical knowledge.

Support Manager

Distributed Desktop




Support Manager





Suppor t Technician








Suppor t








‘‘Help desk people don’t like to talk on the

Suppor t


phone, but they earn more for their technical skills,’’ Meador said.

Suppor t Team Lead




Source: HDI

A BNA Graphic/rssf2108

To help ease the shortage, nearly a third of or- ganizations allow some of their technicians to work from home, the survey found.

Help desk is a first step for some. Working at the help desk is considered by some to be a step- ping stone to working at a service desk, according to Meadors.

Most desktop support teams (63 percent) in-

clude more than one level of desktop support tech- nician, according to the HDI survey.

Desktop support technicians at the senior level earn an average of $56,226 and have two more years of experience than those at the junior level, according to the HDI survey (see Table 1). A junior- level support technician is paid an average of


‘‘They will get certification in ITIL and want to work at the service desk,’’ she said.

ITIL, formerly known as the Information Technol- ogy Infrastructure Library, is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on align- ing IT services with the needs of business.

It was originally developed from a set of recom- mendations by the U.K.’s Government’s Central Communications and Telecommunications Agency.

More than half, 57 percent, of companies have dedicated desktop support managers, who earn an average of $80,015, according to the HDI survey.

Companies also need to consider the cost impli- cations of the different levels of technicians, ac- cording to Meadors.

At 23 percent of firms, the desktop support man- agers also oversee other areas, such as support centers, network support or server support, and earn $78,820 on average, the HDI survey said.

Organizations look at how much it costs to call into the help desk, which might be $150 per call, she said. ‘‘For more advanced people, it costs $300 to $500,’’ she said.

Slightly less than half, 48 percent, of organiza- tions have directors of desktop support, who have about 13 years of IT support experience and are paid $106,744.

Rising starting salaries. Projected starting salaries for help desk positions increased as much as 6.4 percent in 2015, according to the ‘‘2015 Salary Guide’’ from Robert Half Technology.

Desktop and service desk differences. Or- ganizations are training frontline agents to handle desktop support, as well, according to the HDI sur- vey.

The salary data is based on ‘‘thousands of full- time and interim placements’’ made by Robert Half Technology. The salary ranges reflect starting pay, and do not include bonuses or other forms of com- pensation.

March 2015


(No. 3)


Table 2 Salary ranges for technical services, help desk and technical support positions by title
Table 2
Salary ranges for technical services, help desk and technical support positions
by title
% change
$ 76,500 – $109,000
$ 80,500 – $114,750
Desktop Support Analyst
$ 49,750 – $ 73,000
$ 52,000 – $ 77,000
Systems Administrator
$ 62,250 – $ 96,500
$ 65,750 – $100,500
Systems Engineer
$ 76,750 – $111,250
$ 80,250 – $117,500
Messaging Administrator
$ 68,500 – $ 99,750
$ 72,500 – $105,000
Help Desk Tier 3
$ 53,000 – $ 68,500
$ 55,250 – $ 74,000
Help Desk Tier 2
$ 42,000 – $ 54,500
$ 43,750 – $ 58,000
Help Desk Tier 1
$ 33,000 – $ 44,250
$ 34,000 – $ 47,250
$ 52,250 – $ 83,000
$ 54,250 – $ 87,250
PC Technician
$ 32,250 – $ 47,500
$ 33,750 – $ 49,750
Business Continuity Analyst
$ 87,750 – $125,000
$ 92,500 – $132,250
Source: Robert Half Technology
A BNA Graphic/rssf2109
For a help desk tier 3 professional, the salary
range rose 6.4 percent to reach $55,250 to
$74,000 (see Table 2).
the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
designation, the guide said.
For more information: Find out more about High Tech
High Touch Solutions at
Help desk personnel need problem-solving,
communication and interpersonal skills, along
with patience and a customer-friendly attitude, ac-
cording ot the Robert Half Technology guide. They
also need a strong technical understanding of the
various hardware, software and networking sys-
tems being supported, the guide said.
Learn more about Customer Service and Support Profes-
sionals (CSSP) at
The ‘‘HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report: can
be found at
The ‘‘2015 Salary Guide’’ from Robert Half Technology can
be found at
Tiers of help desk professionals. A tier 1 help
desk professional has less than two years of expe-
rience and may require an associates’ degree or
coursework at a technical school, according to the
guide. This level takes initial phone or email enqui-
ries and handles relatively simple issues, and earns
between $34,000 and $47,250.
BBNA’s HR Benchmarks Survey!
Tier 2 positions require two to four years of work
experience and may require a bachelor’s degree
or a two-year degree plus experience, according to
the Robert Half Technology guide. This level re-
solves more complex issues, and earns a range of
$43,750 to $58,000, which is up 5.4 percent from
the previous year.
Bloomberg BNA cordially invites you to
take part in our highly respected annual HR
Benchmarks Survey. In exchange for your
valuable time and insight, we will be
pleased to send you a complimentary elec-
tronic copy of the full survey report, HR De-
partment Benchmarks and Analysis 2015-
2016, as well as electronic copies of
Bloomberg BNA’s reports on 2015 Thanks-
giving Holiday Practices and 2015 Year-
End Holiday Practices.
Tier 3 professionals tend to require four or more
years of help desk experience, a bachelor’s degree
in computer science or related field and/or a pro-
fessional certification, such as HDI’s Customer Ser-
vice Representative or Support Center Analyst or
To take part in the survey, please fill it out
online at
SE/?SID=SV_3gTPMwNd09zkf0p by
March 6, 2015.


BNA March 2015


(No. 3)

News Briefs

EBRI Survey Reports Most Workers Satisfied But Want Change in Mix of Benefits and Wages

for constant change, companies must be ready for high turnover.

The majority of workers are satisfied with the health benefits they have, but nearly one-third are interested in changing the mix of benefits and wages they currently have through their employ- ers, according to research from Employee Benefit Research Institute (ERBI,

The report, ‘‘Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey,’’ found that nearly 70 percent of employees say they are satisfied for now, but 19 percent said they would give up health benefits for high wages, while 12

percent said they would give up wages for health benefits.

The report is based on data from the 2013 and 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey conducted by EBRI and Greenwald & Asso- ciates.

She said hiring in waves or ‘‘classes’’ helps fill workplaces with fresh talent.

‘‘Once employees are hired, accelerate the on- boarding process to make the most of the time they do have, and encourage employees to be honest about their goals at the company,’’ she said. ‘‘As the modern job seeker becomes the modern job hopper, staying ahead of the curve means fighting turnover with a smart, savvy re- cruiting strategy.’’

When employees do leave, Kasper said, em- ployers should stay in close contact with these ‘‘alumni’’ for future employment opportunities.

The study found that higher compensation re- mains a key driver of turnover: 61 percent of re- spondents said that they would leave their current job for higher compensation, followed by better lo- cation (42 percent), work-life balance (38 percent), health benefits (36 percent) and opportunities for growth (35 percent).

Research Shows Household Income Rose In 2014, But Not From Wage Increases

The willingness to forgo health benefits for more money may reflect the desire for real wage growth, according to EBRI. Even so, most workers said that

benefits remains an important criteria in choosing a job, the survey found.

Rebounding Job Market Has Employees Looking for Better Opportunities, Study Says

Household income continues on a slow re- bound, up 3.3 percent from December 2013 to December 2014, the largest amount in nearly eight years, according to analysis from Sentier Re- search (

A ‘‘significant factor contributing to the large in- crease in median income’’ was mainly due to fall- ing energy prices, rather than wage growth, Gor- don Green of Sentier Resarch said in a press re- lease.

With the economic upturn spurring employee optimism about the job market, half of workers have their eye on a better job opportunity and 45 percent would leave their current position for a new job, even if they are happy there, states the fifth annual Jobvite ‘‘Job Seeker Nation Study: In- side the Mind of the Modern Job Seeker.’’

The Jobvite survey of 1,282 workers found 60 percent currently are optimistic about job opportu- nities.

The December 2014 median income of $54,417 is 1.5 percent lower than the median income of $55,228 in June 2009, which is the end of the re- cent recession and beginning of the economic re- covery, and 3.2 percent lower than the median in- come of $56,237 in December 2007, when the re- cession began.

Kimberley Kasper, chief marketing officer at the San Mateo, Calif.-based social recruiting and ap- plicant tracking software company, told Bloomberg BNA that knowing the modern job seeker’s need

March 2015