Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 Salary Survey

The 2009 TMW Salary Survey came out this month. I've written about their survey before, but it's always interesting to take a yearly peek into how everyone else is doing.

Interesting tidbit #1: The highest ranking for "New technology learned about in the last 2 years" was clearly RF Measurement (38%). I guess that makes sense when considering the prevalence of WIFI and Bluetooth devices.

Interesting tidbit #2: There is still no breakout of salaries by geographic area. Too bad.

Interesting tidbit #3: The highest paid group of engineers are those with 30+ years of experience, followed closely by the 20-24 years group and then the 25-29 group. To make sure this wasn't a fluke, I checked the 2008 and 2007 surveys as well - they had similar results.

What does that last tidbit mean? I considered that question for a while & ended up with two guesses:

Optimistic view: In some professions the older you are the less you are worth. In test engineering, the more experience you have the more valuable you are. The engineer's programming skills, knowledge of test circuitry, etc., do not go out of style or get stale.

Pessimistic view: Most engineers are forced out of the profession as they age. The ones that are left are the exceptional few with skills not easily replaced, so they can command higher salaries.

For obvious reasons, I prefer the former over the latter.

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