Putting A Face On Our EE Workforce

Sept. 13, 2004
With signs of a sustained recovery perking up a long-teetering U.S. economy, it begs the question: when will engineering salaries follow suit?

In this special issue, the editors of Electronic Design take their second annual look at the current state of compensation for EEs, as well as the other factors that influence job satisfaction. The information appearing in this issue comes from Electronic Design's 2004 Reader Profile Survey, conducted this past May and June. Like last year, we took a close look at salaries from a variety of perspectives: engineering job functions and titles; the type and size of your company; the region where you work; and your years of experience—along with how incomes are influenced by gender, age, and level of education.

We were pretty sure that your affinity for science-fiction movies and rock music probably hadn't changed much since our last survey. So this year, we asked you about issues of more serious concern, like the outsourcing and offshoring of engineering jobs and the value you place on the benefits provided by your company.

We also wanted to dig deeper into exactly how your compensation is structured. Therefore, in addition to base salaries, we took a look at bonuses and non-cash awards.

Other additions to this year's survey included:

  • Changes in engineering titles and the reasons behind them
  • The number of hours in a typical work week—and where those hours are spent
  • Changes in the structure of design teams and departments
  • The employment outlook at your company and your own interest in changing jobs
  • The factors you consider most important when considering new job opportunities
  • Your company's involvement in outsourcing—and how it affects you and your peers
  • The types of non-cash incentives you expect to receive this year, and the ways you earn them.

Plus, because this is an election year, we asked which political party you feel best represents the interests of the engineering community and why.

We'd like to thank all the readers of Electronic Design who participated in this year's survey. More than 2700 of you shared views and opinions about the issues that matter most to you and your peers. That participation made it possible for us to paint a canvas of the engineering-community landscape in vivid color, with plenty of details.

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