At first glance, the results of Control’s 2017 Salary Survey look like a movie we’ve all seen several times already. The typical process engineer has gotten a little grayer, is a bit nearer to retirement, has more educational and managerial experience, and is earning a bit more, but with a few notable exceptions, he’s much the same guy he always was and confronting the same issues and conditions as in the past.
Unlike the wide-angle view of last year’s reporting where we reflected on changes over the entire 25-year history of the survey, this year we’ve narrowed the focus to cover only the last three years, and this narrower view shows remarkably little change. But the answers to some questions reflect, however obliquely, that this calm can’t last forever. Like every other industry, process automation is only one major political shift of wind, economic downturn, technological breakthrough (here’s looking at you, Internet), or natural disaster away from a seismic shift that will change everything.
But let’s look at the remarkably stable results first.