MCAA says salaries up 4.7% this year

Oct. 22, 2007

According to a survey conducted by the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA), 2006 salaries were up an average of 3.8% across the 70 positions of the report over 2005. This year, salaries increased an average of 4.7% and incentive compensation was also up an average of 15%. Incumbents in virtually every position were awarded incentive compensation.

As always, there were changes in the participant base this year which make comparisons problematic. This year, 74% of the reporting population stayed the same, including most of the major companies. No larger companies (over $50MM in sales volume) left the report, while several more joined that sales volume group. This year’s reporting base was 19% larger (by number of participating companies) than in 2006 and accounts for 7.3% more incumbents in the report. It might be inaccurate to conclude, therefore, that there was an expansion in the employee population based solely on this report.

Because the reporting population is relatively stable, the Association believes the overall trends in compensation appear to accurately reflect the industry. Base compensation seemed to be well up over 2006. Base compensation increases ranged from 2.4% for Technical Marketing & Sales Support  employees to 6.7% for management level positions.

Field Sales personnel showed the greatest increase in incentive compensation at 14.6% average change over 2006 and an impressive 38% increase in the value of commission payments. On the other end of the spectrum, design and manufacturing engineering saw decreases (on average) in incentive compensation and these positions typically do not receive commission payments. Software engineers, however, did show a very healthy increase in incentives (although only a small number of companies report in these job categories.

Projections for structure and merit increases continue to show very small changes in the compensation structure (salary ranges where used). Virtually all increases are being awarded based on merit. The total compensation (structure and merit) forecasts for 2008 are consistently lower than “actual” compensation plan changes reported for 2007 in the three areas tracked (management, sales, and engineering).

Based on requests from member companies and building upon a previous “mini-survey” run by MCAA, the Association added an hourly wage rate report to the published data this year. Forty-three companies reported in this segment, showing an average rate just under $17 for regular hourly employees and approximately $13 for temporary hourly workers. The survey also shows that 62% of the respondents use temporary hourly workers.

The MCAA survey is conducted each summer and published in September. Each of the jobs reported includes information on the numbers of companies matching the defined responsibilities, the lowest base rate reported by participants, the highest base rate reported and the average base rate (both weighted and unweighted). The data is reported by company size wherever possible, showing the number of companies, the number of incumbents and the range of percentiles (25-50-75). The weighted average base rate is shown by region (north, south, east and west) when possible. Incentive and commission averages with total compensation calculations are included along with the salary ranges as reported and averaged for the reporting companies. This year one non-member company also contributed data to the survey—for the other 49 participating MCAA members, the cost ($2000 for non-members) was included in the dues paid to the Association. Every other year, the Association also conducts a benefits survey and this will be included in the Report in 2008.

The 2008 surveys will be fielded in June, 2008.  For more information, contact MCAA at [email protected] .