The 2017 Microwaves & RF Salary & Career Report revealed that the RF/microwave industry is relatively stable when comparing the results with those from 2015 and 2016. For example, the average base salary among respondents was $109,533 in 2015. In 2016, that number increased slightly to $110,844. This year, the average base salary was reported to be $112,840.
In addition, 12% of respondents reported some level of job dissatisfaction in 2015, with that number decreasing to 10.3% last year. This year, the percentage of respondents who are dissatisfied with their job is even lower at 9.2%. Furthermore, 9% were actively seeking a new position in 2015. Last year, that number was reported to be 8.5%. This year, only 6.4% said they are actively seeking new employment.
A Call for Youth
The striking similarities between the results from this year with the results from the last two years reveal another significant aspect of the industry. Specifically, 55% of respondents were age 55 and older in 2015. Last year, 40.2% of respondents were age 60 and older, while 44.2% of respondents in this year’s survey are in the same age bracket. While we are surely thankful for this age demographic in the engineering profession, it also does suggest that the industry is in major need of younger engineers.
Specifically, the percentage of respondents under the age of 35 has hovered around 6% in each of the last three surveys. Does that mean that only 6% of engineers in the RF/microwave industry are under age 35? It’s also possible that this low percentage is partially due to younger engineers being less interested in completing our survey. Nonetheless, 6% is still a low number, demonstrating the need for a younger generation of engineers.
Attracting younger engineers should be a focal point of the industry as long as companies are willing to put in the time to help them. The majority of the respondents of this survey believe companies should do exactly that, as 91.5% believe that companies should provide training to entry-level engineers. Furthermore, 56.8% believe there is an engineering shortage. And 89.5% said they would recommend engineering as a career path to a young person looking to choose a profession. One respondent said, “It's been a good profession for me and I believe there will be the need for engineers for years to come.”