“这是最美好的时代，这是最糟糕的时代。”[z2] 查尔斯•狄更斯的经典语录用来形容去年工程师职业的境遇是再贴切不过的了。工程师们担心着工作被外包了，感受到了明显的被忽视，承担着自认为的超时工作，但他们也拥有比其他许多职业更高的报酬和职业满意度。 如此谜题促使EDN策划了首次工资与职业调查，我们相信这也是迄今世界范围内展开的首次调查。让我们以此次调查结果的综述开始我们的第4期全球年度报道吧。当然，同往常一样，杂志上的内容只是完整的在线全球报道的一小部分。
一整个夏天，EDN和我们的当地全球版都在进行着这项工资与职业满意度调查。在美国的EDN 集中于北美，EDN Europe 负责西欧， EDN Japan 司职日本， EDN China 专心于中国大陆，EDN Asia 则分别调查印度、韩国、东亚和台湾地区。这次调查是通过 e-mail进行的。我们的网站新开的职业栏目提供了我们搜集到的完整信息。从网上可以获得我们组织这次调查的复杂细节和所有的调查数据。在这里，我们将收到的反馈中的最有趣的突出细节据实呈现给大家。
表 1 列出了来自北美的调查结果。令人吃惊的是北美的绝大多数受访者都觉得还凑合甚至非常满意。选择非常满意的有 30%，这一数字要逊于 EDN Asia调查的所有地区。查看在线数据，你会发现只有印度以 27.2%与北美接近。来自欧洲的数据也是积极的，附文 《英国工程师享受着技术性工作和生活质量》报道了几名这样的工程师。相反的是，日本只有 2.8% 的工程师觉得非常满意。除北美以外，职业满意度曲线呈现出传统的带状。
一位欧洲受访者说：“多种不同学科综合的工程职业是最令人满意的职业；一边探索一边塑造——真不可思议！[z5] ”一位台湾工程师说：“ （做工程师）有机会开发新的产品，了解我自己的职业技能。”一位东南亚受访者则说：“工作中总是有新的问题要解决，充满了挑战。”只有中国对满意度有明显不同的看法，其中“提升机会”和“收入”占据头两位。
日本工程师对当前工作最困难挑战的回答多少有些令人吃惊。 他们提到了时间紧、任务重、技术难度大，但一些工程师不约而同地提到了“职业中期工程师的短缺”。 另一方面，调查显示工程师的平均年龄41.2岁，做工程师年限平均15年，平均从事当前工作7年以上——这大概就是所谓的职业中期吧[z6] 。
使能技术和末端应用的复杂性，加上紧张的日程，使工作强度成为全球问题，影响着职业挑战与职业不满问题。 我们询问了工程师每周的工作时间，结果汇总在表 2 中。他们的每周工作时间从 43.5小时到54小时。超过10小时的差别似乎并不大， 但它代表了一个工作周的约 25% 。如果研究在线数据，你会发现不同地区的时间范围更大。例如，在日本，超过10% 的受访者每周工作超过60小时。
详细的反馈和其他数据表明，工作负荷比Table 2 的描述更严俊。 附文 《韩国工程师面临强制性职业选择》把这种职业描绘成一年365天的工作。 一位北美工程师选择“工作与生活兼顾”为关键挑战，他说：“老板需要我的时间总是比我能给予的多，结果就是下调我的绩效，因为我不能付出其他人同样多的时间。”许多台湾人把超时工作作为与报酬紧密相关的问题提出来。
对不满意问题的回答， EDN Asia 调查的一位印度工程师说，“我不满意的是公司的薪酬结构。我仍未加入合适的开发项目，我被迫接受管理层的安排，我的成绩没有得到承认。”
对我们在网上提供的全部报酬图表的进一步研究会得出稍有不同的结论。例如， 13%的北美工程师年薪9万至10万美元，在日本，9.8% 的工程师年收入8.4万至10.1万美元。而且，大多数日本工程师收入只是稍低于8.4万美元。看一下这一平均值附近的地区，就会发现北美平均工资并没有超出差不多2.7万美元[z8] 这么多。北美与日本工资分布的显著差异来自高端。表4 表明，在北美，6%的工程师年薪15万美元，看看网上数据 ，就会发现日本同样收入的工程师只占不到0.5%。
没必要推测其他地区间的差异，只能接受这样的事实：除日本外，亚洲地区的工程师收入远远落后于北美。事实是，在EDN Asia 调查的人中，还没听说谁的收入超过9万美元。
但总体看，我们的调查还是为我们勾勒出一副明亮的图画。 表5 列出了年均增长百分比，印度居首，为11.5 %，但即使是泛亚的典型平均增长幅度也是欧洲、日本和北美的两倍。在印度，超过30%的工程师年均增长10%至20% 。
我们也询问了过去12个月中公司有无新招员工的情况。结果也是积极的：印度有 93.6% 而北美有73%回答为有。当然，我们只是询问了受访者过去12个月其公司是否招了人，但并未问及工作岗位所在何方。重温一下先前北美工程师对新的工作都在流向海外的担心，实际上89% 的北美受访者指出这些工作就在北美。
In the last three Global Reports, we’ve focused on globally important applications, global standards and regulations, and hot enabling technologies. when we started planning this year’s report, However, we were also in the midst of conducting our first global salary-and-career survey. What better way to kick off Global Report 4 than to focus on the profession. we also offer a great technical article focusing on how engineers use reference designs around the globe.
Globally, engineers share similar gratification and concern
First global salary survey shows North American engineers receive higher compensation than even counterparts in established regions, such as Japan and Western Europe.
By Maury Wright, Editorial Director, EDN Worldwide
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” The classic Charles Dickens quotation could easily have applied to the situation in the engineering profession last year. Engineers are worrying about outsourcing of their jobs, feeling decidedly underappreciated, and working what they believe are excessive hours. But engineers receive higher compensation than workers in many other professions, and job satisfaction is high. This conundrum led EDN to conduct its first salary-and-career survey, and we believe it is the only such survey ever fielded worldwide. A summary presentation of the results here kicks off our fourth annual Global Report, and, as in the past, the print offering is a small part of the complete online Global Report.
Over the summer, EDN and our regional global editions conducted the salary and-career-satisfaction survey. EDN in the United States focused on North America, EDN Europe focused on Western Europe, EDN Japan focused on Japan, and EDN China focused on Mainland China. EDN Asia fielded surveys separately in India, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. We conducted the surveys via e-mail. We are hosting the complete set of information that we gathered in a new career section of our Web site. On the Web, you will find the intricate details on how we fielded the surveys as well as all of the data. Here, we’ll take a look at details that stand out along with some of the most interesting verbatim responses that we gathered.
The combination of outsourcing and staff reductions has left North American engineers worrying about their future. Meanwhile, new engineering opportunities abound in parts of Asia. The situation seems ripe for a vastly different set of results when you ask engineers globally how satisfied they are with their career. And you might expect poor job satisfaction in North America.
Table 1 shows the results from North America. Surprisingly, most respondents in North America feel somewhat satisfied to very satisfied. The 30% that chose very satisfied dwarfs the response in that category from all of the regions that EDN Asia. Check the online details, and you will see that only India came close to North America at 27.2%. Europe also delivered positive numbers, and the sidebar “UK engineers relish working with technology and quality of life” chronicles several such engineers. Conversely, in Japan only 2.8% feel very satisfied. Excluding North America, the job-satisfaction curve has the traditional bell shape.
Looking at verbatim responses from engineers in North America, it’s hard to match those responses to the table. There are plenty of positive responses, but there are plenty of negative ones.
Outsourcing is near the top of the list of complaints. One North American respondent noted as a concern, “Job security—my company generally takes attrition in the US and does massive hiring in China and India. I’m even hearing of start-up companies that want to outsource all product development to India or China to conserve capital.” Outsourcing isn’t just prevalent in North America. Japanese respondents indicated that 18.7% of their design work is outsourced.
Still, in North America and Japan the prevailing mood is positive. And the primary reasons seem to be the satisfaction of tackling difficult problems, learning challenging technologies, and creating useful products (see sidebar “Technology creations drive Japanese engineers”). The North American survey identified “technical challenge” and “feeling of accomplishment” as the top two factors influencing job satisfaction.
The feelings extend to the global engineering community. An Indian respondent said, “I have been able to put most of my knowledge and skills in engineering to productive use. As I have worked in very small companies, mostly start-ups, I have been extremely hands-on and see the companies grow very visibly, and that has given me the most satisfaction.”
A respondent from Europe noted, “A multidisciplinary engineering career has got to be the most satisfying career; how else can you help mould the World whilst you learn how it works—magical!” An engineer in Taiwan added, “There is an opportunity to develop new products and to realize my professional expertise,” and a respondent in Southeast Asia stated, “Work is challenging in a way that there’s always new problems to solve.” Only China had a decidedly different take on satisfaction, choosing “advancement opportunities” and “benefits” as the two most important factors.
Challenges in the engineering day
As for the most difficult challenge in their current jobs, Japanese engineers yielded some surprising answers. They mentioned the expected time crunch, excessive workload, and technical challenges, but several responses mirrored one respondent’s “shortage of midcareer engineers.” On the other hand, the survey revealed an average age of 41.2 years, with an average of 15 years as an engineer and more than seven in the current job—presumably a midcareer description.
Several Japanese respondents also noted managerial issues. One respondent stated, “divergence in consciousness with management,” and another replied, “arguing with the management team.” Rightfully or wrongfully, many view Japan as a region in which engineers once wouldn’t question authority, but that’s not the case today. Old generalizations would also suggest that motivation would never be an issue in discipline-centric Japan, yet respondents identified issues with lack of motivation.
Without question, engineers globally feel time-to-market pressure and the inevitably compressed schedules that are exacerbated by increasingly more complex technology. With regard to such challenges, an engineer from Southeast Asia named “customer product deadline and debugging the complex boards.” Keeping up with technology responses were among the most popular among North American respondents. One noted, “keeping on top of the current technologies” as the biggest challenge. “[I] finished college over 15 years ago, technological advances are happening all the time, and keeping abreast of the latest and greatest is time-consuming itself.” the respondent noted.
Long days, long weeks
Complexities of enabling technologies and end applications combine with tight schedules to make workload a global problem that straddles the issues of job challenges and job dissatisfaction. We asked engineers about the number of hours that they work per week. Table 2 summarizes the results; the hours they work range from 43.5 to 54 per week. The gap of more than 10 hours seems small, but it represents approximately 25% of the workweek. If you peruse the online data, you will find wide ranges of responses in each region. In Japan, for instance, more than 10% of the respondents work more than 60 hours per week.
Verbatim responses and other data indicate a more trying workload situation than Table 2 depicts. The sidebar “Korean engineers face mandated career choices” paints the profession as a 365-day-a-year job in that region. A North American respondent chose “work-life balance” as a key challenge, adding, “My employer is always wanting more of my time than I can give and then downgrades my performance because I cannot give as many hours as others.” A number of Taiwanese respondents note overtime work as an issues especially relative to their pay.
Other factors in job dissatisfaction range from complaints about management to lack of recognition and decision-making power. Japanese engineers’ sources of job dissatisfaction match in other regions, but responses that stood out relate to career track, skill set, and decision making. One respondent noted, “My technical capabilities are too narrow.” Several mention the gap between the job at hand and the job that they would prefer to perform. Perhaps the most notable response, however, is “not authorized to make a decision.” Engineers globally believe in their ability to do their job and make good decisions, and Japan has among the deepest of experienced-talent pools.
Career track appears to be a big issue in China. According to the sidebar “Chinese electronic engineers seek transformation before the age of 35,” Chinese engineers seek to move into marketing or sales roles by midcareer, but some Korean engineers would prefer to stay on a technical career path but are forced into management.
The engineering profession in other parts of Asia is far younger both figuratively and literally than in Japan. That fact translates to lower pay, less job choice, and, potentially, greater dissatisfaction.
Responding to the dissatisfaction question, an Indian engineer from our EDN Asia survey noted, “I’m dissatisfied because of the pay structure of my company. I am still not into a proper development project. I’m forced take on the assignments mandated by management. My achievements are not recognized.”
But the positive responses in India outnumber the negative. Remembering that India is a newcomer in prevalent relatively well-paying engineering jobs, it’s still humbling to read a reason behind job satisfaction such as “sense of accomplishment and, of course, money for bread.”
Compensation tops concerns globally
Not surprisingly, making a living and the salary top the list of concerns for engineers globally. Our survey has a lot of data on salaries, and you should explore the Web data for details. The highlights follow.
First, we offer a disclaimer. We conducted all of the surveys with salary questions pegged to local currency. We converted the amounts to US dollars. The conversions were accurate in August 2007 when we compiled the data but will vary—possibly greatly—over the long and even short term.
North American engineers won’t like a quick generalization of the results in Table 3. That data—$90,000 annual average salary—screams “North American engineers are overpaid.” The inequity between average salaries in North America and those in new engineering markets, such as China and India, will surprise few engineers. Moreover, engineers in those regions generally benefit from a very low cost of living. But engineers in mature markets, such as Japan and Europe, trail North American engineers by a broad margin, as well. And the cost of living in parts of Japan and Europe are higher than the cost of living in much of North America.
A more detailed look at the full compensation charts that we present on the Web paints a bit different picture. For instance, 13% of North American engineers make $90,000 to $100,000. In Japan, 9.8% make roughly $84,000 to $101,000. Moreover, the bulk of the Japanese engineers are clustered in groups making slightly less than $84,000. A look at those regions around the average North American salary does not suggest an almost $27,000 gap in average salary.
The big difference in North American and Japanese salary distribution really comes at the high end of the range. Table 4 shows that 6% of the engineers in North America make more than $150,000. Check the Web, and you will see that the percentage of such earners in Japan is approximately 0.5%.
In North America, engineers have surely benefited from stock options and other forms of bonuses that boost salary. That compensation could partially explain the difference. Again, however, close perusal of the online data provides more hints. In the North American survey, a greater number of respondents are in the R&D and engineering-management categories than those from Japan, whereas the Japanese survey has a greater percentage of design-engineering respondents. The European responses fall between the North America and Japanese responses, with 3% earning more than $150,000 and a relatively high management response.
There is no way to rationalize the gap in other regions, other than to accept that engineering salaries across Asia, except Japan, significantly trail North American salaries. The facts are that $90,000 salaries are simply unheard of in the regions that EDN Asia surveyed.
Asian raises top other regions
The good news for engineers across Asia is that the gap will close as engineers from India to Korea are getting greater annual increases percentagewise than Japanese and North American engineers. A number of verbatim responses lament low pay and nonexistent or small raises. One respondent from Taiwan stated, “There have been no increments in salary for a long time. In the long run, my salary might even be reduced.”
Overall, however, our survey paints a brighter picture. Table 5 shows the annual average increase by percentage. India tops the list at 11.5 %, but even the typical average increases across Pan-Asia come in at about double the average increases in Europe, Japan, and North America. In India, more than 30% of workers received a 10 to 20% raise.
We asked the respondents in every region whether their companies had laid off engineers in the previous 12 months. Table 6 depicts the results. Frankly, the results are pretty good. Most companies lay off some amount of workers, either to eliminate employees that aren’t superstars yet aren’t performing poorly enough to fire or they scrap one project at the expense of a competing project.
We also asked respondents whether their companies had hired engineers in the previous 12 months. The answers were uniformly positive, with India at 93.6% and North America at 73%. Of course, we only asked the respondents if their companies hired engineers in the prior 12 months not where the jobs were located. To relive those of you in North America worrying that the new jobs were overseas, 89% of the North American respondents indicated that the jobs were located in North America.