By Michael Degan, Editor, Fluid Power Journal —
Most fluid power professionals are satisfied with their jobs, according to a survey by the International Fluid Power Society and Fluid Power Journal.
The biennial survey reflected the overall job satisfaction shown in a 2019 survey. But the 2021 findings showed some realignment in the levels of satisfaction.
Of 134 responses to the April 1 to June 30 survey, 28% said they were very satisfied, while 37% were satisfied, down from 50% in 2019. Another 28% were somewhat satisfied in 2021, up from 24% in 2019.
In another jump over the 2019 survey findings, 35% of fluid power professionals have not received a raise and do not expect one this year. That figure is up from 28% in 2019. However, 22% have received or expect a raise of 1-2% this year, up from 13% in 2019.
For a raise in the 2-3% range, 19% received or expect one this year, down from 28% two years ago. In the 3-4% range, 11% received or expect a raise this year, down from 14% in 2019.
Salaries for fluid power professionals are generally unchanged from two years ago. This year and in 2019, about 34% reported salaries of $100,000 to $200,000. While 17% said their salaries ranged from $90,000 to $99,000 in 2019, 10% reported compensation in that range this year.
However, the number reporting salaries in the $70,000 to $79,000 range doubled from more than 6% in 2019 to over 13% this year.
More than half of the 2021 respondents, 54%, said their compensation is fair.
The 2021 responses reflected growth in IFPS certification. Over 70% said they hold a certification, up from 54% in 2019. More than half of the 2021 respondents, 54%, hold a hydraulic specialist certification, while 22% hold pneumatic specialist. Twenty-six percent hold no certification, down from 41% in 2019. This year’s survey also reflected an increase in certifications for mobile hydraulic mechanic, from 7% in 2019 to 17%.
Most 2021 respondents, 56%, said they did not receive additional pay after obtaining a certification.
Demographic findings from the survey gave a picture of an industry in flux with an aging population of fluid power professionals. Nearly half the respondents, 49%, have worked in the industry seven years or less, while 21%, have worked in fluid power more than 25 years. Twenty-nine percent have worked in the industry between eight and 25 years.
Nearly half of the respondents, 45%, were over age 50, while 36% are under age 40.
Not surprisingly, nearly all the respondents, 95%, were men. Most respondents were either engineers or sales people, while 37% reported working in technical or specialist jobs.
The complete survey findings are below.