As an appendix to our 2011 survey on the remuneration of salaried engineers, we asked engineers how satisfied they were with various aspects of their jobs, namely salary, working conditions, possibility of advancement and job fulfilment, relationships with co-workers and immediate supervisors, and the encouragement and evaluations they received.
Engineers with three or fewer years of experience were even more enthusiastic about this aspect (8.6/10). As well, those working in management (8.4/10) were more satisfied than those in research and development (8.2/10). In addition, engineers in a level F+ position indicated the most satisfaction in this area (8.6/10), while those at level C, the least (8.2/10).
Engineers' satisfaction towards their immediate supervisors decreased slowly, but consistently, depending on their experience: at one end, those with three or fewer years of experience (8.2/10); at the other, those with six or more years (7.8/10).
Satisfaction grew with the number of years of experience, from 7.4/10 among engineers with three or fewer years of experience, to 7.9/10 among those having more than 28 years of experience. Engineers working in the public sector were by far the most satisfied in this area (8.4/10), whereas those in the manufacturing industry (7.3/10) or the information, cultural and IT sectors (7.3/10), the least satisfied. People working in management expressed significantly more satisfaction with their working conditions (7.8/10) than those in engineering (7.6/10). Satisfaction with working conditions grew according to responsibility level, from 7.2/10 among those at level A, to 8.2/10 among those at level F+.
Engineers with a PhD (8.0/10), in particular those working in teaching and research (8.4/10), demonstrated the most satisfaction with this aspect of their job. Conversely, those employed in the information, cultural and IT sectors were the most critical (7.2/10). People not working in engineering (7.7/10) expressed more satisfaction than those in engineering (7.4/10). Satisfaction grew according to responsibility level, from 6.7/10 among those at level A, to 8.6/10 among those at level F+.
In terms of salary, satisfaction levels rose according to the number of years of experience, from 6.6/10 among those with three or fewer, to 7.2/10 among those boasting 16 or more. Engineers working outside Quebec were more satisfied (7.8/10) than those working in the province (between 6.6/10 in Chaudière-Appalaches and 7.4/10 in Outaouais and the rest of Quebec).
Engineers working in “other private sectors” were particularly satisfied with their salary (7.4/10), while those employed in the public sector were the least satisfied in that respect (6.8/10).
People in non-engineering positions were more satisfied (7.3/10) than those working in engineering (7.0/10). Those in management positions were particularly satisfied (7.5/10).
Satisfaction regarding salary rose according to responsibility level, from 6.2/10 for those at level A, to 7.9/10 for those at level F+.
Satisfaction levels in this area were the lowest in the public sector (6.9/10) and the information, cultural and IT sectors (6.9/10), and the highest in engineering consulting (7.3/10). Engineers in teaching and research were considerably less satisfied (6.7/10) than those working in management (7.2/10). Satisfaction grew with responsibility level, from 6.8/10 for those at level A to 7.7/10 for those at level F+.
Satisfaction levels decreased with the number of years of experience, from 6.9/10 among those with three or fewer years of experience, to 6.6/10 among those with 16 or more. Satisfaction in this area was particularly low in the information, cultural and IT industries (6.2/10) and the public sector (6.4/10), and the highest in engineering consulting (7.2/10). People working in non-engineering positions (6.9/10) were more satisfied with their possibility of advancement than those in engineering (6.6/10). Those in management positions were especially satisfied (7.1/10), while those working in research and development were much less optimistic (6.1/10). Satisfaction rose dramatically according to the level of responsibility. Indeed, the satisfaction of engineers in A to D level positions varied from 6.3/10 to 6.6/10, whereas it was 7.4/10 for those at level F and 7.8/10 for those at level F+.
Engineers with more than 22 years of experience were slightly more satisfied with their jobs (7.8/10), while the rest gave a score of 7.6/10. Engineers in the information, cultural and IT sectors (7.4/10) and the manufacturing industry (7.5/10) expressed less job satisfaction than those in other sectors (7.8/10).
Satisfaction levels varied quite a bit depending on the type of position: 7.5/10 for those working in research and development, 7.6/10 for those in engineering, 7.9/10 for those in management and 8.1/10 for those in teaching and research. As a general rule, people in engineering gave a lower score (7.6/10) than those not working in engineering (7.8/10). Lastly, job satisfaction levels grew consistently and quickly according to the responsibility level: from 7.1/10 for those at level A, to 8.5/10 for those at level F+.
The following table shows satisfaction levels at a glance.
Table 1: Engineers' rates of satisfaction with various aspects of their jobs
Overall, the engineers surveyed were relatively satisfied with their jobs (7.7/10). It would seem that the more years of experience they acquire, the more satisfied they are with their salary and working conditions. Likewise, the more their level of responsibility increases, the more satisfied they are with their possibility of advancement and job fulfilment.
The younger engineers expressed the highest satisfaction rate regarding their relationships with their co-workers and immediate supervisors.
However, the aspect that satisfied all respondents the least was the possibility of advancement offered by their workplace (6.7/10). The lowest satisfaction rates were found among those beginning their careers or working in the public or information sectors. This sentiment was also expressed by a larger proportion of engineers working in technical area as opposed to management. This result is completely logical in terms of what happens in the workplace, since the career advancement of engineers working on the technical side stops earlier than for those who go into management. It would appear that changes in satisfaction rates regarding the possibility of advancement are complex and dependant on several factors.