As an appendix to the 2011 survey on pay for salaried engineers, we wanted to measure the impact of a change of employment on the level of responsibility for the new position (same, lower, higher) and the according change in salary brought about by the new position.
As a whole, among those who changed positions, 51% took a position with senior level responsibility, 39% had the same level and only 10% took a position with reduced responsibility.
Our first finding was that this overall trend changed depending on whether the change of job was voluntary or not, and whether there was a change of company.
In fact, 65% of people who took another position within the same company increased their level of responsibility, while this is only true for 42% of people who changed companies and 33% of those who left because of reorganization, closure or job cuts etc.
While 27% of respondents who remained in the same business changed position to one at the same level of responsibility, this is only true for 49% of those who voluntarily changed companies and 46% of those who had to leave their job.
Regarding the respondents who changed positions for one with less responsibility, 7% stayed in the same company, 9% voluntarily changed companies and 21% had to leave their position.
Engineers who changed positions received an average salary increase of 8.1% while those who remained in their position received on average an increase of 3.7%.
Engineers who took a new position in the same company received an increase of 8.1%. This mostly accounts for the fact that a large percentage (65%) took a position with greater responsibility. The respondents who took a position in a new company saw their salaries increase by 10%. However, only 42% of them had a position with an increased level of responsibility. Engineers who were forced to leave their jobs due to closure, reorganization, layoff, sale of the company or for other reasons only saw a limited increase in salary (2% on average).
We observed that those who currently hold a position with a higher level of responsibility than in their previous position received a 10.9% increase on average, whereas those who accepted a position with the same level only received a 6.2% increase. The average increase for people who took a job with a lower level of responsibility is only 1.1%. Table 1 illustrates the findings.
We also observed that for positions with the same level of responsibility, a change in company meant a larger increase in salary. In fact, those who changed employers and took a position with an increased level of responsibility received a 12.3% salary increase compared with 10.6% for those who remained with the same employer. Additionally, people who worked for a new employer in a position with the same level of responsibility saw an increase of 9.4%, compared to a 3.6% increase for those who stayed with the same employer at levels of equivalent responsibility.
People who were forced to leave their position saw lower increases in salary (6.9% for a position with a higher level of responsibility and 0.5% for a position with the same level). People who were forced to leave and who took a position with a less responsibility saw a drop in salary levels by -4.2%.
The numbers show that voluntarily changing companies for a position with the same level of responsibility meant the best salary. In most cases, the candidate was in a good position to negotiate and not accept a change of employment unless it meant an appreciable growth in salary.
Two out of every three times, an internal change of position meant a promotion. By taking advantage of their knowledge of the business and the recognition of their skills, these people managed to make their career progress successfully.