The results of our 2013 NDT Salary & Benefits survey have been tallied and are now available to the NDT and quality inspection industries at http://www.pqndt.com/resources
The story behind the numbers continues to be the recovery of the U.S. economy. The rising level of industrial activity has led to a higher sense of confidence among NDT professionals in almost every sector (with Defense being one exception), and in most geographic regions.
The results of the survey justify this optimism. The overall NDT profession continues to outperform other industries in terms of employment. While the national unemployment rate improved from 7.8% to 7.0% during 2013, the unemployment rate in NDT was just 4%.
The confidence was not only among workers, but was led by those doing the hiring. Proof of this is the resurgence in Full-Time NDT positions. While the economy was struggling many NDT positions were filled by Contractors, with employers unwilling to make a long-term commitment. In the past two years this trend has been reversed, with a strong rise in Full-Time employment and simultaneous drop in Contract assignments. Since 2011 Full-Time employment among NDT professionals has grown by 7%, an indication that employers are confident of a more stable future.
Compensation has risen as well. Average compensation for Full-Time NDT workers rose more than 4% in 2013, to $102,977. The increase in compensation was approximately the same at all certification levels.
On the downside, Contractor openings saw a reduction of 2% during 2013. This is reflected in a big increase in the number of Contractors who are “very worried” about finding future assignments, which rose to 14% in 2013 from only 8% the previous year. Contractors are also less optimistic about the economic recovery. Less than half of Contractors surveyed (49%) feel secure in their positions, a huge drop from the 66% response just one year ago.
With all signs pointing to the economic recovery continuing, we predict that these positive results in NDT and quality inspection will also carry on. While not all industries or workers are enjoying the same pace of growth, the NDT and quality inspection industries appear to be among those that are playing a key role in the recovery.
The PQNDT Salary and Benefits Survey has been an important benchmark for the NDT industry since its inception in 1994. The survey provides a profile of compensation and benefits in the nondestructive testing field, and examines industry trends by region, industry and NDT certification level.
Be sure to visit http://www.pqndt.com/resources to download a copy of the full results of our 2013 NDT Salary & Benefits survey.