Feature Article - July 2020
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Money Matters

Our 13th Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Respondents with higher levels of education typically tend to report higher average salaries, and 2020 is no exception, with those who have earned master's and advanced degrees earning more than those with bachelor's, who likewise earn more than their counterparts with two-year degrees or no college degree at all. The greatest increase to average salary was reported by respondents with a two-year degree, and those with some college but no degree, with increases of 18.3% and 16.5% respectively. Respondents with a Ph.D. or other advanced degree saw their average salary increase 6.1% to $99,000 in 2020. Those with a master's degree reported a 2.8% increase, to $83,230. And those with a four-year degree reported a 2.2% increase, to an average of $76,860. (See Figure 8.)

Over the past few years, the number of respondents who have reported increases to their salaries has been increasing gradually. Since 2016, when 57.4% of respondents said their salary was higher than in 2015, the number reporting higher salaries has risen steadily, reaching 64.9% who saw their salaries increase in 2019 over 2018. Another 29.4% said their salary was unchanged from 2018 to 2019, and 5.7% reported a decrease. (See Figure 9.)

Respondents tend not to expect salaries to increase at the rate at which they actually do, and so looking forward, more than one-third (35.1%) said they were expecting their salary to increase in 2020, while 64.3% were expecting no change at all. Of course, that information is based on the January Industry Report Survey. With hiring plans and programs on hold and some facilities closed temporarily, many respondents likely either took a salary cut or no longer expect to see increases. We'll get a clearer picture when we ask readers to respond to our 2021 Industry Report Survey.