Point of Beginning

Are you satisfied with your salary?

March 25, 2003
Are you satisfied with your salary?

Like it or not, everyone needs money to survive in today’s world. And primarily, people get money by providing professional services if they are qualified, or doing some other type of job. So, the topic of salaries is something that almost everyone can talk about. And although, almost everyone would say that they wouldn’t mind if their salary were increased, we wanted to know if surveyors were generally satisfied with their salaries and the overall status of salaries in their profession. This poll was POB’s most responded to yet with 302 respondents. Below are their thoughts.

About 44 percent of surveyors are satisfied with their current salary, not bad considering the too-familiar, half-joking comments: “You’ll never get rich as a surveyor” and “I didn’t get into surveying for the money.” Fifty-six (56) percent of surveyors said that they were not satisfied with their current salaries.

The reported number of surveyors who are satisfied with their salaries is even more interesting when contrasted with the results for the next question. When asked if surveyors as a whole get paid appropriately, a full 86 percent responded that they did not. Only 8 percent felt that surveyors generally are suitably compensated. And 6 percent were unsure about how to answer this question. When asked if surveyors felt their salaries kept up with inflation, responses were split with 48 percent saying that their salary did keep up, 45 percent saying that it did not and 7 percent admitting to being unsure. The responses to this question line up more closely with the reported percentages of surveyors who are satisfied with their incomes.

Does level of education impact pay? Well, 40.1 percent said that they had a four-year degree, and 38 percent of those said that their salary did increase upon graduation, while 62 percent said that it did not increase. A question that would have been interesting to ask was the effect licensure has on salary.

Another type of education—CEUs—don’t seem to have much effect on salary either. Only 11 percent said their company raises salaries upon completion of CEUs, while 88 percent said their company does not.

Should public and private sector surveyors be paid the same? Sixty-six percent of employees feel that they should be paid the same, while 25 percent feel they should not and 9 percent are unsure.

If surveyors are unsatisfied with their incomes, what do they do about it? Forty-four percent of surveyors have added or changed the services they offer to increase their incomes. Fifty-three percent have not and 5 percent plan to do so soon. Another 22 percent responded that they supplement their incomes with non-surveying activities, 69 percent do not and 9 percent have in past.

When asked if surveyors charge what they feel their surveys are worth, only 18 percent say they do every time; 52 percent do “when they can;” and 26 percent say they are not able to.

Of the total 302 respondents, 260 or 87 percent are land surveyors, 6 or 2 percent are engineers and 36 or 12 percent are both.