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Surveys Article: Salary Survey Correction—Pay By Education

This month’s column takes a look back at this year’s Salary Survey. Thanks to everyone who took part in the 15th annual survey of our membership! Always great to get a check on the pulse of our industry.
However, I do need to issue a correction for a chart on the Demographics page.

This chart has a title of ‘Average Pay By Education Level’, which is correct, but, there is a subheading indicating that the numbers represent only those users who have fewer than five years of experience in the industry. Unfortunately, I was recycling the content layout from a past survey, and did not notice this subheading. The data actually represents all users, from the beginners up to like 50 or 60 years of experience.

BUT, the great news is that, in issuing this correction, I can expand a bit more on the data by providing a finer level of detail on how education and years of experience combine to impact your pay. Please keep in mind that the pay below is in US Dollars and represents a 40 hour workweek, it would include bonuses but does not include overtime pay.

First, we’ll take a look at the overall average. This indicates at first glance that a person who has gone to high school or obtained an equivalency certification will earn more money than a person with a vocational education, Associates, Bachelors or Masters Degree. However, this chart alone does not reflect the years of industry knowledge and experience held. The average AUGI member has nearly 20 years of experience under their belt.

Beginning with the data for those just starting out in the industry, we are showing people with less than 2 years of experience. Here the impact of having an education is clear, those with vocational training are starting out with the highest compensation.

The gaps start to close a bit for those with two to four years in the industry.

As shown in the Average Pay By Years Of Experience chart above, you see that pay spikes at about 5 years in, when most folks have gained solid competency and been rewarded with increased compensation.

Over the course of your career, experience, especially in niche fields, will pay off. However, for those starting off and eager to build from a strong initial salary, education is one factor to keep in mind.

As long as we are talking about niche fields, I will include a couple more charts from the 2016 survey to drive home the financial benefits of specializing in lesser served markets.

This chart shows only the average salary for Designers by their Industry. The chart below shows the highest paid markets served by our members.

See the Salary Survey Archives for more details.

We hope you enjoyed this month’s issue of AUGIWorld Magazine, Industry Insights being the theme for our amazing authors.

Please pop by to take this month’s poll on the topic of career advancement! See the results in the next issue of HotNews and read more on the topic in the next issue of AUGIWorld.

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