Group Reports Engineering Salary Drop

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA is reporting that its latest salary survey of its U.S. members shows a 1.5 percent drop in medium income for electrotechnology and information technology professionals, the first drop reported in the survey since 1972. The latest IEEE-USA Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey showed a drop from $101,000 in 2002 to $99,500 in 2003. The drop is the first time the salary has not risen in 31 years. Accounting for inflation, the drop is actually a 3.68 percent decrease in purchasing power. IEEE-USA President John Steadman blamed offshoring and increased use of guest worker visas, in combination with rising health insurance costs and global competition for the downware pressure on wages for U.S. high tech workers. The organization surveyed 12,584 of its U.S. membership, which includes electrical and electronics engineers, computer hardware and software engineers, and computer scientists and system analysts, among others. The IEEE USA is a technical professional society which also works to promote the public-policy interests of its 225,000 U.S. members.