Electronics Engineer Salary Insights: Data-Driven Online Tool Unveiled

Guests Michelle Kopier | Uploaded : 28/05/2024

The EEcosystem Podcast

Electronics Engineer Salary Insights: Data-Driven Online Tool Unveiled

In this episode, we delve into Electronic Design Magazine’s yearly career and salary survey with Michelle Kopier, Group Associate Publisher. Learn about their online tool, utilizing data from 2000+ engineers, to determine salary based on education, experience, and US state of residence. Unravel strategies for maximizing earning potential for your engineering career using real-world data.

Episode links:

πŸ‘‰ Salary and Career Tool on Career Concierge 🧭

πŸ—ž Electronic Design (Free Subscription)

πŸ’΅ Salary Survey Page and articles


Sponsor Resources
  • πŸ“˜ Visit The EEcosystem Website For a Free Download to: Samtec’s white paper: Wideband
    launches: Much more than Footprints on PCBs. and receive a free 90-day subscription to all of
    Eric Bogatin’s training at The Signal Integrity Academy

    πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€πŸ’» For free Technical Resources and to Learn more about Keysight Pathwave EDA Software
    Solutions visit the homepage now.

    πŸ”— For all of your high-speed and RF connectors visit the Samtec website and access excellent
    engineering resources while you are there.

    ⛰️ Visit Summit Interconnect for all your complex PCB manufacturing needs.

    πŸ”— Visit Isola Group global for High performance laminates and prepreg materials for PCB
    manufacturing, as well as new IC packaging interposer

    πŸ’½ For high complexity EDA solutions visit SIEMENS EDA Website

    πŸ’‘ For a free subscription Signal Integrity Journal and articles about SI/PI/EMI, news and
    technical resources follow the link above.

    πŸ“¨ Subscribe to Analog io a grass-roots weekly Newsletter written by hardware engineers, for
    hardware engineers!

    πŸ“‘ For Custom RF and MW PCBs visit the Transline Technology Website to learn more. Visit

    πŸ”Œ Picotest specializes in high fidelity testing and measurement tools, primarily for power-relate
    applications. Visit their website for more product information and excellent training materials from
    expert Steve Sandler


								 Judy Warner (00:01.034)
Hi Michelle, thanks so much for joining us today. Before we get rolling, why don't you take a moment, introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and also your role at Endeavor Media and Electronic Design Magazine.

Michelle Kopier (00:14.882)
Sure. Hi, Judy. So like you said, I'm Michelle Kopior. I am the group associate publisher, as well as the group content director for a group of engineering brands at Endeavor Business Media. I actually started my career with engineering media. So I've actually been working with the engineering community for over 17 years now. I was fortunate to, from my collegiate studies side of things, where I was focused on.

writing and I knew I wanted to come into the magazine industry. That was always kind of my passion. And I happened to stumble upon B2B media and was fortunate to land a job at an engineering publication and I just became very fascinated and involved with the challenges and the advancements that engineers bring to light and you know, obviously progress the world around us. So it just felt very

meaningful to stay within that community. So when I had the opportunity to come over to Endeavor and work with these wonderful brands leading the engineering space, including electronic design, machine design, microwaves and RF, and power and motion, which used to be the legacy brand of hydraulics and pneumatics. So it's all kind of centered around different facets and sub-sects of the engineering community. And they all kind of seek to deliver that.

important information that engineers need to be apprised of, what's changing in the industry, what technologies are coming that are impacting their design. So it's just been really nice to stay within the engineering community my whole career.

Judy Warner (01:51.026)
I totally resonate with that. I didn't know early on, I would love engineering and technology as much as I did, but it's always changing and you can see its impact on the world. So it's super exciting. And I love that you sort of had this multidisciplinary approach that also I really resonate with because things are so challenging. These parts need to work together. So give me a minute, Michelle.

Michelle Kopier (02:02.03)

Michelle Kopier (02:16.362)

Judy Warner (02:22.783)
So, we were recently introduced by Mutual Friend and I became aware of your salary and career annual report that you put out and I was really impressed and I thought our audience would really want to know about that and learn from that valuable resource. So, why don't you tell us a little bit about that?

Michelle Kopier (02:41.61)
Yeah, absolutely. So the salary and career report and the annual survey that it is built from has been going with these brands since I think 2011. So it's been a long time that they've been collecting this data. And it really stemmed from wanting to make sure that the engineers, the engineering community, especially because an engineer is probably not gonna stay at the same company their entire career. They're gonna change disciplines. They're going to go to different companies. They may focus on completely different

systems or technologies than they had before. So the Salary and Career Survey was a tool to sort of analyze what are your peers earning, what's impacting their career advancement, and then where are those opportunities for growth and development? Is there an opportunity if you were to go back and get more education? Is there financial gains to be made if you move to a different geographic location? If you were to change what your discipline is altogether?

Does that lend you some opportunities for different growth and advancement? So that was sort of the goal, the overarching goal when this started, and it's really just kind of built upon it. I know several years ago when COVID happened, we actually added additional questions to the survey to talk about how has COVID impacted your professional development because now there's a lot of working from home. How has that changed? How has that changed your career salary? Have you lost your bonuses?

Judy Warner (03:57.449)

Michelle Kopier (04:07.734)
How has that all factored into how engineers view themselves and their peer group with professional development? And that also changed how they want to absorb information. That changed how they want to do their continuing education. It's not always just about in-person learning anymore. COVID really forced us to think about those virtual opportunities in that digital space as well. So all of those things sort of factor in. And we allow the survey to touch on.

what's currently happening in the industry and kind of elevate those impacts and just get a better sense of what's going on for engineers to be able to really take the time to evaluate how they can continue to professionally develop themselves.

Judy Warner (04:54.034)
You know, I've seen other sort of smaller niche, sort of bespoke trade publications doing something similar, but generally the sample size might be 150, which sample size counts. So what is your sample size and what's the response been from the engineering community?

Michelle Kopier (05:10.573)

Michelle Kopier (05:13.918)
Yeah. So we typically get thousands of participants every year. So our portfolio, the foundation that we've really built this on is from thousands of engineers, mostly from across the United States, but we do have global reach. So we do also have data from Canada and from Europe and all over the world. So for the most part, it is US-centric.

But we do get that global perspective as well. And since we know that this is a global marketplace and there are international companies that are leading the way in the engineering space, it makes sense.

Judy Warner (05:56.258)
So that is an amazing sample size, which to me really legitimizes, again, because you're tenured in the industry and you're reach into the engineering community. And so I know I briefly had a chance to look at a salary and career tool that you've built that's interactive where

Michelle Kopier (06:00.104)

Judy Warner (06:27.134)
you know, and actually apply things directly to their situation. Where are you with that? Um, and, and then we'll jump into, after you explain that a little bit about, you know, what your hopes are, um, as you scale it and, and broaden the amount of data that you're offering.

Michelle Kopier (06:41.174)

Michelle Kopier (06:47.114)
Yeah, so we're really excited that this year we were able to introduce an actual, you know, interactive dashboard tool, utilizing a lot of the data that we've collected over the years with that, from that salary and career survey. So what it allows is for the engineer to go in, they put in some real basic pieces of information, how long they've been in the industry, where they're located, you know, what their title is, you know, what their base salary is.

And then after all of that information is fed in, it brings them to a dashboard that has a geographic map where they can see how their salary fits into the rest of the US. From a regional standpoint, they can look at the entirety of the US or just their region. That is to allow them to kind of take a brief look at, if I were to move.

you know, where can I earn more money outside of my state, for example, or am I in a high-earning state? And it's not beneficial for me to seek employment in other states, for example. Another one would be, you know, we ask about how long have you been in the industry? And then, you know, you can also take a look at, you know, what does longevity look like when it comes to salary growth opportunity? Because there is sort of a plateau that you can see. So, you know, that's just sort of to say,

Judy Warner (07:47.422)

Michelle Kopier (08:07.306)
You know, if I stay in this career path, am I going to see more salary come my way, or is it going to behoove me to go get more education? Is it going to be beneficial for me to move change job title? That's another one, too. You know, if you're a design engineer, but you want to become, you know, a more specialized test engineer, what does that look like, and how does that change your salary opportunity? So those are all kind of mechanisms that you can play around with in that tool.

And it's really just sort of a baseline at this point. And I'm glad you kind of mentioned where we wanna build from, because this really is just the starting point of where I think we can go with the data that we've been able to collect with the salary survey. So this answers some really preliminary questions for self-evaluation and peer evaluation. But I think that there's a lot more that can be done with this tool and I'd like to see it continue to grow and enhance as we collect more data and feedback.

Judy Warner (08:41.772)

Michelle Kopier (09:03.778)
So that's the other great thing with the tool is that once you go through it and you use it, there's an exit survey on there that we are really encouraging people to take. And that allows you to answer some questions, you know, was this valuable to you? Would you recommend this? Where can you see this improving? And that's where we're really kind of holding hope that the engineering community will give us that input as to, you know, this is a great starting point. Here's where these are the questions it hasn't answered for me yet. And that will give us the...

guidance that we need to make sure that we're building our data tool in the right direction to answer the questions that the engineers have in the community.

Judy Warner (09:41.522)
I can't even tell you how much I love that and I resonate with that is letting the engineers decide what is valuable to them rather than guess and just throw out resources for them to actually let them determine what's meaningful. So I think that's great. Are there specific things you have in mind or are you waiting for that feedback to determine?

Michelle Kopier (09:48.61)

Michelle Kopier (10:05.594)
Yeah. So a combination of both actually, because while obviously like the actual utilization or feedback that they want, that's largely going to come from the engineering community. You know, like what do we want to build on to answer specific questions? However, one thing that I'm really keen on ensuring we develop over the next couple of years, I want to see historical trends on how this has been tracking and pacing. And I want to be able to bring that historical data

into a more graphical representation so they can see, you know, how has test engineering salary changed over the course of the past decade? Or, you know, what does the trajectory look like for the design engineer? And what are those sort of like impacts that are changing the face of engineering and what engineers need to be taking into consideration when they enter this field and when they are seeking advancement or changing that path? So for me, historical trends

Judy Warner (10:41.689)

Michelle Kopier (11:01.554)
are always so fascinating because that kind of gives you a sense of what to predict and where the industry is sort of headed. So that in particular is one that I'm really keen to get developed soon.

Judy Warner (11:14.47)
What I love about that is sort of as creators and journalists, we can throw these things out there like there's an engineering shortage. It's like, yeah, so what does that mean? What kind of engineers? Where is that? And we know there's been big factors, COVID, as you mentioned earlier, but also what's all this Chips Act money going to do? And now like PCBAA and others are...

trying to do like we need more printed circuit board layout people which we didn't really see coming exactly. And so there's all these things and we generalize and what I love about it is being able to get that historical data and say this is trending in this direction and so they can put their hands around it in a more meaningful way like data, you know, not just us going, oh no, the sky's falling, there's an engineering shortage.

Michelle Kopier (12:06.997)

Michelle Kopier (12:12.17)
Right. Yeah. And we know that there's been an engineering shortage. I mean, in the entire time I've been in the industry, that's been something that's been discussed, whether it be from a diversification and STEM perspective and like getting more people involved, but also just from, like you said, just general engineering shortages. And there's been a lot of factors that have gone into that. So I mean, this, that need has always been there, but there's always been other factors that have fed into what is causing that shortage or what are they looking for? Have

Judy Warner (12:12.454)
Well, go ahead.

Michelle Kopier (12:40.45)
the parameters of what we need changed and shifted as the industry has evolved. So that's again why I like looking at the historical data. And another thing I wanted to mention is, you know, it's not just the survey that we have, but we also have editors that then sift through that data to draw correlations to what is this telling us. And then they break that down too. So they'll break it down by, you know, here's from a continuing education standpoint, here are the trends we're seeing and here's the impacts that we're seeing. And this is what the data is telling us.

Judy Warner (12:59.613)

Michelle Kopier (13:09.39)
And they'll do that for several other subtopics that, just kind of glean some more tangible information from that. So it's not just, here's your numbers, here's your data, but rather what does it mean? And we have the editors really digging into that to bring meaningful analysis to the audience, which is like a secondary important aspect to all of that.

Judy Warner (13:31.942)
Well, along, I love that. I love that they're developing that correlation, which reminds me, engineers talk about, there's the design and simulation and the correlation to the measured results, right? It's like, unless it's correlated, it really could be useless or wrong or a whole linear thing. So I love that you're taking the time and discipline to make those correlations, I think, and give people a roadmap.

Michelle Kopier (14:00.632)

Judy Warner (14:00.69)
You know, right now I feel like we say all these things, but we're not giving engineers a roadmap. And what I'm excited about personally is, you know, there's different engineering communities and media and we're all working together in different ways to serve engineers. But when we got acquainted, Michelle, I told you, we just stood up a second company called, it's part of the ecosystem, but it's called Career Concierge.

And it's just a small sort of white glove because we have such a large community of engineers so that we want to help, you know, and that's way of helping. And so I'm excited that you're going to allow us to plug in that salary and career tool and put it in, in our community. And I hope others will do the same, right? So we can.

Michelle Kopier (14:47.63)
Try it.

Judy Warner (14:54.782)
we can gather this data that's gonna impact a lot of us on different fronts. So thank you so much for that and I really appreciate it. You mentioned about how COVID changed the media landscape and that's been something I've been tracking and it's hard to get your hands around. There's trends like obviously podcasts, here I am, there's podcasting became a thing, remote work became a thing,

Michelle Kopier (15:09.067)

Michelle Kopier (15:18.146)
Thank you.

Judy Warner (15:24.622)
We had webinars for a while and then people got sick of webinars. You know, from what you're seeing, like, how are you leaning in? What areas are you leaning into as a content director and publisher over several brands? What trends are you seeing that particularly like mid-career engineers are really enjoying consuming and interacting with these days?

Michelle Kopier (15:28.294)

Michelle Kopier (15:54.646)
Yeah, so I mean, I don't think it's going to be a surprise to anybody that ultimately media has largely been shifting toward an all digital model. Obviously, there are still industries and that value print, for example, but, you know, print always had that delay on it. You're waiting for the issue to come there and nobody really collects their information that way anymore. I mean, basically, since the advent of the inception of the internet, you know, people have gotten accustomed to getting their news.

Judy Warner (16:10.206)

Michelle Kopier (16:21.822)
immediately, getting it delivered to them, being able to look at it 24-7. So the largest trend is obviously shifting toward digital information, which the brands that I've been working on, Electronic Design, Machine Design, Microwaves, and RF Power Motion, they've been predominantly in the digital space for a long time. That's an ongoing trend that we've been aware of for a while.

Judy Warner (16:45.087)

Michelle Kopier (16:46.71)
But when it comes to more specific tools and facets of, how engineers like to engage with content, the thing that we've been keeping our eye on the most is those emergent engineers, the new ones coming in that are really shifting the conversation and how they're engaging with content. So we have a strong social platform. We're using all of the core, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter X, we use all of those.

Judy Warner (16:56.586)
Mm-hmm. Okay.

Michelle Kopier (17:11.654)
regularly every day to make sure that the news and information that we're providing is getting to those sub audiences. We utilize things like, you know, we also launched a podcast this year inside electronics on electronic design because that's yet another mechanism to get information out to people because people like different things. You know, some people like print, some people like to get it all on the web or have it come into their inbox. Some people prefer to, you know, passively absorb it. So we just have to keep an eye on

Judy Warner (17:30.762)
they do.

Michelle Kopier (17:41.034)
What are all of these subdivisions of audiences, whether from a demographic standpoint, from a geographic standpoint, what does that tell us and how do we need to be modifying our content to deliver it in a meaningful way? And that's the other thing I think is really important is that it's not about killing one and shifting to another, it's about repurposing the same information in the right meaningful way to that platform. So...

Judy Warner (18:07.612)

Michelle Kopier (18:09.578)
You know, we don't write news because the news is provided by a supplier. You know, they're the ones that are talking about their news. It's our job as media to take that news and say, what does this tell us? What does this mean to the audience? So it's about deciphering that information and presenting it back to the audience in a way that is meaningful, usable, tangible to what they're engaging with. We've been experimenting with things like interactive infographics where, you know, it tells the story in a graphically pleasing way.

Judy Warner (18:15.197)

Judy Warner (18:21.085)

Michelle Kopier (18:38.598)
Because you know a lot of younger engineers like quick glance stuff and we know that time is a premium So people aren't necessarily always gonna have the time to read a two thousand word article anymore So let's do it in a video, you know, let them listen or the podcast, you know passive information collection So there's lots of ways that we are Reshaping our information to deliver it in meaningful ways to all of the different audiences that we're keeping apprised of

Judy Warner (18:49.128)

Judy Warner (19:05.606)
Well, I've been actually in it. So it's hard for me to be objective, but I do pay attention. And one thing that has shocked the heck out of me is TikTok. Because I have been in technically rich conversations on the podcast and I'm like, what's driving that trend? TikTok. And I was like, wait, what?

Michelle Kopier (19:16.684)
Oh yeah.

Judy Warner (19:31.274)
because Nvidia has graphics chips and there's so many people using TikTok that they can't keep up. And so, and AI of course, and machine learning, these things are always driving in a different way. And then these platforms pop up, you know, and then it's like, wow, didn't see TikTok. Of course, now that's in debate with the Congress, you know, all that. So we'll see what happens there, but it's just so interesting to follow. So it's interesting to hear from you.

Michelle Kopier (19:31.384)

Michelle Kopier (19:41.546)
Oh yeah.

Michelle Kopier (19:52.921)
I know! I know!

Judy Warner (20:01.326)
since you're sort of on the front lines that how that's morphing. Well, Michelle, is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience before we wrap up? I really love this conversation. I love the work you're doing. And I'm sure this is going to be super valuable to our community.

Michelle Kopier (20:03.192)
Oh yeah.

Michelle Kopier (20:14.978)
Thank you. And I hope so. I think the only thing I would just want to say is, I hope that people take the time to engage with the tool and give us that feedback, whether it be positive or critical. We're really looking for that engineering input to make sure that the tool that we're building is exactly delivering the information that is going to mean the most to your professional development. That's ultimately all that we do. Like you talked about earlier in the podcast, we've been in this industry. We love the engineering community.

Our role is to make sure that we're getting them the information they need to do their job better and to have a richer professional experience. So I would just encourage people to engage with the tool and use that exit survey to give us that feedback so that we can continue to enhance it so that we keep building the tools that you need for your career.

Judy Warner (21:05.874)
Well, Michelle, I'll make sure to share that. I'll share the one that we're putting into career concierge, but also on your website where they can see the results from 2023 survey and to Electronic Design Magazine. And by the way, to our audience, their subscription to Electronic Design is absolutely free. So I'm gonna give you a link there to the subscription page because it really is a rich resource if you're not subscribed there already.

Michelle, thanks again. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you'll come back as you get further down this journey and down this road and update our audience.

Michelle Kopier (21:45.006)
I'd love to. Thanks for having me, Judy.

Judy Warner (21:47.406)
My pleasure. For our audience, thanks so much for joining myself and Michelle Copierre today. I hope you've enjoyed this conversation. Make sure you go check out the show notes and grab all those resources that we've talked about. We'd love to hear from you and help shape tools by getting your input. Thanks so much for joining us on this week's podcast. We'll see you next week. Until then, remember to always stay connected to the ecosystem.