Browsing the archives for the jobs tag.

Salary Survey Says…


warh0012Oh, all that data…  The quality community is talking about the annual salary survey, and once again I’m left wondering where all of these jobs are and who is doing them.  Yes, I did look at the data and it seems quality is quite lucrative.

But, part of my job is finding contractors to assist with quality inspections and audits in various places all around the world.  For the U.S. market, I find the local ASQ sections to be a great source of qualified, passionate people.  In fact, one of the things I love most about being in quality is how dedicated and passionate the community is.  We are a special breed.

Here’s my observation, for whatever it’s worth… After 15 years of working with these contractors, I’ve seen demand for compensation in the U.S. rise very little.  And, the majority consistently request compensation much lower than what the salary survey would suggest. It’s not even uncommon for a highly overqualified contractor to use their personal or vacation time to do a relatively simple QC check. Or, I have retired quality executives that get excited about inspecting retail products in a hot warehouse.  I get kind of excited too. Why?

I’ve concluded it’s something in the personality of people in quality.  You just can’t capture that in a salary survey, I suppose.

Of course, I’m happy to see the average annual salary of a quality professional up to $88,458 this year.  I’m happy to see that hiring is steady and that technical positions are taking the lead.

One consistent theme in the attributes identified by hiring managers in the survey is certainly “personality and character.”  Glancing at this page in the report, it takes home the priority prize for many positions alongside years of experience.  Again, we are a special breed.

Overall, I’m encouraged by what I see… So much so that I’m updating my resume and considering an additional certification next year!

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What are you worth?


I obtained my first ASQ certification this year and am quite proud to add that “CMQ/OE” to my name.  But, I’ll have to say I was even more delighted to see the premium on certifications in the latest Quality Progress salary survey!  Paul Borawski even discusses the state of pay in quality in his latest View from the Q post.

Paul is asking about stating a case for a raise, and I’m thinking Equity Theory here. Brainstorm the variables…

Inputs – 

  • What do you bring to the table? Special skills, education, certification(s), experience, etc.?
  • What attributes contribute to your success? (What makes you so special?)


  • What is your current salary?
  • What about benefits, like retirement, health insurance, flexible scheduling?
  • What are you getting out of the job, aside from pay? (Think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs here)

Referents – 

  • Look at some comparative data.  For quality, use the ASQ salary survey information in addition to a site like or  What are others with your experience and knowledge making, all things considered?
  • Consider the subjective value of the intangibles, such as flexible scheduling.

After careful review of this information, organize it in a way that guides a productive discussion of a salary increase.  The assumption is that we all seek to maximize our outcomes.  When all is in balance, motivation (AKA productivity) thrives. Win-win.

Ratio Comparison Perception
O/I a < O/I b Under-rewarded (Equity Tension)
O/I a = O/I b Equity
O/I a > O/I b Over-rewarded (Equity Tension)

Basic negotiation tips I’ve kept with me since graduate school:

  • Never get emotional.
  • Know your stuff.
  • Always be prepared to walk away.
  • Respect the others involved and listen to their perspective.
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