How are you doing?

Our first OEM survey probes salary, satisfaction, and security.

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Sometimes even self-improvement doesn’t pay off. "After getting my MBA nothing happened—no raise, no promotion, nothing," writes a Wisconsin professional engineer designing mining machinery controls.

Of course, not everybody’s happy. "My company is in a very competitive environment. Success is in innovation and speed to market, but the competitiveness of this market limits profits. So those who receive higher salaries tend to work themselves out of a job," worries a 46-53-year-old man earning $66,000-$70,000 at Pennsylvania machine tool builder.

"I am not challenged in the least," adds a 28-36-year-old mechanical engineer at an Illinois hydraulic and electric door control firm. "I am concerned that I lose more knowledge from school every day that I don’t use it. I currently use less than 20% of the knowledge I gained in school."

"I work for a family-owned business and unfortunately I cannot see a relationship between performance and compensation," writes a frustrated 37-45-year-old man at Kentucky process equipment and distillation supplier.

"I currently work in a company run by fourth-generation management. He has squandered the company’s money. Raises don’t exist. But we have money for consultants and high-priced VPs," says a 46-53-year-old man at a New Jersey wire and cable machinery company. "My hope is the company will go out of business so I can get unemployment and my sanity back."

Some security depends upon the industry the company serves. "The semiconductor industry is extremely cyclical. You are always waiting for the shoe to fall," writes a 28-36-year-old electrical engineer in Texas. "There may not be any American jobs in the textile industry some day," warns a 37-45-year-old North Carolina man supplying that business.

"The steel industry currently has 19 companies in bankruptcy. This one is not as of yet, but close," writes a 54-60-year-old man working for a material handling/conveyor company but attached to a particular Indiana mill. He’s earning 81-99K. "It is questionable whether any will survive. There are opportunities for strong management to change the culture, work rules, and improve efficiency, but it appears the union culture has permeated the soul of management into an empty shell of denial and acceptance... As it walks into holocaust furnaces...willingly." Pretty poetic.

Sometimes being indispensable is a danger. "I would enjoy my job even more if I could have more time off," laments a 28-36-year-old man at an Indiana system integrator. "My boss has no problem with offering time off, but my customer base is so large [and still uses] old technology that they think I’m the only one who can fix their stuff."

We leave you with two of our favorites.

"Only from the idea is this company secure!" complains a 54-60-year-old male electrical engineer at a Connecticut industrial heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning equipment manufacturer. (133)

And this one from a 46-53-year mechanical engineer at an Indiana oil and gas compressor company: "It is just a job. When this one is gone, there will be another, even if it’s saying, ‘Welcome to Wal-Mart.’ "

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