Heat Treatment Salary Guide-2022

On a regular basis “The Monty Heat Treat News” features articles from Josh Hale of International Search Partners about what those in the heat treatment industry can expect to get paid-past articles can be found at What Do Those in the Commercial Heat Treat Industry Get Paid? | The Monty and OEM’s (Furnace and Oven Manufacturers) Salary Guide | The Monty In his unique position as part of the largest organization in North America recruiting individuals into the heat treat industry Josh’s knowledge about salaries is second to none. With all the turmoil in the labor market these days we reached out to Josh for an update about how salary expectations and hourly labor rates had changed in the past year.

The result are these very knowledgeable thoughts, read on.

Heat Treat Salary Analysis 2022 (written for the Monty)

ISP’s Heat Treat Salary Guides have historically been updated every few years, but even though the latest versions were just published during Summer 2021, A LOT has changed in just the past few months.

Record high inflation, “the Great Resignation,” lingering COVID-19 concerns and a surge in early retirements are just a few of the factors causing a shift to an extremely employee-driven hiring market that has spurred across-the-board wage increases.

What follows is a brief snapshot of how salaries have changed for the most common job titles for a commercial heat treat or furnace OEM between July 2021 and February 2022:

Furnace OperatorsEvery commercial heat treat is hurting production hourly workers right now. Whereas operators have seen their rates increase from the low teens to the low twenties over the past few years, averages have risen to $25+/hr with availability for OT in the past few months.

Field Service EngineerThe demand for FSEs is such right now that an experienced service engineer willing to travel extensively can truly have their pick of offers. Pre-pandemic compensation for these road warriors as solid in the mid-$30’s per hour and up to $100kish with OT, but nowadays strong techs can demand and get upwards of $40-45+/hr (especially for those with strong PLC skills). This is a great field to enter for young people looking to start their career as the need for quality candidates is showing no sign of slowing down.

Maintenance One reason why FSE comp has risen so much so quickly is because of the allure of becoming an onsite maintenance mechanic or manager with less travel. These positions have seen offers for employment go from an average of $30/hr to closer to $40/hr, with those experienced folks who are willing to take supervisory responsibilities or undesirable shifts garnering upwards of $50+/hr.

Quality Engineer/Managers and Metallurgists – There can be a lot of variation for base salaries between plant metallurgists, lab metallurgists and those who specialize in quality, but as with all positions in heat treat, the supply-demand ratio has led to an increase in pay, with ranges shifting from $65-110k up to $70-$125k and above.

EngineersOEMs hiring engineers are needing to pay salaries with an uptick of 15-25% over the past 6ish months, with electrical engineers, and especially PLC and controls programmers, tending to be able to demand the highest wages (more than mechanical designers). These technical professionals are averaging $65-75k or more with 0-3 years of experience and up to the mid-$100ks for extensive industry experience or niche expertise.

Sales Engineers Unlike most other job functions, base salaries for those in sales has been relatively stable, with more “normal” cost-of-living and inflation adjustments. However, in this hot market, many of the best performers are hitting record commissions and bonuses, so, to attract new talent, companies are offering more perks and non-salary comp like work-from-home, car allowance and extra PTO.

Plant Managers and GMs Most of the increased demand for new hires has been more at the hands-on level and less so for management. Therefore, the top of the pyramid has seen less of marked increase than some of the other roles, but still factoring inflation and general rising of all wages, PMs and GMs have seen 10-20% bumps in overall comp thus far this year versus last.

As companies struggle to compete for talent during these unprecedented times, rising salaries are being used as the “carrot” to lure new employees and retain existing ones. To stay relevant, owners and managers need to re-evaluate their comp plans and budgets to see where an appropriate investment can be made. Remember, turnover is costly, as is losing out a potential strong hire to the competition.

Workers should consider this an opportune time to either ask for a raise or consider making a career move. Either way, it’s always a good idea to track one’s accomplishments and keep an updated resume on hand. While the overall market may be hot, it is the top performers with a proved track record who deserve to and will be rewarded.

This salary information has been culled together based on data International Search Partners (www.internationalsearchpartners.net) has collected from over 20 years of providing search and placement solutions exclusively to the heat treat industry. There are many variables to consider, and things shift rapidly under current market conditions, but this guide provides a solid, accurate baseline of information and is meant to be used as a reference point for employers and employees alike.

For specific salary questions, or to inquire about more about recruiting services, please contact Josh Hale at [email protected] or 619-828-1040.

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