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Wages in North American EMS Industry Increase

Salaries for buyers, engineers and other employees working for North American electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers increased between 2.1 and 2.5 percent in 2011, according to the biennial salary study conducted by Association Connecting Electronics industries (IPC).

The average salary increase for hourly positions in the North American EMS industry averaged 2.5 percent for hourly positions, 2.3 percent for salaried positions, and 2.1 percent for management positions. In 2009, annual salary increases ranged between 1.7 and 1.9 percent, according to IPC.

The study included wages, bonuses, and commissions for 31 specific positions, including technical, administrative, management, and sales positions. Positions included buyers, engineers, test engineering technicians, quality engineers, expediters, CAD operator/designers, and production workers among others.

Benefit costs declined slightly, according to the study. In 2010, benefits averaged 21.8 percent of total wages, a slight decrease from the 22.7 percent average seen in 2008. Most of the EMS providers that took part in the survey provided retirement plans to employees. In 2010 and 2011, 401k plans were offered by 82 percent of those companies, up from 75 percent in 2008–2009, according to IPC.

The study also found that all of the companies provided some form of health insurance to their employees. However, the study found that the percent of premiums paid by companies for their employees for certain types of health insurance declined compared to the IPC study in 2009.

For the first time, the study covered measurement of employee satisfaction. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents formally measured employee satisfaction. Of those, about 66 percent found a direct relationship between employee satisfaction and the implementation of flexible time and personal time off policies, IPC reported.