Newsletter News and More Survey Analysis

12 Feb, 2008 By: Robert Green

An added department, more reader input, and expanded coverage of the annual CAD manager's survey are some of the new features.

In the last issue of CAD Manager’s Newsletter, I asked you for some input about the topics you’d like me to address this year. Well, you didn’t disappoint! Therefore, I have taken your suggestions to heart and will begin with this very issue.

Changes You’ll See
To address some of your requests I’ll be implementing the following changes:

  • Revamp the CAD manager survey. I’ll be extending the survey's scope to Europe and the United Kingdom this fall and will provide some additional analysis on this year’s results in this newsletter -- so please read on!
  • Provide more tips, tricks, and hints. I’m introducing the CAD Manager’s Toolbox feature that will alternate with my traditional Question and Answer section. This way, I can still answer questions, but I'll also be able to pass along more specific information when it is warranted. You’ll see my first installment of the CAD Manager’s Toolbox in this issue. (You can even win a cool Cadalyst souvenir if I use your Toolbox suggestion.)
  • Provide more information on programming languages. I’ll focus some issues of the newsletter on AutoLISP and VBA and also provide some programming self-help resources.
  • More information on general CAD resources. I’ll add a Useful Links section to the newsletter whenever I’ve got something really interesting to pass along.
  • More detailed information. I’ll occasionally use an issue of the newsletter to provide more in-depth and “how to” information on topics covered in my monthly CAD Manager magazine column.
  • Personnel management and training topics. I’ll create several newsletters this year focused on helping you deal with overall issues as well as some detailed resources and techniques, which I’ll deliver in the CAD Manager’s Toolbox section.

It’s my hope that you’ll like the changes and that you’ll always feel free to let me know how I can be of better service to you, the working CAD manager. Here goes.

More Salary Survey Data
Every year I tabulate survey data from CAD managers all over the world. Although I don’t get enough information to draw broad conclusions from Europe, Asia, and South America, I do get a good enough sample to draw some more specific analysis of the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Most of the questions I am asked relate to salary numbers, so I'll give you some additional salary breakdowns you might find interesting. (Click to view Part 1 and Part 2 of previous survey data published in CAD Manager's Newsletter, or to view previous survey data published in my "CAD Manager" column in Cadalyst magazine.) I’ll present some statistics in a number of categories and draw a few conclusions for each.

Average Full-Time CAD Manager Annual Salaries (U.S. Based)

  • Percentage of U.S. CAD managers who are full-time: 41%
  • All full-time CAD managers globally: $61,300
  • U.S. national full-time CAD managers: $63,229
  • U.S. large city: $67,300
  • U.S. medium city: $60,987
  • U.S. small town and rural: $56,206

These results show that the U.S. market is still compensated at a higher level than global markets, but the statistics actually show the United States on par with Europe and Canada and other markets like Mexico and India drawing substantially lower compensation.

As you may suspect, the higher the cost of living, the higher the average compensation is. An $11,000 difference in compensation variance is observed between large city/metropolitan areas and small/rural areas.

Full-Time CAD Manager Annual Salaries (Canada Based)

  • All full-time CAD managers globally: $61,300
  • All Canada full-time CAD managers: $59,560
  • Canada large city: $64,862
  • Canada medium city: $51,378
  • Canada small town and rural: $56,593

These results show the Canadian market compensated at a somewhat lower level than global markets and about 6% lower than comparable U.S. markets. As does the United States, Canada far outpaces Mexico and India, yet draws lower compensation than European markets.

The large cities in Canada draw the highest compensation but, curiously, salaries in medium-sized cities showed up lower than those in small cities. I suspect that this statistical aberration is due to a small sample size for the survey. There is a smaller spread between large and small market salaries in Canada, though, compared with the United States, which is a trend I’ve also observed in past surveys.

Part-Time CAD Manager Annual Salaries

  • Percentage of U.S. CAD managers who are part-time: 59%
  • Percentage of Canadian CAD managers who are part-time: 62%
  • All part-time CAD managers globally: $56,727
  • All U.S. part-time CAD managers: $56,758
  • All Canadian part-time CAD managers: $55,087
  • U.S. large city only: $56,326
  • Canadian large city only: $59,022
  • U.S. medium city: $57,320
  • Canadian medium city: $42,089
  • U.S. small town and rural: $56,873
  • Canadian small town and rural: $50,500

These results show that the part-time CAD management market is very different from the full-time CAD management market and that Canada is different from the United States. While the full-time market has wide salary differences based on geography, the part-time market exhibits much tighter salary ranges in the States with broad variances in the Canadian market.

The other thing that jumps out readily is that part-time CAD managers are paid about 8% less overall than their full-time counterparts. The job titles of part-time CAD managers indicate more designers and drafters than engineers or architects, so I believe the pay scales of the professional titles determine the salary levels for those who are also part-time CAD managers.

The Disclaimer
As with all data interpretation, the sample size and methods for analysis vary. Also, be aware that I’m not a professional pollster or statistician. Please consider this salary data as a general guide and validate these results in your area by checking with employment agencies, temporary firms, or even your own human resource department.

Wrapping Up
I hope these salary statistics help you better understand where you fit into the salary matrix. For those of you located in Europe and the United Kingdom, I’ve got plans to expand the 2008 CAD Manager’s Survey to give you better data next year.

Please let me know how you like the changes to the newsletter topics and formats and feel free to email me any suggestions. Until next time.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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