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News Release

Contact: Chris McManes
Senior Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: + 1 202 785 0017, ext. 8356

Incomes of Technical Professionals Decline,
IEEE-USA Salary Survey Reveals

WASHINGTON (22 December 2004) — Median income for electrotechnology and information technology professionals declined for the first time in 31 years, according to the latest IEEE-USA Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey.

Median incomes from primary sources  base pay plus any self-employment income, commissions, or bonuses  for U.S. IEEE members working full-time in their area of professional competence decreased from $101,000 in 2002 to $99,500 in 2003. This $1,500 drop (1.49 percent) is the first time the median salary has not risen since the survey was originally conducted in 1972.

Median salaries had shown substantial gains since 1994's median of $67,000. The medians were $72,000 in 1996; $82,000 in 1998; and $93,100 in 2000.

When accounting for inflation and stated in constant 2004 dollars, 2003 purchasing power fell to $102,501 from $106,418 in 2002, a decrease of 3.68 percent. The 2003 figure is only slightly above the $102,480 reported in 2000, and is the first purchasing power decline in 15 years.

"These results are disturbing, but not surprising," IEEE-USA President John Steadman said. "A host of factors, from offshoring and increased use of guest worker visas, to rising health insurance costs and global competition, are putting downward pressure on wages for U.S. high-tech workers."

The Internet-based survey of the IEEE's U.S. membership was conducted in late 2004. It is based on 2003 data from 12,584 respondents, the highest response rate IEEE-USA has recorded. The vast majority of respondents (11,182) are full-time workers. Of these, 10,114 were employed in their primary area of technical competence, or job specialty.

Job classifications include electrical and electronics engineers, computer hardware and software engineers, and computer scientists and system analysts, among others.

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the IEEE. It was created in 1973 to advance the public good and promote the careers and public-policy interests of the more than 225,000 technology professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society. For more information, go to


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