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North America tops pay league SPIE survey says

The highest salaries in photonics are to be found in North America, Australia and New Zealand, where the median pay is $105,152 in US dollars, according to a SPIE survey.

The survey of more than 7,000 valid responses SPIE members from 93 countries found that the highest salaries are to be found in North American aerospace engineering and non-university senior research roles. They earned $105,052 as a median. Overall, across all photonics sectors and regions SPIE found that the median pay was $75,000. North American median incomes are 77 per cent higher than Europe, double those of Latin America and the Caribbean and more than four times greater than Asia's. The survey also indicated that overall men earn more than women.

Future surveys will seek a closer look at the photonics manufacturing workforce says SPIE. Its chief executive officer Eugene Arthurs said: ‘This first survey captured some of the sales, marketing, and R&D administration segments. We are committed to being the essential source for good data in all segments of the photonics industry and research community, and future surveys will reflect that.’

For these future surveys SPIE intends to examine: how do salaries and employment practices in one region affect salaries in another; do skill shortages exist in certain fields or regions and what factors lead to men earning more than women?

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