Do you ever wonder where your salary ranks among others with similar jobs in heat treatment? Are you curious whether you work more hours than people in your field? Have you ever questioned whether your company is more or less willing to embrace new technology than other businesses in the industry?


For the second year in a row, we asked readers about the state of the thermal-processing industry. In our quest to learn more about worker salaries and job satisfaction, Industrial Heating, with the help of BNP Media Market Research, polled qualified subscribers on a variety of industry- and job-related issues. What follows are the results of that research.

Question: What is your annual salary (before taxes, excluding bonuses)?

Would it surprise you to know that nearly three-quarters of respondents said they make at least $75,000/year? Perhaps more importantly, the average salary of those who responded to our survey is $94,915. It’s important to note that 32% of respondents said they make $75,000-$99,999 per year, 26% said they make between $100,000 and $130,000 per year and 13% claim to make more than $130,000 annually. 

Now comes the interesting part. When compared with last year’s survey, the average salary jumped more than $2,000. Meanwhile, those making $75,000-$99,999 per year increased 3% and those making between $100,000 and $130,000 per year rose 4%.

Question: How many hours per week do you work on average?

To make money, you have to put in hours at the office and/or out in the field. Sometimes that may mean overtime. So it should come as no surprise that only 20% of respondents work 40 hours per week or less. In fact, over half (55%) of respondents say they work over 46 hours per week. The average work week for those surveyed came in at 47 hours. 

Again, we compared these results with last year’s. The most significant difference was that those working over 46 hours per week increased 5% from our 2015 survey. The average work week stayed almost the same.

Question: Overall, how satisfied are you with your job?

Considering the amount of time spent working and the salary that comes with it, are respondents actually happy with their jobs? Interestingly enough, 62% of respondents are highly satisfied with the work they do on a daily basis. Another 33% are moderately satisfied. What does it all mean? Well, 95% of the workforce being pleased with their work in thermal processing can’t be a bad thing. And, for what it’s worth, more respondents with over 31 years of experience are highly satisfied with their job. Perhaps the longer you’re in, the happier you are.

Question: Which best describes your company’s approach to embracing new technology?

Although this survey is focused more on the individual, it was important to ask respondents about the businesses they work for. Specifically, how willing their employers were to welcome innovative and novel processes and/or equipment. 

According to respondents, a majority of companies (60%) are willing to be leaders when it comes to embracing new opportunities, with 25% eager to be on the leading edge. However, 33% of companies are happy to wait until others successfully adopt newer technologies.

These responses offer a stark contract to our 2015 survey, when 72% of companies were willing to be leaders and only 23% were happy to take a back seat. Perhaps this change speaks to financial uncertainty or concern about the overall economy. Or maybe companies have learned their lesson the hard way and would rather take a wait-and-see approach.


The majority of survey respondents came from four industry segments: captive in-house heat treaters, equipment manufacturers, engineering firms and contract heat treaters. The average age of respondents was 56, and three-quarters of those polled have at least a bachelor’s degree. Also important to note is that 92% of respondents are involved in purchasing decisions, and they have been with their respective companies for an average of 16 years.

As for the companies of those polled, 50% had estimated 2015 revenue of more than $50 million, and 30% of those businesses have more than 1,000 employees.


For the second year in a row, Industrial Heating has tried to find out more about those working in the thermal-processing industry. And, once again, we have gathered some interesting results. It appears – at least for those who answered our questions – that workers, despite working more than a standard 40-hour week, are being paid fairly and are satisfied with their jobs.