Economy Impacts Building Sector

June 4, 2002 ( - The economic downturn continues to hit the architecture, engineering, and construction industries hard, according to a new survey.

PSMJ Resources Inc., an industry research form, reported that architectural, engineering and construction firms predict that 2002 salary hikes and bonuses would be skimpier than those in 2001. Firm performance was a key factor in determining 2002 compensation, according to the survey.

The survey found that companies in the three sectors planned 4% pay hikes in 2002, compared to 5% increases the year before. Just under a quarter of respondents were predicting higher bonuses while one out of five said they would drop. Those predicting a bonus decrease were double those making the same prediction in 2001.

Further, the survey found that the median chief executive officer base salary rose to $126,555, and total direct compensation (salary plus bonus) rose to a median of $192,000. For senior project managers, the medians were $75,000 and $81,400.

Management fringes were virtually the same as in prior surveys, indicating any economic gains have been limited to cash compensation.

In addition, results of the survey show that firm owners still have the equivalent of only three years’ current salary in their personal buyout, indicating individual owners are not going to be able to rely on their firm equity for their retirement income security.

The survey included 120 firms.