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Salaries in mechanical and plant engineering

Recruiting and retaining highly qualified specialists poses increasing challenges for companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. Both soft and hard factors play a decisive role here. Salary, as one of the hard factors, can influence employee motivation, satisfaction and retention. It is important that the salary level in a company remains competitive and is not excessively high.

ProduktionNRW held a virtual information event on May 28, 2024 to present the VDMA Salary Study 2023/2024, which is also available to non-members, and to discuss other topics in the context of salary developments.

Insights into the 2023/2024 salary study

Andrea Veerkamp-Walz, VDMA Personnel and Innovation Management Officer, began by explaining the basic data of the study. The concept of the study was developed in close cooperation with companies. In the current study, 292 companies reported 60,000 salaries for 140,000 employees for 164 positions in the mechanical and plant engineering sector.

For the evaluation, the companies were asked about monthly and annual salaries, weekly working hours, collective bargaining coverage, company size, degree of urbanization and region. The results relate to total annual salaries, which were extrapolated to 38 hours per week – including maximum achievable variable salary components such as company cars and the like. However, shift and assembly bonuses are not included in the analysis.

The structural data of the participating companies shows that around 70 percent employ fewer than 250 employees. Almost 80 percent of the companies are not covered by collective bargaining agreements. The evaluation also shows that the size of the company, for example, has an important influence on salary – the degree of urbanization of the region, on the other hand, has no central influence.

A salary per company division (e.g. purchasing, production or development) was then selected and presented interactively and according to the participants’ preferences. For example, the results were presented for the position of management assistant, accounting group leader or industrial engineer. Overall, it was shown that salaries continue to be a decisive factor in personnel recruitment, as they directly influence the attractiveness of a position and contribute to attracting and retaining talented employees.

Further information

The event was organized by ProduktionNRW. ProduktionNRW is the cluster of mechanical engineering and production technology in North Rhine-Westphalia and is organized by VDMA NRW. ProduktionNRW sees itself as a platform for networking, informing and marketing companies, institutions and networks with each other and along the value chain. Significant parts of the services provided by ProduktionNRW are funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.