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Jenny Baker
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The SIOP Income & Employment Report Is Here!

Kristl Davison, Chantale Antonik, Alyssa Kaszycki, Amy DuVernet, and Scott Oppler

Last fall, many SIOP members participated in the 2019 Salary Survey. Well, the results are in, and we have some really interesting findings! You probably received the email from SIOP in late April announcing the publication of the Income & Employment Report on the SIOP website, but in case you missed it, here is a little background on the survey and some of the key findings that can be found in the report.

Survey History, Design, and Administration: It Takes a Village

Since 1982, SIOP has been regularly surveying the membership about their income and employment information. The survey is done every 3 years and represents a great historical snapshot of how the I-O profession has evolved over nearly 40 years.

Although the survey has been conducted by different vendors over time, currently it represents a coordinated effort across many players within the SIOP community. Specifically, SIOP’s all-volunteer Institutional Research Committee (IRC) is tasked with developing the survey and coordinating the administration and data collection. However, the process for this survey administration required a partnership among

  • SIOP’s Administrative Office to promote and distribute the survey as well as the final report;
  • Mercer|Sirota personnel, who programmed the survey and collected the data;
  • Training Industry, Inc. personnel, who cleaned and analyzed the data, and prepared the final report;
  • Other SIOP committees, who provided feedback during the survey development and promoted the survey to their members;
  • SIOP’s IRC subcommittees, who developed and reviewed the survey, tested the survey platform extensively, and provided feedback on the report;
  • Members of SIOP’s Executive Board, officers, and the Administrative Office who reviewed the survey and the report.

SIOP members, Associate members, and Fellows with active email addresses were sent an email invitation to complete the survey. The 2019 Salary Survey opened on October 3 and closed on October 21.  Of the 4,362 invitations sent, there were 1,605 respondents before data cleaning. The 36.8% response rate was an improvement from the last survey in 2016.  After cleaning the data, the final sample for analysis consisted of 1,403 full-time working professionals. Analyses revealed that this sample closely mirrors the characteristics of SIOP membership as a whole and included both doctorate-level as well as master’s-level members.

New Features and Some Key Findings

The survey covered SIOP members’ sources of income and benefits in 2018. Beyond the traditional salary survey topics, for the first time the survey also investigated important and timely topics such as remote work and work–life issues, as well as the effects of different specializations on salaries.

Here are a few noteworthy findings from the executive summary of the report. For more specific details, please read the report here.

  • Salaries for I-O psychologists continue to grow—median incomes were 5.2% higher in 2018 than in 2015, roughly on par with inflation rates.
  • The two most commonly reported industries for doctorate-level respondents are consulting organizations (18%) and doctoral universities (31%).
  • On average, practitioners earn 24% more than academics.
  • Within applied positions, doctorate-level independent consultants have the highest reported median income at $167,000.
  • Within academic positions, I-O psychologists in business and management departments have a higher median income than those working in psychology departments ($160,000 and $95,000, respectively, for doctoral institutions).
  • Of master’s-level respondents, psychologists working in federal government reported the highest median income ($107,000), followed by I-O psychologists working in the manufacturing industry ($100,000).

How to Use the Report

The report is well over 60 pages long, but it is organized into different sections to help you identify the benchmarks that best reflect your own characteristics. Below highlights where to look for some common information:

  • Effects of qualifications, experience, and credentials: pp. 8–13;
  • Effects of specialization and industry: pp. 14–20;
  • Academic employment: pp. 20–25;
  • Applied employment: pp. 26–30;
  • Geographic differences: pp. 31–37;
  • Other income, including bonuses and secondary employment: pp. 37–38 & 48–49;
  • Raises: pp. 39–41;
  • Benefits: pp. 42–47;
  • Demographics & wage gaps: pp. 50–58.


Future Initiatives

Over the coming months, the IRC will continue to delve into the data to examine questions of interest to SIOP members, so look for future TIP articles on these topics. And don’t miss our presentation—Know Your Worth: Results From the 2019 SIOP Salary Survey—at SIOP’s virtual conference in June, where we will also seek input from members on what other pressing questions we should be addressing.

Finally, we are interested in keeping on the cutting edge of what SIOP members need to know for the benefit of our career field. The IRC is open to ideas for what to include on the next salary survey, which will be conducted in a couple of years. Please contact siopincomesurvey@siop.org with your ideas.

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