Copier Careers’ 2018 Tech Salary Survey reveals that qualified techs are in short supply and many are actively exploring their options.
If there’s one thing you can say about a service technician is that he or she is fully open to considering a new opportunity. The latest salary survey from the recruiting firm Copier Careers, confirms that with 72% of the 4,740 copier service technicians surveyed saying they are “actively” or “somewhat” looking for a new job. That’s a 1% increase from the previous year and is consistent with national trends in IT staffing.
On top of that, half of survey respondents say they are “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with all aspects of their job.
This is the 16th year that Copier Careers has surveyed professionals from across the industry about their compensation, job satisfaction and work-life issues.
This year’s survey yields some interesting insights. For instance, techs said the most attractive opportunities and benefits—after salary—include working with leading technology at a company that understands IT and having the tools to do the job well. According to Paul Schwartz, president of Copier Careers, this is creating pressure for recruiters and dealers alike and will require copier channel dealers to adjust their sights.
Some of the other findings of the survey include:
- On average, a technician is just over 33 years old and has worked in the copier channel for 6.8 years.
- Over the past decade, the average age of techs has fallen 3.8 years, or 10.3%. A report on the latest survey findings from Copier Careers suggests this decline in the average age of techs might be a harbinger of other changes facing industry leaders as expectations and work styles evolve.
- 49% have a high school diploma, 13% some college, 23% OEM training, 15% tech or trade school and 0.5% an Associate’s degree.
- Nearly two-thirds of technicians (63%) describe themselves as field service techs, 35% identify as senior lead techs or team leaders and 2% of respondents described their job as house technician.
- On average, copier techs work 53 hours per week, an increase of one hour over 2017. They reported spending an additional seven hours each week on-call after hours—a one-hour increase over what they reported in 2017.
- In 2018, 24% of copier technicians were women, a slight decrease from 2017, when women composed 25% of respondents. This reflects the national trend in the tech field, where women now hold 26% percent of jobs.
This year, salary and bonuses of copier techs increased to $47, 405 and $6,305, respectively, an increase of 2.6% over last year. The top non-cash indirect rewards were the same as the previous year:
- 99% received health benefits and were reimbursed for certification expenses
- 91% report their company paid for further education and training
- 82% receive a company car or car allowance
- 27% were reimbursed for tuition
The survey also found that bonuses were up slightly this year, suggesting that dealers are attempting to enhance deals to attract or retain tech talent. Fully 81% received retention bonuses, up 3% from the previous year while 69% received bonuses for personal performance (up 1%), and 54% received a signing bonus, up 3%.
What Matters Most
The 2018 survey revealed a significant shift in what matters most to copier techs as well as what doesn’t matter. From a list of 38 work factors, techs were asked to choose the seven things they value most at work.
Compensation ranked No. 1 with 99% of techs. Other factors that saw an increase over the past year’s survey, included feeling a sense of community at work (71%), an increase of 62% from the previous year; effectiveness of their immediate supervisor (69%), and the preference to wear more casual clothing to work (37%).
Of special note to employers, and what Copier Careers suggests might be an expression of growing confidence in their marketability, techs were less interested in job stability. Only 71% identified job stability as something that matters most, a decrease of 5% from last year.
With 72% of copier techs saying they are looking for a new job because of opportunities too good to pass up and better compensation, Copier Careers assembled a roadmap based on what techs perceive as their ideal workplace.
- Offer competitive pay
- Understand the importance of IT and offer the opportunity to work with leading-edge technology
- Give techs the tools and support they need to do their job well
- Recognize work well done and value the opinions and knowledge of staff
- Foster a sense of community within work groups
- Offer skill development and education/training opportunities
- Acknowledge that their opinions and knowledge are valued
Schwartz offered advice to dealers based on the results of this latest survey, “Dealers need to add tech skills to survive, and they need to compensate like IT providers to survive.”
He also emphasized that companies need to improve their game at attracting candidates, particularly since 79% of survey respondents said their company is “poor” or “totally unsatisfactory” at attracting talent. However, when it comes to retaining staff, 57% of respondents gave their company a positive rating.
With a generational shift underway, Copier Careers emphasized “as the industry works to address the need for skilled techs, it also will have to create a more collaborative, team-style work ‘community,’ to attract a new generation of techs who prefer a more collaborative workplace.”
“The industry is going to have to adjust to that environment, if they don’t have it already, to attract those younger people with strong IT skills,” concluded Jessica Crowley, business development manager for Copier Careers.
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