NATICK, MASS. — Management compensation at leading architecture, engineering (A/E), and environmental consulting firms nationwide has not gone unscathed in the current economic environment, according to a new report released by ZweigWhite. The “2010-11 Management Compensation Survey of A/E & Environmental Consulting Firms” finds that while manager salaries at leading A/E firms generally remained steady this year, bonus payouts declined significantly for almost all management positions.
"Graphing the moods, fortunes, and compensation of the manager class has been a vertigo-inducing roller coaster," says Christine Brack, PMP, Principal, ZweigWhite Strategic Advisory Services, who provides an in-depth foreword to the 2010-11 Management Compensation Survey. "Today’s increased competition and tighter operating budgets are challenging many in leadership positions in A/E firms to balance business, staff, and personal needs."
In light of the business challenges faced by the A/E industry in recent years, it is not a surprise that bonuses for many managers were reduced if not eliminated this year. While principals, financial directors, and IT directors experienced big cuts in bonus payout this year, the median bonus for marketing directors and HR directors declined to zero. Only project managers received a larger median bonus in 2010.
"Given the unprecedented downturn in the economy and uneven design climate, most economists predict moderate growth at best through 2011," Brack adds. "Those firms that capitalize on the opportunities to balance the distribution of managerial compensation with reinvestment in their firms will emerge with the strongest and most competent teams when the recovery picks up steam."
The 2010-11 Management Compensation Survey reports on and analyzes base salary, bonus, overtime pay, and total compensation information on project managers, financial directors, information technology directors, human resources directors, marketing directors, and principals. Compensation data from ZweigWhite’s 2010 management surveys was compiled into one survey for management-level employees. The report also features comparison tables where base salary, bonus, overtime, and total compensation for each management position are broken down into demographic subgroups such as firm type, firm staff size, region of headquarters, firm growth rate, and firm profit.