The average salaries of quality professionals in the United States have increased 1.5 percent to $93,036, according the latest ASQ Quality Progress salary survey. Quality professionals in Canada also saw a 0.7 percent rise to $87,569*.
Conducted annually by ASQ, the salary survey breaks down salary information—submitted by ASQ members—into 26 sections and sorts the results by variables including job title, education, years of experience, and location.
The survey was completed by more than 5,800 quality professionals from a range of industries and market sectors. Regular, full-time employees made up 95.7 percent of respondents. Self-employed consultants, part-time employees, and unemployed, retired or laid-off workers also were surveyed.
According to the survey, the highest-paid quality professionals by title in the United States include vice president or executive, who make an average of $170,131, Master Black Belts, who average $148,198, and directors, who make $132,780.
In Canada, those who hold the same titles earn the highest salaries: vice presidents or executives average $168,484, Master Black Belts earn $148,000, and directors make $119,826.
ASQ Chair Eric Hayler said with the economy seemingly recovered from the Great Recession, it’s nice to see a trend of increasing average salaries for quality professionals.
“As quality professionals continue to impact their organization’s bottom lines, companies will continue to recognize and reward them accordingly,” Hayler said.
Tenure and Certification Equal Higher Pay
The survey found that the number of ASQ certifications a quality professional holds results in higher pay, yet nearly half of the U.S. respondents had no certifications. Close to 30 percent had one certification.
Those without ASQ certifications earn an average of $87,748, while those with one certification earn $93,576. Those with two certifications earn $5,707 more than those with one. Quality professionals with six or more certifications earn an average of $116,747.
The biggest discrepancy is among quality engineers, where earning a manager of quality/organizational excellence certification can increase pay $16,351 over those without the credential. Managers who hold the same certification earn 12 percent more than managers without it.
Similar to certifications, the more years of experience, the higher the salary. The average salary for quality professionals in the United States with less than one year of experience is $63,752, while the average salary for those with more than 20 years’ experience is $109,264. Among Canadian respondents, those with less than one year average $52,633 and those with more than 20 years’ experience earn on average $106,370.
For those new to quality and those who haven’t pursued certifications, Six Sigma training is another way to increase salary. According to the survey, respondents in the United States who have completed at least one level of Six Sigma training make an average of nearly $18,000 more than those who haven’t had any additional Six Sigma training. In Canada, those without Six Sigma training average $85,114, while those who have completed at least one level of training earn an average of $90,975.
When examining specific levels of Six Sigma training, the differences are more pronounced.
In the United States, Master Black Belts earn an average $142,080, compared with $84,675 for those without any Six Sigma training. In Canada, Master Black Belts earn $129,750, whereas those without Six Sigma training earn an average $85,114.
*Canadian figures are noted in Canadian dollars.