Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2007 Compensation Information

This year promises to be even more exciting for the quantitative professional. The career information most frequently sought by clients and candidates in the field revolves around salary and other forms of compensation. Whether you are planning to grow your staff this year or are assessing your own career path, here are some points to consider:

Hot Skill Set – Web analytics, pricing, credit analytics, analytically-based strategy.
Fast Moving Market – Candidates (especially at the more junior end) are receiving multiple offers and are going off the market in three to five weeks, much faster than the more typical eight to twelve weeks we’ve been used to seeing.
Relocation Challenges – Many companies are reassessing their relocation packages as the housing market continues to stagnate in many parts of the country. Unless these packages contain a safety net to cushion probable double mortgage payments, many candidates are not able to accept offers that require relocation.
Sign-on Bonuses – are back! In the last 90 days, nearly 40% of all offers have included a bonus as an incentive for candidates to “sign on”.
Cross Industry Job Changes – Candidates are changing industries far more frequently, even at the more senior level. Client companies are making offers to candidates coming from other industries as the talent pool tightens. This provides candidates with an ideal opportunity to expand their knowledge across industries.
Compensation – Many companies are offering more competitive packages to attract top talent. Here are some guidelines:

Vice President/Director
$135,000 to $250,000
On the corporate side, this level typically involves managing a group – the bigger the group, the higher the salary. Oftentimes, the top salaries are offered by boutique consulting firms where business development may play a major role in the compensation package. Of course, ability to provide thoughtful leadership and strategic vision is essential at this echelon.

Manager
$110,000 to $140,000
This position is often attained as the result of an internal promotion. Interpersonal skills are key – especially those demonstrating initiative, team building and the ability to direct group projects. While technical competence is important, remember that emerging executive-level administrative skills are what really count as you move up the business ladder.

Senior Statistician
$80,000 to $120,000
Talented business statisticians with excellent communication skills can command base salaries of up to $120K. To move up from here typically involves picking up management responsibilities or business development skills.

Senior Analyst/Analyst
$60,000 to $85,000
These are our most sought after candidates. With a master’s degree in a quantitative discipline and two solid years’ experience in the corporate world, this candidate will often receive multiple offers and be snapped up quickly. The market is red hot ­for candidates with this degree of experience – back to the level of the dot com boom.

Entry-level Masters
$50,000 to $65,000
Demand continues to increase over 2006’s healthy level. Because companies are not always successful in hiring enough talent with one-to-two years’ experience, they will often choose an entry-level candidate with solid academic credentials. Hiring candidates who might require visa sponsorship has become commonplace; clients not willing to do this greatly reduce their pool of applicants.

As always, I welcome your comments and insights. Visit my blog to weigh in on the topics I’ve touched on here and to participate in an on-line salary discussion: www.lindaburtch.blogspot.com.

Let me know if I can be of assistance to you in 2007!

Linda Burtch
Burtch Works
Email: lburtch@burtchworks.com
Don’t Forget to Connect to me on LinkedIn and become a Facebook fan!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you have the ranges spot on, on an national level though. I was wondering about the variance for a Senior Analyst in NYC area and size of the company/industry.

Indro Dasgupta said...

Thanks for the information. One question: the salary ranges that you mention, are they location specific? For example, do they apply mostly to the Chicago area?

Linda Burtch said...

Indro,

Excellent question. I have found that the salary ranges for our candidates surprisingly do not vary significantly by region. Equivalent positions in Peoria, IL and New York City pay roughly the same - although within the range, the position in Peoria may be on the lower end of the range, and in New York on the higher end.

People who are working in the higher cost of living areas, like the metro New York area, make that decision based on factors that are not related to the compensation relative to its buying power. They are there for family reasons, or because they are interested in the area for longer term career choices, or their professional network is there.

People who live in areas with a very favorable cost of housing, or with no state taxes, often times have a difficult time when considering career moves to areas with more average costs. However, they, many times, will make the change because the options locally are limited or do not offer longer term career options.

-Linda

John Pavey said...

Linda -

I feel that your salary ranges are RIGHT ON for the positions/levels indicated.
I wouldn't consider a relo without a housing package that included guaranteed coverage for current mortgage payments that would take effect if the current residence remains unsold after closing on a new home.
Last Comment: Companies seem to be more willing to pay signing bonuses later in the calendar year, generally as consideration to make up for l(a) loss of a "company-match" amount for the year to the individual's 401k, and (b) give-up of current-year's bonus program amount.

Linda Burtch said...

Hi John,

Very important point that you make on the sign on bonus - it is very often used toward the end of the year if a candidate is "leaving money on the table" as part of closing a deal.

Anonymous said...

Great information. Agree with Linda that the compensation variance is substantially smaller than potential differences in cost of living. Locations where the market is less fluid (many times not the "sexiest" places) usually command a premium, as it is difficult to attract talent and candidates understand their options will be limited.

When reading the postings, I was curious to learn more about how compensation packages (particularly in the high-end of the manager category) are currently being structured. The proposed compensation ranges seem to very representative, but the question always arises as to what percent of the packages is comprised of performance / target bonuses or stock options. From calls I've received recently, I got the impression that companies are working with lower base / higher target bonus packages. Is this a trend or just my perception?

Andre said...

Linda,

Thanks for this insightful information. Your salary ranges closely match my own experience. Also, your comments on the importance of executive-level administrative skills for (technical) managers are right on track. This implies that research-oriented professionals may have to consider a career change towards consulting, the academic world and/or high-tech companies. Would you agree?

Shubhra Srivastava said...

Hello Linda -

I sent this to the board of the Web Analytics Association as we are always looking for industry measures. Brian posted a link on
http://www.grokdotcom.com/

Thanks
Shubhra

Anonymous said...

Since I do a lot of work with Web Analytics, this column was interesting to me. However, I do not have a Master's Degree but was wondering when it comes to Web Analytics, are the requirements sometimes different? In many cases, Web Analytics individuals should have a more marketing focused outlook than their statistician brothers and sisters.

Linda Burtch said...

Web Analytics is a discipline that is evolving, so it means different things to different people. Some people in the field are very sophisticated technically and are used to working with giant data sets, others are using information for directional strategic decisions, requiring far less technical rigor.

But regardless, I always recommend continuing your formal education to at least a Masters level. You will need it to stay competitive into the future.

Roxanne Ross said...

Just to clarify, when you reference the quantitative professional, would this be applicable to market research/consumer research professionals? What about other marketers?

Linda Burtch said...

Hi Roxanne,

These compensation ranges hold for most analytically based business fields, including the more traditional market research professional. If you are working in the financial markets - hedge funds, investment banks - the pay range could be much higher (but so is the risk and the hours required).


I am not the best person to ask about salaries for other marketers - perhaps we could get feedback from others?

Best,

Linda

Anonymous said...

Hey Linda,

Your quotes are spot on based on my experience as well, even though I am outside of a major market.

Thanks for the excellent information!

Linda Burtch said...

I have not had the experience with the clients I work with offering a lower base and a higher bonus. Even in the riskier start ups (yes, they are back!), the base offers are often more aggressive, because most candidates are skeptical of the big stock payouts. Too many remember what happened in 1999 and 2000. Annual bonuses in the last two years have been consistently paying out very near their targets, up from the disappointing bonuses of four or five years ago. I have a couple of client companies that offer a lower base/higher bonus compensation package; they struggle to close deals normally.


Andre,

This is a tough issue for all people who are in a technical career. If moving up a management track is not appealing, then hopefully there is a technical track offered with in the organization that will continue to provide learning opportunities and a challenge. I would agree that moving into the consulting world would be a way to leverage a deep knowledge base and allow steady increases in income. Pharmaceutical companies, some high tech firms, the government, and research think tanks provide longterm technical path options. Academics would be another option, if you are able to get tenured.


Do others have ideas around this topic??

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. What advice would you give to someone like me who is at the manager level, makes $130K per year, and is interested in the next level of opportunities? I rarely see any openings posted that meet my requirements of both being at the next job level based on title and has a salary increase over what I make now.

Linda Burtch said...

It is more difficult to move up as you progress in your career simply because there are fewer positions at the higher levels. Additionally you are competing with an internal candidate pool at the organization where there may be pressure to promote from within. So candidates will find, particularly if they live in a smaller metro area, that they need to be flexible on geographics and to be open to the industries they might consider. Also, of course, a job search may take much longer.

Jake said...

Linda,
Could you help me understand the difference between Senior Statistician and Senior Analyst? It seems that communication skills are the big differentiator, is that right?

Linda Burtch said...

Good question. When a client is seeking a senior statistician, they usually are implying a need for greater technical rigor and more experience. A senior analyst may have less experience and less statistical expertice. In both cases, communication skills are a key component to longer term promotability. Keep in mind that titles can be misleading and are certainly not consistent in the corporate world.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Over the past 4 years I've worked with Smith Hanley and never seen these kinds of salaries - quite the opposite.

Every time I call I'm told I have to take yet another demotion due to my lack of experience, despite now having 7+ years experience in analytics. I did get my last job with you guys but now get paid 20% less than my male counterparts who also got their positions here from Smith Hanley (same jobs same years of experience - they have less education than me). If I were to listen to Smith Hanley's recruiters my future is bleak and getting progressively worse. I'm seriously considering leaving analytics entirely.

What gives? Do these salaries apply only to men?

Linda Burtch said...

Wow! I am really sorry that you have had such a negative experience working with us and in the analytics profession. It has not been my experience that women have had to take pay cuts, or have salaries not within the same range of men's. As a matter of fact, I am working with a senior woman now who has received an offer that is a 32% bump from her current base salary. This is the highest boost in salary that I have seen this year, and an indicator of the current strength of the market for exceptional quantitative people. Feel free to give me a call directly if you would like to discuss specifics.

-Linda