2013 Corrosion Salaries Set Records


Call it a rust-to-riches story. Corrosion careers are paying better than ever, with average annual salaries for professionals in the United States, Canada and the European Union reaching new highs, according to a new survey by NACE International.

Average annual salaries for corrosion professionals in the United States topped six figures for the first time, and salaries for Canadian and EU professionals also set records, according to the new 2013 Corrosion Career Survey, conducted by NACE’s Materials Performance magazine.

On the Rise

Including salary and bonuses, the average annual U.S. compensation for corrosion professionals is now $103,148, up 4.6% from the 2012 figure of $98,384, reported Houston-based NACE.

In Canada, the average compensation rose by 0.69% to CAN$108,108. Last year, the increases were 2.6% for the U.S. and 2.3% for Canada.

In Europe, the annual average salary is now €68,637 ($88,336 USD), up by 3.7% from last year’s €66,098, NACE said. The society noted that corrosion salaries actually declined by 1.8% in Europe from 2011 to 2012.

Average Salary by Highest Education Level (U.S. / Canada / Europe)

High School U.S. $90,433 CAN$116,959 €59,950
Associate Degree U.S. $91,977 CAN$105,260 €63,583
Bachelor Degree U.S. $110,744 CAN$105,450 €76,444
Master Degree U.S. $122,414 CAN$93,275 €65,500
Doctorate U.S. $136,618 CAN$102,833 €65,133
Post-Doctorate U.S. $135,354 CAN$98,785 €88,666

Materials Performance has conducted its annual corrosion career survey of NACE members since 1998.

The survey collects information on annual compensation, job duties, work experience, education level, company size, number of years in the profession and challenges for today’s professionals. Survey results provide the latest details on demographics and salary levels for corrosion professionals in all fields of corrosion control.


Tushar Jhaveri, NACE International president, said the good news not only reflected the professional expertise of corrosion professionals but validated the maturity and significance of the industry.

“It is encouraging that this year’s survey revealed that the U.S. average salary has reached the six-figure milestone, and that Canada and Europe are experiencing salary increases as well,” says Jhaveri, chief executive of Vasu Chemicals in Mumbai, India.

Average Salary by Years of Corrosion Experience (U.S. / Canada / Europe)

<2 years U.S. $102,154 CAN$76,812 €52,500
2 to 4 years U.S. $95,836 CAN$86,696 €58,450
5 to 9 years U.S. $107,776 CAN$106,339 €55,479
10 to 19 years U.S. $104,813 CAN$121,412 €66,068
20+ years U.S. $103,491 CAN$121,855 €92,760
Graphics: NACE International

“It is a sure sign that corrosion control is a well-established industry with professionals that continue to prove the value of their knowledge and expertise.”

Industries and Demographics

Other highlights of the survey include average salary by NACE certification level, average salary by job type, average salary by U.S. state, average salary by Canadian province and territory, and average salary by European country.

The survey also examines salaries as related to NACE certification.

NACE International's president called the increasing salaries "a sure sign that corrosion control is a well-established industry with professionals that continue to prove the value of their knowledge and expertise.”

The largest group of survey participants in North America works in oil and gas pipelines/storage tanks. Fifteen percent of U.S. respondents work in coatings and linings, compared with 18 percent of respondents from Canada and Europe.

Other highlights:

  • Average annual incomes in the U.S. generally increase with increasing education, but the same is not necessarily true in Canada and Europe. There, the survey found, higher education levels do not necessarily correlate with higher salaries.
  • Those with a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license comprise 9% of U.S., 15% of Canadian, and 23% of European respondents.
  • Other professional certifications are also held by 21% of U.S. respondents, 31 percent of Canadian respondents, and 36 percent of respondents from Europe.
  • Across all surveys, respondents serving in the industry for 10 years or more outnumber those with less corrosion experience. In the U.S. survey, for example, 63% of participants have been professionally involved in corrosion prevention and mitigation for 10 years or more (same as 2012), while 42% have worked in the industry for 20 years or more (vs. 40% in 2012). One in five U.S. respondents have worked in corrosion control for four years or less (vs. 17% last year).

The full survey can be found here.

Founded in 1943, NACE International, The Corrosion Society, serves 30,000 members in 130 countries. The organization offers technical training and certification programs, conferences, industry standards, reports, publications, technical journals, and government relations activities.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Corrosion; Education; Engineers; Europe; Linings; NACE; North America; Oil and Gas; Pipeline; Program/Project Management; Protective Coatings; Tanks and vessels; Workers

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