Controlled Environments surveyed its readers to find out what’s trending in the cleanroom business, and which industries are represented by our readership. We also asked questions about industry salaries, workloads, benefits, and job satisfaction.
Working for a living
We asked readers the primary field of work performed in their facilities. Manufacturing took 21.4% of the votes, as did pharmaceuticals. Compare this to last year’s trends, where pharmaceuticals dominated with 24% of the responses and manufacturing was a distant second at just 14%.
The medical device industry was represented by 11.9% of voters in this year’s survey, and academic/research workers came in at 9.5%. Life science and semiconductor workers were each represented by 4.8% of the vote. Fields that fell under the 5% mark — aerospace, biotechnology, food and beverage, nanotechnology, and validation or quality assurance.
“Other” was represented by 13.1% of survey responders — the open-ended answers included responses such as defense, product distribution, oil and gas, construction, recycling, active cosmetic ingredient and active pharma ingredients, and restoration cleaning/flood and fire cleaning. One responder said that their job entails of “several of the above [options], not just a single one.”
Spending concerns remain steadfast
Readers were asked about their facility’s foremost concern when purchasing equipment and supplies. Longevity and quality of products took 47.1% of the answers. Last year’s survey indicated that nearly 46% of responders are most concerned with product longevity.
Cost was represented by 28.2% of this year’s survey responders, down from 35% last year. Getting the newest, most up-to-date models available held steady at 8.2%. Concerns stated in our open-ended “Other” option include customer specifications, FDA approval, and justification for labor costs.
Cost was also cited as the foremost concern when choosing a supplier/distributor for equipment and supplies — 32.9% of this year’s survey responders chose this option, which is slightly down from last year’s 35%. On the other hand, concern for a supplier or distributor’s reputation and reviews rose by about two percentage points, to 28.2%.
Ironically, the biggest change from last year’s survey was seen in the option about staying loyal to the same supplier/distributor year after year. The 2015 survey saw 11% of readers choose this as their main concern when selecting a supplier, whereas in 2016 this option was only selected by 7.1% of responders.
We also asked readers what their highest anticipated expenses are for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016. The biggest percentage (47%) was represented by those who said they will likely be updating or maintaining existing equipment. Meanwhile, 33.7% plan to pay for an inspection by an outside company, and the same amount of responders said they plan to purchase new equipment.
Major repair/renovation of existing cleanroom facility is planned by 28.9% of those surveyed. 18.1% are looking to build an entirely new cleanroom facility, and 12% will do a complete overhaul of their existing cleanroom facility.
Consumables remain on top
Responders were given a list of cleanroom supplies and asked to select everything that their facility purchases. Consumables took 80% of the votes (up from last year’s 74%). Monitoring/instrumentation systems are purchased by 78.8% of readers, followed by attire at 75.3%, benches and enclosures at 67.1%, and critical cleaning products at 62.4%.
Other supplies purchased — cleanroom components (such as flooring, walls, or ceilings), furniture, and cleanroom services (outside cleaning companies, consultants, designers/engineers, etc.). Cleanroom services was the only option that garnered under 50%.
Most responders (49.4%) use washable attire. 36.1% use single-use, disposable attire; and 7.2% use single-use, recyclable attire. Only 7.2% of responders said that they do not purchase attire.
There was a big increase in the amount of responders who said that they re-stock their consumables once a month — 72.6% this year, up from 58% last year. Quarterly consumables orders were represented by 11.9% of those polled, with a slightly smaller percentage (10.7%) saying that they order these products twice a year.
Cleaning and inspection tasks
Most responders — 46.3% — said that the cleanroom workers themselves perform cleaning duties, which is up slightly from last year’s 42%. But 32.9% of responders employ an outside cleaning company (compared with 24% last year), and 20.7% say that they have an in-house staff dedicated to cleaning (compared with 33% last year).
When it comes to having the facility inspected by an outside company, we also saw a big difference from last year’s survey. The 2015 survey saw a difference of only 1% between those that host an inspection more than once a year and those than host an inspection just once a year. This year, the different was 7 percentage points — 42.5% do a yearly inspection, while 35% have more than once inspection per year.
Just like last year, men make up the overwhelming majority of Controlled Environments readers who responded to this survey, at 76.1%. However, the age of our readers seems to have skewed a bit this year. The 2015 survey’s largest represented age bracket was made up of people aged 50-59 — this year, that distinction goes to people in the 40-49 age range, and the 50-59 group was the second-highest for 2016.
A little over half of responders say that they are in a non-sales management position. Employees in a non-management position represent 20.9% of survey takers, and 10.4% said they are a C-level executive (owner, chairperson, CEO, CFO, etc.).
Are you happy?
Last year, those that took our survey seemed to be content with their jobs and felt that they are fairly compensated. However, our readers don’t seem as optimistic this year.
Unlike last year (when the majority of responders — 32% — said they’d been with their company for 1-5 years), this year’s results were spread between the date ranges. In fact, the total number is almost evenly split between people who have worked at their current company for 1-10 years, and people who have worked there 10-25+ years. Most people said they have held their current position for under 10 years. 6.1% have held their position for 25 years or more.
The majority of survey takers do not supervise large teams of workers. 29.9% do not supervise anyone, and the same percentage only supervises 1-5 employees. 10.4% of those surveyed have 6-10 people on their team, 14.9% supervise people 10-20 people, and 14.9% supervise 20 people or more.
Workloads have increased for about three-quarters of survey responders. Most reported getting some kind of increase in pay or benefits increase in the past year, whether it was a performance-based raise, a cost-of-living raise, or a stronger benefits package. Only 15.2% said they did not receive any kind of salary increase. In a separate question, 76.6% said they have not faced any salary or benefits cuts in the past year. We also asked if they believe they are fairly compensated — 60% of responders said yes, down from 69% last year.
The most common complaint was that workers do not feel that their salary reflects their workload. One responder said that they receive an “average” salary but do the work of three people. However, another responder said they know they can make more money somewhere else, but they stay with their current company because they believe in its mission and culture, they like what they do, and they like who they work for and the people they work with. Several other people said that their area and the local cost-of-living rates affect the salary they receive.
About 34% of readers said that their annual salary is $50,000 USD a year or less — last year, 28% of readers selected this salary range. 39% said that they make $50,000-$100,000 per year, up from 36% in the 2015 survey. 22% make $101,000-$150,000 per year, slightly more than the 2015 survey’s 20% figure. Only 3% make more than $151,000 per year, down from 9% last year. The remainder declined to give a number.
Finally, we asked our readers how much (if anything) they receive in additional compensation each year — this could include bonuses, 401(k) contributions, education reimbursement, and other cash.
15% of responders said they don’t receive anything. 4% receive $1,000 or less; 32% receive $1,000 to $5,000; 23% are within the $5,000 to $10,000 range; 14% get $10,000 to $20,000; 11% received $20,000 to $50,000; and 4% of survey participants say that they got over $50,000 in additional compensation. Again, several responders declined to give us a number.