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Pay hikes are highest at the top

PAY RISES for senior civil engineers are outstripping those of middle ranking colleagues according to the latest NCE/ICE Salary Survey.

The annual survey reveals that civil engineering managing directors and chief executives received rises of nearly 12%, four times inflation, during the last 12 months. Over the last two years, the average managing director's salary has soared 20% to £50,300.

Other directors also did well, seeing their pay jump 6% to £38,900 in the last year and 11% over the last two. Project team leaders made up for disappointing average rises in 1996-97 and enjoyed an increase of 5% to £30,000, putting them slightly ahead of inflation over the last two years.

However, the opposite was true for the members of their teams. While rises last year were around 5%, this year increases are down to between 1%-2%. Experienced team members now earn an average £24,500 and inexperienced staff £18,800.

Those at the bottom of the salary ladder saw their lot improve significantly. Engineers undergoing training received a massive average rise of over 9% to £15,700 - their salaries having risen at twice the rate of inflation over the last two years.

Taking a two year view, the survey shows all salaries beating inflation, although average rises for project team leaders and members are only just ahead. Respondents to the salary survey were relatively positive about the next 12 months, with less than one in ten expecting to see their salary fall in real terms.

A detailed summary of the NCE/ICE Salary Survey appears between pages 22 and 23.

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