01 August 2023

The aviation and airline sectors are continually transforming in line with market influences and customer needs. As the talent market in MRO and Engineering becomes increasingly complex, aviation businesses and airlines will need to understand candidate trends, as well as recognise and deliver against the drivers and aspirations of their people.

We created the MRO and Engineering Employment survey to establish key trends across important topics including job security, retention, well-being, reward, career development, advocacy, and benefits.

The MRO & Engineering Survey 2023 was open for four weeks and closed on the 30th of April 2023. A total of 546 MRO & Engineering professionals took part In the survey. The survey was designed for MRO & Engineering professionals to take part, representing those in jobs such as Airworthiness, B1/B2 Engineers, Unlicensed Engineers, Safety and Quality as well as Management.

Nearly 50% of respondents raised concerns over their job security. Citing the cost of living, lack of feedback, reviews or progressions plans and new leadership as the top contributors. This in turn impacted the likelihood of job seeking with four-fifths of this group planning to change jobs in the next 12 months.

Over 60% of respondents overall said they plan to change jobs this year, with a further 2% planning to retire. Salaries and benefits, career progression and work-life balance were featured as the top job-seeking motivations.

When people shared their reasons to stay with their employer, they highlighted salaries and benefits, work-life balance and their relationships with colleagues and leadership. Nearly two-thirds of respondents had been headhunted in the last six months bringing attention to how active the market is right now.

Respondents had in the majority received pay rises in the last five years but just under half were receiving regular salary reviews. 84% of these pay rises were given in the last 12 months, emphasising the ongoing pressures on salaries right now.

The majority of pay rises were under 10% but those in managerial positions were the most likely to receive the higher pay rises of over 20%.

Over a third of respondents were also receiving shift allowances, with B1/B2 engineers and unlicensed engineers the most likely to receive them. Again, the majority of these allowances equated to under 10% of their base salary.

Loyalty bonuses to motivate talent retention was limited in the market with 24% of employers offering them, yet 85% of respondents agreed it was an attractive incentive to stay.

Whilst the benefits received by respondents largely matched the most desired employee benefits, we found that 60% still did not believe their employers offered enough benefits. This was highlighted further when looking at the different groups of people who answered the survey.

There were disparities between the shift patterns that respondents worked on versus what they desired. Overall, a shift pattern of Monday to Friday was not only the most common shift pattern but also the most desired.

Over 50% of respondents rated their stress level as stressed or very stressed, with the workload, leadership style and lack of work-life balance as the top contributors to their stress.

Just over a quarter of respondents felt very valued by their employers and commentary from the respondents highlighted feelings of being unvalued due to the workload, pay issues and in general being treated poorly.

Over a quarter of respondents said they felt unhappy or very unhappy in their job. Higher salaries, better company culture and better leadership were rated as the factors that would make them feel happier at work.

Respondents were advocates of their profession with 88% agreeing they would repeat their career and 81% stating they would recommend it to young people. Over 50% did think more needed to be done to improve diversity in the profession.

Read the MRO & Engineering Report

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