BLR News


Looking to make the big bucks?

Old Saybrook, CT – May 18, 2005 – If you want the highest pay rate, better head to law school. Business & Legal Reports, Inc.’s (BLR) just released 2005 Survey of Exempt Compensation reports that at just over $100,000, the position of legal counsel receives the highest median annual pay. It got there via a stunning 13.89% average salary increase over the 2004 pay. Director of Engineering was in second place at $95,418, which increased 2.59% in 2005., where compensation professionals go for reliable compensation data, conducted its annual salary survey in early 2005. BLR’s website and associated print service, Employee Compensation in Your State, surveyed salary data among 4,100 U.S. employers. The average exempt salary increased 4.2% in 2005, higher than either last year (2.76%), or that seen in BLR’s 2005 Survey of Non- Exempt Compensation for hourly workers (-1.13%).

“Law and engineering are the places to be this year,” commented Susan Schoenfeld, BLR’s senior compensation editor. “Other than CEO jobs, these are the only positions experiencing double digit salary increases.”

Engineering background yields healthy pay increases Schoenfeld pointed out that along with law, two jobs with engineering backgrounds also had significant salary increases. Safety managers experienced a 12% increase ($46,456), while plant managers had a healthy 9.5% raise (to $73,563). Human resource generalists ($45,016) also experienced big increases (8.3%) in 2005.

For better pay raises, head west’s survey reported that the Far West experienced the biggest salary increases this year at 7.7% (average exempt salary of $60,479). The Northeast, where the 2005 average salary was $60,669, had the smallest increase among the regions at a paltry .79%. Schoenfeld commented: “There seems to be some year to year volatility around these regional numbers. The Northeast still pays the most, thanks to some big increases in 2004. But in 2005 that gap narrowed in the Far West and Rocky Mountains.”

Executive Summary Employers or journalists may obtain a free Executive Summary of BLR’s 2005 Survey of Exempt Compensation at

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Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for HR, compensation, safety, and environmental managers. For more information, call 800-727-5257 or visit