A shortage of qualified senior catering engineers in the UK is driving up the value of salary packages in the market, it has emerged.
Although the average wage of an engineer didn’t increase last year, overall salaries and reward packages grew 11% as companies sought to retain their most talented technicians while trying to attract new service personnel.
A study carried out by catering equipment executive recruitment specialist Capable Consultants suggests companies face growing pressure to create more generous packages if they wish to entice and keep hold of skilled engineers.
At the top end of the scale, senior engineers working in London and the South East can command more than £45,000 a year when bonuses are factored in.
Capable Consultants’ managing director, Kevin Robson, said a “scarcity” in catering engineers meant supply was currently outweighing demand, and warned the situation was unlikely to relent in the immediate future.
“The scarcity of engineers has been due to a lack of new entrants and to the exit of experienced engineers who are either retiring or increasing their reward by becoming self-employed or starting up their own businesses as contractors or sub-contractors,” he explained.
Robson said the motivation for entrepreneurial activity among catering engineers could largely be attributed to three factors: the appeal of attracting and servicing their own enquiries; the freedom of managing their own time rather than being ‘policed’; and the ability to bring former colleagues to work with them, even if this can lead to ‘moonlighting’.
The study suggests that the average UK senior Comcat engineer’s wage before overtime and bonuses stands at £21,666, but the figure can swing by as much as £5,000 depending on location. However, with overtime and bonuses factored, the average financial package shoots to £36,679.
By removing London from the equation, where wages are above the country average, the figure drops to £35,610. (Click on the image at the top of article to enlarge the table and see average salaries by region).
Robson said that engineers possessing a more rounded portfolio of maintenance and repair skills were especially desirable in the current market. “For most companies, an engineer with expertise in warewashing as well as gas work is most desirable. It potentially means they can work on any or all machines during the same visit,” he said.