What You Need to Know About Setting Competitive Defense Salaries

What You Need to Know About Setting Competitive Defense Salaries

No matter what industry you are in, offering competitive salaries is an important part of acquiring quality candidates. You need to have knowledge of what others are offering for the job you are trying to fill and what the industry standards are. Here is what you need to know about setting competitive defense salaries.

Job and Career Changes Are Common

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to defense positions is that turnover rates can be high. About 73% of workers in the industry have been in their current position for less than five years. On top of that, about 81% say that changing jobs within the next year is likely.

Focusing on ways you can reduce turnover in your own organization is important. One of the key ways to do this is to ensure that your compensation packages are competitive with what other employers are offering.

Compensation Levels Are Continuing to Rise

Although 2020 put a damper on a lot of businesses, defense salaries are continuing to rise. In 2020, jobs that required security clearance averaged an annual salary of $96,515. That is 3.4% higher than the average salary in 2018. Most workers active in the defense industry are reporting a modest increase of about 3% as well, with some quoting increases over 5% in some cases.

Raises are an important piece of the puzzle as well. Individuals who have worked with their current employer for three to five years average an annual salary of $94,507. The numbers just keep climbing from there. Those who have been with their current company for 20 years or more average an annual salary of $117,801. Many employers raise defense salaries more in the first few years of employment as an incentive to stay on.

Compensation by Position

Depending on the clearance of the position you are hiring for, compensation rates will change. Intelligence security clearances pay the highest average annual salary at $127, 216. Top secret and DOD clearances also pay well over $100,000 per year on average. Department of Defense confidential clearance positions pay around $74,395 per year.

These figures will continue to change once you have a look at the individual worker’s qualifications. For instance, if the employee possesses a polygraph report, average compensation jumps from $110,000 to $111,000. Where they are in their respective careers matters too. Entry-level defense employees with less than two years of experience average an annual salary of $57,465. Senior and executive-level employees, on the other hand, are compensated an average of $161,180 annually.

Of course, occupation plays a large role in compensation rates as well. Engineers in the defense industry, for example, have an average annual salary of $127,829. Workers focused on business support average around $70,000 per year.

Location Matters

Where the employee is located matters as well. For instance, defense salaries in the D.C. Metro area-averaged out around $107,233 per year. Maryland also offers a high compensation rate of $104,836 annually. Compared to the rest of the country at an average of $96,515, that is quite a difference.

Similarly, the state of Kansas reports an average $74,453 in annual compensation for defense employees. This is lower than the national average. So, take location into consideration when you are attempting to offer a competitive defense salary.

Agencies like the Staffing Resource Group can help you pinpoint what a competitive salary is for the industry and position you are trying to fill. Let us assist you in filling the gaps in your current team.


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