The Usability Professionals’ Association surveys the salaries and other career facts of usability professionalse every so often. The findings for 2009 are up and interesting. The quick summary is: most of people are making far more than us pre-tenure folks who teach usability. But then, I knew that. Here are some other interesting facts:

  • The average salary is $85,283
  • Despite the recession, salaries increased by $2,000 over the past two years (last survey was 2007)
  • The previously found gender gap in salaries has “almost entirely disappeared”

Other findings, not directly related to salary:

  • 42% of usability professionals are 26-35
  • 47% have master’s degrees
  • 25% work for software companies
  • 5% work in colleges or universities (since professor or teacher does not seem to be a job title included, these may be people with other roles at the universities)

Popular usability techniques include:

  • User Research (interviews & surveys) at 75%
  • Heuristic or expert review at 74%
  • Interface / interaction design at 70%
  • Creating prototypes (wireframes or low-fidelity) at 69%
  • Usability testing (informal) at 68%

Looking at these numbers, I think I should spend more time on heuristic evaluations in my classes that cover usability.

Often, when I mention average usability professionals’ salaries to my students they become suddenly interested in my class. I think these findings may have the same impact. After all, there are not many higher paying jobs for English students.

Do check out the full free survey report for more interesting findings.

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