Salaries for the vital professions have been a subject of discussion for years. But how high (or low) are the wages for these positions exactly? This week we take a closer look at the salary of installation technicians.
They are the people who put solar panels on roofs and build, maintain and repair all infrastructure in buildings. Installation technicians are indispensable, especially with a view to the energy transition. What do they get paid for this work?
What do you earn if you are just starting out?
In the brand new Metal & Technology collective labor agreement, which includes some 320,000 employees, the starting salary in job category D is EUR 2,318 gross (from 1 July, based on 38 hours). According to FNV director Metaal & Techniek Jacqie van Stigt, most mechanics start in this scale, as an auxiliary mechanic.
But it concerns a minimum collective labor agreement; employers have generally been paying 15 to 20 percent more for years. “And now that the staff shortages are great, that is probably even more. We have little idea of how much that is, but I recently spoke to an experienced mechanic who would benefit from 50 percent in a competing company. charge 75 to 100 euros per hour for their services.”
How do you make steps?
As an employee, you automatically move up a step in your scale every year, but according to Van Stigt that happens faster in practice. Once you have the necessary experience and can work independently, as an installation technician you usually end up in scale E, F or G. Scale E runs from 2,390 to 2,729 euros, scale F from 2,509 to 2,926 euros and scale G from 2,710 up to 3,123 euros.
A job evaluation system defines exactly how each individual job is rewarded. If you want to earn more than 3,123 euros per month, you will have to specialize in, for example, new techniques.
What is the highest achievable salary?
Salary scale J is the highest in the collective labor agreement. This starts at EUR 3,538 and ends at EUR 4,280 after ten years of service. This is theoretically the highest achievable minimum for executive functions. But if you become a manager, you can rise above this level, says Van Stigt.
Are there any extras?
There are. A surcharge of 0.78 percent on top of the monthly salary for the first two hours and 0.89 percent for the hours thereafter applies to overtime (excluding weekends or public holidays). On Saturdays, employees who work outside their duty roster also receive 0.89 percent on top of their monthly salary. On Sundays and public holidays this is 1.12 percent.
“Outside the collective labor agreement, many companies will now undoubtedly offer retention bonuses and labor market benefits to retain and attract people.”
Travel time, hours ‘outside the day window’ and ‘shifted hours’ are also compensated in some cases with a certain percentage of the salary. Employees who work in shifts receive 14 percent on top of their monthly salary.
“Outside the collective labor agreement, many companies will now undoubtedly offer retention bonuses and labor market allowances to retain and attract people. The shortage of these people is structural. At company level, all kinds of extra allowances are possible.”
What challenges does the profession face?
“Employers put enormous pressure on installation technicians to work many hours,” says Van Stigt. “That is understandable, because companies have assignments that are subject to deadlines. With the increasingly tight labor market, the pressure on the existing staff is too great. People work too much for too long.”
An important challenge is therefore keeping employees healthy – both physically and mentally. Another is staying current in a changing world. “Installation technicians play a crucial role in the energy transition, sustainability and greening. But that does require the necessary knowledge of new techniques. They must constantly keep up with their profession.”