By Carly McHugh
Each year, we ask our readers to weigh in on their careers and the current state of the industry. Questions range from experience, job satisfaction, and income to company profits and an outlook on the industry. The results usually differ to a degree, compared to the previous year. However, there can be some unexpected surprises.
These answers offer insight on the current state of Canada’s sign industry, as well as provide foresight into what we can expect on the horizon.
The following are the collected results of this year’s 16th annual survey, submitted anonymously, along with the trends they revealed for the past year and beyond.
Responses came in from coast-to-coast, including the territories. Once again, Ontario led the charge, followed by British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. The number of respondents from Atlantic Canada was up 2.1 per cent from 2021.
The survey also shows the industry continues to be dominated by men, who represent more than three-quarters of all responses. Similar to last year, the majority of respondents were in the 50-plus age group, while 46.4 per cent were under the age of 50. Those between the ages of 35 and 49 increased to 38.7 per cent, up from 33 per cent in 2021. However, the number of respondents in the 25 to 29 age group fell from five per cent to 1.4 per cent.
The relationship between experience and career path
The survey data shows half of all respondents have at least two decades of experience in the industry. In fact, those who have more than 30 years of experience represented the largest group of respondents (24.3 per cent), as well as the largest increase in responses (+6.3 per cent) compared to 2021. The number of respondents who have been in the industry for less than 14 years saw a 7.6 per cent decrease compared to last year. However, a majority of this decline appears to have come from those who have been in the industry for 10 to 14 years, as the number of those with less than nine years of experience has only fallen by 1.7 per cent.
Based on these results, it is unsurprising the largest increase in tenure was from those who have been with their current company for 30-plus years (16.4 per cent, up from 12 per cent). Further, the number of respondents who have been with their current company for more than 20 years increased from 36 per cent in 2021 to 37.1 per cent in 2022.
Who are you?
Sign Media Canada provides leaders in the industry with the latest news, products, services, and techniques related to their craft. The magazine has a huge following—from business owners and signmakers to installers and fabricators. Once again, the largest number of respondents selected “owner” as their job description. This was followed by sales executive/project manager and graphic designer. Additional occupations near the top of the list included signmaker/designer/fabricator and office manager. A good number of respondents also had jobs which best fit into the “other” category.
Who makes what?
More than half of the sign industry workers surveyed earn $60,000 or more per year. The number of respondents in this group is up 12.4 per cent compared to last year.