Highlighting data ranging from health benefits to the most popular products in the marketplace to employee retention and pumps education

Is anyone in your department new to the pumps industry? What type of pumps training did you receive in college? How long have you been in the industry?

These are just a few of the questions we asked Pumps & Systems readers to weigh in on for our first annual Industry Employment Analysis. In the following pages, we highlight data ranging from health benefits to the most popular products in the marketplace.

We’ve heard from industry leaders and readers like you that recruitment and workforce training are among the most critical issues the industry must address moving forward, so we’ve also included data on employee retention and pumps education.

We hope this data—culled from several Pumps & Systems reader surveys and data from the Hydraulic Institute—will be helpful to you and your company.


The difficulty of recruiting young workers to the pumps industry is an issue echoed in both our reader surveys and discussions with industry leaders. Despite these concerns, there are many up-and-coming employees who are committed to making a career in the industry. Irene País’s story is the first installment of a five-part Pumps & Systems series highlighting some of the bright young people taking on pumps careers in 2017. Read other parts of this series here.

Irene PaísIrene País

IRENE PAÍS, Applications Engineer

When Irene País started her position as an applications engineer at Geiger Pump & Equipment Co. in March 2016, she had just completed a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Temple University in Philadelphia.

A couple of years earlier, she received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, where she grew up.

Even with two college degrees, País said she still had much to learn about the pumps industry after taking her new job. “I ask a lot of questions of my fellow engineers. There are so many types of pumps and so many applications I come across, it’s always something new—and that’s what’s exciting. It’s not always the same pump,” she said.

Pump equipment was a not a focus of her studies in college. “I had a class in my bachelor’s studies where we talked about pumps. It was basically centrifugal pumps. We looked at systems and pump curves, affinity laws,” she said. “We really didn’t have time in college to go deeper into the pumps world because there’s so much you have to learn.”

País entered the pumps industry by chance: She interviewed with Geiger Pump & Equipment and liked the company—and the distributor appreciated what she could offer.

“I was looking for engineering positions, consulting engineers in research labs, because I have research experience,” País said. “After the first interview, I really liked Geiger, specifically, and I really liked the pump world. I thought I would be able to apply my engineering knowledge to it and also be able to provide a service and sell to customers, not just be at a computer, but have customer interaction.”

She found that her interest in the pumps business, with the myriad equipment and applications involved, grew as she learned more about the industry.

“I saw all the variety there is—the positive displacement pumps, the gear pumps, the hose pumps—and that makes it interesting,” she said.

“We, as a human species, need pumps to function, not just for water but gas for your car. You need to irrigate crops so you need to get well water. So many pumps are in the food-processing industry. It’s a lot when you start thinking about it,” she said. “It’s exciting in that you’re providing a service for the world.”

In her role at Geiger, País works with customers to learn about their needs and what equipment would best help them. Working in municipal market sales complement’s her college experience: Her graduate project for her bachelor’s degree involved the design of a water reclamation facility in a municipal wastewater treatment plant for agricultural reuse, while her master’s thesis focused on developing a chemical fingerprint for detecting untreated human sewage pollution in surface water.

País emphasized the importance of her education in her Geiger role, pointing to her college studies to obtain her chemical and environmental engineering degrees. “We had a lot of chemistry classes that helped me to be able to see a fluid and know what that is going to do to a pump,” she said. “With my master’s degree in environmental engineering, my focus was water and wastewater. Now that I’m going to be doing municipal sales, that is going to help me.”

Her advice to college students looking to enter the pump world?

“Be ready to learn because we don’t learn enough in school about pumps. Be open and be able to learn because you’re going to learn a lot for sure,” she said. “Be ready to ask questions. Don’t be discouraged by it … You’re not going to be successful if you don’t ask.”

Another piece of advice she offered to engineering students preparing to enter the workforce: “Be open-minded about the pump world,” she said.

“It’s always going to be there. It’s going to be steady. It may increase or decrease depending on the years and the economy, but the pump world is always going to be present.”


In today’s competitive job market for highly skilled positions, it’s essential that a company’s compensation package be designed to attract and retain key employees. To address this need, the Hydraulic Institute conducts an annual salary survey of U.S. pump manufacturers and issues a detailed salary report to participating members. The report covers 36 key positions in the manufacturing, engineering, technical support, administration, and sales and marketing departments. Salary figures given in the report include the average base salary as of January 1, minimum and maximum salaries, the first, second (median), and third quartiles, and whether the position was typically eligible to receive incentive compensation. Also shown in the report are the minimum, average and maximum incentive compensation for each job title and the average salary percentage increase.

Salary figures range widely and are dependent on many factors, including years of experience in the job and the part of the country where the employer is located. To effectively benchmark your compensation package against others, take each influencing factor into consideration. That’s why, for each job title in HI’s Annual Salary Report, base salaries are broken out by annual sales volume, geographic region, city size of the reporting company’s primary plant, number of full- and part-time salaried employees, and number of years in that position. It’s this level of granularity about positions in the pump manufacturing industry that makes the report uniquely valuable as a planning and budgeting tool.

The information to the right highlights some of the positions covered in the report using salary figures from 2016. Where you see that a regional sales manager’s annual base salary is in the range of $95,000 to $120,000 the report would tell you, for example, the average salary for a regional sales manager in pump manufacturing companies with more than $100 million in sales, whose plant is located in the northeastern U.S., in a small city, in a plant with more than 150 salaried workers, and for individuals with more than 10 years of experience on the job. That level of detail about jobs in the pump industry is not available elsewhere.

The Annual Salary Report is part of HI’s overall statistics program and is offered at no cost to participating members. For more information contact Mary Silver at msilver@pumps.org or visit the membership section at www.pumps.org.

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