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3. Engineering

5 year average salary change: -11.59%

While the data shows many engineers make upwards of $100,000 — significantly higher than what some other occupations offer — they’ve certainly suffered a major setback in pay compared to inflation over recent years.

It seems as though bioengineers and biomedical engineers have taken the brunt of it, suffering a 17% salary plunge in the last five years, but many others have seen their wages fall by over 10% as well.

Those who work in Big Tech have had to brace themselves for the waves of layoffs that tore through several Silicon Valley giants, like Google and Amazon. And a tech salary report from Dice found pay slipped from 2022 to 2023 amidst the pullback in hiring.

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2. Real estate

5 year average salary change: -11.72%

What’s up in the real estate world? Although home prices have risen by an average of 56% over the past five years, the same can’t be said for the folks managing the properties being sold.

Property, real estate and community association managers have seen their salaries decline by over 13%, while pay for property appraisers and assessors has decreased by more than 10% too.

Average annualized Realtor commissions hit a high of $84,355 in January 2021, but fell to $56,632 in April 2023, reports Axios, citing data from Reventure Consulting. Analysts believe Realtor commissions could fall even further following last year’s landmark ruling against the National Association of Realtors.

1. Sales

5 year average salary change: -11.78%

From insurance and financial services to wholesale and manufacturing, folks who work in sales aren’t profiting as much as they used to.

Sales managers and securities, commodities and financial services sales agents are seeing their pay plummet the most in this industry — by over 11.7%. By 2028, salaries for sales managers are expected to drop from a median $135,160 to $119,333.

What could be hurting sales? Many companies are pulling back on investments, acquisitions and hiring amid inflation and higher interest rates. Just look at the retail sector, for example, where a slew of stores and restaurant chains have filed for bankruptcy or announced store closures amid reduced consumer spending.


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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.


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