Posted 25 января 10:52

Published 25 января 10:52

Modified 25 января 14:50

Updated 25 января 14:50

Out of competition: how much do the workers of military factories receive in Russia and abroad

25 января 2023, 10:52

Salaries of military-industrial complex engineers in Russia and abroad

In connection with SMO in Ukraine, a boom in military production began in the world. But not only guns and tanks compete on the battlefield, but also the quality of engineers and workers of military-industrial complex enterprises in Russia and in the West. According to the logic of globalization, their salaries and living standards should be comparable with each other. Is it so?

Victoria Pavlova

After the transition of Russian defense industry enterprises to work in 2 or 3 shifts, it turned out that there is often no one to work there.

Defense companies from Moscow attract people with high salaries: for example, turners are offered up to 200 thousand rubles a month. But not everyone can afford it. The management of the tank manufacturer JSC "NPK "Uralvagonzavod" points out that they cannot find people there even for positions that do not require qualifications. The problem is confirmed by the former Deputy Prime Minister and head of Roscosmos Yuri Borisov, who predicts a shortage of 400 thousand people for defense industry enterprises in the future, including 120 thousand people with higher education.

P. A. radox: in a crisis, business cuts staff and dismisses people en masse, and the defense industry suffers from a shortage of personnel. And this is despite the fact that working in the defense industry at least can give a reservation from possible mobilization in the future. It turns out that either there are no people in the labor market who would meet the requirements of defense enterprises, or no one wants to work on the proposed conditions. The ideological component and the pacifist attitude will be omitted.

Would you like to work for the idea?

But what can the defense industry enterprises, which mostly belong to the state, offer, and for the sake of survival in previous years were forced to switch to the production of unusual civilian products (in 2016, the president set tasks to increase the share of civilian products in defense enterprises to 50% by 2030)?

As it turned out, very little. Novye Izvestia studied the offers on the labor market, they did not find salaries of 200 thousand rubles for the masters, but they faced a lot of job offers for 30-60 thousand rubles.

And about the "Altai FNPC" in Biysk, which is engaged in the production of explosives and is part of Roscosmos, offers the turner 37250 rubles a month. Altai Krai is not a rich region, but even there, in October 2022, the average salary was 40,319 rubles. The website of the FNPC  contains a loud slogan "Technologies of the future – today", but are they possible in such conditions?

Or, for example, JSC "Corporation "Comet", which specializes in space information and reconnaissance systems. An enterprise of this profile should be at the sharpest of science, have the best specialists in the industry! But posted on the site hh.ru vacancies are not happy with salaries. Engineers are offered 60 thousand rubles, and a leading design engineer is offered 80 thousand rubles. And this is in Moscow, where the average salary in 2022 was 102 210 rubles! And if you take away 13% of the tax…

Almaz–Antey, one of the world's largest defense complexes, is looking for a senior researcher and an engineer of the department in Moscow for 57700 rubles a month, an engineer of the first category in Yekaterinburg for 55,000 rubles a month.

As we can see, there are few incentives to go to work for a defense company. It is much easier to go to couriers without unnecessary responsibility, who earn at least 100 thousand a month in Moscow. And no qualifications are required, and the level of responsibility cannot be compared.

In fact, the state offers people to work for the defense complex for an idea. But even here the motivation is lame – says independent analyst Dmitry Milin:

- Now in Russia, creative work is demotivated both financially and morally.

Engineers, designers and scientists here not only receive shamefully low salaries, but society and the authorities treat them with slightly concealed contempt, considering them almost serfs, the property of the country, who are obliged to achieve "world-class" results for low salaries not only compared to the level of developed countries, but relatively low inside countries compared to the incomes of officials and "siloviki".

There are rich engineers. But not in Russia

With everything else, it's another matter to be an engineer at a US or European defense enterprise.

In one of the largest defense corporations in the world, General Dynamics, engineers, according to the portal with reviews of the employer and working conditions, receive 100-150 thousand dollars a year. Current vacancies confirm this: the range of offers is from 102 thousand to 162 thousand dollars per year. Conditional 120 thousand dollars a year is about 695 thousand rubles a month. Of course, the amount before taxes is indicated, but it cannot be compared with Russian salaries. In the worst case, an engineer in the United States (if he lives alone, has no mandatory expenses) with such a salary will pay the state 24% of income tax, and will leave almost 530 thousand rubles a month in his hands.

In the French concern Thales, average salaries are even higher: they do not fall below 110 thousand dollars a year.

Dmitry Milin points out that such salaries at defense enterprises are in no way inferior to salaries in the civil and administrative sector of the economy. Being an engineer and working for the defense industry is simply profitable:

- Salaries in the USA and the EU, even after paying the progressive tax, are several times higher than those of Russian colleagues. Salaries in the American and European defense industry are usually competitive and slightly higher than those of colleagues "in civilian life" and seriously higher than those of officials and "siloviki". Working as an engineer in the USA and the EU is attractive, unlike in Russia.Alexey Mazalo, Director of the Center for Technological Competence of Additive Technologies JSC, also points out that salary is a key factor for finding employees:

- It is painful and insulting to hear about such figures. Of course, with such salary figures, it will be difficult to find adequate and talented specialists. It is no wonder that companies such as Almaz-Antey face similar problems. We dealt with this problem a certain number of years ago, but in the end we came to the conclusion that it is necessary to raise the salary level, improve the motivation system in the company so that each specialist has the opportunity to earn for certain achievements, certain indicators. This applies to employees of commercial services, production services, and specialists of the research and development department.Of course, in Russia in general, salaries are much lower than in the USA and Europe.

But even with such a background, according to Dmitry Milin, a significant increase is required to lure people to production:

- It is necessary to raise salaries up to 60-120 thousand for workers and up to 120-150 thousand for engineers, designers, craftsmen, and not only for the time of their own, but for the next 15-20 years, so that children already begin to dream of a career as a worker, engineer, designer, and did not want to get into officials, state corporations and "siloviki". In Russia, now every year fewer and fewer children choose mathematics and physics for the Unified State Exam, and last year budget places were not filled in technical universities, even with a shamefully low passing score. Life under the "raw material curse" is over and we (the whole country) need to get out of the habit of living in a rental economy and get used to living in an economy like "learn to do everything yourself". Alas, but in the current conditions, it is not necessary to hope that young people will go to master engineering, and highly qualified specialists will resort to defense enterprises.

The heads of defense industry enterprises also have their hands tied: the state defense order is not a free market. It will not be possible to release a product that will produce a wow effect, like the iPhone or Tesla once did, and which will be bought up by the people, making the company rich. Here everything depends on the customer - the Ministry of Defense, which sets tasks and pays. In addition, the law on state defense orders includes very strict rules for spending funds. Raising wages will require a radical increase in government spending on defense, but where will the money come from? So far, defense industry enterprises are getting out at the expense of people who have lost their jobs in civilian life, and are ready to agree to any conditions. It's not up to the selection of the most capable and talented. After all, it's easier to simply forbid anything to be said about problems in the army than to send money to production, and not to the bins of the generals.

Unfortunately, the high-profile case of Anatoly Serdyukov and Evgenia Vasilyeva did not put an end to this issue. Last year alone, corruption scandals broke out involving the head of the Radio Engineering Troops of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation, Major General Andrey Koban, the leading adviser to the Department for the State Defense Order, Alexander Lopatin, the former head of the Office of the Customer for Capital Construction of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Alexander Khan, and the former head of the Regional Directorate the customer of the capital construction of the district, Yuri Domolazov. Scandals are accompanied by the liquidation and sale of defense enterprises, in which tens of billions of rubles are dissolved. And the word “confiscation” only sounds in our country in relation to ordinary citizens who left after the start of the NWO. Apparently, there is nothing to confiscate from those who methodically plundered and destroyed the defense industry complex.