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- To: addseaoc(--nospam--at)euken.com
- Subject: Fwd: Re: building code minimums for wood frame
- From: rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org (Richard Lewis)
- Date: 30 Jul 1997 14:31:10 GMT
IteUrsi(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote: Excerpts: > << As long as there is this type of rationale used to set our fee structure, > is it any wonder the client feels he should "shop" around. We have ourselves > to blame and also, personally I feel in addition we have gotten little > support in the area of proper fee structures from SEAOC.>> > > Before feeling too sorry for ourselves, we need to keep in mind that things > are no better in other fee-for-service disciplines as well. In my family > there is a CPA, an attorney, and a MD. All of them have worked for large and > small organizations. I can say with definite knowledge that fee-setting > practices in those professions are no more rational, fair, or "professional" > than in engineering. In fact, there are much greater variations, with > effective hourly rates ranging from the low one-hundreds to the > tens-of-thousands. Not that I'm interested in comparing fees with CPAs, ATTYs or MDs (although the pass rate for the SE exam is much lower than the BAR and E&O insurance rate/$1,000 billings is higher than a General Practice MD), I'm more concerned with the percentage of the A-E fee. Most engineers don't ask (I do), but I believe it is difficult to get much more than 20%-25% of the total. When comparing the time (both direct and indirect-research, seminars, etc.) and liability, this fee is not in correct proportion. For example, from the little bit of surveying (market, not Civil), a design fee for a custom house can be between $20K and $30K. What are we charging for the structural engineering services? > <<<I agree with your comments on how you arrive at a fee structure, and I > don't know if that should change even if it could. I'm a big fan of the free > enterprise system...I think SEAOC has fallen short in promoting the > PROFESSIONALS vs. the profession.>>> > > A sure way to increase the *average* compensation of a profession is to > increase the public's esteem and valuation of the services it provides. In > the old USSR, engineers were paid more than doctors, mainly because > production of goods was viewed as more valuable to society than personal > services. A different relative-worth paradigm operates in this country. > Changing the paradigm is difficult at best because the supply/demand > principle still has to operate. I just hired a COBOL consultant to help with > our "Year 2000" problem (our large and complex computer applications are > written in that old language), at $200 per hour, the demand-driven rate at > the moment for such folks. That figure is likely higher than I or most > readers of this listserv can command. I totally agree with you. But, if I've gotten stones thrown at me for some of my more mundane, topics can you imagine what would happen if I suggested that SEAOC hire a marketing firm to create "infomercials" about the importance of the Structural Engineer on a project? > We need to remember more often the non-monetary satisfaction we receive from > our work, those moments when we drive by a completed project and think to > ourselves or point out to our family that we contributed to something that is > tangible, useful to society, and longlasting (whether or not our name appears > on a building credit plaque). Particularly enjoyable are those projects > where we came up with economical or elegant solutions to difficult > challenges. This 'psychic' component of the total compensation is higher in > engineering than in most fields. As I recall, a WSJ article on the subject > some time ago said the burnout/dropout rates among engineers 5 years out of > school were fairly low, while the percentages for lawyers and auditors were > over 33%. The pressures for billable hours in the early years of their > careers, coupled with unsatisfying and tedious grunt work (such as legal > research), were the reasons cited most often by the departed folks. We should have both; and not be shy about asking for it. All too often this intellectual satisfaction is merely a rationalization. We have studied hard and worked hard to learn our profession. There are life safety issues at stake. We should be properly compensated. > We can take solace that some high-paying professions need that balm to offset > low public esteem. What is the only difference between a lawyer and a > vulture? Ans: The vulture doesn't get frequent flyer miles. What kind of public esteem can we generate if we are willing to do a "calc and sketch" on a one story single family residence for 500 bucks? Regards, Bill Allen --- Internet Message Header Follows --- Received: from server1.seaoc.org (bqe.com [188.8.131.52]) by host1.texramp.net (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id RAA15463 for <rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org>; Thu, 27 Feb 1997 17:37:46 -0600 (CST) Received: from darius.concentric.net by server1.seaoc.org (NTList 3.02.10) id da004709; Thu, 27 Feb 1997 15:24:32 -0800 Received: from newman.concentric.net (newman.concentric.net [184.108.40.206]) by darius.concentric.net (8.8.5/(97/02/12 3.22)) id SAA03341; Thu, 27 Feb 1997 18:22:24 -0500 (EST) [1-800-745-2747 The Concentric Network] Errors-To: <ballense(--nospam--at)concentric.net> Received: from BAllen (61019d0019la.concentric.net [220.127.116.11]) by newman.concentric.net (8.8.5) id SAA07993; Thu, 27 Feb 1997 18:22:21 -0500 (EST) Message-ID: <33161707.306(--nospam--at)concentric.net> Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 15:21:43 -0800 From: Bill Allen <ballense(--nospam--at)concentric.net> Reply-To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (Win95; U) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org Subject: Re: building code minimums for wood frame References: <970227171149_-1775237824(--nospam--at)emout10.mail.aol.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Error-To: seaoc-ad(--nospam--at)seaoc.org X-Loop: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org X-Info: [SEAOC] Owner: seaoc-ad(--nospam--at)seaoc.org X-POP3-Rcpt: seaoc-ad(--nospam--at)seaoc.org X-Sender: seaoc-ad(--nospam--at)seaoc.org Precedence: list X-ListMember: rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org [seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org] __________________________________________________ Richard Lewis, P.E. Missionary TECH Team rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org The service mission like-minded Christian organizations may turn to for technical assistance and know-how.
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