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> Terry G Stringer  wrote to Dennis Wish:

>>but I believe anyone can make $60,000 / year in it. We
>>just need to put away our stress-strain curves for awhile and focus on the
>>supply and demand curve. It's a free-market system and we have to adapt to
>>it from time to time.

>>Dennis, have you ever tried to make $60,000 / year? If you did, would you
>>happy? Use this formula: Learn your industry the best that you can.
>>any unmet needs. Fulfill those needs.
>>It's as simple as that. Just be a little open-minded.

>>I take it that you're working mostly for architects. They're worse than
>>attorneys! You get paid, maybe, while they treat you like some second class
>>citizen. Honestly ask yourself, "is there really an unmet need of
>>engineers in the residential building market?" Don't take offense, but
>>you're nothing more than a hired gun to come in and smoke your calculator
>>for several hours for little pay. Why so little pay? Because calculator
>>smokers are a dime a dozen. A need that has been over met, driving the
>>of your services down, down, down. You're right, there's plenty more
>>overseas making the supply even worse.

>>I don't know the structural engineering world very well. 

I really do not know how to respond to this outraegous conclusion.  We
do some residential, mostly the high end stuff.  But most of our work is
for the private and public sector.
My partner and I are the principals here, and we usually make between
$50K and $80K a year, depending on the economy, etc.  Neither of us has
ever brokent the $100K mark.  None of our employees make this much on
salary.  Some good years a year-end bonus will bring some of their
salaries up in the $60K range.

I am not complaining about my salary.  Many of the Engineers at the City
and County make more money than I do.  I could work for a large
Engineering firm and make more.  I would not trade places with any of
these people.  I am doing the kind of work I want to do, and the salary
is adequate.

If you are in this business for the money there are ways to make more
than $60K a year.  But don't send your resume to us, we don't need or
want people like that.  
In the past, when I have looked for a job, I have never asked what the
salary or benefits are.  I seek a job and experience that will allow me
to do what I want to do.  As  result, I have ended up exactly where I
want to be, doing exactly what I want to do.  I do not dread getting up
in the morning going to work.  I love my work, and I am happy that I
make an adequate income.  If I were still at Bechtel designing supports
for eletrcial cable trays, I would be making a lot more than I am now. 
(no offense to the Bechtel people).  But I would be miserable.

If you want to be involved in a project from beggining to end, go out
and get the contract,  design in all kinds of materials, do all the
structural calculations, do the drawings (or at least direct the CAD
drafter in completing the drawings), write the specifications, do
contruction administration, etc., you have to work in a small office,
doing projects that are generally not in excess of $10 million.  Bigger
projects preclude one engineer being able to totally manage and be in
control of a big project.  

The kind of money Mr. Stringer is suggesting is only availabe to Senior
Engineers in offices our size.  That is what the market will bear.    

We interview people all the time, get resume's from many more.  We see
what kinds of jobs people have had and what they are paid.  Many of the
people we get resume's from have much less experience that myself, and
are much less capable than myself, and are making a lot more money than
I am.  I know what the market is here is Southern California.  I don't
have to take a poll.  There is a certain segment of our profession that
cannot demand the kind of money Mr. Stringer suggests.  It is a large
segement, and most of us know we could make more elsewhere. 


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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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