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First - Circle, Champaign or Navy Pier? I spent three years at Circle =

I see you got a little testy in your remarks. BTW I happen to be a =
pretty happy guy until someone comes along to upset the cart with =
unrealistic figures. The truth is that you don't have a true =
representation of what exists for engineers who CHOOSE to design for =
residential, commercial and light Industry. I believe if you dig enough, =
you will find that the 1000 firms polled in your study are primarily =
larger firms with very diverse abilities - not sole proprietorship. Not =
that it is bad. It's just not a realistic look at the working class in =
structural engineering.
Why would the magic number of $60,000.00 make me happy. Personally I am =
very happy right now in what I do. I make enough to pay my bills. I have =
established myself in my profession and in my community and live a very =
comfortable life for less than $35,000.00 per year. My front door opens =
to the mountains and desert (literally) and I live in a safe community =
of 11,000 people - with golf courses.
Happiness is not the issue - unsolicited lectures that consider your =
readers to be sniveling, complaining children is the problem. You start =
with no facts, then quote NSPE which is easily dispelled since it =
represents all practicing engineers in all fields of engineering as well =
as non-licensed engineers.
Then when challenged you switch to quoting ASCE which I would believe to =
be skewed simply by the ratio of SE members compared to organizations =
that give a truer reprentation such as SEAOC or CASE. ASCE includes =
students, wastewater, geotechnical, bridge, infrastructure etc.=20
I will concede that if my interest were in these area's then I could =
conceivably find work at $60k per year.

"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 =
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 =
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 =
price of your services down, down, down. You're right, there's plenty =
overseas making the supply even worse."

Talk about taking a shot at an industry. The answer is yes. If you spend =
more time on the List you might see that there is a concern for public =
safety in the residential market. As codes change to protect the public, =
only engineers will be able to design ecconomically and safely. No =
longer is life safety an issue, but engineers must be concerned with =
designing for the least potential for damage.  As you admit, you =
certainly don't know much about structural engineering - even your =
magazine is geared away from this area of study (probably the reason it =
doesn't get too much attention in my office).=20
This is one of those times that I feel like getting on Bill Allens =
bandwagon so that I can get my SE simply to disassociate myself from the =
CE profession that you seem to be spokesman for.
If you think that it is beneath an engineers ability to provide =
reasonable and ethically needed services in the private sector than I =
recommend you gladly save yourself a few pennies and remove me from your =
mailing list, CE News gets recycled each month anyway. Who designed your =
home, Terry. Did you trust a contractor to build it by "conventional" =
standards, or possiby an Architect that you trusted to design all of the =
connections or maybe you did it without your structural ability but with =
your CE in hand.
There many not be much money in the private sector, but there is a great =
need for qualified engineers to provide a service to the community in =
order to help the public live and work in safe buildings that can be =
purchased at reasonable prices.=20

"I don't know the structural engineering world very well or I would make =
You certainly don't - the majority of us work for the "bottom feeders". =
We may have a gripe with their legal right to cross the line and stamp =
off engineering work, but most of the Architects that I deal with are =
the same as I. They are in private practice ranging in size from one man =
offices to many thousands of employees. They are the creative element =
that provides the challenges that necessitate our special talents. We =
analyze the work we do for creative way to resolve a problem at the =
least cost to the client. This is what good engineering is about. There =
is a lot more to Structural Engineering that crunching a few numbers. =
There is pride in this business that you consider "bottom feeders" and =
most of all, it's honest work for honest pay.

"It's not surprising that my comment struck a nerve with you. You are =
the type of person it was directed to. If you recall, I wrote, "We act =
as if
we are entitled to prosperity and that job satisfaction, including fat
salaries, should (or ought to) be guaranteed to us. If we don't get =
that, we
want to hold someone else accountable for our disappointments." YOU, =
Dennis, are holding someone else accountable for your problems and YOU =
are typical of the many Americans that have adopted the philosophy of =
victimology. Indeed, the engineering market is oversupplied and you can =
complain about it and know in your heart that your right. But you're =
going to be unemployed right."

No, Terry, we are not the victims, you just needed a soap box to spread =
your unsolicited opinions. You have thousands of readers. Those who make =
ends meet above $60,000 will support you to their unemployment, those =
that make less will resent every word you "preach".  I will never be =
unemployed because as many misinformed engineers move to those visions =
of bluer sky's that you paint, the bottom feeders will need my services =
more than ever and at my price. As you suggest, "Identify any unmet =
needs. Fulfill those needs." - I believe I just have. Security comes =
from within not from the dreams you're peddling or any employer. I have =
attained my security as well as my contentment. It's just that I am not =
willing to forget my peers that haven't reached this point yet. They =
need to find peace from their efforts What they don't need in these =
times is an inconsiderate solicitation from an engineer that makes his =
honest living collecting advertising money and thinking that he is a =
self-proclaimed  barometer of the engineering  working class.

BTW, I was serious, please remove my name from your magazine and save =
yourself some money. I have one philosophy (like yours) that works: I =
refuse to keep my mouth shut to debate any good cause and I try not be =
hypocritical in my passions. Maybe if you think about that for a while I =
may make some sense to you.

Dennis S. Wish PE


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Subject: RE: American Engineers have it good?
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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