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Re: Food for thought

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One reason that doctors and lawyers make a lot more money is that you tend to
hire them when you are in trouble.  Hence, you are willing to pay more for the
best service available.  Engineers are usually a luxury, in the sense that the
project you are doing is your choice not a requirement.  If you had a heart
attack, would you put out a competitive bid for the surgery?  No, you would
hire the best at any cost.  This may be one of the reasons we all made more
money here in CA in 1994 after the earthquake.  When scared or uncertain about
their property, people were willing to pay a bit more for engineering
services.

A second reason:  Doctors and lawyers are often paid by insurance, so there is
a sense that the cost of services is "free".  If an owner has "engineering
insurance" as they do when they are rebuilding a damaged structure, they tend
to not really care about the engineering cost because "someone else is
paying".  So we can charge the insurance company more.  Since most engineering
is pay as you go, we don't usually have this luxury.  You will note that
doctors salaries have skyrocketed in the last 30 years as more and more of
their fees are paid by insurance and Medicare, and less and less by the
individual.

And so it goes ...

Bruce Resnick, SE
Parker Resnick Str. Eng.