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Salary Survey

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Some general questions for the group:

I was not financially able to practice Structural engineering out of
college, the salaries available for the jobs available were 1/2 to 2/3 what
I make in Construction Management. So I'm not "close" to the field. Of all
the fields of engineering, Civil seems to pay the least, and within Civil,
Structural engineering seems to pay the least. This fact hit home when I
got a call from a friend of mine from school who went on to get a Masters
in Structural Eng. at Stanford, a year after finishing grad school, he quit
and went to work for Dean Whitter.. as a stock broker (He hasn't even paid
off his college loan. He explained that he looked at his mentors, and what
they had accomplished, and he realized that in current dollars, he could
expect to max out at $70k/year when he retired, in Los Angeles. With all
the license requirements, etc., why don't structural engineers earn
significantly more? 

Why do they bill "per job" vs. attorneys (accountants too?) who bill per
hour? It seems as if you are all in a race to bid yourselves out of

Is there an organized effort to rectify this?

Steve Strapac, P.E.