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Re: Salary Survey

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In BC, Canada structural engineers who get involved with Architects or
developers are treated like trades people, not professionals.  As a result
we are seduced into giving fee proposals that are often based on minimal
information.   Also a proposal that gives hourly rates is considered "cost
plus" and thrown in the garbage can.  The developer/Architect/Owner then
chooses the lowest price.  Even in Government jobs where tendering is
considered "fairer" there is an emphasis on cost, although in local
government there is a policy to "vet" proposals before serious

The debate has raged for many a year and will no doubt continue.  Refer to
list offerings of last year.

Thor Tandy  P.Eng  MCSCE
Victoria BC

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Strapac <strapac(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 6:31 PM
Subject: Salary Survey

>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.