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RE: Salary Survey

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> Of all the fields of engineering, Civil seems to pay the least,

Not strictly true. Of the different engineering disciplines, Agricultural
Engineering is at the bottom of the pay scale. But Civils are pretty close
to the bottom.

> within Civil, Structural engineering seems to pay the least.

Not my experience at all. Of practicing civil engineers (i.e. NOT managers
who happen to have C.E. degrees), structurals make the most typically.

> in Structural Eng. at Stanford, a year after finishing grad
> school, he quit
> and went to work for Dean Whitter.. as a stock broker

An unfair comparison, since "stock broking"--which is not a "profession" and
can be done by anyone with the mind and stamina for it--can't really be
compared with a "steady" profession like engineering.

I've also known engineers who've quit to become M.D.s, and J.D.s as well.
All that means is 1) they really didn't enjoy what they were doing anyway,
and/or 2) the potential financial rewards of their "new" careers were
compelling.

> expect to max out at $70k/year when he retired, in Los
> Angeles.

That's pretty far off the mark. I make considerably more than that, right
now, and I'm in Houston, Texas, with about twenty five years to go in my
career.

> With all
> the license requirements, etc., why don't structural engineers earn
> significantly more?

My take on this: Because they haven't discovered how to stand up to their
clients (architects, owners, etc.) and demand more; because the clients know
that if this guy won't play ball, some guy down the street will.

Try finding a run-of-the-mill attorney in Houston that'll charge you less
than the going rate. Nothing doing. It's this much, or go pro se, pal.

> 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
> existence!?

There is some truth to what you say.

>
> Is there an organized effort to rectify this?

I'm not the guy to go to for this answer, but the last time I remember
hearing anything about such an organized effort was about 12 years ago, when
a magazine article in (I seem to recall) ENR showed a group of strucs,
posing for a photo, with the caption that this "new organization" was
dedicating itself to rectifying the horrible disparity, etc. etc.

Have no idea what ever became of that effort.