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RE: Salary Survey

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Yes!  I totally agree.  Also, what about supply and demand?  Contractors
cannot find enough qualified labor for their projects so they have to pay
certain salary perks to keep employees.  Since this is a boom time for
everybody, now is the time to reap as many benefits as possible because it
will certainly not last forever.  Lawyers charge about $150 an hour - now
imagine if there were a shortage of lawyers ... what would you expect to
pay?  How about a shortage of doctors?  

Engineers must be aware of the cost of their service.  If a task was worth
$10,000 five years ago, why are so many firms now chasing that same type of
job and only charging $7,500?  Is it because the task can be done faster on
the computer?  If that is the case, what about the capital investment for
the computer and the software?  These items are not cheap and they should be
included in the cost of our service.  I can now perform calculations in five
minutes what used to take an entire day.  Does that mean I should only
charge 1/12th of an hour?  I sure hope nobody believes this should be the
case.  Although, I have seen charges decrease over the last ten years
instead of increasing like other occupations' fees.  

A quote from my architecture professor: "The real estate agent commission
for selling a building is greater than the combined total of all the
professional fees to design the same building."  Is this logical?  NO!  Who
performed the greater service?  Who accepts more liability?  All
professionals must wake up and stop the low-ball fee practice.  Otherwise we
will always be cutting our own profits and selling ourselves short.

Whew!  That feels good to let that out ... now if only my supervisor will
listen to me.

William J. Keil, P.E.

<< You know, I can't help but think that the answer is very simple,
engineers don't sell themselves as well as other professionals. It is a
nice idea to educate others about our worth, but lets face it,
architects and owners like the low fees that engineers are currently
asking and they aren't going to raise them voluntarily. Maybe the answer
is educating engineers to negotiate for larger fees along with awareness
to the general public.

Sue Davis, PE  >>