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Re: Structural Engineer's Career Path: A Circle?

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I'd be interested in the points of view particularly of some of those strucs
here who have been around the block at least once, have gone through the
early training, been promoted "up" to management, done the manager's thing
for a while, etc.

I'm enjoying my role as a manager, and am now involved much more now in
marketing--not just structural engineering, but consulting engineering
services in general. But I find myself really MISSING the days when I did
just plain DESIGN. I know my design skills are a bit rusty now. On those
occasions when I'm called upon to do design, I find I have to think a bit
before performing tasks that used to be second nature to me.

I wonder if any of you "elder statesmen" (and I mean that in the best
possible way) have experienced a time when you have decided to chuck all the
trappings of "prestige and power" and gone back to being a structural
designer again? Do you ever get to the point where you can expect to perform
that role and function, and still get paid a progressive salary?
I like design.  Managing someone else doing design was not fun for me.  So I
abandoned that and went into business for myself as sole proprietor.  I make
enough money to clothe and feed everyone here, while my wife tends to the
domestic chores; but I'd say I don't make a "progressive salary."

If offered four times the money I make to manage an office, I'd turn it
down.  I'm lucky enough to know that money doesn't make me happy.  My
lifestyle is superior to most and life is too short to spend it punching
clocks and wearing neckties.

John P. Riley, SE
Riley Engineering
Blue Grass, Iowa

PS:  Ever hear of the Peter Principal?  Well, I reached my level of
incompetence . . . then backed up one level.