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RE: disappointed engineer

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I had the good fortune to study and work in other industries before deciding
to become a member of the structural engineering community. I was 36 years
old when I became licensed as a PE and now 15 years later, I still enjoy
(although must admit a certain lack of enthusiasm) this profession.
I had the opportunity to work in more financially lucrative areas, but money
was not the motivation for my decision to be an engineer. I was looking for
a niche I fit into that I could wake up each day and be satisfied to face
the challenges ahead of me. I do admit that I am not the personality to work
for someone else, so after paying my dues while gaining my education and
work experience I went into private practice as soon as I could. Yes, the
money is more often than not much less in a small practice, the stress
levels are equally high or higher - but self motivated, and the hours are
much longer. Still, it is my business, I make a decent living and enjoy my
work environment plus the "toys" (i.e., software, computers etc.) and the
challenges of creative architectural designs.
I'm not trying to minimize the facts that as a professional community, we
have done little to promote ourselves in the eyes of the public or to work
uniformly on increasing our value to society. I am only saying that if you
are in it for the money, there are better paying fields to study. If you
have it in your blood and are addicted to the challenges, you belong in this
or any other field you get that rush from.
At 50+ years old, it would be nice to have  more money, more luxury and even
more or more. However, when I finally do get time to reflect on where I am
at in my life, I am satisfied with what I have accomplished and don't place
as high a value on money I have earned.
For what it's worth, I suspect that I earn less than the majority of those
just starting out (net income) but don't regret a moment. Well, maybe one or
two when it comes time to buy new reference materials or interpret new code
Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
structures(--nospam--at) <mailto:structures(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax
ICQ #95561393

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mete BAYKIR [mailto:mbaykir(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 10:58 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: RE: disappointed engineer
> We also have the same situtation here in Turkey.Another fact is that
> the salary of a structural design engineer is always less than the salary
> of a site engineer in my country (both mentioned salaries are
> always lower
> than another elecrical engineer or industrial engineer). You may
> see a civil
> engineer working as an IT in a bank or working as a network admin in a
> company
> for the sake of earning much money. The structural engineering here is not
> done
> for money. Here in my country you may do it if you really love to
> do it, not
> if
> you imagine earning whole lot of money.
> Mete
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GU Jinqiang [mailto:gujinqiang(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Monday, April 02, 2001 6:24 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Re: disappointed engineer
> I had similar experience in China.
> Kingckong GU
> From PRC
> 2001/4/2
> Original
> >From: Tomás Matta Reply-To: seaint(--nospam--at) To: "seaint" Subject:
> >disappointed engineer Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 22:19:07 -0500
> >
> >I graduated from college here in Chile about six months ago, and
> I've been
> >working ever since in a small office designing mostly reinforced
> concrete
> >buildings, and to tell you the truth, I find the job to be very
> >disappointing. The pay is definitely not as good as in other areas (like
> >industrial engineering), and the job really gets to be boring
> sometimes. I
> >mean, what difference will it make if you try to do a good job and try
> >design economically for the client? Will he notice? I think
> certainly not.
> >The thing is, at least here in Chile structural engineering
> really carries
> >some status in college because it's considered to be one of the more
> >difficult areas of engineering, and the smartest kids here in
> Chile prefer
> >to study engineering rather that medicine or law, like in the
> States. Now I
> >don't regret having studied structural engineering, I liked studying it,
> >but working, now that's a different story. I don't want to spend
> the rest
> >of my life taking orders from the big man in the project (architect), so
> >I've already started to look for a job in another area. Does
> this happen to
> >engineers in other countries?
> >
> >just my 2 pesos worth,
> >
> >Tomas Matta Ingeniero Civil, PUC Santiago, Chile
> _________________________________________________________________________
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