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RE: Future Generations of Engineers
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: Future Generations of Engineers
- From: "Dennis Wish" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net>
- Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 22:39:51 -0700
never said we weren't busy - my lead times are six to eight weeks. What I said
is that our gross annual income rarely exceeds $50,000.00 a year. The reason for
this is that we are generally small offices and few of us do public works
projects. Of the ten engineers I mentioned, only one may be earning more, but I
doubt it as his overhead is much higher than the rest since he employs some five
or more persons and pays his only licensed engineer (fresh out of
apprenticeship) around $35,000.00 a year.
are reasons why productivity is low:
don't have skilled structural drafting people in the area and rely upon our own
skills at the cost of productivity,
2) Competition does bring our price down while
"games" are played to avoid engineering fees. Mexican labor is wet-sealed by at
least one local architect and the California Architectural Board returned my
call to explain that they are allowed so long as a permit is obtained. Action is
only taken if failure ore damage is reported in a complaint.
3) Since 9 of the 10 of us are Small One-person
offices our responsibilities reduce our productivity - we have to balance phone
calls for new business, complete existing work on our plate, market (when
needed) for new work, respond to plan review questions if any, and be accessible
to builders in the field for any difficulties and /or construction questions. We
have no staff to help take some of the pressure off so we can be productive.
There is a ton of small projects that we feel obligated to respond to. Many of
these are necessities and we work on a sliding scale to accommodate the clients
financial condition. These cases are generally were a client has been bilked
into doing work without a permit and without his knowledge and has been tagged
by the local municipality.
I want to be clear that I am not complaining about this as I am privileged
enough to be old enough to have only my granddaughter living with us and
very low overhead. My largest expense which exceeds my income is my medical
costs due to an existing condition (Crohn's disease). The Remicade
(for Crohn's and Rheumatoid Arthritis) treatments without
insurance are $5,000.00 ea and I need three to start and once
every 8-weeks for a year. The annual cost of the infusion therapy is over
$40,000 a year. Again, I've been blessed as my wife is a nurse and has gone
back to work working two 12-hour shifts a week in order to pay for a Blue Cross
PPO plan for the both of us (she is also denied health insurance outside of her
job due to an existing condition with her back). I can't give her age away
but lets say that I am 12-years away from full Medicare coverage and unless I
file for welfare (Medi-Cal in California, I would have no chance with this
disease). While I don't discuss this very often - I am not shy about discussing
it in public as I found that many of you suffer from problems that prevent you
from operating at your optimum - I think it is important to understand that
Crohn's Disease is one of the reasons why I need the Internet access to
accommodate Stan Caldwell's suggestion that I "GET INVOLVED', as I am unable to
travel 150 miles to attend a committee meeting and tried to design the goals of
the SEAINT List when Shafat and I first started it in order to create access for
those who had similar or other reasons why they could not physically attend a
that explains my comments to you Neil and I would be happy to discuss them
further with you if this did not answer your reply.
I don't really have the time to spend tweaking out my posts and while I know
they get long, but they are written so that I can be as clear a possible. I
admit they are verbose at times - so feel free to scan them for what might stand
out as something of interest to you. I admit that I don't read every post in its
entirety and I guess I feel guilty about it consider my lengthy diatribes but I
try and accommodate others who are as vocal as I am.
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2003 9:46
Subject: Re: Future Generations of
That is pretty hard to believe. In our northern California county of
El Dorado, there is so much work that some engineers have phone messages
telling people not to call them for six weeks or so. Must be that there
is part of California that can be considered "third world".
I also skip a lot of your long (but probably pretty good) posts.
Neil Moore, S.E.
neil moore and associates
"Caldwell, Stan" wrote:
Dennis:Sometimes, when reading excessively long posts, I
skip over something which merits a response. Your comment (below) is
truly sad. For at least the past three years, the starting
compensation packages for entry level structural engineers with MSCE degrees
in Dallas has been at or above $50K. This applies not only to the
larger employers, but also to many of the smaller consulting firms. In
addition, Dallas offers affordable housing (<$150K) and Texans still have
no income tax. We also don't
have any need for recall elections
<grin>. Truly, we live in
two very different worlds!Stan CaldwellStan,In fact, I doubt that the
10-engineers who work in this valley servicing over 100,000 people has a net
annual income exceeding $50,000.00 and the average cost of a modest home has
just hit $260,000.00. Dennis S. Wish,