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Overhead Costs

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It always seems interesting to me that many small or single owner firms
complain about the costs of codes, software, computers, seminars, etc.
It seems to me that the majority of such engineering firms have billing
rates much lower than those for the larger engineering firms. I'm told
that this is because "their overhead costs are lower". Thus, it would
seem that they could afford such items if they would just increase their
billing rates to build in some capital costs? 

I've always worked for larger engineering firms - but I know that their
costs for computers, software, etc are very high, since almost every
employee requires a computer and access to various software. My employer
also pays my costs for attending ACI conventions so that I may
participate on ACI committees, and it pays for some amount of
"continuing education" for many employees. 

Perhaps the real complaint is that clients are not willing to pay an
adequate fee to cover the real cost of professional engineering work? 

William C. Sherman, PE 
(Bill Sherman) 
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)

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