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RE: License

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Title: Re: License

Good points, Scott.


Yes, there is collusion in the real estate world, although maybe the current market

Might lead to more competition.




One of the many fall out of the Recession is that SE’s that have been laid off now

Are working out of their basements.


We bid on a single family home in Chicago and were undercut by 75% by a

New “sole practitioner”




David L. Fisher SE PE

Senior Principal


Fisher and Partners

372 West Ontario

Suite 301

Chicago 60654


312.622.0409 (m)


312.573.1726 (f)



-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 10:01 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: License


Go into another profession.

I am only half joking.

The reality is that we are at the mercy of the market.  Between owners and contractors and architects not seeing our services are not being worth very much due to a number of reasons and the fact that there is usually someone (which is sometimes ourselves) down the road willing to do it for less (this is where the “we have nobody to blame but ourselves” bit comes into play), it is largely market forces.  

There are some that believe that “upping” the requirements to become an engineer (i.e. Require a graduate degree) will thin the ranks of engineers, which should lower supply relative to demand and thus raise the fee level we can get.  Personally, I do not really buy that argument too much.

And when talking about a comparison to realtors, the other reality is that there is an implicit “collusion” that realtors will charge 6% of the sale price.  In other words, to my knowledge, you will not see some realtor down the street willing to sell your house for less like you will see a structural engineering willing to design the structure of your house for less.



On 7/27/09 10:12 AM, "Timothy Hilton" <thilton(--nospam--at)> wrote:

For those who agree that “we have nobody to blame but ourselves”… what should be done about it? 
I think us younger folk would like to know what some of you would have done differently.

Timothy K. Hilton, E.I.
Engineering Intern

P.O. Box 10567
1015 Wade Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27605-0567

919.832.5587 x 20

From: Richard Calvert [mailto:RichardC(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:58 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: License

No one makes any money til it’s designed and built either (though, I’m sure there are some sales guys that are good enough to pull that one off!)
On the flip side, generally when someone is in the market to buy something, they are going to buy it - imagine a world were it was illegal to have sales staff, or try to “push” anything ? things would still sell…
But I agree - what us structural guys make on a job is pathetic. (akin to a plumber/laborer when you think about it) I frequently refer to us as the “dumbest smart people” I’ve ever met, for that very reason.  

From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:50 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: License

Stuart, Matthew wrote:
…I think we have nobody to blame but ourselves that we live in a world where realtors get ±6% of the sales price and structural engineers get ±∏% of the construction cost.
Sales always gets rewarded. No one actually makes money until the sale.

Of course, we could probably find one or more "czars" in the Obama administration to correct all that for us. This whole free market thing is SO last millenium.
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