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Re: The Myth of Inadequate Structural Engineering Compensation

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Well said Dennis !

I left sole proprietorship because of two things: stress (all the non-engineering stuff) & I got bored doing houses.

Went back to big stuff and couldn't be happier. I still do the occasional house here and there when the phone rings (which it has quite a bit this last month after being silent for a year).

And maybe Bill was using this line of thinking when he said "no disrespect" and just missed slightly with the preface....

(Former "Bottom Feeder")

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 12:03 AM, Dennis Wish <res03tdc(--nospam--at)> wrote:
You're off your meds again! Us "Bottom feeders" design nearly 90% of all of the buildings in this country that include single and multi-family residential, low-rise commercial and light-industrial as well as foundations, retaining walls and seismic and wind retrofits. The large firms who lay off send their engineers to become "bottom feeders" as you well know. When you lost your job in public works, you entered the sole-proprietorship of "bottom feeders" and started designing multi-story wood frame buildings without knowing what you were doing. Still, you took the public's safety at heart and continued to learn as you designed asking questions of those of us on the list (including questions directed at me privately and one or two phone calls around the time you were also in the process of moving ). My point is that you endangered the public by not completing an adequate apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed engineer with adequate experience in light framed wood structures designed in high wind areas.

You need to get off your high horse and stay out of a discussion that you are not qualified to be part of. You may have been laid off your last job and you may have another one soon, but the cycle will continue and when you average your earnings and your income  to debt ratio you will probably find yourself in a position of having earned far less than the average "bottom feeder" out their.

The small bit of truth that I gleamed for your redemption is that some of us do run a sole-proprietorship because we like it. It took me a long time to find a field that I felt challenged but to be frank, I never considered the quality of my work akin to what might be done by a "bottom feeder" - this is why we have Conventional Prescriptive Construction which may be bottom of the barrel but certainly not "bottom feeders" since engineers are not required for this type of work.

Finally, I can't be a "bottom feeder" - I'm Jewish and bottom feeders are not Kosher!

Dennis S Wish, PE
A really Professional California Engineer who may be close to be bottom of the barrel but certainly is not a "bottom feeder"

PS: What country is Texas in again? I heard Leno ask a Texas gal how many stars were on the American flag and she answered " I can't count them while the flag is moving."

Bill Polhemus wrote:

Many of the people here on SEAINT are small operators, some of them sole proprietors. They are sort of (again, meaning no disrespect) the "bottom feeders" of our profession, taking work that large firms such as yours wouldn't even dream of doing. They do it for the enjoyment and they do it because they choose to do it. But they don't necessarily do it because they are privileged to charge whatever they want to charge. It is understandable, though, that sometimes they would get a bit frustrated. I'm not working for myself any longer for the simple reason that I just couldn't make enough money working in that environment to allow me to raise the "second family" that was suddenly thrust upon me.

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