Thanks for posting this, Lauren. I'm not an engineer but it's always interesting to see what people are being paid and what the climate is for these type of jobs. I suppose it's hard to really say what "fair" pay is--I would imagine most people aren't being paid what they are really worth. But in any job, sometimes appreciation goes a long way, so good to know engineers are feeling valued by their employers.
The difference between a bachelors degree salary and a Phd salary is $15248? I wonder if it pays to go back to school to get a Phd?
The other oddity is that age 45-54 is the peak salary range then the decline with age. Is this age discrimination? Or are older engineers staying put in their current job knowing the likelyhood of the first thought?
One final inquiry, is the cost of living in the mountain region higher than the midwest and the southeast? They seem to make a little more than these areas. I might think about moving if the cost of living is low and the salary is higher! This is beautiful country in the Rocky mountains!
GTOlover, the $15K difference between B.S.-level engineers and PhD-level engineers is why many bright young engineers don't go on for PhDs. Getting a PhD requires years of salary loss, unless you do it at night and take many years to finish.
Excellent post Lauren. I can certainly understand why a large percentage of engineers feel very uncomfortable about job security. I retired in 2005 from a company that demanded at least 30% of purchased components and assemblies come from LCCs (low cost countries). Of course this means China, India, Mexico, etc. This takes away from engineering jobs at home. From what I have read, this trend is reversing and more companies see benefits for returning design and manufacturing to our shores. This salary survey is one of the best things DN does and it's always great to know the averages relative to our profession. I feel most engineers chose based upon interest and not necessarily salary. I think this is definitely borne out by this survey. I've been an engineer for over 50 years and certainly feel I made the proper choice although I'm far from wealthy.
I don't even look at the salarysurvey things any more because they are so depressing. Either the engineers working in and around the auto companies are all underpaid, or a whole lot of them everywhere else are lying a lot. Or possibly they have the same agents as some athletes have.
My guess is that most good engineers are not compensated fairly in relation to the value that they deliver, while some of the less skilled ones wind up being way overpaid for the minimal value that they deliver.
The problem is made worse by all of those in other fields who get much greater compensation while delivering nothing that benefits society in any way at all. That is the part that is so horribly unfair.
you wrote "The problem is made worse by all of those in other fields who get much greater compensation while delivering nothing that benefits society in any way at all. That is the part that is so horribly unfair."
You could have condensed that to one word - "Lawyers". There you go, I have called the child by his name.
I think you are correctin that assesment, but would add many more job titles. Tops on the list is politicians and the majority of their respective staffs. Next is stock traders and various other money managers. The last I will touch on, I am not sure of their titles, but those that are able to take a perfectly functional text book and add enough pictures, glossy paper, fancy covers and other fro fro to jack the price up over $100 each.
Also let us not forget members of government bureaucracies for whom their sole job seems to be perpetuating the government bureaucracy. That includes many nonfunctional layers in various schools and school districts.
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