Yes, I agree it is good news. Data shows engineering to be a strong career choice moving forward. While I have no hard data in this area, it seems like many companies are also starting to advertise engineering openings more frequently and aggressively.
However, one trend I also continue to see is the increasing development of 'best cost country' engineers. Engineers are cautious and many continue to watch this trend closely - as it will affect salary structures in the future.
This is good news. It will be a good day when more company executives acknowledge it. There are still a number of companies (one I know of with record profits for the last few years) who are telling there employees they are lucky to have a job and not to expect a raise this year.
This survey shows that engineers have a lot to be thankful for. We are fortunate in many ways. For one thing, we are paid good money to do work that we find interesting and challenging. How many people can say that?
I have met some engineers who seem bitter; envious of those who are better off than them (doctors, lawyers, and professional athletes, for example), and scornful of those who are worse off than them ("lazy," "unproductive," etc.). These engineers constantly complain about their workloads, the various stresses and frustrations of the workplace, and how everything in the world is going to hell in a handbasket. They seem to lose sight of just how lucky they actually are. Not only is this attitude bad for productivity and morale, it's bad for their own health.
I'm thankful for the chain of events in my life which led me into an engineering career; thankful for the family, friends, and co-workers who supported and encouraged me through engineering school; and thankful for the fact that I am able to provide my family with a reasonable standard of living while doing work I enjoy. What else could I ask for?
Hopefully, engineers who see how fortunate they are will be inspired to give back, whether by tutoring and mentoring students, getting involved with organizations like Engineers Without Borders, or other activities. This is a good way to help pass on the good fortune which we have received.
This is particularly good news given that unit labor costs are not going up. Just this past month, they've gone down. So the gains in engineering salaries are are rising as companies -- and government entities -- are pushing their costs down. Is this a matter of supply and demand?
An average of $93,465 is really quite an impressive figure, when you consider that 20% of the country makes less than $91,202. It's especially impressive when you consider that the $91,202 number I just quoted is a household number, not an individual salary number. It's probably safe to assume that many of the engineers earning in the $93,465 range have other income in their households.
It is indeed heartening to see positive economic news given all that's gone on these last few weeks. It does seem like many of the sectors catering to the engineering market (in my world, CAD and PLM vendors) are reporting strong financials indiciating that companies are investing in tools to foster innovation and engineering productivity.
It's also interesting that so many of the respondents have been in the same job or company for many years. As unemployment remains a key issue and one of the biggest drags on the economy, did the survey garnter any feedback on layoffs or even respondents' ability to find a new job if necessary or desired?
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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