I find this article disturbing. I mean of course the guys making the most money are the happiest. I disagree with that though. Also, only what %56 are actually happy with their jobs. That's crazy. I would rather make less and be happy at work instead of getting paid more and hating every day. Maybe that's just me. I've always worked for small firms and made less, but I was happy. I tried some big firms, but was just lost in the fold. I guess I don't fit into this "survey".
Yes, that's a mess, Jijoh123. My little borther teaches at a small college in rural Indiana. It's amazing how wealthy he is on a professor's salary in that area of the country. A Stanford professor would be way behind in standard of living.
I agree. When a job pays say $80K and a home in the Midwest area is oh, say $125K (1.56:1 cost to salary ratio); a comparable job in Silicon Valley may pay $125K with a "less than comparable home" costing more than $500K (resulting in a 4.17:1 cost to salary ratio). That's not even taking into account the much higher taxes and insurance premiums. HOA also if it's a Condo or in a controlled community can add $200-$400 to the monthly liability you will be subject to (these figures overall are being somewhat optimistic). And if you just want to rent, $1500-$2500 per month for 2Bdrms in a halfway decent neighborhood. Add to that the weekly "Friday Rush" to leave the city, taking sometimes 6 to 7 hours just to go the first 40-50 miles to get out of the "blast radius"... It just does not make sense to me, as I've been there and done that. We discovered the only way to leave the city to go anywhere on any weekend was to plan on a "before noon" departure. Even then traffic was always heavy with best average speeds on the freeway at 15-40 MPH. The theme song from "Green Acres" still rings in my mind when I think about the sum total of 14 years I spent there. I've said enough already.
Good point, Jijoh123. That could explain the much-higher salaries on the West Coast. When it comes down to it, the much-lower salaries in the Midwest might be a good deal. Housing costs in the Midwest are very low these days.
The fact that the cost of living (housing, rent, utilities etc.) is still unrealistically high when compared to the compensations offered isn't helping. I grew up there and left because it was just to expensive to live there (multi-famly mortgages are a telling sign), work the expected 60-70 hours a week and have a real life. I want to work to live, not live to work.
I took Lauren's advice and downloaded the full survey. I now recognize that these salary averages are high because it is HIGHLY populated with salaries of engineers with over 20 yrs experience -- perhaps the flip side of your concern, Rudy, would be a lack of repsonses from less experienced engineers! Although the qty of respondents per region is not mentioned, I'd also suspect the largest block of data comes from CA-AZ-NV, therein also skewing the stated national averages towards high dollar figures.
Good point, Beth. I've also heard about widespread shortages of automation and control engineers. I remember there was great relief in the plant operation world when the recession (and falling 401Ks) caused boomer engineers to postpone retirement.
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