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Maddriver20

Salary Question

8 posts in this topic

Im a Tranportation engineer and I work for state govt. I have 4 years of experience, EIT, and 1 year of college internship experience. I will sit for the PE this October. I've had a couple of interviews with a small private firm. They do transportation, general civil, surverying, and traffic stuff. Everything so far sounds very good and I am looking for a job change. Job would require for me to move. I am having a hard time coming up with an expected salary range.

I currently make mid 40s, I think I am very underpaid, but everybody is in state govt. So what type of range should I be asking for?

I looked up salary info for Transporation Engineers with 4 years of experience and the median salary in my city is $62k. To me, that sounds high, but I might just be use to low pay.

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Im a Tranportation engineer and I work for state govt. I have 4 years of experience, EIT, and 1 year of college internship experience. I will sit for the PE this October. I've had a couple of interviews with a small private firm. They do transportation, general civil, surverying, and traffic stuff. Everything so far sounds very good and I am looking for a job change. Job would require for me to move. I am having a hard time coming up with an expected salary range.

I currently make mid 40s, I think I am very underpaid, but everybody is in state govt. So what type of range should I be asking for?

I looked up salary info for Transporation Engineers with 4 years of experience and the median salary in my city is $62k. To me, that sounds high, but I might just be use to low pay.

You ask for what the market would bear. (not much help, but it's completely true.)

I do suggest that general wisdom says that you shouldn't change jobs for less than 10% total compensation increase. At the government, you may make less than a private firm, and you may have better or much better benefits. When I worked for the state, it was 37.5 hours/week, 20 vac/year, 15 sick/year, 13 holidays/year, 6% retirement and great insurance. Underpaid, but great bennies. Beware the trap of making more money in a different area with higher costs of living. One cost of living adjustment most people don't consider (I didn't) was transportation to and from home-home for weekends, holidays, birthdays, funerals, weddings, etc.

Since you are state gov, you may be able to get a grade bump, promotion or change to another city in the same state for better pay. There are a lot of options to consider.

Good luck.

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Tough question to answer beings I don't know where you live, etc. But shooting from the hip without knowing all the details, I would say mid 40's seems low for salary for one with a civil degree and 4 years experience. The median of 62K that you reference seems reasonable to me, but probably on the high end. Mid (possibly high) 50's is where I'd expect a transportation engineer with 4 years experience (no PE yet) to be at in my area.

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I should have also mentioned that I could not agree with "Peele1" more. A lot of people forget the huge importance of benefits, cost of living in a certain area, etc. You've probably considered all those things, so don't take offense if you have. But I shot from the hip and gave you an idea where I'd expect someone like you to be at salary-wise. But from a more broad perspective..."Peele1" hit the nail on the head.

Hope this helps.

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The difference is to look at TOTAL compensation (Salary + benefits) and not just salary when comparing.

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Thanks guys for all the info and suggestions.

Im in NC now. I looked up the cost of living (food, transporation, housing, and health care) and the place with the firm has a 2% lower cost of living.

At first I was only considering this for the money, but after talking to the firm, the position seems 10x better. I feel pigeonholed where I'm at now. Like I'm going to be stuck doing one specific task in a small cube forever. While the grass might not be greener on the other side. At this point I am willing to take that risk.

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