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2011 Civil Engineer Pay


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#1 gte959s

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:56 PM

What do you guys feel is the average pay for a PE Civil Site Designer (project Manager) in the Southeast? Here at our office our guys are making between $50-60K with PE's with 4-8 years experience. Does that seems about average for you guys?

After seeing the ASCE salary posting for 2010 it says that we are in the bottom 5% of the industry, but for some reason I don't think that info is completely accurate. What are your thoughts?

#2 roadwreck

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:41 PM

As a civil engineer in the SE with a PE and 8 years of experience I can tell you I would have my eyes open for other opportunities if I were being paid $50-60k.

#3 gte959s

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:44 PM

QUOTE (roadwreck @ Feb 28 2011, 04:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a civil engineer in the SE with a PE and 8 years of experience I can tell you I would have my eyes open for other opportunities if I were being paid $50-60k.



Is it really that low for these times for a Site Designer

#4 roadwreck

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:51 PM

If you are able to attract or retain quality engineers for that much, maybe not. In the current market maybe people are happy with a little more security and a little less salary. IMO that's low though.

Of course I may not be the best person to ask, I have an interest in pushing those salaries as a whole up. wink.gif

#5 Guest_Dexman PE_*

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:54 PM

Site design/ land development is still hurting pretty bad nationwide, which means theres a surplus of engineers in that field, and thus keeping incomes low for those specialties. If you're able to expand into other areas of civil work, you can raise your marketability and imprive your chances of finding work at a higher payscale.

#6 picusld

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE (gte959s @ Feb 28 2011, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you guys feel is the average pay for a PE Civil Site Designer (project Manager) in the Southeast? Here at our office our guys are making between $50-60K with PE's with 4-8 years experience. Does that seems about average for you guys?

After seeing the ASCE salary posting for 2010 it says that we are in the bottom 5% of the industry, but for some reason I don't think that info is completely accurate. What are your thoughts?


50-60k for 6-8 years experience and a PE is equivalent to your employer begging you to look for another job. While I know that there is much more to a pay package than just yearly salary, this is terrible.

I have been working in land development now for 7 years and while I have a pretty long commute everyday, I have not had a problem finding a job when I needed one.

I would also say that the definition used for civil engineers involved in land development varies widely from region to region and company to company. I worked one place where engineers only did stormwater, NPDES and DOT stuff. I worked another where the engineers were responsible for everything from conception to completion.

Another problem is the growing popularity of the Landscape Architecture degree which (in PA at least) allows you to do about 90% of the same things that an engineer does while having (IMO) significantly easier education and experience requirements. Same goes with a PLS. Both of which typically pay 10-20% less than what an engineer will require.

With that said, my company recently began looking for a person and the application pool was suprisingly limitted.

I digress, Look for a new job. Don't let anyone know you are looking.

What did it say the average pay was?

#7 Peele1

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:01 PM

I see lots of salary questions on here.

Salaries are only one component of compensation, which includes: medical benefits, vacation, holidays, retirement, travel, expense accounts, telework, credential/licensing renewal, professional development, parking (some are free, others may pay $250+/month), public transportation.

Then there is what you put in: hours worked, stress, hours commuting.

Then there is what they do that's not compensation: management (think pointy-haired boss or good boss), stress, fun, office with a door and/or window, phone, copier/printer, dining hall.

Then there is the expenses: location (NY vs. anywhere), location (parking/commuting), location (office, parking, lunch, etc), credential/licensing renewal, professional development, stress.

These all add up to a balance. This is how some places may pay $50k and others may pay $80k for essentially the same work.

I spend $4,000/year on commuting costs - if I could walk to work, I could, ceteris paribus, take a job paying that much less and still have the same income.

I've seen too many people leave West Virginia at $35,000 per year for somewhere like Washington, DC for $70,000 and they are no better off.


#8 picusld

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:17 PM

QUOTE (Peele1 @ Mar 1 2011, 08:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I see lots of salary questions on here.

Salaries are only one component of compensation, which includes: medical benefits, vacation, holidays, retirement, travel, expense accounts, telework, credential/licensing renewal, professional development, parking (some are free, others may pay $250+/month), public transportation.

Then there is what you put in: hours worked, stress, hours commuting.

Then there is what they do that's not compensation: management (think pointy-haired boss or good boss), stress, fun, office with a door and/or window, phone, copier/printer, dining hall.

Then there is the expenses: location (NY vs. anywhere), location (parking/commuting), location (office, parking, lunch, etc), credential/licensing renewal, professional development, stress.

These all add up to a balance. This is how some places may pay $50k and others may pay $80k for essentially the same work.

I spend $4,000/year on commuting costs - if I could walk to work, I could, ceteris paribus, take a job paying that much less and still have the same income.

I've seen too many people leave West Virginia at $35,000 per year for somewhere like Washington, DC for $70,000 and they are no better off.


ok...Did it say what the total compensation package for a PE with 7-10 years exp in the North East was going for?

#9 gte959s

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:24 PM


No it was average for all around I believe in the posting.

Either way our total compensation is 50-60K plus 1% match 401K, full health insurance, short term dis.. parking is free, commute is less than 30 min for 80% of us. We do get a bonus when times are good of a max 10-15K which hasn't happened since 2007. 3 weeks paid vacation.

#10 ROBIAMEIT

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:56 AM

QUOTE (picusld @ Feb 28 2011, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (gte959s @ Feb 28 2011, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you guys feel is the average pay for a PE Civil Site Designer (project Manager) in the Southeast? Here at our office our guys are making between $50-60K with PE's with 4-8 years experience. Does that seems about average for you guys?

After seeing the ASCE salary posting for 2010 it says that we are in the bottom 5% of the industry, but for some reason I don't think that info is completely accurate. What are your thoughts?


50-60k for 6-8 years experience and a PE is equivalent to your employer begging you to look for another job. While I know that there is much more to a pay package than just yearly salary, this is terrible.

I have been working in land development now for 7 years and while I have a pretty long commute everyday, I have not had a problem finding a job when I needed one.

I would also say that the definition used for civil engineers involved in land development varies widely from region to region and company to company. I worked one place where engineers only did stormwater, NPDES and DOT stuff. I worked another where the engineers were responsible for everything from conception to completion.

Another problem is the growing popularity of the Landscape Architecture degree which (in PA at least) allows you to do about 90% of the same things that an engineer does while having (IMO) significantly easier education and experience requirements. Same goes with a PLS. Both of which typically pay 10-20% less than what an engineer will require.

With that said, my company recently began looking for a person and the application pool was suprisingly limitted.

I digress, Look for a new job. Don't let anyone know you are looking.

What did it say the average pay was?


$50-$60K is NOT out of line right now for a Land Development Engineer with 4-8 yrs experience. In PA it takes you AT LEAST 4 years to get a PE License, so its not like at 4 years you've got a ton of experience.

The "LA" issue is one I am having trouble with. At work there are a TON of LA's and they just don't seem to "get it".

There is also ALOT of companies laying off Engineers, CADD guys and LAs right now.

DON'T jump ship just because of an "average" salary! right now you'll be lucky to FIND another ship!

#11 Risk

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:04 PM

I am currently a civil engineer with 14 years of experience overall. I started as a cadd technician and put myself through school. I recently recieved a FL PE. Eleven of those years have been in design / project management positions. I currently make 65K a year with a $500.00 / month allowance for medical/phone/car. I have 3 weeks a year for sick/vacation and a 3% matching simple IRA. Also we receive about a 10% bonus when we can. We have no other benefits and all of the perks are out the window.

I too feel under appreciated, however, the company owners have all of the leverage right now. We took a 20% pay cut a few years ago and slowly the company has been giving it back. I make less now in salary then I did prior to graduation from college, at the same company. I am very discouraged. It seems the attitude is as long as there is nowhere else to go....then they'll pay you as little as possible.

I convinced my boss to do a little research with me. We looked at the average salaries on many of the available websites. I finally convinced him that the going rate for a Engineer V is 80K a year. Once I did that, he told me I was only an Engineer IV, which is a typical engineer who just gets his PE (and usually only the 4 years experience).. His reasoning is that I JUST got my PE. Although he markets and bills me as an engineer with 14 years experience... not 4 years.

They get you at every turn.

#12 picusld

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:07 PM

QUOTE (ROBIAMEIT @ Mar 10 2011, 10:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (picusld @ Feb 28 2011, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (gte959s @ Feb 28 2011, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you guys feel is the average pay for a PE Civil Site Designer (project Manager) in the Southeast? Here at our office our guys are making between $50-60K with PE's with 4-8 years experience. Does that seems about average for you guys?

After seeing the ASCE salary posting for 2010 it says that we are in the bottom 5% of the industry, but for some reason I don't think that info is completely accurate. What are your thoughts?


50-60k for 6-8 years experience and a PE is equivalent to your employer begging you to look for another job. While I know that there is much more to a pay package than just yearly salary, this is terrible.

I have been working in land development now for 7 years and while I have a pretty long commute everyday, I have not had a problem finding a job when I needed one.

I would also say that the definition used for civil engineers involved in land development varies widely from region to region and company to company. I worked one place where engineers only did stormwater, NPDES and DOT stuff. I worked another where the engineers were responsible for everything from conception to completion.

Another problem is the growing popularity of the Landscape Architecture degree which (in PA at least) allows you to do about 90% of the same things that an engineer does while having (IMO) significantly easier education and experience requirements. Same goes with a PLS. Both of which typically pay 10-20% less than what an engineer will require.

With that said, my company recently began looking for a person and the application pool was suprisingly limitted.

I digress, Look for a new job. Don't let anyone know you are looking.

What did it say the average pay was?


$50-$60K is NOT out of line right now for a Land Development Engineer with 4-8 yrs experience. In PA it takes you AT LEAST 4 years to get a PE License, so its not like at 4 years you've got a ton of experience.

The "LA" issue is one I am having trouble with. At work there are a TON of LA's and they just don't seem to "get it".

There is also ALOT of companies laying off Engineers, CADD guys and LAs right now.

DON'T jump ship just because of an "average" salary! right now you'll be lucky to FIND another ship!


Find the other ship, then jump. 60k is embarassing and insulting for 6-8yrs experience.

#13 willsee

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:17 PM

I don't know how MEP Electrical Engineer salary compares to Civil...but these salaries are low.
I make 50-60k with 1 year of experience and no PE

#14 gte959s

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:24 PM


[/quote]

Find the other ship, then jump. 60k is embarassing and insulting for 6-8yrs experience.
[/quote]


I agree! I sent my resume out to a few places and already got an 2nd interview. They talked salary range around 90K. Sounds more like where things should be. We'll see where the final offer is. It seems like some companies are seeing how long they can keep salaries as low as possible to keep on as many people for when things turn around. They are usually thinking about whats best for the company profits and not for the individuals. Companies will eventually turn around and the reward will be that you finally get paid at what other successful companies were already paying their guys.

So if you figure they keep salaries around 60K and you could make 85K somewhere else for 2 years, you would end up with an extra 50K in your pocket. Even at the best case scenario they could give you 95K when you should be making 85K when things turn around for that company it would take 5 years past the turn around to make up 50K you gave up in the 2 year down turn.



#15 gte959s

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:27 PM

QUOTE (willsee @ Mar 17 2011, 09:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know how MEP Electrical Engineer salary compares to Civil...but these salaries are low.
I make 50-60k with 1 year of experience and no PE



I made that too when I graduated, but that was with bonuses. After the industry declined bonuses went away and salaries slowly went up where my base salary was the same as my original bonus+base.

#16 CivilEngMatt

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:10 PM

I'm a Professional civil engineer with 8 years experience and also work in the Southeast (Georgia). I also make 60K/year. All was fine when things were good, my bonus (10K) made up for my lack of salary. Now that bonus have stopped, I feel very underpaid. I am project engineer with full responsibility for my projects from start to finish. I bascially do it all. But like other people in the land development field I feel like I should be glad to have a job. The work is steady, so apart of me thinks I'm getting taken advantage of, not sure what I should do at this point? I think I should be making at least 65-70K/year.

#17 gte959s

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE (mattbail @ Mar 25 2011, 06:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a Professional civil engineer with 8 years experience and also work in the Southeast (Georgia). I also make 60K/year. All was fine when things were good, my bonus (10K) made up for my lack of salary. Now that bonus have stopped, I feel very underpaid. I am project engineer with full responsibility for my projects from start to finish. I bascially do it all. But like other people in the land development field I feel like I should be glad to have a job. The work is steady, so apart of me thinks I'm getting taken advantage of, not sure what I should do at this point? I think I should be making at least 65-70K/year.



If the company is consistently bringing in work to keep everyone busy, then they may not be charging enough. They may be charging low prices and paying low in return. An engineer like yourself should be around $70-78K + bonus (5-15K). I have talked to a lot of other engineers at companies around the Atlanta area and this is the same range quoted all the time. Companies that are on the ropes tend to pay in the 50-60K range with no hopes of bonus just to make sure everyone can keep a job.

#18 Risk

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:16 PM

Just recieved a pay raise. Was making 65 a year with a $500.00 per month reimbursement for phone, medical, vehicle. I gathered current market information for PE's with 10+ years experience and presented it to owner. After a few months of consideration we had lunch and discussed again. Now currently at 82K with the same $500.00 per month. Now I know thats not a whole lot... but it is a ste in the right direction. I dont think I have room for complaining.

This goes to what I have always believed about companies... at least it has been my experience. You will be paid exactly what you are willing to work for.... no more. Companies are in the business of maximizing profits, whether it be on the backs of the employees or the backs of the clients. I dont know of any places that pay you allot out of the goodness of their hearts.

Civil / Land Development
PE - 14 years experience (from tech to PE)
small company (4 employees)
South Florida

#19 picusld

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:57 PM

QUOTE (Risk @ Apr 28 2011, 02:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just recieved a pay raise. Was making 65 a year with a $500.00 per month reimbursement for phone, medical, vehicle. I gathered current market information for PE's with 10+ years experience and presented it to owner. After a few months of consideration we had lunch and discussed again. Now currently at 82K with the same $500.00 per month. Now I know thats not a whole lot... but it is a ste in the right direction. I dont think I have room for complaining.

This goes to what I have always believed about companies... at least it has been my experience. You will be paid exactly what you are willing to work for.... no more. Companies are in the business of maximizing profits, whether it be on the backs of the employees or the backs of the clients. I dont know of any places that pay you allot out of the goodness of their hearts.

Civil / Land Development
PE - 14 years experience (from tech to PE)
small company (4 employees)
South Florida


Congratulations. That is encouraging.

#20 Road Guy

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 07:07 PM

13 years... $94K... (same rate it was 5 years ago and no bump.gif in sight)

#21 picusld

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:23 PM

Speaking of Pay, does anyone ever check out the Bureau of Labor and statistics.

http://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm

Some interesting things here.

#22 willsee

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:40 PM

Hmm
Architecture and Engineering Occupations
Electrical Engineers

Mean Annual: $88,670

#23 momech

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:44 PM

QUOTE (picusld @ Apr 28 2011, 03:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Speaking of Pay, does anyone ever check out the Bureau of Labor and statistics.

http://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm

Some interesting things here.


Okay, I think I'm going to be sick now.

#24 Amry69

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 02:25 AM

Sounds a little low.

#25 MFresh81

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 03:31 AM

I have 4.5 yrs of experience in DOT (3.5 yrs in Drainage Design & 1 yr Construction Project Mgmt) - I make $53K + pension (9% of salary) + other benefits. I just passed my PE.

Some of my other peers got their salaries bumped up to $61K after receiving their PE, however, that has been put on hold since the last set of passing examinees thanks to our great new governor ::sarcasm:: Also the pension contribution will be coming down to 6% while we (the ppl) will have to start contributing the other 3% to complete the 9% - it is esentially a "pay cut." Not to mention COLA has been given for the last 7 yrs for public employees.

Some of my other peers in the private sector are making $60K-$65K + benefits without a PE. With a PE, anywhere from $75K-$85K with little PE experience.

#26 David O.

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:19 PM

I'm in the South US (Texas) Site Civil Consulting. I received my P.E. in May 2011. My current Employer at the time felt it sufficient to say times are hard and give me a $3K raise, with little to no opportunity for future growth. I started looking immediately, and found a position with unlimited growth opportunity, and an additional $20K on top of the previously received $3K. Too many employers are using the economy as an excuse to not pay their employees a fair wage. Eventually things will pick up again, and those who ignored the concerns of their employees will be witness to a mass exodus. Don't let them discourage you. The money and work is available to those who seek it.

#27 EnvEngineer

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:04 PM

love the labor and stats site, I sit pretty near the top, however, I have been at the same top for 4 years, my buying power is greatly diminished, need more $$. I have always got top $$ since I am also a rain maker, I keep myself and others fully billed, but, their ability to waste $$ is greater than my power to bring in $$ so can not afford a raise. This will change by some means. I really want some sort of incentive systems in place to compensate for the work brought in.

Our anthem

#28 DHoss83

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

In Atlanta, coming up on 7 years in July with the same company. Passed the PE exam two years ago and now currently make about $65k. Health benefits are minimal and no matching on the 401k. I received one bump several months after passing the PE. When times were good, year end bonuses as well as compensation for overtime was common. But things have been stuck in the mud career wise (mostly due to limitations of a small group) and the company has struggled to make much of a profit since 2009. Performance reviews (they stopped doing those 2 years ago), have always been very positive and I am always the first guy they put on a new piece of modeling soSucks!are.

Our small group has stayed plenty busy through the recession, but the rest of the company has been hurting, so the bottom line is no raises or bonuses. I have done some looking around, and things don't look that much better at other companies. I am looking at making a possible wholesale career change, but it is something I am still debating/researching. I think many companies which are tied to site development (like my company), are going through a tough time and that will continue for the forseeable future.

#29 AMiller

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 01:24 PM

It does sound low, BUT... If you are like me, I HATE changing jobs. There is a comfort level with being at a job for a while, that will be lost if you go elsewhere. Its comfort with co-workers, not feeling guilty about having to leave a few minutes early every now and then, and NOT being the last one in. There is a catch 22 with being a high paid PE, you are valuable, but if money gets tight you may also be the first one out. Especially if there are other lower paid PE's within the office. Good luck.

#30 inktomei

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:38 PM

I live in North Texas and I'm a civil engineer with 4.5 years of experience-I work primarily on structural projects. I work in the private sector (infrastructure/transportation) and my current pay is 72k plus benefits.

I just passed my PE exam and I was told that a bump in salary and bonus will be coming. Anyway, I think you should at least explore what else is out there. You might just come across another firm that values you much more.

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#31 bulllgator

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

I work in a civil support group for a large chemical plant, and our engineers make anywhere from 70k-95k (I started with little to no experience). The consulting world is tough, especially for people with only a few years experience (no contacts, no contracts). I have been able to hedge myself against the poor market by getting in with a large company as a support group. Would recommend it to anyone looking.




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