Jump to content


Photo

PE and Money


  • Please log in to reply
162 replies to this topic

#101 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 28 January 2014 - 09:40 PM

In addition to online salary resources, I also contacted a few local job recruiters (head-hunters) to see how the salary levels compared.  The online resources were inflated a bit but weren't necessarily too far off the mark.  It's difficult to zero in on a specific number for an MEP firm because every firm is different and will have its own pay grade structure.

 

When the economy tanked back in 2008, our wages were frozen for a period of 12-16 months.  While I was ok with that, we certainly lost ground in keeping up with the norm for my area.  To compensate, I went to my boss and asked for a 10-15% raise.  I specified a range because I didn't want to be held to an absolute number.  I wanted my management to make a decision as to how much I was valued.  In the end I believe the raise came to something like 11%.  That was in addition to our annual 3% merit increases.  I eventually left that company (after 6+ years) to go work for an engineering power consulting firm where I was able to negotiate a 20% salary increase from where I was at with my previous employer.  I'm actually even considering making another move soon.



#102 JIX007

JIX007

    Intern

  • EB.com member
  • 6 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:21 PM

Thanks!  I am going to have a talk with my management this week and as I have a pretty good idea by now about my market value.  I know for fact that there is a high demand for electrical PEs around this area.  So I don't see any reason why my management would drag their feet. 



#103 JoeyPinoy

JoeyPinoy

    Intern

  • EB.com member
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:27 PM

I think it's always important to remember that even if you like your company/boss/job function, that the relationship is ultimately commercial.

 

This article involving Steve Jobs shows how we as individuals don't have complete control on our employment fate:

 

http://pando.com/201...ngineers-wages/



#104 pssreddy25

pssreddy25

    Intern

  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Roanoke, VA
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 19 February 2014 - 06:55 PM

Friends,

 

I have been working as R&D engineer with a company in Mechanical domain.

 

Work involves ANSYS Structural, CFD, Autodesk Inventor Automation, formulation standardizing practices.

 

How ever I am fed up with this work for last 5 years and planing to sit for Mechanical PE in the coming April'14.

 

However, Can you please let me know any jobs for mechanical engineers with EIT/PE requirement?



#105 willsee

willsee

    Chief Engineer

  • Veteran
  • 1,799 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:11 PM

HVAC Design



#106 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:00 PM

And anything in the world of consulting.



#107 altheablue18

altheablue18

    Intern

  • EB.com member
  • 22 posts
  • Discipline:Enviro

Posted 02 March 2014 - 05:08 PM

This is an interesting topic. I had not considered that I might suggest a raise because at my company there is typically an assumption that a raise occurs when one achieves PE status. We do not have a large number of PEs though. Now I am wondering if after the PE happens I ought to suggest a number rather than being passive about it.

 

I work as an environmental engineer. I am a "senior" engineer in title and will sit for the exam next month (Ahhhh!) My firm is a consulting firm that provides a wide range of environmental services to private equity clients (mostly). I have about 6 years of experience and do mostly compliance work with some remediation sprinkled in. Currently I'm just below 60k plus we have a bonus program so last year I got a 6k bonus (I am expecting a similar number for 2013 but that typically happens in March). I'd say about 10-15 hours of my 40hr week are in generating sales and maintaining client relationships and the rest is project work. I just had an annual review and my metrics were all well exceeded.

 

I work in the southeastern US. I entered my info into the salary website referred to and it appears I'm underpaid regardless of PE status. I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts (not trying to hijack this thread).



#108 Ship Wreck PE

Ship Wreck PE

    Captain

  • Supporting Member
  • 1,675 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Valdosta Ga
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:34 AM

I just got my PE in October 2013 and I asked for a review and we settled at a 19% increase. Go for it!!

#109 cajone5

cajone5

    Project Engineer

  • Senior Member
  • 52 posts
  • Discipline:Civil

Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:01 PM

This is an interesting topic. I had not considered that I might suggest a raise because at my company there is typically an assumption that a raise occurs when one achieves PE status. We do not have a large number of PEs though. Now I am wondering if after the PE happens I ought to suggest a number rather than being passive about it.

 

I work as an environmental engineer. I am a "senior" engineer in title and will sit for the exam next month (Ahhhh!) My firm is a consulting firm that provides a wide range of environmental services to private equity clients (mostly). I have about 6 years of experience and do mostly compliance work with some remediation sprinkled in. Currently I'm just below 60k plus we have a bonus program so last year I got a 6k bonus (I am expecting a similar number for 2013 but that typically happens in March). I'd say about 10-15 hours of my 40hr week are in generating sales and maintaining client relationships and the rest is project work. I just had an annual review and my metrics were all well exceeded.

 

I work in the southeastern US. I entered my info into the salary website referred to and it appears I'm underpaid regardless of PE status. I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts (not trying to hijack this thread).

 

Definitely be active in the conversation.  Do your research.  Know your worth.  As you probably already know from this thread you can find salary info...

 

-- On websites (salary.com, glassdoor.com, engineersalary.com, etc.)

-- The NSPE has a report you can buy that will give breakdowns by education, experience, field, focus and licensure

-- The ASCE and ASME have a joint report you can find that's very similar to the NSPE one but usually a year outdated

-- Talk to recruiters and friends doing similar work

-- Look into job postings

 

Armed with this info you can approach your employer with a good idea of what you want.  Aim slightly high and be willing to negotiate.  Also, you should be going into this with the understanding that more pay leads to more responsibility.  Know what you have to offer.  Where can you add value to the business?  Maybe you can write more proposals?  Maybe you can lead projects?  Maybe you can market and get more work in the door?  You'll need at least something to hang your hat on so think about that as well.  Your employer, while wanting the best for you, isn't going to just hand over a big paycheck without you working for it and justifying it.

 

Hope this helps :)  Good luck. 



#110 altheablue18

altheablue18

    Intern

  • EB.com member
  • 22 posts
  • Discipline:Enviro

Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:43 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I guess my first step will be to get through the April exam....



#111 Seabushed

Seabushed

    Intern

  • EB.com member
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:PA
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

In January ASME had a nice article regarding the 2013 salary survey.

https://www.asme.org...neers-ride-wave



#112 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:05 AM

Unlicensed, I gross between 61k - 62k per year, depending on OT. I hope that a license brings in more.


Licensed, I gross 62.5k per year, taken off hourly and put on salary. No more OT. Not much of a raise there...

#113 Ship Wreck PE

Ship Wreck PE

    Captain

  • Supporting Member
  • 1,675 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Valdosta Ga
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:40 AM

^^Ouch

#114 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:24 PM

^^Ouch

yeah, tell me about it. and with 15 years of experience at the same company too.



#115 Ship Wreck PE

Ship Wreck PE

    Captain

  • Supporting Member
  • 1,675 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Valdosta Ga
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

Get her done in 40. ^^^

#116 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:45 PM

 

^^Ouch

yeah, tell me about it. and with 15 years of experience at the same company too.

 

That wouldn't fly with me.  Just sayin'.  ;)  Thanks for the opportunity and experience!  LOL



#117 snickerd3

snickerd3

    Taking suggestions

  • Charter Member
  • 19,336 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:unpadded cell
  • Interests:spamming EB.com
  • Discipline:Sorely Lacking

Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:21 PM

wow NJ...even working for the state my salary is higher.   



#118 Dark Knight

Dark Knight

    Silent Guardian

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 7,542 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Florida
  • Discipline:Sorely Lacking

Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

PE and Money...

 

I have to restrain myself from laughing but I do understand why the question is asked.

 

Am going to quote a professor during the orientation week in an engineering college. He asked a group of maybe 200 freshmen: " Who here wants to be an engineer because it pays good money?"  A good group raised their hands but I am sure there were more than the ones who did it.

 

"Well...sorry to burst your bubble but you have selected the wrong career. You should have gone to law or medicine school". I have found that to be true.

 

Then we have the myth of professional license and how it has become a huge business for a few that are milking it to the extreme. Out of respect for some friends that may be related to the licensing authority will not say more but I do not have lost love for that organization.

 

Then some State Boars take it to the next level of stupidity. When I took the EIT and then the PE test (with a few years in between) a representative of the State Board was always there to remind us that regardless of the results we were not going to be able to practice engineering without paying them an annual fee. It is not enough you have to study your butt off in college, then you have to take not one, but two tests to complete the circle. You have to pay an annual fee too just to be able to work? "If you do not want to pay Walmart is hiring. I am sure you will do fine there", the a-hole said once.  Ahh...But it is for a good cause..."We are protecting the profession of engineering". Bull crap!!!!!!!! They are protecting their worthless drinking bar for Friday nights.

 

Folks, there is no money in the PE. It is how it is and that is the bottom line. If you are doing it for the money you are up for a rude awakening. Saying something different is just a sales pitch.



#119 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:49 PM

Folks, there is no money in the PE. It is how it is and that is the bottom line. If you are doing it for the money you are up for a rude awakening. Saying something different is just a sales pitch.

I respectfully disagree.  There is great money to be made in engineering.  And the work is very rewarding IMO.  It's all about what you think you are worth and convincing your employer of this accordingly.  You're only worth what you settle for in getting paid by your employer.  Want a higher wage?  Then you have to go get it and make it happen!  I've more than doubled my salary since I graduated from my undergraduate program.  And that did not happen by staying put in my first engineering position.



#120 snickerd3

snickerd3

    Taking suggestions

  • Charter Member
  • 19,336 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:unpadded cell
  • Interests:spamming EB.com
  • Discipline:Sorely Lacking

Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:49 PM

^that's why I got as a personal goal and not a work requirement or for $.    It was more of a respect gainer and getting taken more seriously.  



#121 Dark Knight

Dark Knight

    Silent Guardian

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 7,542 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Florida
  • Discipline:Sorely Lacking

Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:20 PM

Oh...I

 

 

Folks, there is no money in the PE. It is how it is and that is the bottom line. If you are doing it for the money you are up for a rude awakening. Saying something different is just a sales pitch.

I respectfully disagree.  There is great money to be made in engineering.  And the work is very rewarding IMO.  It's all about what you think you are worth and convincing your employer of this accordingly.  You're only worth what you settle for in getting paid by your employer.  Want a higher wage?  Then you have to go get it and make it happen!  I've more than doubled my salary since I graduated from my undergraduate program.  And that did not happen by staying put in my first engineering position.

 

 

Oh!!!!!  I had double my salary too. But the PE, contrary to what I believed first, had nothing to do with it and with the movements I made.

 

About the money, the only way it can happen in my line of work is by moonlighting since we have pay ranges where I work. Whatever I do will not go over Y. I have had the chance to do work on the side but it required me to work long hours during the weekends and/or work at home during the week. Am past that threshold when I had the energy to do that. 20k extra a year sounds great but sleeping 4 hours a day is not an option for my 50 y/o body.

 

From where I see it, an engineering career would be enough to live OK. If you want to become rich, it is not for you.



#122 Ship Wreck PE

Ship Wreck PE

    Captain

  • Supporting Member
  • 1,675 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Valdosta Ga
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:51 PM

^^ Dang I thought I was rich??
  • knight1fox3 likes this

#123 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:47 PM

 

 

Folks, there is no money in the PE. It is how it is and that is the bottom line. If you are doing it for the money you are up for a rude awakening. Saying something different is just a sales pitch.

I respectfully disagree.  There is great money to be made in engineering.  And the work is very rewarding IMO.  It's all about what you think you are worth and convincing your employer of this accordingly.  You're only worth what you settle for in getting paid by your employer.  Want a higher wage?  Then you have to go get it and make it happen!  I've more than doubled my salary since I graduated from my undergraduate program.  And that did not happen by staying put in my first engineering position.

 

 

Oh!!!!!  I had double my salary too. But the PE, contrary to what I believed first, had nothing to do with it and with the movements I made.

 

About the money, the only way it can happen in my line of work is by moonlighting since we have pay ranges where I work. Whatever I do will not go over Y. I have had the chance to do work on the side but it required me to work long hours during the weekends and/or work at home during the week. Am past that threshold when I had the energy to do that. 20k extra a year sounds great but sleeping 4 hours a day is not an option for my 50 y/o body.

 

From where I see it, an engineering career would be enough to live OK. If you want to become rich, it is not for you.

I'll agree to disagree.  And perhaps it's a regional thing because I am in the same line of work as you and can get the high pay grade without working crazy hours or over-time.  No weekends required either.

 

And it also depends largely on your definition of "rich".  To me rich is having the ability to purchase anything we want or take a trip whenever we desire and not having any major debt to worry about.  I don't need to make millions to be happy.  We live in a nice neighborhood with a less than 15-yr old home, drive nice cars (that are paid for), and still have the flexibility to make purchases or do as we please.  A lot of this would not have been possible if it weren't for my engineering profession and obtaining my PE license.  :thumbs:


  • Lomarandil likes this

#124 cajone5

cajone5

    Project Engineer

  • Senior Member
  • 52 posts
  • Discipline:Civil

Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

Dark Knight -- I think you're misrepresenting a few things.

 

First, no one said you'd "get rich" as an engineer.  That does not mean, however, that you will not have the opportunity to live a comfortable life that is far above average.  You can make good money as an engineer.  Very good.  Comparing it to the top fraction of a percent of people and balking at the fact that it doesn't match up seems silly to me.  You can look at ANY profession and come to the same conclusion.  However, on average, engineers have the potential to achieve pay that places them in the top 10-20%.

 

Second, if you think your PE is meaningless in the equation, you're wrong again.  It does several things.  It demonstrates a level of competence.  It allows you to take professional and legal responsibility for your work.  It elevates your perceived status and marketability in the industry.  On and on.  Saying it's worthless is silly.  That's similar to the folks that claim it's worthless because "you're the same today (with your PE) as you were yesterday (without your PE) so why do you deserve a raise?"... Seriously?  Let's extrapolate that thought... if you're always the same tomorrow as you are today and always the same today as yesterday then do you ever deserve a raise?  By that logic, no.  But again, it's short sighted and doesn't look at the whole picture.

 

Finally, on the bashing of the licensing agencies, I can at least sympathize here... they definitely cost a lot more than they're worth.  However, I think they're necessary to prevent illegitimate folks from practicing, to ensure folks stay current with their continuing education, to maintain a database of this information, etc.  They may arguably be overpaid for these services but they are by no means unnecessary.

 

As someone with a PE, SE, MS and (in progress) Ph.D. I can assure you I'm intimately familiar with red tape, opportunity cost and relative worth of degrees, licenses, titles and letters after your name.  They are oftentimes much more "work" for most people than they are worth, but that does not by any means indicate that they're worthless.



#125 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:49 PM

wow NJ...even working for the state my salary is higher.   

I'm giving them 12 months, well now 9. 12 months to show me that the economy has turned around, that we are getting busy, that we are making money. All things that i have been hearing since the beginning of the year, and more often as of late. At the end of 2014, if I have not received the bonuses promised, or a raise to show me that they value me as an engineer, then buh-bye.


  • knight1fox3 likes this

#126 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

^ now you're cooking with peanut oil!!!!



#127 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:26 PM

^ now you're cooking with peanut oil!!!!


Yumm, peanut oil. Peanut oil =deep fried goodness

#128 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:13 PM

Oh, and as luck would have it, I ran into an old geotech professor this morning. He is  the Senior VP of the geotech dept at his firm and lives in my town. We talked for a few mins and he told me if I was ever interested in making a move, he would have a spot open for me. It would be a nice jump, from a small private consulting firm, to a larger corporate firm.


  • Jdsmith PE and matt267 like this

#129 Krakosky

Krakosky

    Tank Ass

  • Supporting Member
  • 1,713 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

Did you run into him at starbucks?

#130 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:38 PM

no. on my salary, starbucks is out of my price range. Dunkin'



#131 Krakosky

Krakosky

    Tank Ass

  • Supporting Member
  • 1,713 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:09 PM

Dunkin is better anyways.

#132 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:33 PM

agreed. starbucks always tastes burnt to me



#133 Dark Knight

Dark Knight

    Silent Guardian

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 7,542 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Florida
  • Discipline:Sorely Lacking

Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:09 PM

Dark Knight -- I think you're misrepresenting a few things.

 

First, no one said you'd "get rich" as an engineer.  That does not mean, however, that you will not have the opportunity to live a comfortable life that is far above average.  You can make good money as an engineer.  Very good.  Comparing it to the top fraction of a percent of people and balking at the fact that it doesn't match up seems silly to me.  You can look at ANY profession and come to the same conclusion.  However, on average, engineers have the potential to achieve pay that places them in the top 10-20%.

 

Second, if you think your PE is meaningless in the equation, you're wrong again.  It does several things.  It demonstrates a level of competence.  It allows you to take professional and legal responsibility for your work.  It elevates your perceived status and marketability in the industry.  On and on.  Saying it's worthless is silly.  That's similar to the folks that claim it's worthless because "you're the same today (with your PE) as you were yesterday (without your PE) so why do you deserve a raise?"... Seriously?  Let's extrapolate that thought... if you're always the same tomorrow as you are today and always the same today as yesterday then do you ever deserve a raise?  By that logic, no.  But again, it's short sighted and doesn't look at the whole picture.

 

Finally, on the bashing of the licensing agencies, I can at least sympathize here... they definitely cost a lot more than they're worth.  However, I think they're necessary to prevent illegitimate folks from practicing, to ensure folks stay current with their continuing education, to maintain a database of this information, etc.  They may arguably be overpaid for these services but they are by no means unnecessary.

 

As someone with a PE, SE, MS and (in progress) Ph.D. I can assure you I'm intimately familiar with red tape, opportunity cost and relative worth of degrees, licenses, titles and letters after your name.  They are oftentimes much more "work" for most people than they are worth, but that does not by any means indicate that they're worthless.

 

It all depends on how do you look at it and it is obvious that our experiences are different.

 

I do have a tough time buying the level of competency concept. Once I hear this quote: "You can be a PE and still be an idiot". Hold your horses everybody. Am just quoting and not calling names here. That being said...that quote are very true. Have known PEs that are completely clueless. Have known non PEs that are very competent.

 

I believe a professional proves himself with his work. Period. But I guess we need a metric, or something, to hold professionals accountable for their work.There comes the PE status for engineers. Of course, and this never fails, this need for the metric then brings someone who turns it into a very profitable business. At the end of the day is all about the money.



#134 YMZ PE

YMZ PE

    I Did It All For the Cookie

  • Supporting Member
  • 3,931 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:What What?
  • Discipline:Civil

Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:56 AM

Oh, and as luck would have it, I ran into an old geotech professor this morning. He is  the Senior VP of the geotech dept at his firm and lives in my town. We talked for a few mins and he told me if I was ever interested in making a move, he would have a spot open for me. It would be a nice jump, from a small private consulting firm, to a larger corporate firm.

 

Nice! I'm biased, but geotech is a great field to get into, and all the better if you're working for a large firm. An added perk is all the jokes you can intelligently make about penetration tests, jacking, skin friction, swelling, oh the places your mind will go.


  • NJmike PE likes this

#135 Lungshen

Lungshen

    Intern

  • Senior Member
  • 45 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arkansas
  • Discipline:Structural

Posted 28 March 2014 - 05:55 AM

NJ mike, make the jump. Seriously.

I worked for a small consulting firm 8-15 over the years for 12 years. Start as EIT at 29k and hit the ceiling at 65k after I have been EOR signing drawing for over 7 years. Oh, no bonus for couple years before I finally decided to left. It wasn't the money that made me left but with the new employer a larger firm of 150+ employees I am making 25% more base salary and the bonus was close to 10% of the gross annual. I would have never make this kind of salary by staying in a small 15 people consulting firm.

The trade off is that larger firm lay people off left and right when losing work. Small firm you have the job security. But I never regret the move and never look back.

#136 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 28 March 2014 - 09:03 AM

Oh, and as luck would have it, I ran into an old geotech professor this morning. He is  the Senior VP of the geotech dept at his firm and lives in my town. We talked for a few mins and he told me if I was ever interested in making a move, he would have a spot open for me. It would be a nice jump, from a small private consulting firm, to a larger corporate firm.

 
Nice! I'm biased, but geotech is a great field to get into, and all the better if you're working for a large firm. An added perk is all the jokes you can intelligently make about penetration tests, jacking, skin friction, swelling, oh the places your mind will go.


YMZ, even though I'm a drainage guy right now, I've always had aspirations to play in the dirt. While working and going to school, I found it easy to stick with the WR&E field, but I really enjoyed my geotech classes. In fact I found them all to be the easiest for me. I always thought that some day I would make the switch from WR&E to geo. Maybe it's sooner than later.

Besides, who doesn't like a penetration test for a drilled shaft...

NJ mike, make the jump. Seriously.

I worked for a small consulting firm 8-15 over the years for 12 years. Start as EIT at 29k and hit the ceiling at 65k after I have been EOR signing drawing for over 7 years. Oh, no bonus for couple years before I finally decided to left. It wasn't the money that made me left but with the new employer a larger firm of 150+ employees I am making 25% more base salary and the bonus was close to 10% of the gross annual. I would have never make this kind of salary by staying in a small 15 people consulting firm.

The trade off is that larger firm lay people off left and right when losing work. Small firm you have the job security. But I never regret the move and never look back.


I hear you. I'm aware of the perks/downfalls. For now, I'm staying put. I have some financial obligations to this firm, I borrowed money and am in the final year of the payback. Plus, I want to see that the job market is improving. It should only help my chances. However, increases in salaries and bonuses are def eye openers.

#137 YMZ PE

YMZ PE

    I Did It All For the Cookie

  • Supporting Member
  • 3,931 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:What What?
  • Discipline:Civil

Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:47 PM

YMZ, even though I'm a drainage guy right now, I've always had aspirations to play in the dirt. While working and going to school, I found it easy to stick with the WR&E field, but I really enjoyed my geotech classes. In fact I found them all to be the easiest for me. I always thought that some day I would make the switch from WR&E to geo. Maybe it's sooner than later.

 

That was me when I graduated in 2006. I made the jump after a couple years working in water resources to get my MS in geotech, and I never regretted it. The field experience is so rewarding.

 

One thing to consider if you decide to pursue the new job is that geotech is a field where you'll be strongly encouraged to get your MS. There's a lot to learn, particularly in seismic hazard analysis, and in fact the few geotechs I've worked with who didn't have graduate degrees were relegated to much less sexy work, doing things like drilling coordination and simple shallow foundation jobs. You might want to ask your professor if he expects you to pursue a grad degree.


  • NJmike PE likes this

#138 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:52 PM

YMZ, even though I'm a drainage guy right now, I've always had aspirations to play in the dirt. While working and going to school, I found it easy to stick with the WR&E field, but I really enjoyed my geotech classes. In fact I found them all to be the easiest for me. I always thought that some day I would make the switch from WR&E to geo. Maybe it's sooner than later.

 
That was me when I graduated in 2006. I made the jump after a couple years working in water resources to get my MS in geotech, and I never regretted it. The field experience is so rewarding.
 
One thing to consider if you decide to pursue the new job is that geotech is a field where you'll be strongly encouraged to get your MS. There's a lot to learn, particularly in seismic hazard analysis, and in fact the few geotechs I've worked with who didn't have graduate degrees were relegated to much less sexy work, doing things like drilling coordination and simple shallow foundation jobs. You might want to ask your professor if he expects you to pursue a grad degree.



Good to know. I know he got his, and if I remember correctly he encouraged it as well.

#139 Jdsmith PE

Jdsmith PE

    Construction Manager

  • Senior Member
  • 472 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa, FL
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:08 PM

Its been two and a half months since receiving my PE results and I am now at a new firm with a 27% raise. The PE is not meaningless!!!!


  • knight1fox3 likes this

#140 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:12 PM

HFS!!! It's a JDS siting. I thought you had retired from this board.



#141 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:00 PM

HFS!!! It's a JDS siting. I thought you had retired from this board.

LOL..... :plusone:



#142 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:05 PM

Its been two and a half months since receiving my PE results and I am now at a new firm with a 27% raise. The PE is not meaningless!!!!

OK, let's go money bags. Fork over some money, become a supporting member and hang around for a while.


Edited by NJmike PE, 03 April 2014 - 05:07 PM.


#143 petegiam07

petegiam07

    Intern

  • Supporting Member
  • 3 posts
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:21 AM

Hey Guys, been lurking for a while now and thought I'd contribute.

 

I'm 29 from NJ just shy of 7 years full time experience in Potable Water Resources and 2 summer internships in Geotechnical Engineering.  I have both a BS and MS (got part time while working full time).

 

Anyway, I worked a large amount of overtime the past 3 years (average 300 hrs per year) and worked several Saturdays as well especially holiday summer weekends.  I also practically lived in another state 4/5 nights a week in a hotel for a big job for 1 year 3 years ago.

 

I passed the Oct. PE and received a bonus for my efforts but I still felt it wasn't enough with all the personal sacrifice and extra money I made for my company the past 3 years.  That being said I made a salary of 69K and got bumped to 72K as part of my increase for 2014.  Personally, I thought it was time for a promotion considering I was watching the president's son get promoted above me with less experience! But what can I do about that? It happens.... The real thing that got me upset is they made me feel as if my PE license was the only thing holding me back.  Instead they said I had to wait for a "board review" in Oct. 2014 and i MAY get a promotion then. 

 

Anyway, I did some searching on the market for new jobs.  Long story short I work now for another company with a 22% increase in salary before any overtime.  My old company did not even counteroffer.  From my estimate it would be at least another 4/5 years before I made this much with my old company.

 

I would encourage anyone to look around if you feel you are worth more.  I even saw my old coworkers (Vice President's and all ) at a conference I went to with my new company.  They were not down at all about me leaving and knew it was just business and I had to look out for myself.  They took the time to talk to me and explain how many people leave and come back to companies in the business and it is a small world.  You never know whats out there until you give it a shot. 



#144 NJmike PE

NJmike PE

    Spam hammer

  • Supporting Member
  • 15,526 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The light at the end of New York's tunnel
  • Interests:Football, Baseball, Fishing
  • Discipline:Water Resources

Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:13 AM

Pete, your story is very intriguing to me. As I stated earlier in this thread, I'm waiting patiently for the remainder of this year. Waiting to see what offer is made to me at the end of the year. Waiting and accruing valuable experience which will only work in my favor. Waiting while I update my resume and waiting as the economy continues to steadily improve. Everything that will work in my favor if I am forced to move on. But thanks for your inspiring story to know that there is still work in this wretched state.


One question if I may. North, central or southern NJ?

#145 Ready for PE

Ready for PE

    Project Engineer

  • Senior Member
  • 65 posts
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 17 April 2014 - 03:30 PM

 

^^Ouch

yeah, tell me about it. and with 15 years of experience at the same company too.

 

Wow, 15 years experience and you're in the low 60's?  I'm surprised at that.  And you're in the northeast too?  Here in Texas, we're hiring kids whose ink isn't dry on their diploma with or without EIT for the mid 50's.  Heck, way back in 1999 I came out of school and started at $42k.  I'd say if your salary has stalled and you've been there 15 years, it may be high time to look around.  Some companies simply don't appreciate or value loyalty.  A civil PE in my area is making around $95k.  Mechancial is probably similar but Mech E jobs in Austin, TX are somewhat fewer, it seems, than civil which is why I've jumped from ME to CE.  I had to take a step back in salary because I'm rebuilding my expertise in a new arena but I'm already at $85k.  Hopefully I'll pass the PE and be at $95k soon.  If my current employer doesn't come up with that kind of money within a year after passing (I think they will), I'll definitely look around.  Love my company and have every reason to think they plan on coming through but the PE is really going to open up options here locally.  State capital.  TxDOT is here.  Lot's of civil design going on.



#146 cajone5

cajone5

    Project Engineer

  • Senior Member
  • 52 posts
  • Discipline:Civil

Posted 17 April 2014 - 03:36 PM

 

 

^^Ouch

yeah, tell me about it. and with 15 years of experience at the same company too.

 

Wow, 15 years experience and you're in the low 60's?  I'm surprised at that.  And you're in the northeast too?  Here in Texas, we're hiring kids whose ink isn't dry on their diploma with or without EIT for the mid 50's.  Heck, way back in 1999 I came out of school and started at $42k.  I'd say if your salary has stalled and you've been there 15 years, it may be high time to look around.  Some companies simply don't appreciate or value loyalty.  A civil PE in my area is making around $95k.  Mechancial is probably similar but Mech E jobs in Austin, TX are somewhat fewer, it seems, than civil which is why I've jumped from ME to CE.  I had to take a step back in salary because I'm rebuilding my expertise in a new arena but I'm already at $85k.  Hopefully I'll pass the PE and be at $95k soon.  If my current employer doesn't come up with that kind of money within a year after passing (I think they will), I'll definitely look around.  Love my company and have every reason to think they plan on coming through but the PE is really going to open up options here locally.  State capital.  TxDOT is here.  Lot's of civil design going on.

 

 

Huh... maybe I need to look into my options here... I am a structural engineer doing specialty consulting work (complex designs and analysis for wind, seismic, blast, etc.) and have a BSCE, MSSE, and half-way through a part-time PhD in CE at UT and I have my TX PE and should officially have my IL SE in the next few weeks and I only make a little less than $80k salary (no overtime).  I have about 7 years experience... based on what you say, my pay sounds low?



#147 Ready for PE

Ready for PE

    Project Engineer

  • Senior Member
  • 65 posts
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 17 April 2014 - 03:40 PM

Hey Guys, been lurking for a while now and thought I'd contribute.

 

I'm 29 from NJ just shy of 7 years full time experience in Potable Water Resources and 2 summer internships in Geotechnical Engineering.  I have both a BS and MS (got part time while working full time).

 

Anyway, I worked a large amount of overtime the past 3 years (average 300 hrs per year) and worked several Saturdays as well especially holiday summer weekends.  I also practically lived in another state 4/5 nights a week in a hotel for a big job for 1 year 3 years ago.

 

I passed the Oct. PE and received a bonus for my efforts but I still felt it wasn't enough with all the personal sacrifice and extra money I made for my company the past 3 years.  That being said I made a salary of 69K and got bumped to 72K as part of my increase for 2014.  Personally, I thought it was time for a promotion considering I was watching the president's son get promoted above me with less experience! But what can I do about that? It happens.... The real thing that got me upset is they made me feel as if my PE license was the only thing holding me back.  Instead they said I had to wait for a "board review" in Oct. 2014 and i MAY get a promotion then. 

 

Anyway, I did some searching on the market for new jobs.  Long story short I work now for another company with a 22% increase in salary before any overtime.  My old company did not even counteroffer.  From my estimate it would be at least another 4/5 years before I made this much with my old company.

 

I would encourage anyone to look around if you feel you are worth more.  I even saw my old coworkers (Vice President's and all ) at a conference I went to with my new company.  They were not down at all about me leaving and knew it was just business and I had to look out for myself.  They took the time to talk to me and explain how many people leave and come back to companies in the business and it is a small world.  You never know whats out there until you give it a shot. 

Yep, definitely don't ever burn any bridges.  Always act professionally and without any hard feelings on the way out the door.  Thank them for the job and the opportunities over the years.  Don't ever trash talk a former employer (except maybe among trusted fellow former employees, hehe).  They will appreciate it and respect it.  It is a small world and you're likely to continue running into them professionally one way or another.  The more "good" professional relationships you have, the more valuable you are.


  • knight1fox3 likes this

#148 Ready for PE

Ready for PE

    Project Engineer

  • Senior Member
  • 65 posts
  • Discipline:Mechanical

Posted 17 April 2014 - 03:57 PM

 

 

 

^^Ouch

yeah, tell me about it. and with 15 years of experience at the same company too.

 

Wow, 15 years experience and you're in the low 60's?  I'm surprised at that.  And you're in the northeast too?  Here in Texas, we're hiring kids whose ink isn't dry on their diploma with or without EIT for the mid 50's.  Heck, way back in 1999 I came out of school and started at $42k.  I'd say if your salary has stalled and you've been there 15 years, it may be high time to look around.  Some companies simply don't appreciate or value loyalty.  A civil PE in my area is making around $95k.  Mechancial is probably similar but Mech E jobs in Austin, TX are somewhat fewer, it seems, than civil which is why I've jumped from ME to CE.  I had to take a step back in salary because I'm rebuilding my expertise in a new arena but I'm already at $85k.  Hopefully I'll pass the PE and be at $95k soon.  If my current employer doesn't come up with that kind of money within a year after passing (I think they will), I'll definitely look around.  Love my company and have every reason to think they plan on coming through but the PE is really going to open up options here locally.  State capital.  TxDOT is here.  Lot's of civil design going on.

 

 

Huh... maybe I need to look into my options here... I am a structural engineer doing specialty consulting work (complex designs and analysis for wind, seismic, blast, etc.) and have a BSCE, MSSE, and half-way through a part-time PhD in CE at UT and I have my TX PE and should officially have my IL SE in the next few weeks and I only make a little less than $80k salary (no overtime).  I have about 7 years experience... based on what you say, my pay sounds low?

 

I can't say for sure for sure if it's low.  I got my $95k number for civil PE's from a salary survey website and from some recent comments directly from my boss who said when he was interviewing me for an internal transfer/promotion that PE's at my company make "at least" $95k.  I have about 15 years experience and most of that is in an executive position where I was heading up an engineering department of about 25 people at a company with about $60M in revenue.  I was making more than a typical PE or engineer.  It wasn't really my role at the time.  Now that I've jumped to civil, I made the deliberate decision that I would drop several rungs down the ladder and work my way back up.  I'm in a project management position now but with no where near the financial responsibility I had before and nowhere near the number of people reporting to me (in fact, officially I have none right now which is a wonderful, wonderful thing if you can still make enough to pay the bills).  So I'm not really sure how much of my current $85k is in recognition of my previous experience.  I don't know what other PM's make in the company.  I am blissfully ignorant and don't ask because all it can do is either piss me off or make someone jealous of me and I don't want either of those headaches.  I have a hunch that I'm paid in line with other PM's.

I'd also update LinkedIn.  I get half a dozen or more headhunters reach out to me a year.  In fact, I've never had any luck at all applying cold for a job.  Almost zero response.  I've switched jobs when headhunters have contacted me or, in the case of my current job, I had a previous professional relationship with the owner.  I invited him to lunch and told him that I wanted to come work for him.  He's a no BS guy.  He asked how much I wanted, I named what I thought was a safely low number and I was hired.   I was desperate to change jobs at that moment.  I had been commuting 285 miles round trip for 5 months every day.  I'm not kidding.  That's how far I had to go for a decently paying ME job after losing a previous job.  I think my "safely low" number turned out to be right in line with their salary structure but that was a coincidence. 

In the end, I think the only way to know what you're worth is to put yourself out there and talk to people.  I learned the hard way to always have an exit strategy anyway.  I'd been at my company where I was the VP of Engineering for 11 years.  Get on the wrong side of one powerful shareholder and you're unceremoneously shown the door without much warning or explanation or chance to fight for your job.  Job success, awesome subornidate reviews and morale, stellar year after year performance reviews, and sustained measurable high job performance can mean nothing.

 

I would think in Austin, as a consulting structural PE, you'd be higher than the 80's.  My company doesn't do any design, otherwise I'd ask you for a resume.  We're growing.  We do some construction management for transportation but that's the closest we get to design.  We're actually a surveying a mapping firm.  One of the largest in the country.


Edited by Ready for PE, 17 April 2014 - 04:05 PM.


#149 engineergurl

engineergurl

    Resident Sweet Cheeks

  • Charter Member
  • 11,031 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:somewhere between a rock and a hard place...
  • Discipline:Engineering Groupie

Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:44 PM

I like money.



#150 knight1fox3

knight1fox3

    Jedi Knight & Friend of Capt. Solo

  • EB Supporting Member
  • 8,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brew City
  • Discipline:Electrical

Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:44 PM

You like money too?!  We should hang out...






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

=