Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: Frustration as an engineer  (Read 2421 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Offline Offline
Full Member
***
Karma: 1
Posts: 103
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I believe people who read this forum are engineers. I wonder how many of you share my experience. Have you ever gone to a social gathering of old schoolmates and gone home wondering "Why is that idiot so rich and I am not?"

Do you think engineers are under-paid relative to their contribution to society and economy, particularly compared to the financial professionals? I have met so many brilliant engineers, far smarter than me. I think they could be much better off if they had joined another profession.

Please ignore me if you think I am a ranting idiot.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 04:59:44 am by lightaiyee » Logged

Global Moderator
Netherlands
Offline Offline
Shannon Member
*****
Karma: 216
Posts: 13668
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, however in practice there are many...
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
"Why is that idiot so rich and I am not?"
Of course, but more from curiosity, "How did he do it?"

The question is, is that "idiot" happy with his life?
Are you happy with your life?

OK, if you don't have enough money to feed the family there is a serious problem. - a lack of money definitely can make you unhappy
But I think most engineers in the world do what they like best and make a decent living. (and yes there are counter examples)

I do not think engineers are underpaid (in general), it is more that some people are overpaid imho.

There was this company in which the CEO said that the difference in the min (hour) salary and the max should not differ more than a factor 10..
Logged

Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

Left Coast, CA (USA)
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 361
Posts: 17293
Measurement changes behavior
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

 I've been retired now for almost 6 years so I've been around the block a few times so to speak. In all my days I don't ever recall meeting someone who said they thought they were 'overpaid' for what they did for a living, but I have met a lot that thought the opposite, I wonder why? It almost boarders on class warfare and is so subjective to be a almost useless and destructive question.

 The richest people I've met first hands (met the two apple founders before they 'made it' for example) were mostly richer then me in that they took big financial risks at sometime in their life to go into business for themselves. I considered that path in my 30s but felt while I might handle such risks for myself but I had a family at that time and didn't feet I should risk their financial future. Besides I mostly felt I was paid pretty fairly for what I did and when I seemed to reach a pay ceiling for one company I would just start looking around for a 'better paying' company'. I finally settled in at a big oil company and stayed 27 years and now have a secure retirement income.

 So life is pretty much what you make of it and spending too much time worrying about what the other guy makes or does is pretty much a waste of time. Just try to set honest priorities for your own life and try to make the best life decisions you can to reach those goals. The universe really has no concern about if things are fair or not in it's domain, it just does what it does.

Lefty
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 08:23:02 am by retrolefty » Logged

SF Bay Area (USA)
Offline Offline
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 132
Posts: 6746
Strongly opinionated, but not official!
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I dunno.  I know some pretty wealthy engineers (or ex-engineers?)  I may even be one.
I think perhaps "engineering personalities" are less prone to massive or obvious displays of wealth, less prone to being driven to acquiring excess wealth ("hey, the problem is solved!"), and less prone to being heavily in debt ("math is a skill".)  So, for example, Woz is a lot less rich than Jobs (was.)

Quote
particularly compared to the financial professionals?
You mean like "Congratulations on your Wharton Graduation.  Here's your Bank Manager job.  I'm sure you'll be an assistant junior VP with a six-figure income in no time!  All you have to do is NOT SCREW UP" ??  I dunno if it's that simple.  But the best way to get rich seems to involve helping other people to get rich as well (or something like that.)

(Whereas an engineer who merely "doesn't scew up" can only expect to earn a moderately comfortable salary doing Interesting Things.)

OTOH, I know a fair number of people whose major callings are Artistic.  Singers, Songwriters, actors, writers, photographers.  People who are REALLY GOOD, but probably not good enough (in all the myriad ways) to even have a chance of making a living at what they love.  The best they can expect is a job that doesn't suck, that will pay well enough (and leave them enough time and energy) to feed their passion a little bit...
Logged

Dubuque, Iowa, USA
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 46
Posts: 2502
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

As an engineer it's ingrained in your thinking that you should present a solution that appropriately fits a problem. That doesn't work so well in the marketing/financial industry where the only issue is profit.
Logged

BHZ, MG, Brazil
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 10
Posts: 346
Android developer; Arduino enthusiast
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

You are absolutely correct, and I also feel that way sometimes.

2-3 of my classmates from college, who left the engineering field even before graduating are doing *very* well, financially. One was a trainee at PriceWaterhouse (there was no Coopers yet back then!) in our junior year. The other started working in banking and now is in finances.

Those who are still in the engineering field, but are making money by the truckloads, left Brazil some time after graduation and are working in aerospace engineering in the US, Germany and France.

Although I went to engineering school, I never worked with engineering. My day job is as a systems analyst and MS SQL Server DBA. The engineering knowledge helps me every single day, however.
Logged

Learn to live: Live to learn.
Showing off my work: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,126197.0.html

nr Bundaberg, Australia
Online Online
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 126
Posts: 8501
Scattered showers my arse -- Noah, 2348BC.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I left nature photography c1980 and moved into electronics then programming etc. Best thing I ever did because I was heading for a life as a poor photographer with a crap job to support my habit, as mentioned above.

Instead I had about 20 years of working on stuff at above average wages, stuff I would almost have done for free. I did have a product on the market which helped but the combination of a frugal lifestyle and good wages allowed me to retire at 45 and "work" at the two things that float my boat, ie embedded electronics and nature photography.

Quote
Those who are still in the engineering field, but are making money by the truckloads, left Brazil
Your definition of "truckloads" may vary from ours, I'm actually doing some contract work for a Brazilian company right now at a vastly reduced rate because a) it's interesting and I don't really need the money (although it will allow me to buy a few toys I could otherwise not justify) and b) they can't afford to employ a "real" design house and I'd like to help them out a bit.

We discussed money the other day, I asked how much an EE would expect to get in Brazil and the answer was $2000, "A week?" I asked, no that was a month. Of course it's cheaper to live there so it's not a fair comparison but it's still a lot less than in the west.

We decided that things were back to front, I should move to Brazil and do work for companies in Oz/US/EU.

Quote
you should present a solution that appropriately fits a problem
Correct, the "problem" was living in the rat race, the "solution" for me was to drop out and hit the road. smiley

______
Rob
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 07:18:39 pm by Graynomad » Logged

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

BHZ, MG, Brazil
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 10
Posts: 346
Android developer; Arduino enthusiast
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

We discussed money the other day, I asked how much an EE would expect to get in Brazil and the answer was $2000, "A week?" I asked, no that was a month. Of course it's cheaper to live there so it's not a fair comparison but it's still a lot less than in the west.

We decided that things were back to front, I should move to Brazil and do work for companies in Oz/US/EU.

By truckloads of money I mean over US$ 300K / year.

A good EE with a solid background and experience can earn up to US$ 10K in Brazil, working for multinational or mining companies. My cousin is an EE, with a masters degree, and hìs monthly income is > US$ 15K, and he works for a mining company.

Brazil is a very expensive country to live in. I was just in Argentina and Paraguay last week and food there is 1/4 of what it costs here. Everything else is less expensive there as well. I can't believe other people actually want to come live in Brazil, when most people just want to get out. Since our government is extremely corrupt and extremely badly managed, our tax money goes down the drain, and taxes increase everyday. We are in 20-year high inflation rate, and the inflation for the first 4 months of 2013 has already surpassed the entire inflation for 2012.

We have the most expensive gasoline in the world, yet we don't import any oil. Gasoline in Argentina is half the price of what it costs here, and they buy oil from us! Can you believe that?

A simple indicator is tourism: it is cheaper for a Brazilian to go sightseeing in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Miami and NYC than to go to places in Brazil. For example: a place round-trip ticket from my city (Belo Horizonte, Brazil's 4th largest city with almost 3 million inhabitants) to Miami costs about US$ 700. From my city to Joao Pessoa, a city in northeastern Brazil, it is over US$ 1,200. Since I`ve been to Miami a few times, I can tell for sure everything there is less expensive than in Joao Pessoa. Not to mention Miami is a lot safer.

My sister in law has invited my and my wife to move to Australia a few times. Once my wife finishes here post-doctorate, we might just accept her offer.


Logged

Learn to live: Live to learn.
Showing off my work: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,126197.0.html

SF Bay Area (USA)
Offline Offline
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 132
Posts: 6746
Strongly opinionated, but not official!
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
By truckloads of money I mean over US$ 300K / year.
Not many engineers make that much (at least, not without moving into management.)  I think you're being lied to.
(For instance,  an income of $343k will get you into the reviled "top 1%" of earners.)
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4235174/Engineering-salaries-on-the-rise
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4227435/Survey-average-UK-engineer
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4211059/2010-EE-Times-Global-Salary-and-Opinion-Survey
Logged

nr Bundaberg, Australia
Online Online
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 126
Posts: 8501
Scattered showers my arse -- Noah, 2348BC.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Brazil is a very expensive country to live in.
I didn't realise that, so you've got a double whammy then, low wages and high costs.

Quote
move to Australia a few times. Once my wife finishes here post-doctorate, we might just accept her offer.
My totally unbiased opinion is that you should, especially in light of the above. Have you looked into whether or not you can immigrate to Oz? Last I heard they wanted plumbers smiley

______
Rob

Logged

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

SF Bay Area (USA)
Offline Offline
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 132
Posts: 6746
Strongly opinionated, but not official!
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Quote
Brazil is a very expensive country to live in.
I didn't realise that, so you've got a double whammy then, low wages and high costs.
Obnoxious import regulations, as well, apparently.
Logged

Global Moderator
Boston area, metrowest
Online Online
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 533
Posts: 26956
Author of "Arduino for Teens". Available for Design & Build services. Now with Unlimited Eagle board sizes!
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were being discussed on the radio recently, they were saying i'ts going to be very expensive for the guests coming in to see events.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Summer_Olympics
Logged

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

BHZ, MG, Brazil
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 10
Posts: 346
Android developer; Arduino enthusiast
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I didn't realise that, so you've got a double whammy then, low wages and high costs.

Exactly. Cars in Brazil, for example, cost a lot more than anywhere else. The least expensive car in Brazil, the Fiat Mille (no AC, no power windows/doors/steering, no alarm, tinted windows, no nothing) costs the equivalent to US$ 14,600 today.

The question with wages is that an employee costs a lot to the employer, bacause there are so much taxes and duties to be payed, such as social security, IRS, and so on. An employee that has a liquid income of about R$ 1,000 costs his employer exactly R$ 2,240.

All of the Australians I know are very nice people, and my sister-in-law's husband is Australian. I know I'd get along with them beautifully, but I also know Australia has 4 distinct seasons: hot, damn hot, even hotter and "I can't believe it isn't summer".

Obnoxious import regulations, as well, apparently.

Don't get me started on those!

On the other hand, our senators and representatives (both state and federal) are among the most well paid politicians in the world.

The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were being discussed on the radio recently, they were saying i'ts going to be very expensive for the guests coming in to see events.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Summer_Olympics

CrossRoads, I remember in a recent thread we talked about Boston, and I mentioned how much I loved it. You were in the thread, as well as another user from Boston. I mentioned how much I loved the city when I visited (twice) it in 1991 and 1992. I am so sorry about what happened there and I hope you and your family are ok.

Before the 2016 Olympics we will host a FIFA World Cup (Soccer), next year. My city is one of the host cities, and you can be sure I won't stay here! There will be a total of 11 host cities, although most of them will only have 1 or 2 matches at most (there will be 10-14 games in my city).

Most cities in Brazil have absolutely no infra-structure able to comfortably receive the amount of tourists a World Cup brings. I work about 9.3 miles (15km) from my house, and yet most times it takes me 45 minutes to go from home to work and vice versa, by car, in a normal sunny day. Public transportation sucks and is expensive. Riding a bike would be a solution I'd love, but there are too many hills here and there aren't many bike-only lanes in the streets. Besides there is no place to shower where I work, which makes riding a bike an even worse choice.

Now take all those problems and condense it to a single city: Rio de Janeiro, one of Brazil's most violent cities. That is what the 2016 Olympics will be, except there are no hills there: the city is mostly flat. It is hot, however. Do you guys think Australia is hot? Rio de Janeiro is hotter and I am willing to bet money on that!!! I don't know how much news you guys get about Rio de Janeiro, but every now and then the Army and our poor-man's version of the Marines have to invade the favelas (fortified slums, made fortresses by drug lords).

If you get the chance, ask any athlete who was in Rio de Janeiro for the 2007 PanAmerican Games what it was like.

Don't get me wrong, there are many things I love in Brazil: fruits are inexpensive, there are beautiful places to go (last week I was here: Cataratas do Iguaçu), and we have beautiful women. The problem is that over 50% + 1 of our population is ignorant and illiterate, and keep on voting on politicians that want nothing but steal from and screw us, so the same old people keep running the country indefinitely. Nothing changes, ever.

None of the population was favourable to Brazil hosting the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup. What we need is more schools, hospitals, road paving, libraries, and not stadiums. Those 2 events are only happening because of our former president's ego (Lula, hated by everyone with an IQ > 1, **THE MOST** corrupt politician we ever had). Now we are short over US$ 43 BILLION (with a capital "B"), just so we can please Lula, a few tourists and a handfull of soccer players, and not a single school has been built.

Sorry for the long post.
Logged

Learn to live: Live to learn.
Showing off my work: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,126197.0.html

nr Bundaberg, Australia
Online Online
Tesla Member
***
Karma: 126
Posts: 8501
Scattered showers my arse -- Noah, 2348BC.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
4 distinct seasons: hot, damn hot, even hotter and "I can't believe it isn't summer".
Depends where you are, if you go up north it's 32C every day of the year, it's just the humidity that changes.

Where I am it's probably 25C in the winter and 35C in the summer but pretty dry all the time.

And down south it can be cold and wet a lot. In the mountains it can snow at any time of year.

Anyway good luck with the process if you decide to come over.

______
Rob
Logged

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to: