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Engineering wages

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by amdx, Jun 11, 2010.

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  1. amdx

    amdx Guest

    Hi Guys,
    Might be the wrong group for this, but here's my question,
    I have a nephew about 33 years old, he is a chemical engineer.
    He did not just get a degree, he learned his craft and is a very
    smart person with knowledge that goes much wider than his degree.
    He works for a in factory of a global chemical company, I think
    of German origin.
    Over the years he has redesigned reactors and a multitude of processes
    for maximum economy, Just one reactor he redesigned saved the company
    $100,000 every year. He has moved into putting every function under
    computer control. He is/has designed the factory systems for PLC control.
    He writes the programs to keep track of everything, temperature , pressure,
    how much material is put in every container, how much is left in the hopper,
    how fast the conveyor is moving, keeps track of every employees output,
    if the motor at their station isn't running, they need to log the problem.
    He can pull up the factory on his laptop and check anything or change
    when or how somthing runs.
    His work has eliminated dozens of jobs in the factory and just recently
    his bosses job was eliminated, no longer needed, because information
    is so easily available my nephew can do what needs to be done.
    So he is a chemical engineer with a strong PLC design and programing
    Should probably add mechanical knowledge, because he is the one called
    when there is a problem.
    Ok so that's what I know, he was in town this weekend and I got him talking
    and found he is only making $87,000. I was shocked, I thought and think he
    is worth much more than this. He is single and the factory is his life.
    I told him he deserves much more and he said well it's hard, meaning it's
    hard to ask for a raise. He is Asian and has what you might call the
    sterotyped characteristic, demure, modest, shy personality.
    ( my wife is Asian and she is not demure, don't cross her or you got trouble
    So am I wrong? Is the wage scale higher than he is paid?
  2. The best way to get more pay is to just switch jobs. It doesn't matter
    what your "proof" is, if you show to work and say pay me 25% more, I'm
    worth it it's just not going to happen.
  3. Guest

    I don't know what the wage scale is for Chem-Es, but remember that he's only
    worth what someone ELSE will pay him. Since he doesn't have a degree, that
    might not be all he's really worth to the company. If he's not going to leave
    there isn't any reason to pay more.
  4. That ain't partcually remarkable.
    In electronics for example, if you optimise the BOM cost of a product by $1
    on a run of 100,000 you've saved $100,000. Trivial really.
    Sounds like just your average practical engineering job. Nothing special
    there really, sorry to tell you.
    You are misunderstanding how the business and engineering world's actually
    work I think.
    No such thing as a wage scale in professional engineering really.
    But that sort of money would be fairly typical for a practical engineering
    job, regardless of qualifications, or how valuable you think you might be to
    the company.

    You typically only get a large pay rise by changing companies to one that
    pays more from the outset. If you simply ask for more at your current job,
    regardless of how valuable you actually are too them, they will often talk
    you down or out of it completely. Sometimes threatening to leave also works,
    but you have to be incredibly valuable and be willing to have your bluff

    But in any event there generally isn't a lot of money in practical
    engineering, it's a simple as that. There are exceptions like say in the
    mining industry here in Australia for example. If you want say double that
    amount you have to be very lucky, maybe in a niche under resourced market,
    or move into managment or some other area that generally pays more. If you
    want to get paid directly for the results you achieve for a company then you
    generally have to be on some commision system like in sales.

  5. amdx

    amdx Guest

    Actually he was about to move to another factory in another state with
    the same company and a $35,000 wage increase, but this didn't happen,
    I ddin't get the details.
  6. amdx

    amdx Guest

    I never said he didn't have a degree, he got his Chemical engineering
    degree from
    University of Florida, then went to Auburn University for his post
  7. amdx

    amdx Guest

    I reread my original post and see where I worded that a little strange.
    "He did not just get a degree, he learned his craft"
    Sorry for the confusion.
  8. amdx

    amdx Guest

    Hi Guys,
    Hi guys,
    So the answer is, move to a higher paying job or bluff that you will.
    Thanks, Mike
  9. tm

    tm Guest

    You are only worth what it cost to replace you.

  10. not counting cost of living, that would be one hell of a raise if it
    worked out!
  11. this is an awesome quote.
  12. Guest

    Absolutely! This isn't a place to play around, you might not even get the
    chance to quit. If he's not happy where he is (salary is part of "happy"),
    find another job and leave and don't take a bribe to stay. Make it clean.

    When I took my current job, I was asked if once the job was offered, would I
    accept a better offer from my (then) current employer. No, they already had
    the chance. I followed that with, "but the same applies to any future
    positions". Once I decide to leave, it's too late (so make sure I never want
    to leave ;-).
  13. Guest

    Except that management doesn't usually take all those costs into
    consideration. Your "worth" is diminished by that amount.
  14. Exactly.
    And some management will always play hard ball regardless of the detrimental
    cost to them in terms of projects delays or whatever if someone leaves. They
    would rather lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and delays or
    whatever just to prove that nobody is expendable, that's how most big
    companies work. Many would rather see you leave than give you even a meager
    pay rise, regardless of how valuable you are to them.
    The only leverage you have over an employer is a threat to leave, and if
    they don't care then you ain't worth a dime extra!

  15. I second that.
    The other problem with having your bluff called is that you will lose money
    (short term) if you have to leave and spend time looking for another job.
    So it's almost always better to simply find a better and/or higher paying
    job first and then leave.

  16. Guest

    No, threatening to leave is a bad move. Your only leverage is to find someone
    that will make you happier. They're not family. It's a job.
  17. amdx

    amdx Guest

    This is only an uncle asking these questions, he is happy with his
    I was just disappointed that he isn't earning more.
  18. Guest

    So you're trying to undermine his happiness. Got it. ;-)

    Seriously, I don't think he's doing that badly, salary wise. Of course I
    don't know what the market is like for Chem-Es (likely pretty rough right now,
    like everything else). There are likely salary surveys for his specialty on
    the web. You might check that out. Bottom line, if he likes the job and the
    people, he's fine.

    Please don't top-post.
  19. Guest

    Because it makes you look like an idiot, which at Mike doesn't try to be.
  20. Baron

    Baron Guest

    Richard Henry Inscribed thus:
    Another Google Groper...
    Google It.
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