Author Topic: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?  (Read 2296 times)

jeff2017

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ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« on: August 08, 2018, 09:12:11 AM »
Just a general observation. It seems a lot of engineers I personally know don't like their jobs. One friend works for a Big Aerospace company and said he has spent the last 2 full years of his work life configuring the best location, down to the perfect inch, for a handrail in an aircraft, admittedly that sounds boring as hell. The other is 6 years into an Engineering job where they install and maintain sanitation systems in food manufacturing plants. This job honestly sounds kind of interesting, but I understand the downside, he has to travel a decent amount of time to wherever the plant is.

On this forum, it seems a lot of members are engineers that want to FIRE asap (nothing wrong with that), but the majority don't seem all that interested in working b/c they enjoy the field.

I'm sure there are plenty that do enjoy the profession, but curious what all the negativity is around? Repetitive work? Getting bored easily? From the outside looking in, most engineers appear to be intelligent people and are in a market with a strong demand and solid pay. What gives?

FIRE@50

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 09:22:57 AM »
I'm not an engineer, but I would argue that engineers don't have a monopoly on this concept. I think most people in any profession would rather be FIRE'd. I've even read articles about professional athletes making millions that don't like the particular sport they are playing.

sisto

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 09:26:56 AM »
For me it's the bureaucracy and sterile nature of working for Mega Corp. I used to feel like my work mattered and I mattered, but through many years of seeing people laid off and perks being taken away I've realized it's all about the mighty $. It's also the demanding schedule. I make a lot of money, but when you break it down by the number of hours it's not that much anymore.

FreshPrincess

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 09:37:53 AM »
If you ask my dad, it's because they're always the smartest person in the room and that's exhausting.  :)

-FreshPops, Electrical Engineer since 1979

Cadman

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2018, 09:38:35 AM »
Hot take: it's very rare that a good engineer is also a good manager, and vice versa. Yet in many major corporations the only way to 'get ahead' is the management track. Yes, there's lots of lip service about technical advancement and staff/senior staff engineering positions, but the truth is you either run in one circle or the other, both at work and play.

It also seems the further you proceed in the technical track, administrative and clerical work replaces actual 'engineering' work. You might review test reports and provide direction, or be consulted on an issue, but you're no longer involved in the hands on 'nuts and bolts' design. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but that's not usually the reason people train to become engineers.

There's also the matter of dealing with non-engineer-type management, but that's another matter.

Samsam

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 09:38:58 AM »
If you ask my dad, it's because they're always the smartest person in the room and that's exhausting.  :)

-FreshPops, Electrical Engineer since 1979

I was trying to find a nice way to say this and here it is.  But this ^^
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 09:43:09 AM by Samsam »

magnet18

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 09:40:11 AM »
Engineer for mega-corp here
It's all about $, yes also infuriatingly slow, super buracratic
"we didn't make a billion profit this year like our goal, only 999 million, so nobody gets a bonus"
"Congratulations employee 753951, you get a 3% raise this year.  You deserve to be promoted 3 levels, but I'm only allowed to give out 2 promotions, and those 2 guys have been waiting in line  longer"
"Your program is now cancelled, everything you've worked on for the last 3 years is now totally irrelevant"
"We can't give you a nice monitor, because then everyone will want a nice monitor"

And everything is always over budget and always behind schedule.

On the bright side I punch the clock for exactly 40 hours in exchange for a firehose of money.  It's just that those 40 hours are so draining and soul sucking I can't bring myself to do anything but flop on the couch at the end of the day, exhausted from sitting at my desk motionless for 8 hours and drained of all will to work on the things I actually love, or even the things I need to do

That's why I want to fire out of engineering as soon as humanly possible.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 09:41:54 AM by magnet18 »

jeff2017

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 09:41:19 AM »
Hot take: it's very rare that a good engineer is also a good manager, and vice versa. Yet in many major corporations the only way to 'get ahead' is the management track. Yes, there's lots of lip service about technical advancement and staff/senior staff engineering positions, but the truth is you either run in one circle or the other, both at work and play.

It also seems the further you proceed in the technical track, administrative and clerical work replaces actual 'engineering' work. You might review test reports and provide direction, or be consulted on an issue, but you're no longer involved in the hands on 'nuts and bolts' design. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but that's not usually the reason people train to become engineers.

There's also the matter of dealing with non-engineer-type management, but that's another matter.

That makes a lot of sense. I guess it's also a tradeoff, many want to "progress in their career" and make more $$$, but this next layer of Management isn't what a lot like to do versus doing the work in the field.

Lanthiriel

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2018, 09:56:30 AM »
Hot take: it's very rare that a good engineer is also a good manager, and vice versa. Yet in many major corporations the only way to 'get ahead' is the management track. Yes, there's lots of lip service about technical advancement and staff/senior staff engineering positions, but the truth is you either run in one circle or the other, both at work and play.

It also seems the further you proceed in the technical track, administrative and clerical work replaces actual 'engineering' work. You might review test reports and provide direction, or be consulted on an issue, but you're no longer involved in the hands on 'nuts and bolts' design. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but that's not usually the reason people train to become engineers.

There's also the matter of dealing with non-engineer-type management, but that's another matter.

Having spent my entire career working for small consulting engineering firms and being married to a civil engineer, this is very consistent with what I've seen. In civil, you often start out either doing construction inspection or as a glorified CAD tech. Either way you're doing repetitive tasks that often require long days. Then if you're lucky, you get your PE and spend a few years as a project engineer leading design work that you're excited about. Then you get thrown on the management track whether you're good at it or not, and if you're not, suddenly you're a liability because you're making too much money to be "just technical" and you aren't bringing work through the door.

Consulting is all about the thrill of the chase, so there's very little room for folks to just do good work. A lot of engineers I know wind up moving into the public sector to try to get some work/life balance and actually design projects, though oftentimes these guys just wind up managing consultants anyway.

WranglerBowman

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 10:01:31 AM »
Just about everything I've read so far seems spot on.  The initial problem(s) that need(s) to be solved is enjoyable, for the most part, but the bureaucracy and BS most need to put up with is super draining.  It's extremely frustrating working with HR, management, cost controllers who have no idea what needs to be done and you have to keep explaining what you need to solve a problem(s) and they keep putting red tape in the way.  I'm a mid level engineer now and about 40% of the engineers I started with or graduated from school with have switched fields, mostly to financial, because they say they can make the same amount or more, work less hours, and have a lot less hassle.  Management seems to be where most of the money is, but working with most people is terribly frustrating... I also feel like many engineers have a lot of other people that ride their coattails and steal a lot of credit that the engineer is due.  O yea, and "your doing a great job, keep up the good work, here's a 3% raise"...WTF, I just saved this company over $500k and nearly killed myself working tons of hours to meet deadlines that weren't realistic to begin with...I feel really appreciated...  I'm in the "make as much as I can, as quick as I can, and get the heck out" boat.

magnet18

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 10:15:00 AM »
O yea, and "your doing a great job, keep up the good work, here's a 3% raise"...WTF, I just saved this company over $500k and nearly killed myself working tons of hours to meet deadlines that weren't realistic to begin with...I feel really appreciated...
I think this sums it up pretty well

I also like the "thanks for the patent you produced in addition to and on top of your normal responsibilities, we made a quick couple million off it, here's $500 to show you how much we appreciate you...
...

By the way, that program you worked on 20% of your time but had no control over... It performed terribly as a whole this year, so you get no raise" -true story, not me, but a coworker

austin944

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 10:15:45 AM »
Unhappy engineers are more likely to voice their feelings about their careers than the happy or indifferent ones.  It's sampling bias.

When was the last time you saw somebody start a thread here on MMM forums stating that they love their careers?  OK, good for them... but what would be the point?   OTOH, we hear all the time from people who are looking for a change.

wbranch

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2018, 10:18:06 AM »
If you ask my dad, it's because they're always the smartest person in the room and that's exhausting.  :)

-FreshPops, Electrical Engineer since 1979

I was trying to find a nice way to say this and here it is.  But this ^^

I have good friends that are engineers. I would have to add *thinking they are the smartest person in the room is exhausting for them.

I was just discussing this with a friend that is now engineer middle management and its driving him crazy. But he supposedly loves the work but hates the corporate environment. Working in the accounting/finance department of a mega-corp doesn't seem any better to me.

drachma

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2018, 10:19:30 AM »
[my life]

lol magnet, are you me? All of this and more is basically a constant factor.

I recently got an interesting project to work on - my last project was finally shipped, so now I had some free time so I got put on an interesting and innovative new design. This is always the fun part, the "nuts and bolts" design. I was interested and engaged and motivated to come to work.

About 2 weeks of that and suddenly my manager goes "hey, you're free right now! not working on anything "important," right? how about helping X with his overdue safety reports?" And not a week after that, "we are having a schedule crisis on project XYZ and need you to help out with the extremely boring repetitive and frustrating part right at the end that you just got finished doing on your last part." All of this is because I was working on a project that is early on in its schedule, so all of the ones near the end of the schedule suddenly take priority. So my days are spent doing boring bullshit work I've done 100 times before to clean up other people messes.

Just everything about it pisses me off. The context-switching especially. To get a new project takes a week to even "plug in" and really understand the concepts you are workign with. So 2 weeks of work on it then to get it ripped away and have to shift to someone elses different hugely complex project, like thats 2 weeks of my time essentially completely wasted. And by pulling me off of current projects to put out fires now, they are creating scheduling problems for my chip. which no doubt they will fix by pulling other poor saps off of THEIR projects to fix mine at the very last possible second, perpetuating the cycle.

Completely agree about all the other things as well. Cancelled projects that I actually found very interesting and rewarding to work on. Oh the last 2 months of work you did, nah lets just throw that in the trash. Lack of opportunity to move up/increase salary unless you want to manage people or sell things to people, which is what I went into engineering to avoid.

I will say flexible schedules are cool, but honestly I get my work done in easily 30 hours a week but the old-school business culture of "ass-in-chair time" sucks, big-time. Lack of flexibility in career options (its either 40h/week fulltime or zilch... I would rather take 6-9 month contracts or something). Needing to sit at a fucking computer screen all day. Like it takes me probably 1/2 to 1 hour of exercise ("prehab" like stretching, foamrolling, etc) each day just to undo the fucking DAMAGE from sitting for 10 hours.  If I actually want to progress past baseline I need more than that.

albireo13

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 10:47:39 AM »
Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Followed by reports and plans.
The constant ďfiresĒ caused by inane schedules.
The Dilbert culture is alive and well at MegaCorp. 

mm1970

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 12:23:07 PM »
For me it's the bureaucracy and sterile nature of working for Mega Corp. I used to feel like my work mattered and I mattered, but through many years of seeing people laid off and perks being taken away I've realized it's all about the mighty $. It's also the demanding schedule. I make a lot of money, but when you break it down by the number of hours it's not that much anymore.

Plus what everyone else said.

Meetings.
No raises.
Beauracracy
Management
Hours


I used to LOVE my job as a fab semiconductor engineer.  I developed products and processes, ran experiments, set up our SPC system, trained new engineers on all of the equipment, processes, and how to design experiments.  Even the move into management was fine because I was solving problems.

But we closed the fab, and then I ended up as a product engineer.  That's fine, I still got to do technical work, look at test data, figure out packaging level problems, work on reliability and quality.

But fast forward to layoffs, no raises, so then everyone who is left has two or three jobs - all done half-assed.  And too many projects.  Oh, and the program manager quit - so here you go.  It's important work, yes, but I miss the technical stuff.

My husband is an engineer and he likes his work but he also has too much of it.

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 12:33:10 PM »
I'm an engineer and for me its not so much a dislike of my job or a dislike of management.  I enjoy the management side more.  For me i think the reason you see engineers here more is

1. MMM is an engineer - so he attracts engineers with the way he approaches the "problem" of retiring
2. FIRE is a fun thing that can be planned that involves numbers to work a system.  Engineers like to deal with systems and numbers.
3. Its a math game.

personally for me i want to prove things like this can be done for 1 and secondly i HATE the structure of a work place.  Someone made  the comment about smartest in the room well I'm typically one of the smarter people in the rooms when its full of engineers, in college and HS etc. i got time if I didnt need to study as long or was faster at working problems.  In the working world i'm expected to work 8 hours a day regardless of the amount of work that gets done and someone will let you know if its not enough - and if you're really fast you just get more work. 

Jouer

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2018, 12:56:35 PM »
For me it's the bureaucracy and sterile nature of working for Mega Corp. I used to feel like my work mattered and I mattered, but through many years of seeing people laid off and perks being taken away I've realized it's all about the mighty $. It's also the demanding schedule. I make a lot of money, but when you break it down by the number of hours it's not that much anymore.

Plus what everyone else said.

Meetings.
No raises.
Beauracracy
Management
Hours



I used to LOVE my job as a fab semiconductor engineer.  I developed products and processes, ran experiments, set up our SPC system, trained new engineers on all of the equipment, processes, and how to design experiments.  Even the move into management was fine because I was solving problems.

But we closed the fab, and then I ended up as a product engineer.  That's fine, I still got to do technical work, look at test data, figure out packaging level problems, work on reliability and quality.

But fast forward to layoffs, no raises, so then everyone who is left has two or three jobs - all done half-assed.  And too many projects.  Oh, and the program manager quit - so here you go.  It's important work, yes, but I miss the technical stuff.

My husband is an engineer and he likes his work but he also has too much of it.

re the bolded: everyone deals with that, not just engineers. I'm not the OP but I'm wondering why given many have these same issues, engineers are more likely to complain and/or be on this forum?
 

Maenad

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2018, 12:58:27 PM »
2. FIRE is a fun thing that can be planned that involves numbers to work a system.  Engineers like to deal with systems and numbers.
3. Its a math game.

I was going to bring these up as well. I'm an engineer married to an engineer, and I think the planning and calculations often used to achieve FIRE appeal to engineers more on average than other folks, so we end up represented here more heavily.

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2018, 01:21:25 PM »
For me it's the bureaucracy and sterile nature of working for Mega Corp. I used to feel like my work mattered and I mattered, but through many years of seeing people laid off and perks being taken away I've realized it's all about the mighty $. It's also the demanding schedule. I make a lot of money, but when you break it down by the number of hours it's not that much anymore.

Plus what everyone else said.

Meetings.
No raises.
Beauracracy
Management
Hours



I used to LOVE my job as a fab semiconductor engineer.  I developed products and processes, ran experiments, set up our SPC system, trained new engineers on all of the equipment, processes, and how to design experiments.  Even the move into management was fine because I was solving problems.

But we closed the fab, and then I ended up as a product engineer.  That's fine, I still got to do technical work, look at test data, figure out packaging level problems, work on reliability and quality.

But fast forward to layoffs, no raises, so then everyone who is left has two or three jobs - all done half-assed.  And too many projects.  Oh, and the program manager quit - so here you go.  It's important work, yes, but I miss the technical stuff.

My husband is an engineer and he likes his work but he also has too much of it.

re the bolded: everyone deals with that, not just engineers. I'm not the OP but I'm wondering why given many have these same issues, engineers are more likely to complain and/or be on this forum?

see my post above for an idea of why we may be more drawn to math and planning in our personal lives than others.

Here are some other ideas.
also in general engineers have higher IQs - http://www.bachelor-of-education.org/college-major-iq/

this is an outside the box idea - engineers are encouraged to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. 

Higher IQ people can think more readily outside societal norms. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0190272510361602


mm1970

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2018, 01:39:19 PM »
For me it's the bureaucracy and sterile nature of working for Mega Corp. I used to feel like my work mattered and I mattered, but through many years of seeing people laid off and perks being taken away I've realized it's all about the mighty $. It's also the demanding schedule. I make a lot of money, but when you break it down by the number of hours it's not that much anymore.

Plus what everyone else said.

Meetings.
No raises.
Beauracracy
Management
Hours



I used to LOVE my job as a fab semiconductor engineer.  I developed products and processes, ran experiments, set up our SPC system, trained new engineers on all of the equipment, processes, and how to design experiments.  Even the move into management was fine because I was solving problems.

But we closed the fab, and then I ended up as a product engineer.  That's fine, I still got to do technical work, look at test data, figure out packaging level problems, work on reliability and quality.

But fast forward to layoffs, no raises, so then everyone who is left has two or three jobs - all done half-assed.  And too many projects.  Oh, and the program manager quit - so here you go.  It's important work, yes, but I miss the technical stuff.

My husband is an engineer and he likes his work but he also has too much of it.

re the bolded: everyone deals with that, not just engineers. I'm not the OP but I'm wondering why given many have these same issues, engineers are more likely to complain and/or be on this forum?

Ah, but you see, when I was an engineer working in the trenches, so to speak -
1.  Fewer meetings
2.  A lot of individual freedom to set my own hours, work, decide on how to proceed in a particular process, solve problems
3.  Less beauracracy
4.  Management - the complaint can be either HAVING management or BECOMING management. In this case, it meant BECOMING management.  BECOMING management requires far more meetings than just fixing problems.

(in other words, I'd rather deal with numbers, machines, processes, chemicals than have to manage people, documentation, change orders, etc)

And to touch on what boarder42 said about just getting more work and others about "being the smartest one in the room".

It super duper sucks to be paid about 75% of the going rate, and end up with 1 raise in 6 years, when you are a top notch employee and engineer.  I expect that, like me, many engineers don't want to play the game of changing jobs or getting a better offer somewhere else.  In other words, I fucking KNOW that the last four engineers you hired, that I had to train, made $20k to $40k more than I did - EIGHT YEARS AGO.  Since I'm a numbers person - look, if this job is worth $X, just fucking pay me $X.

The constant layoffs and more work speak to boarder's comment about being efficient gets you nothing but more work, which would be awesome if it came with more money, but see above.

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2018, 01:41:50 PM »
For me it's the bureaucracy and sterile nature of working for Mega Corp. I used to feel like my work mattered and I mattered, but through many years of seeing people laid off and perks being taken away I've realized it's all about the mighty $. It's also the demanding schedule. I make a lot of money, but when you break it down by the number of hours it's not that much anymore.

Plus what everyone else said.

Meetings.
No raises.
Beauracracy
Management
Hours



I used to LOVE my job as a fab semiconductor engineer.  I developed products and processes, ran experiments, set up our SPC system, trained new engineers on all of the equipment, processes, and how to design experiments.  Even the move into management was fine because I was solving problems.

But we closed the fab, and then I ended up as a product engineer.  That's fine, I still got to do technical work, look at test data, figure out packaging level problems, work on reliability and quality.

But fast forward to layoffs, no raises, so then everyone who is left has two or three jobs - all done half-assed.  And too many projects.  Oh, and the program manager quit - so here you go.  It's important work, yes, but I miss the technical stuff.

My husband is an engineer and he likes his work but he also has too much of it.

re the bolded: everyone deals with that, not just engineers. I'm not the OP but I'm wondering why given many have these same issues, engineers are more likely to complain and/or be on this forum?

Ah, but you see, when I was an engineer working in the trenches, so to speak -
1.  Fewer meetings
2.  A lot of individual freedom to set my own hours, work, decide on how to proceed in a particular process, solve problems
3.  Less beauracracy
4.  Management - the complaint can be either HAVING management or BECOMING management. In this case, it meant BECOMING management.  BECOMING management requires far more meetings than just fixing problems.

(in other words, I'd rather deal with numbers, machines, processes, chemicals than have to manage people, documentation, change orders, etc)

And to touch on what boarder42 said about just getting more work and others about "being the smartest one in the room".

It super duper sucks to be paid about 75% of the going rate, and end up with 1 raise in 6 years, when you are a top notch employee and engineer.  I expect that, like me, many engineers don't want to play the game of changing jobs or getting a better offer somewhere else.  In other words, I fucking KNOW that the last four engineers you hired, that I had to train, made $20k to $40k more than I did - EIGHT YEARS AGO.  Since I'm a numbers person - look, if this job is worth $X, just fucking pay me $X.

The constant layoffs and more work speak to boarder's comment about being efficient gets you nothing but more work, which would be awesome if it came with more money, but see above.

at my company it does mean more money we get compensated extremely well - but i dont want more money at this point i want more time.  And i'm actually taking it currently down to 4 day weeks during FMLA for our new addition.  will likely just keep it going

Curmudgeon

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2018, 01:46:06 PM »
I'm an engineer who worked for a megacorp and 'burned out' a couple years ago and RE'd.  I agree with what most of the others have said regarding having to deal with corporate bureaucracy etc.  One additional thing that did it for me was the loss of technical challenge.  As a kid, I loved doing the types of things that engineers did: designing, testing, experimenting, building really cool/awesome technical stuff.  And I did get to do that type of stuff, mostly earlier in my career.  But I think many find, especially as they grow in their career, and especially if they end up at Megacorp, that they get to do less and less of the cool stuff that got them interested in engineering in the first place, and more and more stuff like oversight, paper pushing, supervision, meetings, etc.  Suddenly you realize that there is no challenge or  excitement left in your job. 

Cgbg

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2018, 04:09:04 PM »
Probably depends a lot on what you do and who your employer is. Iím an engineer and so is DH. I work in the public sector (yay, 40 hour weeks!) and he works in the private sector (definitely NOt 40 hours a week!)

Weíve been fortunate to work for our same employers for our entire careers. Heís senior enough that heís a technical expert in an interesting area so his projects are varied. Iím in an area of engineering where my daily duties are varied and often not predictable. I set my own schedule so thereís that.

If we were designing widgets weíd probably both hate our jobs.

grandep

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2018, 04:32:31 PM »
I work as an engineer at one of the national labs, so it's kind of a blend of public and private. Work life balance is great, compensation is very good, and the culture here is all about flexibility and working on things that interest you. National labs also tend to be a bit more research focused, so we do not just push products. That means you get a bit more diversity in the things you work on. I am still relatively new to my career, but I do not see the problems at my job that other people in this thread have mentioned.

fixie

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2018, 04:51:01 PM »
Kinda like grandep here...  I really like my science/engineering job, but I'm just lucky.  Work with mostly excellent people, get to do something new every few months, trusted and valued, make decent $$, been all over the world, from Samoa to Greece to Taiwan to exotic Florida...met McGyver even!
More than a few times I've been to the high Arctic, walking around by myself for a bit, and looked up and realized that NOBODY had ever stood in this place before...that's a cool feeling.
Of course it can be high stress with some objective hazards and going to sea for 40 days now and again but, meh...!
-fixie

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2018, 05:06:19 PM »
The butt in seat time is often something people self impose thinking it is expected. I get more than expected done in way less time than allowed usually, and usually take off for a few hours mid day, leave early on Friday, etc.

Nobody ever said a word about it at my old job, and I just took a job at a new company and am making sure to set that expectation early here as well - I'll do my job and do it very very well, but won't put up with the bullshit.

It's gotten me 4 promotions in my first four years of work (the last one needing special executive approval as you usually need minimum 10ish years of experience), so it seems to be working fine for me.

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2018, 05:19:33 PM »
Engineer here.  I manage people all over the country and make a lot of money.  And I want to quit. 

As Dr. Doom revealed in his livingafi blog, he found that he simply will not enjoy any job.  That is me.  Any job that requires me to show up at an office every day to do others' bidding in the grinding squirrel wheel.  Never enough sleep, ridiculous deadlines, horrible work travel, forced socialization with people I would otherwise never choose to communicate with, and bureaucracy run amok.  I am trading my life every day for little green rectangles and trying to determine how many little green rectangles I need before I buy my freedom.  I am building my courage to take that leap.

Doomie was an IT systems-type guy with lots of similarities to engineers.  I think it must be the analyzing type of personality where we are constantly seeking a solution and trying to use reason to find our way out of the cubicle shaped prison cell.       

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2018, 05:41:00 PM »
Engineer here.  I manage people all over the country and make a lot of money.  And I want to quit. 

As Dr. Doom revealed in his livingafi blog, he found that he simply will not enjoy any job.  That is me.  Any job that requires me to show up at an office every day to do others' bidding in the grinding squirrel wheel.  Never enough sleep, ridiculous deadlines, horrible work travel, forced socialization with people I would otherwise never choose to communicate with, and bureaucracy run amok.  I am trading my life every day for little green rectangles and trying to determine how many little green rectangles I need before I buy my freedom.  I am building my courage to take that leap.

Doomie was an IT systems-type guy with lots of similarities to engineers.  I think it must be the analyzing type of personality where we are constantly seeking a solution and trying to use reason to find our way out of the cubicle shaped prison cell.       

I'd be burnt out to if I was still doing what I'm doing at 50.

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2018, 05:52:17 PM »
Entering my 7th year of professional software engineering.

Fixing problem after problem can be grinding, it's a fine line between being detached from the problem and caring enough. My wife has no idea what I do at work, she just sees me type things into various computers and get ridiculous paychecks for it. I describe it as repairing a car except the car has a bunch of very wobbly parts from questionable origins, the people who put them there have long left or don't always remember why things are like this, all the while the car is moving down the road at 70 mph as you're working on it, and you don't get to ever turn it off. There are new things to build and improve all the time. But overall it's a pretty good career choice, if anything I should have done MORE of it.

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2018, 06:13:22 PM »
Iím not an engineer but work in the same industry. I just started a new job for a fortune 50 oil & gas company. I am a contractor, and have previously represented them for 18 months in the past.

I work between the global headquarters and 2 of our projects engineering offices. I would say I spend about 50% of my time reviewing the engineers work against our companies and industry specifications and providing feed back. 1-2 days a week I visit fab shops to witness parts of production or perform audits. On average, I have 6-8, 1 hour meetings a week. Only 1 is ďmostlyĒ mandatory, rest are at my discretion but I usually need to be involved.

My scope of work is mechanical, civil/structural. Iím heavily involved in all the welding, testing, and procedure review. Currently a department manager over two projects totaling about $400 million.

I donít ďloveĒ my job by any means, but for my industry I feel itís definitely one of the better ones. I donít have a 4 year degree but Iím sure I would be a good ďengineerĒ as an alternative path.

Iíd say my biggest pet peeve is the location of most jobs, and often many people on the job sites them self. Working in the south on construction jobs often attracts certain types of people.

Also, because Iím a contractor, I donít have a ďhome base.Ē I travel from project to project that often last 6 months to 18 months or so. On the flip side, on top of my day rate, I get about $58,000 in tax free per diem, plus full benefits and a 5% matching 401k vested from day 1. This year Iíll make around $265k.

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2018, 06:16:02 PM »
     
[/quote]

I'd be burnt out to if I was still doing what I'm doing at 50.
[/quote]

I started in engineering at age 31, a late student after having my family.  Still sucks, it is just a job. 

tungsten

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2018, 06:39:27 PM »
Anecdotal, but I like my engineering job.. I still want to leave though as soon as reasonable.  Let's not forget that on the scale of our evolutionary history as humans, the whole cubical and capitalism thing is pretty recent.  We are meant to be moving physically, problem solving and building relationships.  Discontentment at work due to load and long hours is such a ubiquitous and universal social issue, it's obvious that what we need as animals to be happy is different than what we are getting. 

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2018, 07:19:25 PM »
It's not that I hate engineering, it's that I don't like living on someone else's schedule, chasing someone else's dreams, being told what to do all day, having unrealistic timelines, angry clients, and a workload of 2-3 people. Also working 60hrs a week on salary is a joke. Was tolerable when the owner also worked 60-80 hrs, but 5 yrs later he is down below 40.

The pay is decent, they keep giving me 15% raises and 20% bonuses every year so... guess I'll keep grinding until I freak out and quit. With any luck that will be after FI.

FWIW, I've had a dozen or two different occupations since starting working at age 10 in my parents restaurant, usually working 2-3 at a time before becoming an engineer. So far I enjoyed snowboard camp counselor and gardening the best. Worst was moving furniture. Engineering is rates pretty high compared to most. At least I don't need 2 jobs anymore.

cerat0n1a

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2018, 02:59:10 AM »
I loved my time as an engineer - interesting, creative in a company with a great culture where I got paid quite a lot for doing something that the teenage me would have done for free. Intelligent, unconventional colleagues, tricky problems to solve, great management. I've worked on stuff that is used by almost every adult on the planet on a daily basis and that's changed the lives of even the poorest people. Show me a lawyer, accountant or doctor who can say that? I'm quite happy to recommend engineering as a career to teenagers.

But small companies turn into bureaucratic large companies, my 40-something brain isn't quite as sharp as my 20-something colleagues, my 40-something body isn't so tolerant of sitting round in an office all day and anyway who wants to spend their whole life doing something because it was what the 14 year old version of themselves thought would be fun?

Case

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2018, 06:18:29 AM »
Just a general observation. It seems a lot of engineers I personally know don't like their jobs. One friend works for a Big Aerospace company and said he has spent the last 2 full years of his work life configuring the best location, down to the perfect inch, for a handrail in an aircraft, admittedly that sounds boring as hell. The other is 6 years into an Engineering job where they install and maintain sanitation systems in food manufacturing plants. This job honestly sounds kind of interesting, but I understand the downside, he has to travel a decent amount of time to wherever the plant is.

On this forum, it seems a lot of members are engineers that want to FIRE asap (nothing wrong with that), but the majority don't seem all that interested in working b/c they enjoy the field.

I'm sure there are plenty that do enjoy the profession, but curious what all the negativity is around? Repetitive work? Getting bored easily? From the outside looking in, most engineers appear to be intelligent people and are in a market with a strong demand and solid pay. What gives?

Here is your answer:
Because youíre on a FIRE forum with lots of engineers.

But more seriously, most engineers i know are pretty happy with their work.  In truth, engineers have it easier than almost any other profession.  They made a smart choice early on, and as a result are in high demand, get paid very well, and the stress levels in the job, though certainly not low, are not as bad as many other professions.

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2018, 06:23:50 AM »
Just a general observation. It seems a lot of engineers I personally know don't like their jobs. One friend works for a Big Aerospace company and said he has spent the last 2 full years of his work life configuring the best location, down to the perfect inch, for a handrail in an aircraft, admittedly that sounds boring as hell. The other is 6 years into an Engineering job where they install and maintain sanitation systems in food manufacturing plants. This job honestly sounds kind of interesting, but I understand the downside, he has to travel a decent amount of time to wherever the plant is.

On this forum, it seems a lot of members are engineers that want to FIRE asap (nothing wrong with that), but the majority don't seem all that interested in working b/c they enjoy the field.

I'm sure there are plenty that do enjoy the profession, but curious what all the negativity is around? Repetitive work? Getting bored easily? From the outside looking in, most engineers appear to be intelligent people and are in a market with a strong demand and solid pay. What gives?

Here is your answer:
Because youíre on a FIRE forum with lots of engineers.

But more seriously, most engineers i know are pretty happy with their work.  In truth, engineers have it easier than almost any other profession.  They made a smart choice early on, and as a result are in high demand, get paid very well, and the stress levels in the job, though certainly not low, are not as bad as many other professions.

agreed.  In general i think the reason i pointed out are the reasons there are more engineers here.  I dont think it means we are all unhappy with the work we're performing we just like cool outside the box ideas that involve math and numbers.  And since we thnk outside the box we dont enjoy conforming to societal norms all the time so breaking the mold around what it means to work and have a career is really fun for Engineers.  I think that and the writing style of an engineer is why these forums are engineer heavy - not that we are unhappy.

and to all  those working crazy hours get into the consulting gig where you bill your hours you work.

magnet18

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2018, 06:43:54 AM »
To those working too much unpaid overtime, the upside to the defense industry is you log exactly what you work
The downside is you log exactly what you work (no ≤39.9 hour weeks)

I get paid for any overtime... But I value my free time way higher than my equivalent hourly rate, so I almost never work any

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2018, 06:53:04 AM »
To those working too much unpaid overtime, the upside to the defense industry is you log exactly what you work
The downside is you log exactly what you work (no ≤39.9 hour weeks)

I get paid for any overtime... But I value my free time way higher than my equivalent hourly rate, so I almost never work any

i do too for at least the next 3-4 years then it will be considered "part of my bonus" which i believe will be true based on what i've heard around here.

FIPurpose

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2018, 07:02:40 AM »
Software Engineer here planning on changing to nursing soon.

I enjoy the problems. That is when itís a problem that I find interesting. But honestly, that is not what the work is. While in school, the assignments always piqued my interest. It was always some math problem or data structure building. But in real life software engineering is more of plugging together other companiesí work together, and then spend 60% of your time debugging/ reading manuals in order to get it to function properly.

I decided on software engineering because I wanted to travel, and I knew I could get a job anywhere in the states that I wanted. Unfortunately, the software engineering world is a bit more rigid than I originally thought. Iíve mostly worked in Python, but Iíve worked on projects in C, Java, etc. The interview process is probably the most exhausting of any industry. And convincing absolutely every single company that ďyes, learning this specific framework is not hard. I know how to code, you donít need a specialty to do this work.Ē Then get rejected 10 times because I donít have super specific x experience.

Iím switching to nursing so that I can:

  1. Work a schedule that I think Iíll enjoy more (3-12s)
2. Travel easier (travel nursing 3 months at a time)
3. Have a job that is less cerebrally demanding (I imagine people will fight me on this, but Iím going to say youíre wrong)
4. I can move up to private practice with Masters.
5. Still FIRE in a reasonable amount of time.
6. The job is hourly not salaried
7. Iíll be able to downshift to part-time easy just about anywhere that I want to.

I do feel that shame or regret that I shouldnít complain about a job that is only 40 hours, has no dangers or risks, pays well, and is challenging. And expressing the kind of stress and strain that I take on is very hard to describe without sounding like a complainy pants. But itís that day-in and day-out consistent nagging stress. The problem that your working on today will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after. You grind on a computer problem for weeks at a time. You work for a company that is a middle man to arbitrage millions of dollars from a particular industry you donít care about, but you donít see any of it yourself.

Anyway, I donít want to make this post overly long, but hopefully that gives some insight. Engineering despite itís pay and office environment is a slow burn of consistent stress, and too often itís difficult to move to part-time, or take long leave of absences. Or quit and then come back 3 years later. All of which add to the stress. The stress of ďI canít quit until Iím doneĒ.

Saskatchewstachian

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2018, 07:14:21 AM »
I'm an engineer who worked for a megacorp and 'burned out' a couple years ago and RE'd.  I agree with what most of the others have said regarding having to deal with corporate bureaucracy etc.  One additional thing that did it for me was the loss of technical challenge.  As a kid, I loved doing the types of things that engineers did: designing, testing, experimenting, building really cool/awesome technical stuff.  And I did get to do that type of stuff, mostly earlier in my career.  But I think many find, especially as they grow in their career, and especially if they end up at Megacorp, that they get to do less and less of the cool stuff that got them interested in engineering in the first place, and more and more stuff like oversight, paper pushing, supervision, meetings, etc.  Suddenly you realize that there is no challenge or  excitement left in your job.

I would have to agree wholeheartedly here. I am not extremely far into my career as an engineer but have had the opportunity to work mega-construction projects from both sides of the fence, both Megacorp (client) and the contractor.

With the same project, same schedule, and mostly the same people I have found it immensely more interesting to work for the contractor. With the client it's all oversight, tracking of deliverables, etc. However as part of the contractor you get you break down complicated problems, use creativity in your solutions, brainstorm with groups and overall it's extremely intellectually stimulating as opposed to just tracking the work and much more rewarding even for the same pay.

Car Jack

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2018, 08:38:29 AM »
First is graduation and a first job.  If you're near the top of your class from a well known engineering program, you will have the chance to start using your calculus and thermo and get an actual project to own and work on under the watch of a more senior engineer.  I was able to do this.  But, if you're from a mediocre engineering school with B-C kind of grades, you'll likely be stuck in essentially support roles or technician roles and have to earn your way up to becoming a design engineer.  If you can't prove yourself, you could easily be stuck doing more menial work or repetitive customer return analysis and fixes.  This can really suck.

For engineers who want to do engineering and have zero interest in managing (this describes me, I've turned down management jobs multiple times), the salary gets capped.  Raises stop.  Megacorp has gone to the bonus system anyways.  Why?  Because they can pay a crap base salary and then in good years, you make reasonable money but in bad years, you're wondering why you made no more than you did when you first graduated from college.

Outsourcing.  I can tell you that active outsourcing of design engineering jobs is going on within US based engineering based companies.  A company I worked for opened design groups in India and China while shutting down groups in Wisconsin and New Hampshire.  Coincidence?  Yah, right.  And this isn't "also ran" kind of products.  When you're in a conference room, using the top video conference equipment, I can tell you that the video processor was designed in India by an engineer making $28k a year.

BS within military contractors (and even commercial).  If you ask an engineer who's working on a big system in the military (think something that cannot be moved by train because it's waaaay too big), groups work for months on systems only to find that another group responsible for some critical parameter screwed up, scrapping all of your work.  It's pretty frustrating as an engineer when you've put in overtime and come in weekends to meet deadlines and then the whole project is scrapped.  On the commercial side, this happens when marketing figures out that the competition just released a product that blows the doors off of what you're working on and the project is shut down.


boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2018, 08:45:07 AM »
engineering is becoming a comodity.  I work in consulting and we are seeing increasing pressures from supply chain on rates.  Which is in turn leading to outsourcing.  We own a company in India now.  In my team we're actively automating processes basically automating ourselves out of jobs but we're the ones creating the automation so it will last longer.  But the glory days of engineering being a fast track to FIRE may be coming to a close once its viewed simply as a comodity. 

Paper is going away data is becoming king just like it is for the FAANG stocks.  Engineering designs will be done with heavy data on the back end which make it faster to issue packages and decrease the hours needed to produce the same amount of work.

cerat0n1a

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2018, 09:32:15 AM »
But the glory days of engineering being a fast track to FIRE may be coming to a close once its viewed simply as a comodity. 

My ancestors over the last couple of hundred years worked on engineering problems in canals, cotton mills, steam railways, mines, chemical factories and electricity sub-stations. Those things did get commoditised somewhat. I spent a few years of my working career in semiconductor manufacture and then chip design. The senior guys I managed in India & China earn 2-3x average UK wage because they have rare, valuable skills - not much sign of things being commoditised for a few more years yet.

There's no shortage of problems in the world that will make plenty of money for the businesses that solve them. Plenty of lucrative work for Engineers working on solving say energy problems (solar, fusion etc), designing robots, making IoT real and useful, insert future technology of your choice...

sisto

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2018, 09:49:07 AM »
First is graduation and a first job.  If you're near the top of your class from a well known engineering program, you will have the chance to start using your calculus and thermo and get an actual project to own and work on under the watch of a more senior engineer.  I was able to do this.  But, if you're from a mediocre engineering school with B-C kind of grades, you'll likely be stuck in essentially support roles or technician roles and have to earn your way up to becoming a design engineer.  If you can't prove yourself, you could easily be stuck doing more menial work or repetitive customer return analysis and fixes.  This can really suck.

For engineers who want to do engineering and have zero interest in managing (this describes me, I've turned down management jobs multiple times), the salary gets capped.  Raises stop.  Megacorp has gone to the bonus system anyways.  Why?  Because they can pay a crap base salary and then in good years, you make reasonable money but in bad years, you're wondering why you made no more than you did when you first graduated from college.

Outsourcing.  I can tell you that active outsourcing of design engineering jobs is going on within US based engineering based companies.  A company I worked for opened design groups in India and China while shutting down groups in Wisconsin and New Hampshire.  Coincidence?  Yah, right.  And this isn't "also ran" kind of products.  When you're in a conference room, using the top video conference equipment, I can tell you that the video processor was designed in India by an engineer making $28k a year.

BS within military contractors (and even commercial).  If you ask an engineer who's working on a big system in the military (think something that cannot be moved by train because it's waaaay too big), groups work for months on systems only to find that another group responsible for some critical parameter screwed up, scrapping all of your work.  It's pretty frustrating as an engineer when you've put in overtime and come in weekends to meet deadlines and then the whole project is scrapped.  On the commercial side, this happens when marketing figures out that the competition just released a product that blows the doors off of what you're working on and the project is shut down.
I agree with you about the outsourcing. The problem I've seen is that the skills aren't always up to par. Also seems like once you get them trained they now have Mega Corp experience for their resume and leave for more money. The culture is also different and decisions have to be made by more senior people and this causes issues because sometimes these managers aren't up to speed on technical skills. So I'm working with an engineer and they can't move forward because we have to meet with their manager and explain the issues when without the manager we could just progress. Then the 12 hour time difference means even more delays. I've also seen lots of problems around features not being spec'd out correctly or the market analysis data is not accurate so the project gets cancelled and all the hard work does down the drain. This is the worst when you probably shouldn't have started the project in the first place if you had good data analysis. My biggest problem is that I care too much. I've been getting much better lately about saying fuck it. I mean really what are they going to do fire me? That would be ok at this point, I love having my FU money.

FIPurpose

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2018, 09:54:59 AM »
Yeah, I don't see any pull back on engineering jobs or pay. Nor do I see the mass exodus of jobs via outsourcing. If anything, the companies that I've worked for tried, but had to return to US engineering because our mediocre engineers still outperform India's and China's mediocre engineers.

Engineering will continue to be a huge industry. We will continue to need better and better improvements in agriculture, biology, automation, space exploration, chemistry, infrastructure improvements, renewable energy, clean up of bad decisions of the past 100 years, etc. I don't see any shortage of work for a large number of engineers for the next 100 years.

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2018, 09:56:37 AM »
But the glory days of engineering being a fast track to FIRE may be coming to a close once its viewed simply as a comodity. 

My ancestors over the last couple of hundred years worked on engineering problems in canals, cotton mills, steam railways, mines, chemical factories and electricity sub-stations. Those things did get commoditised somewhat. I spent a few years of my working career in semiconductor manufacture and then chip design. The senior guys I managed in India & China earn 2-3x average UK wage because they have rare, valuable skills - not much sign of things being commoditised for a few more years yet.

There's no shortage of problems in the world that will make plenty of money for the businesses that solve them. Plenty of lucrative work for Engineers working on solving say energy problems (solar, fusion etc), designing robots, making IoT real and useful, insert future technology of your choice...

all of those projects took more man hours and more labor to complete the amount of work needed to execute projects has been declining for 100s of years and is accelerating.  you used to have to hand draw everything CAD made that go away. before drawing you had to etch things in stone. 

i agree there is different work in the future.  but that doesnt mean there will need to be more or the same amount people to do the same amount of work product.  unless we invent work.

FIPurpose

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2018, 10:06:19 AM »
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-laborers-and-helpers.htm

I just don't see it. Construction, carpentry, electricians, just about all blue collar work seems to be on a general trend line that is either in average or above average. I think people got a bit depressed during the 2008 bust, but on the whole, those jobs are not going away, we still need those people.

You also have to consider the large number of projects that were not happening 100 years ago.

We make more and better bridges, maintain a huge highway system, renewable projects are being done all the time, and new housing is just now starting to ramp back up again. I don't foresee any shortage of blue collar work in the next 20 years.

boarder42

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2018, 10:40:48 AM »
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-laborers-and-helpers.htm

I just don't see it. Construction, carpentry, electricians, just about all blue collar work seems to be on a general trend line that is either in average or above average. I think people got a bit depressed during the 2008 bust, but on the whole, those jobs are not going away, we still need those people.

You also have to consider the large number of projects that were not happening 100 years ago.

We make more and better bridges, maintain a huge highway system, renewable projects are being done all the time, and new housing is just now starting to ramp back up again. I don't foresee any shortage of blue collar work in the next 20 years.

i guess i should have completely said what i was thinking - yes population growth leads to more projects needing to be done - but the amount of work needed from people relative to the total population of people to accomplish the same task will be less.

robartsd

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Re: ENGINEERS - Why Does It Seem Like a Lot Don't Like Their Job?
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2018, 10:47:57 AM »
If you ask my dad, it's because they're always the smartest person in the room and that's exhausting.  :)

-FreshPops, Electrical Engineer since 1979

I was trying to find a nice way to say this and here it is.  But this ^^
Especially when everyone else in the room is above you on the corporate ladder.