Author Topic: Engineering Career Path Salaries  (Read 2350 times)

AlienRobotAnthropologist

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Engineering Career Path Salaries
« on: September 23, 2018, 06:02:16 PM »
In engineering you can move to progressively higher paygrades as an individual contributor or take the management route. I know management pays more, but after accounting for experience I'm curious how big the gap is. Does internally moving up to IPT lead mean a big raise? I'm wondering what typical salaries are for a few different positions.

senior, etc engineer with ~5, 10, or 15 years experience
system lead, etc engineer with ~5, 10, 15 years experience
IPT lead with ~5, 10, 15 years experience
DPME with ~10, 15 years experience
Technical Manager with ~10, 15 years experience

NathanDrake

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 06:20:22 PM »
In my experience, the unfortunate reality with my megacorp is that raises in engineering are pretty modest (2-4% / yr), and over the course of your career you can expect a few promotions (between 5-10%). Once the company has hired you, they don't have much incentive in paying you much more because they know that most people do not like changing jobs or relocating.

You will get the most raises by jumping to different jobs, but there's only so many times you can get away with this in your career.

At my company, there's no difference in compensation between a senior engineer and a manager with the same level of experience (or if there is, it's not much). Switching jobs / roles within a company also doesn't offer much increase in compensation (perhaps a 5% in grade adjustment).

NathanDrake

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 10:51:42 PM »
To give you some ranges of salaries if you stay with one company based on years of experience:

0 - 65k
5 - 80k
10 - 100k
15 - 125k

You can move some of these goalposts earlier by switching jobs.



boarder42

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 08:34:24 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 08:42:54 AM »
Where I work (megacorp), engineers typically start around $65-70k.  I'm projecting based on the fact that I used to be in a hiring manager role and I know we brought in college grads at almost exactly $60k 5 years ago.  Top performers can often get 5-8% raises until hitting about 100k.  Mediocre/low performers will typically be closer to 2-3%.  Promotions generally come with a 10% raise and promotions are more frequent early in one's career than later.  Where I work it's typical to stay in an Engineer 1 role for 2-4 years, Engineer 2 takes 4-6, and Engineer 3 can be 5-forever. 

In my experience moving to management didn't increase my salary as much as I've heard.  When I moved from technical leadership into management my salary growth stalled even though my performance appraisals were consistently in the top 10%.  When I moved back to a purely technical role I was able to negotiate a significant bump (~$25k/year) and my annual raises have been significantly higher in both percentage and absolute terms since moving into a senior technical role. 

Again, in my experience one's title doesn't track as well with salary as years of experience, ability to negotiate, and performance do.  Experience and performance lead to promotions, but promotions can be along a purely technical track, a technical leadership track, or a management track.  When I was a manager all of my technical leads had more experience and typically had more advanced degrees than I did, and were more highly compensated.  My senior technical staff on a 40 person project made about $130k-150k.  They were doing engineering work as well as acting as technical leads.  I estimate that the most senior technical staff in my company make over $200k, but they probably make up less than 5% of the population and are highly likely to have advanced degrees and decades of experience.  I also know people who have advanced technical degrees and decades of experience but are stuck at Engineer 3 and are making around $100k.  Mediocre engineers who have 15-35 years of experience and are sitting on the payroll at $95-115k are everywhere. 

Where I work, the best way to increase your salary is to be a standout technical performer.  Early in your career that will be enough for consistent 5+% raises and occasional 10+% raises due to a promotion.  I've seen a lot of people stall out about $100-120k around 10 years in even if they keep performing.  At that point it comes down to one's ability and willingness to negotiate, job hopping, taking a role with significantly more responsibility, or luck of the draw in getting a spectacular manager who can work the system.  I think the (in my experience) myth that people need to go into management to get more money comes from the fact that those roles often come with significantly increased visibility and responsibility, so top performers are tapped for the positions and they're compensated for the crap that goes with the role.  Top performers who say no to that but are able to negotiate, job hop, or take technical leadership positions can make the same money but by definition there just aren't many people who stand that far apart for their technical contributions. 

ysette9

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 08:43:24 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.
I agree with this. Another possibility is that you aren’t cut out for your job and aren’t getting good ratings.

I started at $58k and crossed the $100k like 4.5 years later. At 9 years I was at $150k. For the most part my ratings were better than the average bear, but I wasn’t top 10% or anything. Granted, I worked in a HCOL area for a large (but not top-paying) company.

Arbitrage

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 08:46:29 AM »
My company is pretty set on inflation-level raises as well.  Promotions and transfers to higher-responsibility areas have helped me keep ahead of that, but I'm pretty senior now, with decent pay, and the fight to keep ahead of inflation is not going as well.  Management track is an option, though I'm hoping to exit the rat race before too long, so getting my salary up higher isn't quite as valuable as in the past. 

I have noticed a significant uptick in headhunter interest lately, and anecdotally I'm hearing that's pretty widespread.  Despite the interest, most companies still don't seem to want to pay more.  If I were in software/tech that might be a different story.

Gondolin

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 09:01:05 AM »
Glassdoor.com is going to give you much better info specific to your industry and location than polling the engineers here.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 10:45:49 AM »
Glassdoor.com is going to give you much better info specific to your industry and location than polling the engineers here.
I agree.  Anyone telling you that you "should" be getting raises of a certain percentage is likely basing that on their experience (i.e. their field and their specific company, which are likely different from yours).  Engineers can work in many different fields, and some of them are growing more quickly than others.  In fact, some of them are shrinking.  If you're in a low or no growth sector, then your company probably can't afford to keep handing out raises like the high-flying tech companies.

boarder42

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2018, 10:55:13 AM »
Glassdoor.com is going to give you much better info specific to your industry and location than polling the engineers here.
I agree.  Anyone telling you that you "should" be getting raises of a certain percentage is likely basing that on their experience (i.e. their field and their specific company, which are likely different from yours).  Engineers can work in many different fields, and some of them are growing more quickly than others.  In fact, some of them are shrinking.  If you're in a low or no growth sector, then your company probably can't afford to keep handing out raises like the high-flying tech companies.

i'm not a high flying tech company i'm your plain old pen and paper consulting A/E firm

NathanDrake

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 09:12:26 PM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

albireo13

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 04:30:12 AM »
I work for a large MegaCorp who prides itself on always prioritizing hiring the best technical people.(or so they say)
At the same time salaries are based on the regional averages.

  I wonder why they've been having trouble hiring lately??

boarder42

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 05:33:41 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

i'm a EE.

des999

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2018, 06:48:18 AM »
I have been an IT engineer for 12+ years, I chose to go the non-management route.  I'm much happier not having all the stress of being a mgr, but I am probably as high as I can get as an individual contributor.  But, I make more than my mgr currently. 

I work at a large megacorp, and middle management salaries are around 120ish, but that is the path you need to be on if you want to move on to the big salaries.  You can easily get to 120-140 as an ic.  I agree with others my big raises have come from moving departments (or companies).  Typically my yearly raises are only 3-5%, but promotions are 15-20%.

This is in a lower cost of living city (not small town, population close to a million).

Laura33

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2018, 07:02:05 AM »
I suspect it is very company-specific.  I also think the difference between the technical path and the managerial path is overstated at the lower levels; it's at the higher levels where they diverge significantly.  My DH has been some sort of "manager" for probably 20 years (EE).  Early on, his salary was pretty close to the technical path.  And I suspect that at his current job -- one level below VP -- his base salary isn't very different from the real technical superstars.  However, once you hit the level immediately below where he is now, you are eligible for the incentive plan, i.e., stock-based bonuses.  And those bonuses go up quite dramatically as you continue to move up -- his bonuses are probably 5x what the guys below him get (except for one or two real superstars, who get maybe 1/2 what he does); meanwhile, his boss' are probably 3x his.  It also appears that it is at the VP level that the salaries start to shoot up, too.

Like des999 says:  you don't need to be management to make a decent 6-figure salary.  But you do need to be on that path if you want to get the really big bucks.

IsThisAGoodUsername

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 07:52:18 AM »
I think some people in this thread are talking about architectural / engineering while others are talking about IT engineering.

FatFI2025

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 08:02:59 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

Have to disagree here a little... those corporate "rules" are in place for the 50% complacent employees who despise job hunting. It's standard practice to escalate a resignation up to the exec level to make a counter-offer determination. You can also just make a case that you're not paid at market to get a raise outside of the normal cycle. If you stay at a company for a long time and accept the annual cycle, you will be underpaid by design. If you're a top 50% performer, your company will probably (80%) pay market to keep you -- if not, walk  away.

At my current megacorp in LA, mid-level aerospace engineers are $135-155k. Middle managers around $175-200k. The highest I know of in non-supervisory specialized positions (another company) is $250k.

Also in my experience, Glassdoor salaries have been significantly below what my companies have been willing to pay. Don't know if the people who contribute to their surveys just tend to be on the lower end of comp or what.

boarder42

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2018, 08:54:34 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

Have to disagree here a little... those corporate "rules" are in place for the 50% complacent employees who despise job hunting. It's standard practice to escalate a resignation up to the exec level to make a counter-offer determination. You can also just make a case that you're not paid at market to get a raise outside of the normal cycle. If you stay at a company for a long time and accept the annual cycle, you will be underpaid by design. If you're a top 50% performer, your company will probably (80%) pay market to keep you -- if not, walk  away.

At my current megacorp in LA, mid-level aerospace engineers are $135-155k. Middle managers around $175-200k. The highest I know of in non-supervisory specialized positions (another company) is $250k.

Also in my experience, Glassdoor salaries have been significantly below what my companies have been willing to pay. Don't know if the people who contribute to their surveys just tend to be on the lower end of comp or what.

agreed its very much what you make of it if you're complacent and a good performer you will be underpaid most places.  My wife's company way under pays her but she doesnt want to leave.  She's a civil on the career track basically getting raises like you talked about - they asked her to seal something she said you dont pay me enough - they told her there was nothing they could do so she doesnt seal drawings.

mm1970

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2018, 11:26:11 AM »
Glassdoor.com is going to give you much better info specific to your industry and location than polling the engineers here.
Glassdoor and specific industry surveys.

For example, IEEE does regular salary surveys, and they break it down by:
- specific industry
- title
- type of job
- male/ female
- years of experience

(sometimes location also?)

So that's how I know how underpaid I am.

secondcor521

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2018, 12:42:57 PM »
I was an firmware/software engineer for 17 years at multiple S&P 500 companies and a manager for 5 years.  @Laura33's comments ring true to me.

I would add that another factor that ultimately affects salary is how well one fits into a particular job track.  I was approximately top quintile on the basic engineering track, never wanted to do technical leadership, and was probably top quintile as a low-level manager but I liked the role more (until I ended up in an awful group and FIREd).  If you're doing something you don't like and/or are not well suited for, you probably won't perform, and your pay raises will suffer.

FatFI2025

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2018, 07:19:12 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

Have to disagree here a little... those corporate "rules" are in place for the 50% complacent employees who despise job hunting. It's standard practice to escalate a resignation up to the exec level to make a counter-offer determination. You can also just make a case that you're not paid at market to get a raise outside of the normal cycle. If you stay at a company for a long time and accept the annual cycle, you will be underpaid by design. If you're a top 50% performer, your company will probably (80%) pay market to keep you -- if not, walk  away.

At my current megacorp in LA, mid-level aerospace engineers are $135-155k. Middle managers around $175-200k. The highest I know of in non-supervisory specialized positions (another company) is $250k.

Also in my experience, Glassdoor salaries have been significantly below what my companies have been willing to pay. Don't know if the people who contribute to their surveys just tend to be on the lower end of comp or what.

After writing this I realized that I was being a wuss and needed to ask for a raise. Market rate has rocketed up since I started my current role <2 years ago, so I'm now 20k under. I was going to wait until 100% vesting in Dec, get an offer in Jan, then ask for a counter. But why continue for four more months? Yesterday afternoon I asked for a market rate adjustment and boss told me he had already initiated it before I asked. Thanks @AlienRobotAnthropologist @NathanDrake @boarder42 for indirectly helping to grow my stache.

boarder42

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2018, 09:29:46 AM »
you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

Have to disagree here a little... those corporate "rules" are in place for the 50% complacent employees who despise job hunting. It's standard practice to escalate a resignation up to the exec level to make a counter-offer determination. You can also just make a case that you're not paid at market to get a raise outside of the normal cycle. If you stay at a company for a long time and accept the annual cycle, you will be underpaid by design. If you're a top 50% performer, your company will probably (80%) pay market to keep you -- if not, walk  away.

At my current megacorp in LA, mid-level aerospace engineers are $135-155k. Middle managers around $175-200k. The highest I know of in non-supervisory specialized positions (another company) is $250k.

Also in my experience, Glassdoor salaries have been significantly below what my companies have been willing to pay. Don't know if the people who contribute to their surveys just tend to be on the lower end of comp or what.

After writing this I realized that I was being a wuss and needed to ask for a raise. Market rate has rocketed up since I started my current role <2 years ago, so I'm now 20k under. I was going to wait until 100% vesting in Dec, get an offer in Jan, then ask for a counter. But why continue for four more months? Yesterday afternoon I asked for a market rate adjustment and boss told me he had already initiated it before I asked. Thanks @AlienRobotAnthropologist @NathanDrake @boarder42 for indirectly helping to grow my stache.

Nice work man

FireHiker

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2018, 09:56:14 AM »
EE here, making 125k in management after jumping the fence to manufacturing. I was paid very poorly on the engineering side of the fence due to (confirmed) gender bias. 18 years of professional experience. My husband, with 20 years of experience (and same degree from same university, working for the same company) makes 159k on the engineering side of the fence. He benefited from a "good old boys" club those first several years whereas I did not. My current supervisor has done a LOT to make up the difference in the past few years; the management that perpetuated the gap is no longer part of the company. I stay despite the gap because: 29 vacation days and 10 holidays per year, 2 mile commute, very flexible hours, Vanguard 401k, I like the people and the work. I will still FIRE as soon as we hit our number, though. I don't like it THAT much!

Within my company management does not necessarily pay more until you get much higher up the chain.

boarder42

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2018, 11:14:29 AM »
EE here, making 125k in management after jumping the fence to manufacturing. I was paid very poorly on the engineering side of the fence due to (confirmed) gender bias. 18 years of professional experience. My husband, with 20 years of experience (and same degree from same university, working for the same company) makes 159k on the engineering side of the fence. He benefited from a "good old boys" club those first several years whereas I did not. My current supervisor has done a LOT to make up the difference in the past few years; the management that perpetuated the gap is no longer part of the company. I stay despite the gap because: 29 vacation days and 10 holidays per year, 2 mile commute, very flexible hours, Vanguard 401k, I like the people and the work. I will still FIRE as soon as we hit our number, though. I don't like it THAT much!

Within my company management does not necessarily pay more until you get much higher up the chain.

Man engineering is one of those fields that it doesn't matter where you live you get paid about the same. After 8.5 years I'll probably be around 125k and after 15-16 wehen we retire I'm expecting 200-250k that could actually start as early as 10-12 years in too

damyst

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2018, 12:16:37 AM »
I work for a large MegaCorp who prides itself on always prioritizing hiring the best technical people.(or so they say)
At the same time salaries are based on the regional averages.

  I wonder why they've been having trouble hiring lately??

So you work for this company?


NathanDrake

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2018, 05:30:26 PM »
EE here, making 125k in management after jumping the fence to manufacturing. I was paid very poorly on the engineering side of the fence due to (confirmed) gender bias. 18 years of professional experience. My husband, with 20 years of experience (and same degree from same university, working for the same company) makes 159k on the engineering side of the fence. He benefited from a "good old boys" club those first several years whereas I did not. My current supervisor has done a LOT to make up the difference in the past few years; the management that perpetuated the gap is no longer part of the company. I stay despite the gap because: 29 vacation days and 10 holidays per year, 2 mile commute, very flexible hours, Vanguard 401k, I like the people and the work. I will still FIRE as soon as we hit our number, though. I don't like it THAT much!

Within my company management does not necessarily pay more until you get much higher up the chain.

Man engineering is one of those fields that it doesn't matter where you live you get paid about the same. After 8.5 years I'll probably be around 125k and after 15-16 wehen we retire I'm expecting 200-250k that could actually start as early as 10-12 years in too

Curious where you live. 200-250K figure is fairly unheard of at my megacorp unless you're a bit higher on the management track (leading 100+ people), or are a director and above.

I think that COL changes the salary figures quite a bit, but it doesn't always overcome the additional cost of living.

you're at the wrong company if you're only seeing 2-4% inflation based raises year after year.  Early in an engineering career you should see your salary accelerate up quickly.  i'm 8 years in and in a LCOL area and will be making over the 15 year number shown above.  I am on a management track but if i were still technical my number would be similar - if youre only getting pay raises at inflation you should be moving to another company b/c your company doesnt value what you're doing.

This is very industry dependent/discipline dependent. Petroleum / Comp Sci disciplines in the Software / Oil & Gas industries tend to pay better or have more acceleration in career growth early on. Also more risk than the industry I am in. My numbers were pretty standard for mechanical, electrical, or civil type industries.

I live in a LCOL area but the numbers I quoted are pretty standard for my industry. Yearly raises do offer slight inflation adjusted return (1-2%). Granted, my numbers were also base salary only. Certain industries offer different incentives -- some offer overtime, some offer a more defined bonus structure.

I am very much "cut out for the job" and getting the best raises per the corporate rules.

I can echo the glassdoor recommendation.

Have to disagree here a little... those corporate "rules" are in place for the 50% complacent employees who despise job hunting. It's standard practice to escalate a resignation up to the exec level to make a counter-offer determination. You can also just make a case that you're not paid at market to get a raise outside of the normal cycle. If you stay at a company for a long time and accept the annual cycle, you will be underpaid by design. If you're a top 50% performer, your company will probably (80%) pay market to keep you -- if not, walk  away.

At my current megacorp in LA, mid-level aerospace engineers are $135-155k. Middle managers around $175-200k. The highest I know of in non-supervisory specialized positions (another company) is $250k.

Also in my experience, Glassdoor salaries have been significantly below what my companies have been willing to pay. Don't know if the people who contribute to their surveys just tend to be on the lower end of comp or what.

We're not in disagreement. The HR rules are in place because companies know that the majority of employees aren't willing to play the job hopping game. So when your industry becomes competitive for talent, your typical employee is losing out significantly versus what the current market value is.

It's sad to see companies pass on great talent because of these rules (many won't even counter their best employees). You are a number to them on an excel spreadsheet. Luckily, companies are also a number to employees and are just as easily disposable if they aren't going to recognize your market rate.

Arbitrage

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2018, 07:55:29 AM »
I work for a large MegaCorp who prides itself on always prioritizing hiring the best technical people.(or so they say)
At the same time salaries are based on the regional averages.

  I wonder why they've been having trouble hiring lately??

So you work for this company?



My company says and does the exact same things.  Medium-sized corp, same management-speak.

Arbitrage

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Re: Engineering Career Path Salaries
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2018, 08:02:08 AM »

Man engineering is one of those fields that it doesn't matter where you live you get paid about the same. After 8.5 years I'll probably be around 125k and after 15-16 wehen we retire I'm expecting 200-250k that could actually start as early as 10-12 years in too

Curious where you live. 200-250K figure is fairly unheard of at my megacorp unless you're a bit higher on the management track (leading 100+ people), or are a director and above.

I think that COL changes the salary figures quite a bit, but it doesn't always overcome the additional cost of living.



Concur with that.  200-250K is nearly unheard of at my company after only 10-12 years (or even 15-16, unless person is a true superstar and is well up the management ranks).  HCOLA, but not San Francisco.  There are non-management earning those numbers here, but those are few and far between, generally 20+ years in.  No stock options or bonuses here, either. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 08:13:53 AM by Arbitrage »