Author Topic: How do my labor working friends make more than me?  (Read 4181 times)

Bearblastbeats

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How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« on: February 02, 2017, 06:17:28 AM »
I know, I know.

You should only compare yourself with only yourself. You shouldn't care how much someone makes, blah blah.

But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

I only ask because both him and my brother think I would make more money if I were to go back to installing floors. My friend, who is a taper for a drywall company, said that he makes around $1800-$2000/wk. My brother, who owns a flooring installation business, makes whatever he puts for a price which can be anywhere from $5k-$10k, depending on the job/materials/help/travel/etc..

I know that in order to make money like that you have to work a lot of hours, more than 5 days a week, and that you have to pay back taxes.

I am not sure to what my question actually is here but I am looking for some clarity as to why I still choose to sit at a desk, or sometimes be at a job site, making $60k a year with benefits/pto/holiday pay/ 40hr / salary...etc.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 06:21:06 AM by Bearblastbeats »

Heroes821

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 06:35:15 AM »
I'll take a stab. As a new owner of an LLC I learned that you have to bill significantly above your personal hourly wage to cover business expenses and risk.  $2k a week is great until its Christmas time and no one is calling you all month because they are spending all their money on presents instead of remodeling. As a 1099 contractor you are paying everything yourself. Your FICA taxes, the employer part of FICA taxes, plus income tax. Then you are covering your own retirement and health insurance and any other benefits you need. 

I look at it this way. If you make 50k and your employer does 401k matching of 5% that's $2.5k. Plus they have to 7.65% of FICA taxes for the employer - 3825.  Average health insurance plan is about $500 a month for a single person out of pocket. Employer maybe charges you $50 so -5.4k. MISC benefits that as an independent contractor or business owner you would have to pay...lets guess $3k a year.  So your 50k that you "take home" is more like $65000. 

Now your friend @2k a week if he never misses a week of work and always hits his limit is what 104k? Before Income taxes just looking at his self employment taxes that is down 15.3% or $15912. Leaving $88088. 

Not perfect Math, but the 60k Salary with benefits gets a lot closer to that when you consider the possibility of just not having any work for a few weeks as a 1099.

Your brother on the other hand as a business owner has a lot more wiggle room in reducing his tax burden and such, but he is also doing way more than just manual labor.

wwweb

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 06:44:05 AM »
A rule of thumb for employers is that the "burdened cost" of an employee (including health benefits, employer taxes, sick time, vacation time, training, office space) is roughly 2x the employee's salary. So if your friend brings in revenues of 2K per week, that is roughly equivalent to 50k salary at a corporation.

There is also significantly more upside in an engineering position. I work with several quite senior engineers who make >200k per year. It is hard to make that kind of money as a drywall taper unless you own your own drywall company - which is just a different kind office job.

Zero Degrees

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 06:46:35 AM »
I also used to have a more physically demanding job.   I was paid by the hour, got overtime, and extra holiday pay. If an appliance or car broke down, I could pick up an extra shift to cover it. I miss those  days.

Now, I have been a desk jockey for over 10 years. I am paid well, but I often work 50 hours a week, and my salary is based on 40 hours.

I could make more in my old job if I worked 50 hours, so why do I stay in my desk job?  I value my time and flexibility. I don't work holidays or weekends or night shifts.  I'm not risking my health and life. I used to look at the senior folks in my old job and they were tired and worn out. Bad knees, bad backs and bad attitudes. They were cranky because they had to work 40 years to get a decent pension.

If I had found the frugal ways long ago, I would have put my 20 years in the hospital and called it a day. Then I would travel the world. But I didn't know what I didn't know back then.

I enjoy my current job and have no desire to retire early at this time. This is a job I can do for many more years regardless of my physical capabilities. 

You have to do what works for you and your life.

Jakejake

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 07:07:12 AM »
I have a friend in another online community who took the physical labor route while the rest of us were mainly in cubicles. First he had an outdoor job in a national park where the quality of life was so much better than ours. Until one of his coworkers turned around with a weed wacker, not realizing he was there, and nailed him between the ribs, almost opening up his lungs.

Then he had a high paying construction job - and his boss dropped a 15lb piece of equipment from an upper level onto his head. No hardhats, no insurance, gaping wound in his skull. Blood everywhere. The boss told him he could go home early, and he'd still get paid for the full day.

Reading posts from that guy made me cringe.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 07:13:55 AM »
You are trading income and control for convenience and predictability. Simple as that.

Whether or not it's worth it is up to you.


Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 07:23:43 AM »
All great insight.

I like knowing that I can go to work ~40 hours a week, drive a decent car, stay relatively clean, and know what my weeks look like ahead of time. Being able to budget from weekly salary makes living a lot easier. The benefits and insurances are great and having my 401k matched will be even better in 20-30 more years when I start looking at retiring.

Dave1442397

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 08:21:45 AM »
Also, take a look at a lot of manual labor guys in their fifties. Not all, but many of them are in terrible shape. Bad back, bad knees etc.


Cadman

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 08:58:25 AM »
Thereís also a middle ground thatís kind of interesting, such as working as a manufacturing or quality engineer for a major corporation. The upside is your base salary is in line with other professional engineers that spend their days in a cubicle, you get the 401k plan and match, vac days and the other perks of office life. Safety is taken seriously and a modern shop environment isnít bad.

The tradeoff is that you do have to support manufacturing shifts which could run weekends and up to 12 hrs a day, but the overtime pay can be crazy. If you can stomach the hours and political union environment, itís a good option. I did this for a few years before transitioning back to the cube. Only wish I had discovered MMM back then!

Poundwise

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 09:10:24 AM »
Also, take a look at a lot of manual labor guys in their fifties. Not all, but many of them are in terrible shape. Bad back, bad knees etc.


The guy who did our floors sat down with my oldest son and showed him the big scars on his knees where he had to have surgery, and the stump of his missing finger.  He's a successful businessman who owns two houses nicer than ours, but he told my son to study hard and not drop out of school like he did.

mbl

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 09:24:25 AM »
There are pros and cons to both.
Actually there are more than just two sides I guess.

Desk jockey vs manual labor vs out on the road...etc.

Also being a business owner provides greater risk and reward.

Some people would perish if they were chained to a desk for the rest of their professional life.
It just wouldn't be a great fit for them.

Are you comparing yourself to them as one who has a college education vs those who don't?
Do you assume that you'd be better compensated because of that.


Guesl982374

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 09:32:26 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Project-Engineer-IV-Salary-Details-Boston-MA.aspx?&hdcbxbonuse=on&isshowpiechart=false&isshowjobchart=false&isshowsalarydetailcharts=true&isshownextsteps=true&isshowcompanyfct=true&isshowaboutyou=true


« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 09:33:31 AM by Liberty Stache »

Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2017, 09:33:41 AM »
No entirely comparing, but the fact that out of a majority of my friends and the only one in my family to go to college, I am looked at differently. My brother likes to point out the fact he made a great living just learning how to read, write, and do math. He doesn't have any student loan debt and he works when he wants to. My friend also likes to point out that we made 2100 last week and had 4 days off and can afford the lifestyle he wants, where as I have car loans, student loans, and only take home 700 a week.

But, when I'm 40, still able to work and have a huge 401k account, we can revisit their insights.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 09:37:06 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

I made $61K plus benefits as a Project Engineer fresh out of engineering school 10 years ago. Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Project-Engineer-IV-Salary-Details-Boston-MA.aspx?&hdcbxbonuse=on&isshowpiechart=false&isshowjobchart=false&isshowsalarydetailcharts=true&isshownextsteps=true&isshowcompanyfct=true&isshowaboutyou=true


I've only been in this industry/job for two years. I started out as an architectural engineer, moved to do mechanical, and now I design conveyor systems and the like. But according to being a Project Engineer 1 on that site I am about 15K under paid...

Retire-Canada

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 09:41:56 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

I only ask because both him and my brother think I would make more money if I were to go back to installing floors. My friend, who is a taper for a drywall company, said that he makes around $1800-$2000/wk. My brother, who owns a flooring installation business, makes whatever he puts for a price which can be anywhere from $5k-$10k, depending on the job/materials/help/travel/etc..

Thoughts?

Where I live $60K/yr for an engineer is low so it may be that you are not getting paid what you should. There are professional income websites that will let you see what other engineers are getting paid in your area. That will give you a more direct basis for comparison.

I do consulting work and one benefit is that I can deduct business expenses. That means a lot of the stuff I would pay for anyways [car, internet, phone, computer, part of my house for an office, etc...] is discounted heavily. One year I made the same amount of gross income as my GF. She's a nurse and I am an engineer. I paid 50% of the taxes she did due to my business deductions. That's a huge boost to my savings. She gets a pension though - eventually. That means no early retirement for her, but when she does retire it will be very secure. OTOH I'll FIRE 6yrs+ earlier because there is nothing motivating me to stay in a full-time job.

4alpacas

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2017, 09:45:31 AM »
No entirely comparing, but the fact that out of a majority of my friends and the only one in my family to go to college, I am looked at differently. My brother likes to point out the fact he made a great living just learning how to read, write, and do math. He doesn't have any student loan debt and he works when he wants to. My friend also likes to point out that we made 2100 last week and had 4 days off and can afford the lifestyle he wants, where as I have car loans, student loans, and only take home 700 a week.

But, when I'm 40, still able to work and have a huge 401k account, we can revisit their insights.
Could you pick up some part time work with your brother?  You'll have the steady source of income from your regular job, and you'll be able to get an income boost from a side gig.

acooper610

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2017, 10:09:25 AM »
I was going to say, you're definitely underpaid. Start looking for a new job or ask for a good raise. I graduated in Mechanical Engineering and immediately started at $65k (low cost of living area), just hit my two year anniversary and I'm at around $70k. Even just two years in you should be at high 60s - mid 70s, or higher in a high cost of living area.

Plus, it's nice having a set schedule, vacation days, 401k, insurance, etc. Although being your own boss would be awesome too.

mm1970

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 10:39:28 AM »
Also, take a look at a lot of manual labor guys in their fifties. Not all, but many of them are in terrible shape. Bad back, bad knees etc.

Yup. Shoulder, back, knees.  My BIL is a mess.

Guesl982374

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 10:51:38 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Project-Engineer-IV-Salary-Details-Boston-MA.aspx?&hdcbxbonuse=on&isshowpiechart=false&isshowjobchart=false&isshowsalarydetailcharts=true&isshownextsteps=true&isshowcompanyfct=true&isshowaboutyou=true


I've only been in this industry/job for two years. I started out as an architectural engineer, moved to do mechanical, and now I design conveyor systems and the like. But according to being a Project Engineer 1 on that site I am about 15K under paid...

Typically I find that early on in your career it's worthwhile to move every 2-5 years to increase your salary. Remember, in general terms, people get paid based on what value they bring to a business. Bring more value leads to higher pay.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 09:33:44 AM by Liberty Stache »

Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2017, 11:08:01 AM »
No entirely comparing, but the fact that out of a majority of my friends and the only one in my family to go to college, I am looked at differently. My brother likes to point out the fact he made a great living just learning how to read, write, and do math. He doesn't have any student loan debt and he works when he wants to. My friend also likes to point out that we made 2100 last week and had 4 days off and can afford the lifestyle he wants, where as I have car loans, student loans, and only take home 700 a week.

But, when I'm 40, still able to work and have a huge 401k account, we can revisit their insights.
Could you pick up some part time work with your brother?  You'll have the steady source of income from your regular job, and you'll be able to get an income boost from a side gig.

I work for my brother almost every weekend. I used to work full time with him before and during college, so he does pay me well and I know the trade very well. I also play music on the side with a couple of cover bands and bring home $100 most nights when I do play.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2017, 11:09:18 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

I made $61K plus benefits as a Project Engineer fresh out of engineering school 10 years ago. Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Project-Engineer-IV-Salary-Details-Boston-MA.aspx?&hdcbxbonuse=on&isshowpiechart=false&isshowjobchart=false&isshowsalarydetailcharts=true&isshownextsteps=true&isshowcompanyfct=true&isshowaboutyou=true


I've only been in this industry/job for two years. I started out as an architectural engineer, moved to do mechanical, and now I design conveyor systems and the like. But according to being a Project Engineer 1 on that site I am about 15K under paid...

Typically I find that early on in your career it's worthwhile to move every 2-5 years to increase your salary. Remember, in general terms, people get paid based on what value they bring to a business. Bring more value leads to higher pay.

Well, funny you say that. This is actually my 4th professional engineering job since 2010. I have been here two years, they bumped me up 7k last review and I am due for my second year review around this time.

BlueHouse

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2017, 11:24:44 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

I made $61K plus benefits as a Project Engineer fresh out of engineering school 10 years ago. Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.


This is very uncomfortable to say, and let me apologize in advance if it ruffles any feathers, but I think it's true so I'll just say it.  There is a "club" in business and if you're not "in it" then you're out of it.  It's a subtle way to determine if you are "like" someone else in terms of socio-economic background and level of education.  Something in the way you wrote this sentence
Quote
I only ask because both him and my brother think I would make more money if I were to go back to ....
is a tipoff that you didn't attend the same schools or have the same family background as anyone in upper management in any company I've ever worked in.    Can you see it?  Do you know what it is?

Right or wrong, if you want to succeed and advance in an engineering profession (or any profession that requires a college education) your grammar needs to reflect your level of education because biases do exist. 

gods, I sound really snooty saying that.  I truly don't mean to, but I think this advice would help you in your career. 

Also, I'm willing to bet that Bearblastbeats is a native English speaker, because I have never in my life heard anyone who learned English as a Second Language make the same grammatical error.  It is a uniquely American thing. 



Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2017, 11:34:16 AM »
LOL. I write differently when I am on the internet than I do in emails. Sorry for my poor grammatical interweb speak.

MayDay

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2017, 11:43:53 AM »
LOL. I write differently when I am on the internet than I do in emails. Sorry for my poor grammatical interweb speak.

That is fair. But there may be other "tells."

I find this totally fascinating and I hope Blue house will expound.

I can see certain things in others but am pretty oblivious about myself.

marty998

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2017, 02:00:22 PM »
Quote
I only ask because both him and my brother think I would make more money if I were to go back to ....

LOL. I write differently when I am on the internet than I do in emails. Sorry for my poor grammatical interweb speak.

That is fair. But there may be other "tells."

I find this totally fascinating and I hope Blue house will expound.

I can see certain things in others but am pretty oblivious about myself.

Go back to.... school? What will that teach you? At my workplace (Big Corporate) we approach career development based on exposure to senior stakeholders and on the job experience managing projects or teams. Formal training counts for very little.

I've seen people who have so many letters after their name you could form sentences with it. But they don't climb the ladder because they don't act like leaders. They don't inspire their team members. They don't know how to make decisions when there is no textbook to provide an answer.

You need to be someone who inspires confidence. Whether by words or actions, you need to prove to senior management  that you can get shit done and they can have faith in you.

Otherwise, you'll be forever going back to school acquiring letters and titles and wondering why promotions are passing you by.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2017, 02:19:02 PM »
Quote
I only ask because both him and my brother think I would make more money if I were to go back to ....

LOL. I write differently when I am on the internet than I do in emails. Sorry for my poor grammatical interweb speak.

That is fair. But there may be other "tells."

I find this totally fascinating and I hope Blue house will expound.

I can see certain things in others but am pretty oblivious about myself.

Go back to.... school? What will that teach you? At my workplace (Big Corporate) we approach career development based on exposure to senior stakeholders and on the job experience managing projects or teams. Formal training counts for very little.

I've seen people who have so many letters after their name you could form sentences with it. But they don't climb the ladder because they don't act like leaders. They don't inspire their team members. They don't know how to make decisions when there is no textbook to provide an answer.

You need to be someone who inspires confidence. Whether by words or actions, you need to prove to senior management  that you can get shit done and they can have faith in you.

Otherwise, you'll be forever going back to school acquiring letters and titles and wondering why promotions are passing you by.


I think you missed the end of that original quote, I said go back to installing floors.

I do not need more formal training for my industry, and I have all ready proven to my employer that I am diligent and regal. The company sends us to seminars and training a few times a year as it is. Like flooring, this industry is something you learn as you go and put in the experience. I only have an associates degree and I was promoted to Project Management within three months of my hire date two years ago.. Titles at my workplace don't matter internally and our engineering department is only about 8 people strong. I am sure that in the next 5 years I should be making a substantial pay increase and I do think I make decent money for what I do now.

Retire-Canada

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2017, 02:22:35 PM »
I only have an associates degree

Ah Got it. I didn't see that in the original post. I thought you had a bachelor's degree and assumed you were a licensed engineer due to your age.

boarder42

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2017, 02:25:11 PM »
an engineer making 60k after working for 6 years is below the industry avg i would say. i'm going to pull 6 figures as an engineer this year plus some pretty awesome retirement benefits on top of that at my firm.  We're paying new grads 65k right now i think.  You should be investigating other opportunities. 

nvm you only have an associates degree. i wouldnt be saying you have an engineering degree then.  thats quite a bit different.

BlueHouse

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2017, 02:26:37 PM »
LOL. I write differently when I am on the internet than I do in emails. Sorry for my poor grammatical interweb speak.

That is fair. But there may be other "tells."

I find this totally fascinating and I hope Blue house will expound.

I can see certain things in others but am pretty oblivious about myself.

Fair enough Bearblastsbeats.  Sorry that I thought you might not know.  :) 

MayDay, I was referring to the use of the object "HIM" instead of the subject form "HE" in the sentence.  The sentence would be written or spoken as "...both HE and my brother think..."   

Marty, I think my use of the ellipses may have led to confusion.  I was just trying to represent that that part of the sentence wasn't my focus.  I should have put the ellipses after "think" to avoid the confusion.

MayDay, you might find the wikipedia entry on Shibboleth interesting because it describes words and cultural phenomenon that have been used to identify insiders from outsiders.  I think grammar is often used as a Shibboleth in business to identify "outsiders". 



Heroes821

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2017, 02:47:14 PM »
As this thread has stretched on I'm even more confused by the original post. You started out comparing your friend and family's pay that includes overtime to your salary, but then you add that you are side hustling working for your brother on the weekends.  Was that included in your 60k starting number or bonus?  Are you counted as an employee by your brother or are you a 1099 contractor to him?

Also I have to agree with the other posters that it is misleading to say you're an engineer w/o a bachelor's degree.  With an Associates and 2 years experience hell yeah 60k is awesome pay.

To be fair, I also have an associates and my job title has "engineer" in it, but that is for marketing by my company, I am very aware that I am not an engineer like my friends that worked hard for their bachelors and their certified PE.


Goldielocks

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2017, 03:55:47 PM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

I made $61K plus benefits as a Project Engineer fresh out of engineering school 10 years ago. Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Project-Engineer-IV-Salary-Details-Boston-MA.aspx?&hdcbxbonuse=on&isshowpiechart=false&isshowjobchart=false&isshowsalarydetailcharts=true&isshownextsteps=true&isshowcompanyfct=true&isshowaboutyou=true

Location matters.   Same engineer averages $75k to $85k in Vancouver, BC....  despite HCOL.

Here is the key -- will you make double your starting pay by the time you have 10 years of experience?   That is my rule of thumb. (conservative)

Also -- can you install floors on saturdays and get a decent wage?   That may be a great second income.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 03:57:41 PM by Goldielocks »

Bearblastbeats

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2017, 01:28:10 PM »
As this thread has stretched on I'm even more confused by the original post. You started out comparing your friend and family's pay that includes overtime to your salary, but then you add that you are side hustling working for your brother on the weekends.  Was that included in your 60k starting number or bonus?  Are you counted as an employee by your brother or are you a 1099 contractor to him?

Also I have to agree with the other posters that it is misleading to say you're an engineer w/o a bachelor's degree.  With an Associates and 2 years experience hell yeah 60k is awesome pay.

To be fair, I also have an associates and my job title has "engineer" in it, but that is for marketing by my company, I am very aware that I am not an engineer like my friends that worked hard for their bachelors and their certified PE.



Sorry for the confusion. I only have an Associates in Architectural Engineering, I went for my BS in Arch but didn't finish because I ran out of money, decided to go back to work FT. I work for my brother on the side but did not include that to my 60k salary. I do not get overtime at work, but I do get reimbursed whenever I am traveling.

My job title is Project Engineer, I do know that I am not a 'real' engineer but am more of a 'detailer' or 'designer'. Same as you, it is a marketing thing and sounds great to customers when they hear that we have an Engineering Department. That said, I have the most 'real' engineering training as opposed to my coworkers in the 'engineering' department but I am new in comparison, and younger by ten years minimum. My company does not require us to be licensed or anything since it's a learn as you go, sales driven organization. My company is an integrator for Material Handling, in which, we deal with Conveyor systems, Warehouse Management, Pallet Racking, Mobile Racking, Vertical Lift Modules, Robotics, and anything else you can think of to out fit an entire DC.

With my 2-year degree, I have been working in engineering firms for seven years, two of which have been for my current employer. I make the most I've ever made and it has been on a steady upswing.

My initial post was to wrap my head around the idea of my friend who tapes and sands dry wall claims to make 100k a year.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 01:30:19 PM by Bearblastbeats »

AMandM

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2017, 02:45:38 PM »
My initial post was to wrap my head around the idea of my friend who tapes and sands dry wall claims to make 100k a year.

To the financial analysis upthread showing that $2k/week as a 1099 is not all that far from a $60k salary, I'd like to add that lifestyle comparisons may be misleading.  I don't know your friend, but often a person who thinks of himself as "making $2000 a week" will spend $2000 a week, ignoring the taxes & expenses that have to come out of that $2000.

Heroes821

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2017, 06:45:11 AM »
My initial post was to wrap my head around the idea of my friend who tapes and sands dry wall claims to make 100k a year.

To the financial analysis upthread showing that $2k/week as a 1099 is not all that far from a $60k salary, I'd like to add that lifestyle comparisons may be misleading.  I don't know your friend, but often a person who thinks of himself as "making $2000 a week" will spend $2000 a week, ignoring the taxes & expenses that have to come out of that $2000.

I agree. 100k as 1099 is very much not a 100k a year after accounting for all the out of pocket expenses that are built into a salary.

To the OP if you're close to your Bachelors and your company loves to be able to bill clients under their engineering department, maybe you should ask if they are willing to reimburse or pay for you to finish school?  The understanding could be that once you have that degree you would need a raise since they could bill for your time even higher than before.

The point I was trying to make was that your 100k a year friend was implied to work overtime often which probably translates to 50 hours a week instead of 40, maybe more. If you work for your brother on weekends and do a music gig add that time and pay into your 60k and then compare how much you work and make with your friend's hours and pay. 

To clarify if you work 40 hours at one job and 16 hours with your brother you might actually be making over 80k a year instead of 60, plus you have full benefits.  While your 50 hour a week friend doing drywall now has to pay all his own taxes and for his healthcare and retirement and other misc. benefits that your company covers, meaning that while his cashflow appears higher on a paycheck basis he is actually making less than you after expenses.  And by expenses I don't mean the cost of rent and groceries.

Guesl982374

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2017, 09:22:37 AM »
But I am curious. I went to school for engineering, I work as a Project Engineer for a material handling firm. I made 60k last year and I turn 30 on Tuesday. I think I make a pretty good living as it is now and I am not complaining.

Not sure where you are located but it seems like you might be significantly below market from a compensation standpoint. Location is going to matter but the median Project Engineer with 7-10 years experience makes $135K plus benefits in the Boston area.

Time to start your job search.


This is very uncomfortable to say, and let me apologize in advance if it ruffles any feathers, but I think it's true so I'll just say it.  There is a "club" in business and if you're not "in it" then you're out of it.  It's a subtle way to determine if you are "like" someone else in terms of socio-economic background and level of education.  Something in the way you wrote this sentence
Quote
I only ask because both him and my brother think I would make more money if I were to go back to ....
is a tipoff that you didn't attend the same schools or have the same family background as anyone in upper management in any company I've ever worked in.    Can you see it?  Do you know what it is?

Right or wrong, if you want to succeed and advance in an engineering profession (or any profession that requires a college education) your grammar needs to reflect your level of education because biases do exist. 

gods, I sound really snooty saying that.  I truly don't mean to, but I think this advice would help you in your career. 

Also, I'm willing to bet that Bearblastbeats is a native English speaker, because I have never in my life heard anyone who learned English as a Second Language make the same grammatical error.  It is a uniquely American thing.

Agreed. Presentation matters (dress, verbal, mannerisms, etc) I do believe that the "club" you refer to typically kicks in at higher levels than the individual contributor level, though.

Bearblastbeats - An example of what Bluehouse is refering to is local 'dialects'. Having one will make you sound less intelligent than if you didn't have one.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 09:34:09 AM by Liberty Stache »

Fishindude

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Re: How do my labor working friends make more than me?
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2017, 09:45:18 AM »
Contrary to popular belief shoved down our throats for the past several decades by the educational system, you can indeed make a very good living working many types trades.
$60K is a pretty normal wage for many skilled trades, and $100K+ is doable in the right circumstances.

My experience is in commercial / industrial construction and I can tell you that smart trades people are in high demand, the pay and benefits have never been better, workplace conditions and health and safety are high priority.  Smart companies treat their people very well, and don't work them so hard that their bodies are broken down in their 50's.  Modern tools and equipment have taken much of the labor out of previously difficult physical work, and the jobs have become much more technical.

Having said the above ..... There are still a lot of crappy trades jobs out there, particularly in residential and light commercial work.   Very little safety, no drug testing, many illegals, no health insurance or benefits, most people being paid by the job, etc.   You have to be smart enough to stay away from this stuff.