Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

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sapper1371
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Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by sapper1371 »

I know that there are many engineers on this board of all different types so wanted to sort of poll the audience on this. I’ve been a mechanical engineer at the same megacorp since I graduated and think I’m doing fairly well but I’m wondering if I’m being underpaid because I haven’t moved around. I know that there are sites like Glassdoor that can also give a range but still wondering what the field looks like here. Seems that moving around a few times in your career can result in nice bumps if the right opportunity comes knocking. Not sure if I’m considering a move or just trying to satisfy a curiosity. Anyways, for me:

Mechanical Engineer (Masters Degree), PE, 12yrs making $115,000 in a LCOLA working 45hrs/wk or less.

Thanks for any benchmarks if you don’t mind sharing!
Last edited by sapper1371 on Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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willthrill81
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by willthrill81 »

I'm no engineer, but that sounds like a very solid salary for a LCOL area. I'm guessing that you get good benefits as well.
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livesoft
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by livesoft »

Does that include company contribution to HSA? How about 401(k) match?
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tigers174
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by tigers174 »

I'm a Mechanical Engineer (Bachelor's), PE, 15 years making $120,000, 15% bonus, in a VLCOL area. I work at a power plant, usually 40 hours a week, and around 50 during outages. Other benefits are a 6% 401k match, 6% into a cash balance plan, and $1200 matching to the HSA.

I'm comfortable where I am and would like to stay until I can retire.
Last edited by tigers174 on Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BlueCable
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by BlueCable »

Moved to management last year, but was a Software Engineer with 10 years of experience making about $130k in LCOL area.
taurabora
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by taurabora »

Chemical Engineer, BS, No PE
13 Years Work in an Oil Refinery in Houston (MCOL?)
Generally 50 hours per week. Just finished an outage of around 2 months with 13 days on / 1 off @ 12-14 hours per day.
$140k + 15% Bonus
5% Company 401k contribution (soon to be 10%)
Occasional stock awards of ~$10k
ESPP
Pension
Excellent insurance + FSA
orhkaf
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by orhkaf »

S/o just got w2 yesterday. Made 385k as a principal engineer for 2019 in the Bay Area.
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Atomic
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Atomic »

Civil, MN. $120k, 18 years. Principal engineer position.
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sapper1371
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by sapper1371 »

willthrill81 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:35 pm I'm no engineer, but that sounds like a very solid salary for a LCOL area. I'm guessing that you get good benefits as well.
I would say the benefits are pretty good and I get a 6% match.
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sapper1371
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by sapper1371 »

livesoft wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:41 pm Does that include company contribution to HSA? How about 401(k) match?
No, on top of this I get a 6% match and $1000 HSA contribution.
Goal33
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Goal33 »

Computer engineering background. In a job that is for a traditional CS background. Graduated college in 2014. Making around 210k including everything except the value of the company paid health insurance. Not working for a FANG but probably what would be the next tier. I am a very average worker... started at 115k.

Edit: in Bay Area
BlueCable
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by BlueCable »

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jayk238
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by jayk238 »

The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
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3CT_Paddler
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

Civil Engineer. 14 years. MCOL. $130k. Standard 401k match, relatively cheap healthcare.

40-50 hr work weeks with 40-45 hrs being typical.

Typically civil is one of the lower paying engineering professions out of school, but it seems to catch up after 10 years.
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Ron Swanson
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Ron Swanson »

Facilities Engineering (BS), finishing a Master in Engineering Management (MS). Operating Engineer (certainly not a "real" engineer) at a power plant in HCOL area. 12 hour rotating shifts, so many nights, weekends, and holidays.

Base is about $140k. Bonus (5-10%) and OT (500-600 hours a year) push it close to $200k. 8% 401k match (give 5%, 3% match), and $1500 a year into an HSA.
Last edited by Ron Swanson on Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MadDwag
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by MadDwag »

These numbers are making me even more suspicious of salary data on sites like Glassdoor, and of the ranges recruiters give when they call me. Seems like every week I get a call about a Senior Mechanical Engineer position (15+ years, PE, etc.) that pays a “great” salary around $90k in places like Nashville, Atlanta, and Charlotte. Maybe this site just attracts the higher earners, or maybe the recruiters and hiring managers are stuck in 2010 when unemployment was way up and people would take whatever they could get.
dukeblue219
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by dukeblue219 »

Electrical, HCOL, Masters, 9 years, $119k (federal govt)
tigermilk
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by tigermilk »

Aero/mechanical engineer, MCOL, federal government, senior technical expert, PhD, 25 years since full time employment (a few more as a student part year), GS 15/$170k
tigermilk
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by tigermilk »

jayk238 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
Absolutely not.
LawEgr1
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by LawEgr1 »

Chemical
Chemicals industry project management
112k mcol
6 years exp
Pmp and pe recently obtained
7% 401k which had been typical
Meh insurance varies wildly by Corp
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Vulcan
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Vulcan »

Network engineer (not a real engineer, as I readily tell people). MS in CS. 20yr experience. Work from home in a LCOLA. 130K.
Last edited by Vulcan on Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Starfish »

Electrical Engineer. PhD. 250-300k depending on year, stock price etc. HCOL. 14y experience.
Ridge15
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Ridge15 »

350K
Phd, EE, 14 yrs exp HCOL (was making 550K+ in VHCOL till last year)
Ocean77
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Ocean77 »

MSEE, though I write software for a living. And yes, writing software is just as demanding and "real" as EE or other engineering work, if not more so.

25 years, Bay Area, $400k
random_walker_77
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by random_walker_77 »

EE, but not a "real" engineer. In my industry, no one bothers getting their PE. I don't touch anything over 12V, and preferably well under 3V

The pay's really good. Principal engineer, over 15 years experience, LCOL, base of $250K, annual equity grants over 150K, and due to good RSU perf, the annual vestings have been ridiculously good the last several years.
Nathan Drake
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Nathan Drake »

random_walker_77 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:07 pm EE, but not a "real" engineer. In my industry, no one bothers getting their PE. I don't touch anything over 12V, and preferably well under 3V

The pay's really good. Principal engineer, over 15 years experience, LCOL, base of $250K, annual equity grants over 150K, and due to good RSU perf, the annual vestings have been ridiculously good the last several years.
Unless you’re in software and generally in HCOL, those numbers don’t really add up from my experience

What industry are you in that pays this much?? I’m a principal engineer EE making less than half that in LCOL
manatee2005
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by manatee2005 »

orhkaf wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:10 pm S/o just got w2 yesterday. Made 385k as a principal engineer for 2019 in the Bay Area.
How many years of experience do you have?

Do you know what’s your base salary?
T4REngineer
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by T4REngineer »

random_walker_77 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:07 pm EE, but not a "real" engineer. In my industry, no one bothers getting their PE. I don't touch anything over 12V, and preferably well under 3V

The pay's really good. Principal engineer, over 15 years experience, LCOL, base of $250K, annual equity grants over 150K, and due to good RSU perf, the annual vestings have been ridiculously good the last several years.
That seems like quite the spot - Id love to know what industry if you don't mind sharing

For me as a BS Mechanical Engineer , 10 years in, same MegaCorp , 112K with a 6K bonus that varies from 0-2x but has generally been 1.2. 30 days of vacation, 10% 401k match, 40hrs a week (most weeks) , plant engineer for chemical company. My current job level will top out at 140k although it will likely take a decade plus to reach unless I move to a subject matter expert or management role.

You are always going to find some Coastal standouts, big oil, tech or like the poster above - just plan awesome situations but by far and large I don't think its the norm. Do not get caught up in salary, its important but its not what's most important - I would not trade being close to family and good friends and a very short commute in a lovely midwest town and a 40hr week for an extra 200k to move to SF , not a chance. It fits some very very well but just because the dollars are there does not mean it fits YOU well.
sjl333
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by sjl333 »

aerospace/structural engineer, 250K+, 8 years experience, at my 4th company (been hopping every two years), started at 65k. 50 hours per week. I am in the upper echelon in the pay scale compared to my peers (most of them are in the 100K-120K mark). I have mastered my job so companies pay me top dollars because they cant find people w/ my type of skill set. Gotta love capitalism.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by unclescrooge »

tigermilk wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:14 pm
jayk238 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
Absolutely not.
What if it came with a 35hr work week, union benefits, a pension, and 30 days of vacation?
bogglizer
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by bogglizer »

$160K, but it's utterly cool gov't NASA [stuff], like probes to Neptune and exoplanet telescopes.

[Edit by moderator oldcomputerguy]
Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Starfish »

jayk238 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
You have to be careful how you compare.
We talk here about gross salaries. We talk about jobs that might require a lot more that 35-40h/week. We talk about expensive healthcare and education.
But yes, generally US pays more. In term of quality of life though, it depends.
random_walker_77
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by random_walker_77 »

T4REngineer wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:28 pm That seems like quite the spot - Id love to know what industry if you don't mind sharing
While trying to preserve anonymity, I'll say it's computer hardware / chip design. Also, I'd put in the disclaimer that I'm definitely paid more than most of my colleagues on the hardware side, but a total comp of 200K for folks with 15+ years of experience is, I think, fairly common. At my company, those of us out here in the LCOL office don't make that much less than our silicon valley colleagues.
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Software engineer. Total comp is about $325k. I live in Colorado and work <40 hours a week.
wilked
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by wilked »

ChemEng, almost 20 years into my career. $150k plus 20% bonus plus some equity (say 5%), 9% 401k match. Most of my salary increase has come in the last 5 years or so
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Tim_in_GA
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Tim_in_GA »

Man, I need to ask for a raise!
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

A contentious exchange was removed. Please keep the replies on topic to the original question.
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sapper1371
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by sapper1371 »

Tim_in_GA wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:31 am Man, I need to ask for a raise!
Likewise!

I am a bit supposed with the responses to be honest, especially for the LCOLAs. My MegaCorp employs about 10,000 people worldwide (90% engineers) so if these salaries are to be had it’s a wonder we have anyone left!

I have good job security, my choice of projects and also a pretty flexible schedule where I can work from home 3-4 days a week so that has value to me.
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galving
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by galving »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:34 pm
tigermilk wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:14 pm
jayk238 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
Absolutely not.
What if it came with a 35hr work week, union benefits, a pension, and 30 days of vacation?
And a 48% tax rate + a 21% VAT tax on most of what you buy.

My observation while I was in Europe is that that is not a great deal of variability from one profession to another.
Engineers salary = ~ Doctor's salary = ~ Teacher. . . etc. Admittedly my sample size was fairly small.
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jimmyq
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by jimmyq »

Average pay for an engineer in the US, based on a a sample of around 9000 reported salaries, is around $88k:
https://www.indeed.com/career/engineer/salaries
mattshwink
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by mattshwink »

Area: Wash DC metro (live in NVa, work in DC)
Degree: None
Title: Systems Engineer III (IT infrastructure/security, cloud)
Salary: $179,000 (may also get some small bonuses this year, 3k-10k)
401k match: 3% up to $5,000 max
Stock:. Private company, 2,000 shares, maybe worth $4k, maybe nothing
Vacation: 20 days and all 10 federal holidays
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by MikeWillRetire »

Civil Engineer, 35 years, living in HCOL area, making $112k.
I could have made more if I was interested in project management, but I wasn't.
Coltrane75
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Coltrane75 »

BS in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. 19 years of experience in the life sciences industry. Live in HCOL (Boston area). Job function is corporate quality systems; last year was promoted into management.

Base: 136k/year + 15% target bonus. 7% 401k match, $1200 into the HSA, ESPP with 15%. Medical Premium is about $3200 and would go up to close to $5000 if we had kids; $3000 deductible, 75% copay up till the $6250 OOPM. $300 annual allowance for gym. $275/mo subsidy for public transport/rideshare and $275/mo subsidy for parking.
shorty313
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by shorty313 »

Civil engineer, Transportation field. 21 yrs exp, HCOL, about $140k if I worked full time (40hrs). No advanced degrees. I work 32-35hrs/week. I do more planning than design though (dually licensed).
alfaspider
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by alfaspider »

Like any profession, engineering has a wide range of specialties. It's like asking doctors what they make and hearing from folks in specialties ranging from primary care to neurosurgeons. Knowing that some Hollywood plastic surgeon makes $2 million a year isn't really relevant to a small town primary care physician. Likewise, I'm not sure why knowing a silicon valley engineer makes $500k is particularly relevant to a civil engineer in Europe making $50k.

The CEO of my company is an engineer by training. He makes over $10 million a year most years. How that's for a salary to aspire to?
surveyor
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by surveyor »

If there are any experienced road/bridge civils reading this and are willing to relocate to Indiana you will have no problem exceeding 100k. Probably Ohio too. Feel free to message. I'm currently looking for road, bridge, survey and construction inspection staff. Everybody else is too.
EfficientInvestor
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by EfficientInvestor »

Project Manager in the water/wastewater department of a civil engineering firm
Masters Degree and PE w/ almost 9 years of experience
$104k/yr with slightly below average benefits and a ~5% bonus/yr in a LCOL area
40 hrs/week
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

MSEE working as a field applications engineer for a chip company, Boston area. $125k base. Add bonuses, RSUs, ESPP, hit $200k. I did work as a "real" engineer for many years, designing power supplies in things you use. I now help "real" engineers when they're stuck and can't figure out how to move forward. I'm a hardware, analog guy. No ones and zeros. Published and patents. Other megacorp chip makers pay more (I've worked for several and interviewed with others). Field work tends to pay 25% over designers. I moved in the same company from one to the other.
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bouncyboglehead
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by bouncyboglehead »

I'm a Software Engineer living in MCOL. I make a bit north of $300k/year. I have 10 years of experience.
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sapper1371
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by sapper1371 »

alfaspider wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:03 am Like any profession, engineering has a wide range of specialties. It's like asking doctors what they make and hearing from folks in specialties ranging from primary care to neurosurgeons. Knowing that some Hollywood plastic surgeon makes $2 million a year isn't really relevant to a small town primary care physician. Likewise, I'm not sure why knowing a silicon valley engineer makes $500k is particularly relevant to a civil engineer in Europe making $50k.

The CEO of my company is an engineer by training. He makes over $10 million a year most years. How that's for a salary to aspire to?
Thanks for weighing in but I totally disagree if you implying that the diversity in the field invalidates this question or feedback. People have added necessary qualifiers to their feedback and I think this has been a very informative thread.

Engineers are well adapted to interpreting data 8-)
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