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chappal (Structural) (OP)
24 Apr 11 10:48
This is my first post here and I was seeking opinions from my fellow professionals regarding a career move.

I currently work for a company where I have ample opportunity for good design work and I have 6+ years of experience and am a PE. However, it appears that the potential for growth toward a project management/managerial position are limited. I have an opportunity of working for a different company based in Chicago, which presents those opportunities.

I want to get an idea of what a reasonable salary expectation is for a structural engineer (who has worked on complicated projects and has a good resume of projects) in CHICAGO. I obviously don't want to undersell myself nor expect a ridiculous salary.

I appreciate your honest opinions.
Ron (Structural)
24 Apr 11 11:13
First of all, you will need to be an SE in Illinois, so your PE, presumably from another state, will limit your ability to practice in Chicago.

With 6 years of technical experience and little or no project/management experience, you are probably looking at a salary range of $55k to $65k.

Lots of other considerations for a move:
1.  How far away?
2.  How does it fit with family plans (if that's in play).
3.  Do they pay for the move?
4.  How do the benefits compare?
5.  Is there a climate change?
6.  Is there real estate involved?
7.  What is the security of the position long term?
8.  How stable is the company?

plus a bunch of others that I'm sure will show up in other posts.
B16A2 (Structural)
24 Apr 11 18:54
Describe "complicated projects"

I've known some engineers who thought they're working on complicated projects until they changed jobs.

frv (Structural)
24 Apr 11 20:34
Ron, that seems really low for someone with a PE and 6 years of experience. But you are right about the SE.
GregLocock (Automotive)
26 Apr 11 21:30
Sounds like you better buy a hat with corks dangling around the rim and a passport, our graduates START on what Ron is suggesting.


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

Qshake (Structural)
26 Apr 11 21:36
I agree with Ron on the matter of salary and no SE and no PM experience.

But I really answered so I could ask Greg if the corks hanging from the rim of a hat are pulled right out of the bottle or if the corks have been out of the bottle for some time.  Ah the sweet smell of paradise!


Eng-Tips Forums:Real Solutions for Real Problems Really Quick.

GregLocock (Automotive)
26 Apr 11 22:05
I've only seen them as jokes, I can't imagine a cocky drinking wine, and nothing else has had corks for ages!

n pl cockies Austral informal
1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Animals) short for cockatoo [2]
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Agriculture) a farmer whose farm is regarded as small or of little account


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

casseopeia (Structural)
26 Apr 11 23:49
Ron's salary estimate looks in the right range.  I'd move back to Chicago in a heartbeat for other considerations, though.  I like the place.  Nice, down-to-earth people, generally.  Good public transportation.  Beautiful city.  

chappal, how well do you know steel?  The one thing I really miss out here on the left coast is steel design, which I'd expect an engineer in Chicago to design on a regular basis.  

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

FreddyNurk (Electrical)
27 Apr 11 6:45
Greg, you forgot to mention that everything else seems to cost a lot more out here, not to mention the drop bears.

You're quite right though, thats been the standing graduate salary here for at least a couple of years now.  
GregLocock (Automotive)
28 Apr 11 0:02
That's true enough, (well, perhaps not about the drop bears). More research required. Mind you, on a PPP basis there isn't much in it.


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

csd72 (Structural)
28 Apr 11 7:47
greg, surely you are not implying that those carnivourous cousins of the Koala are not real!

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