This is my first thread/post on eng-tips. I want to get some advice SEs about Telecommunication Infrastructure design (towers, stations, etc.). It would be great to get some feedback from engineers with some experience in it.
So I'm currently a California PE (Structural) and have about another 18 months to become eligible for the SE exam. Currently, working for a small structural engineering firm in Southern California, our projects are mostly DSA/OSHPD, so I am getting pretty valuable experience for my exam in a couple of years. Work I do is also pretty challenging (interesting) and I do learn new things often. However, I do have some retrofit projects that are pain in the neck right from design all the way through construction, due to so many unknowns, but I have good ones too to balance the bad ones. I have a total of 3.5 years experience under my belt.
So here is the big question, I've been talking to a Telecom Infrastructure Design Firm (they do zoning, site acquisition, design) and they seem very interested. I'll be meeting the higher-ups next week and they will show me some of their projects (which I had asked for) to see how complex and challenging they can be. Before I do that, I would really appreciate some feedback here, I don't want to be doing the same thing over and over, if all its gonna take is just do a tower and foundation design and be done. Is that all or is there more to it? I can imagine it could be challenging if towers happen to be in urban areas or on top of buildings, but what more is there, am I missing stuff? I did some research, it looks like they mostly use a RISA like software call TnxTower.
The other side of it is obviously the pay, I'm making $80k with my current employer with regular benefits and end of year bonus too, the new firm does appear to be willing to hire me between $90-95k. I'm trying to evaluate how much room is there for growth in the longer run (professionally/financially) if I were to jump over. While the $10k-15k raise + bonus seems pretty attractive, I do give a lot of importance to job satisfaction and something that is rewarding professionally too.
Sorry for the long post, just want to see what I can get from you guys so I can think it over the weekend and go with some preparation to my meeting/final interview. Appreciate any help I can get.