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# Consulting Section15

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## Consulting Section

(OP)
why is it that the consulting sector in Engineering generally is less lucrative than other industries such as Finance Consultants? and compared to other sectors such as oil and gas, EPC, utilities, generally are less lucrative? I feel like as structural engineers there is alot more risk in what we do but get paid less?

tia

### RE: Consulting Section

In my opinion structural engineering consulting services are based on lowest price and being cheaper than your competitors. I called a couple of my local structural firms for a quick quote, they told me a couple thousand. I then asked how much is his competition going to quote, they told me probably less.

Owners are not interested in the best quality structural engineer, they want the cheapest that meets code, gets permits,and provides decent service.

The first stage of site investigation is desktop and it informs the engineer of the anticipated subsurface conditions. By precluding the site investigation the design engineer cannot accept any responsibility for providing a safe and economical design.

### RE: Consulting Section

2
Yep, geo has it correct. There's too many people doing it and no perceived value or obvious difference to a typical client between a good structural engineer and a bad one (at least until after the job is completed). Often you also have other engineers diluting the mix even further by cutting corners deliberately or unintentionally. In my local area I'd say way less than half of the engineers I've personally worked with have extensive experience with structures but most all of their companies offer structural engineering services in one form or another. Lots to say on this but it's all pretty much been said before.

I believe the only possible way to fix this is to setup your business so that it does not rely on clients that need or otherwise cannot afford what you deserve for your work. Leave the residential work, condo work, "quick jobs" and what not for someone else. Focus on clients where your work is meaningful. If you can cultivate work with industries, contractors, municipalities, sub contractors (like precasters, retaining wall manufacturers, etc.), or architects or engineering firms without a dedicated structural engineer; those people will see your service as adding value to their work. Find people who have possibly worked with another structural engineer before and try to provide a better service at a fair price. They'll know what they want and what good engineering is and like someone who recognizes when they have a good mechanic they will stop shopping around and just go to you directly for future work. Not saying you can then overcharge for your work but rather then you have the freedom to ignore what other people are charging and charge what you need to pay your bills and make a profit commensurate with the skills and specialties you have.

Then, with a steady base of work, you can look at the one off jobs and quote them a fair price. If/when they walk then no loss to you other than the time to quote it, they can go shop at the firms that will give them a plan stamp or substandard engineering. But, if you perpetuate this race to the bottom then the cycle will just continue. Additionally, you can (and should) tell them when they don't actually need an engineer. If they want a price for engineering but really they just need a skilled contractor then tell them that.

I've been thankful that the majority of my work is and has been for people who value a good engineer. I'm spoiled I guess but I'd go bankrupt before I started charging bottom dollar prices for my engineering skills.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://americanconcrete.com/

### RE: Consulting Section

agreed with previous comments. I would add that it seems to be worldwide issue.
We are compared to other industries underpaid, but at least we have the busiest forum here..

### RE: Consulting Section

(OP)
Thank you guys for the posts, it does make sense why we are underpaid if everyone is trying to undercut each other to get the job, but it appears we are different from let say, construction contractors, where there is an obvious difference between an expensive one and cheap one.

I also see this problem for architect and maybe they have it even worse off than us, I have see architects spend many times the hours we do on a project and I am thinking they only charge maybe double our % of the construction costs so at the end of the day it almost seems like they are loosing money.

I believe one way we can provide value to a project is a good structural engineer can provide the minimum to meet code in a more efficient way to limit labour and material costs (ie slab thickness, column layout, core walls layout, construabulity in our designs etc)

I just find it difficult to swallow when some of us are loosing sleep at night(I am sure many if you guys have experienced this)not knowing if our designs are being carried out to its fullest extent on site and also the design actually working as intended and at the end of the day nobody really values a good structural engineer.

Thx

### RE: Consulting Section

Nobody values a good engineer, no matter how good.

I believe if more buildings actually fell down we would be much richer men!

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote (OP)

less lucrative than other industries such as Finance Consultants?

My little brother is finance and this comes up frequently. His explanation:

1) Money guys understand money and value better that we do, even though we think that it's all very simple and obvious.

2) No money guy ever went into money to not have any so they tend to exhibit more solidarity than we do on compensation. With technical work, there's always some nerd out there willing to buy an assignment because they think it's cool. Sometimes... that nerd is me. Ergo the fundamental supply and demand problem.

#### Quote (OP)

I feel like as structural engineers there is alot more risk in what we do but get paid less?

Do yourself a favor and get that nonsense out of your head this instant. The price of all goods and services ultimately comes down to replacement cost and does not fundamentally reflect effort, skill, or induced suffering. My father, who birthed my money guy brother, also had some interesting advice that I've found to be spot on over the years. He told me that there are only two fundamental ways to make money, both rooted in supply and demand:

1) Do something that other people won't do. Shovel shit, put yourself in harms way, be parted from your family for extended periods.

2) Do something that other people can't do. Cardiac surgeon, professional athlete, rock star, entrepreneur.

His point in telling me that was to steer me towards #2, education in particular. Structural engineering tries to be in the arcane knowledge "can't do" category but doesn't do that quite well enough I'm afraid, particularly in the age of computers. One nice thing about entrepreneurship is that, while not everybody can do it, pretty much everybody can take a swing at it if they are so inclined. Yay capitalism (tempered with appropriate socialism)!

### RE: Consulting Section

If people want a change with this....we need to be more vocal about including language in the PE/SE rules that would exclude these overseas designs. I'm no lawyer, so I'm not sure how to say it....but there has to be one.

As it stands now, large outfits are sending work overseas, then it's getting stamped here. The "review" clause in some states rules is allowing this.

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote (OP)

I believe one way we can provide value to a project is a good structural engineer can provide the minimum to meet code in a more efficient way to limit labour and material costs

This does not add any perceived value to the owner; they already assume this is taking place. In addition, what differentiates you from every other engineer trying to do the same thing?

Put yourself in the owners shoes. If they have no knowledge of your skills they get quotes from 3 engineers, and get three different numbers. What items are apparent other than who has lowest price?

A well-marketed company that looks impressive on paper?
Able to meet their timeline better than the other engineers?
Specialty services offered?
Previous projects?
Reviews and ratings from past clients?

Technical skill of the structural design is not on that list. If you figure out how to put it there let me know.

My thoughts, which are untested as I don't run a firm (yet), is related to how a contractor recently sold me on their company when I needed some blow-in insulation installed in my very tight attic. They added value during the quote process. The other companies were good and all had decent prices, but this insulation company went above and beyond. They inspected my roof and we spent an hour or so debating how to get proper ventilation in my tight eaves. They candidly admitted that it wouldn't be perfect but they had an idea on how to solve the problem and we discussed it. I asked them about some government rebate program and they pointed out quickly why I shouldn't bother as it wouldn't save me money in the end. None of the other companies did this other than say "your eaves are tight". They proved to me that their technical skill added value before I even hired them. They were middle of the pack on price; I went with them and after the job was done I couldn't be happier.

I hope to emulate this when I am competing against other engineers. For right now I'm spared as most of my engineering costs get folded into the cost of precast products.

#### Quote (KootK)

Do yourself a favor...

KootK: Every guidance counselor in high-school should have the 2nd-half of your post framed on their wall. Too many people get suckered into "pursue your dreams" without actually finding out how or why it will (or wont) make them money.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://americanconcrete.com/

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote (MIStructE)

I believe if more buildings actually fell down we would be much richer men!

While I'm sure that this was meant rather facetiously, I believe it to be an important part of this problem. In a statistical sense, the quality of structural engineering work truly does NOT have meaningful consequences. So why should clients pay for good work? I have exactly one idea for how this might get fixed without going to straight protectionism. It's based on my expectation that, baring frequent earthquakes, only a structural engineer can really parse out good structural engineering work from bad. So I'd like to see all jurisdictions legislate a mandatory, anonymous, 3rd party peer review for all structural works of any significance. Set the fees at 15% of the EOR fees or something. I feel that this would lead to several desirable outcomes:

1) Higher quality structural work.

2) More volume of structural work available.

3) Crap structural work would hold up permits etc and cause delays. At long last... consequences.

Some of the seismic jurisdictions like California and New Zealand have already taken meaningful steps in this direction which I feel is great.

#### Quote (WARose)

As it stands now, large outfits are sending work overseas, then it's getting stamped here. The "review" clause in some states rules is allowing this.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that this is a part of my business model at the moment. I mostly do and stamp my own US work, leveraging a favorable US/CAN exchange rate. In some troublesome jurisdictions, however, I'm partnering up with others to stamp my work where needed.

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote:

In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that this is a part of my business model at the moment. I mostly do and stamp my own US work, leveraging a favorable US/CAN exchange rate. In some troublesome jurisdictions, however, I'm partnering up with others to stamp my work where needed.

But I am talking about stuff getting sent to India/China and then getting stamped here for a fraction of the cost if all the work was done here.

### RE: Consulting Section

WARose:

I both agree and disagree. I honestly have no real heartburn about someone playing by the rules but finding a way to do the work cheaper. If someone in Guangdong can design a beam just as good as I can; fine. If they provide a crap design or don't play by the rules; then I'm pissed.

In short, I don't want protectionism; that doesn't elevate our profession.

The best example of my thoughts is related to the PE/SE rules you noted. I'm all for a SE title restriction to those who have passed the 16-hour SE exam. That exam is brutal and if you pass that you know your stuff IMO. That said, I don't feel it should exclude someone who hasn't jumped through all the hoops if they can profess their skills in other ways than a title.

#### Quote (KootK)

So I'd like to see all jurisdictions legislate a mandatory, anonymous, 3rd party peer review for all structural works of any significance.

This can work; all my DOT designs undergo extensive review. Sure, sometimes I get a lazy reviewer who clearly skimmed things, but often I see them coming back with detailed comments. I highly doubt an unqualified engineer could do DOT work in my home state without getting tripped up quickly by the review process.

The trick would be twofold; selling it to the owners/contractors and making it actually a solid review process that doesn't just turn into another checkbox on the permit process (just look at how ineffective a typical code enforcement officer is). Ideally, I'd suggest that the owner would be required to hire the 3rd party inspector. Florida does this where threshold buildings (3 stories or more, or high occupancy) require a state-licensed threshold inspector to perform 3rd party inspection. It's mostly inspecting the contractor but it would be ideal to have them also be required to review the structural design as well.

Either that or implement an audit system. Similar to auditing PDH credits, have a state board audit a random design by a few randomly selected engineers.

Thoughts?

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://americanconcrete.com/

### RE: Consulting Section

I understand and expected that the India/China stuff was the crux of your comment WARose. But, truly, I am a lesser version of that same problem. So I think that it's best to just own up to that and let the chips fall where they may. Like you, I eat what I kill these days so I make use of every competitive advantage available to me. While I apologize for nothing in that regard, I do not relish the extent to which I may be souring other people's markets as other groups have soured mine.

I would love to see a day come where clients sought me out based on the merits of my engineering skill such that I could ditch the low cost angle altogether. Unfortunately, the guys that do the best job of marketing technical work are invariably the business & marketing guys. And, almost by definition, your good technical engineers rarely possess that same skill set.

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote:

I both agree and disagree. I honestly have no real heartburn about someone playing by the rules but finding a way to do the work cheaper. If someone in Guangdong can design a beam just as good as I can; fine. If they provide a crap design or don't play by the rules; then I'm pissed.

In short, I don't want protectionism; that doesn't elevate our profession.

What is going on is destroying our profession. I've seen it used as leverage even in commercial work.

How does it elevate our profession to allow this to happen? What is the point of someone getting a grad degree and a SE (both of which I did), to compete against someone who lives in a country where the cost of living isn't even a quarter of what it is here?

If ASCE can push all this stuff about raising the bar and so on.....seems to me like they could put aside some time to fix this. You can "raise the bar" all you want.....nobody will want to reach it if this isn't addressed.

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote (WARose)

What is going on is destroying our profession. I've seen it used as leverage even in commercial work.

How does it elevate our profession to allow this to happen? What is the point of someone getting a grad degree and a SE (both of which I did), to compete against someone who lives in a country where the cost of living isn't even a quarter of what it is here?

Are they actually playing by the rules, though? If someone in India gets an SE license and is designing a structure just as good as I can and leverages their cost of living then I lost not because their cost of living is lower but because mine is too high. However, if some guy in the states is offering design services to someone and is simply plan stamping a drawing their guys in India drew up then they're not playing by the rules. Even if by some quirk they are playing by the rules, then the rules should be changed.

In my home state I can legally stamp other engineering works if I verify all the work involved. I could conceivably get someone out-of-country to perform the design and drawings but I want to see detailed calculations and follow along with the design process (providing input where relevant), make changes where appropriate, go through all their work and make sure it matches work I could do. In short, the cost I save likely would be offset by the work involved to review. This is how it should be; if it's not then either the system is broken or they are not playing by the rules.

Yes, I'm sure there are big firms where they can have foreign engineering divisions who are fully licensed and they can offer a lot of quality engineering for cheap. Yes, this hurts our competitiveness if we're not leveraging this, but we live in global economy. Too many old-guard businesses are dying because people put their fingers in their ears and ignored global competition until they vanished.

The "profession" of factory work hasn't been destroyed; it simply moved. If a similar thing occurred to engineering it wouldn't destroy the profession, just relocate it. You will never stop this, you can either adapt to it or hope you retire before it comes to pass. If you recall your engineering history; France used to be the prime location of structural engineers back in the day. Did they have similar complaints when engineers from England got in on that work?

Thus, I'll find other ways to compete against that sort of business rather than price alone. I wont rely on someone setting up a wall to insulate me from the world just so I can make more money.

Edit: Sorry, WARose; I'm addressing you directly. Similar to KootK's signature, my intent it to passionately debate this. Not implying you are wrong nor implying anything against you. Hope I didn't come off as aggressive or dismissive. I value your opinion greatly.

Edit Again: Hey, I just noticed that KootK doesn't have his usual signature any more. Gave up warning people in advance KootK? :)

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://americanconcrete.com/

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote:

Are they actually playing by the rules, though?

Yes they are. (At least as they stand now.)

#### Quote:

If someone in India gets an SE license and is designing a structure just as good as I can and leverages their cost of living then I lost not because their cost of living is lower but because mine is too high. However, if some guy in the states is offering design services to someone and is simply plan stamping a drawing their guys in India drew up then they're not playing by the rules. Even if by some quirk they are playing by the rules, then the rules should be changed.

That's my point. It isn't licensed engineers in India stamping this stuff.

#### Quote:

The "profession" of factory work hasn't been destroyed; it simply moved.

Just about the same thing.

#### Quote:

If a similar thing occurred to engineering it wouldn't destroy the profession, just relocate it. You will never stop this, you can either adapt to it or hope you retire before it comes to pass.

If this happened to any other profession.....there would be hell to pay. I've seen how lawyers (for example) fight for their profession. We just get run over.

#### Quote:

If you recall your engineering history; France used to be the prime location of structural engineers back in the day. Did they have similar complaints when engineers from England got in on that work?

I don't know when "the day" was you are referring to here.....but the British have traditionally protected their professions. When the "brain drain" began to happen in the UK in the 70's/80's.....it was professional organizations in the UK who were among those advocating a tax cut. (Which happened under Thatcher.) Here, we seem to want to penalize ourselves rather than protecting the homefront.

### RE: Consulting Section

In Ireland we generally don’t find that we’re competing with China/India on our projects. However we’re constantly competing with the cowboy who’s willing to cut everyone else’s throat and it becomes a race to the bottom. Very frustrating.

Regardless, I don’t think there will ever be great money in our profession. The closer you are to the money, the more money you’ll make...and as engineers we are way down the line!

Interesting notes above about clients and what they want in an engineer. The way it is here, clients dont want the guy who can save them 5% on their steel tonnage or the guy who can shave a few kg/m by doing a fancy buckling check.. They want the guy who brings them for dinner, gets them concert tickets, gives out the expensive brandy at Christmas.. That’s the reality of business, not engineering. And unfortunately, many engineers are not great at that stuff as pointed out by Kootk above.

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote (TehMightyEngineer)

Are they actually playing by the rules, though? If someone in India gets an SE license and is designing a structure just as good as I can and leverages their cost of living then I lost not because their cost of living is lower but because mine is too high. However, if some guy in the states is offering design services to someone and is simply plan stamping a drawing their guys in India drew up then they're not playing by the rules. Even if by some quirk they are playing by the rules, then the rules should be changed.

I'll share my experience at one of the larger companies that I believe was a competitor to WARose's. Typically very early in the project bidding/negotiation process a decision would be made by the management of the company about the appropriate amount of work to be sent to an oversea's office vs. kept in the US. I've personally seen as low as 30% and as high as 90% (though it varied by project and also occasionally what the client was willing to tolerate) of the total structural work sent to oversea's offices. The work is then completed (sometimes with some level of back-and-forth between the US/Oversea's operations, sometimes with very little (if any)) and sent back to the US for review by a senior engineer/lead engineer who then stamps the work. I worked on several projects that had oversea's components and not once did I meet an engineer that was licensed in the US on the other end of the phone/emails.

Is this legal? In some states, absolutely (via the "review" clauses in state's engineering board rules). I'm likewise sure it goes on in jurisdictions where it is not legal and is either not reported or not investigated (thankfully I was never asked to take part in a project in one of these states). Should it be legal? From the perspective of every US trained and licensed engineer, I would think not - Honestly, even the company management was not very thrilled with the idea, most viewed it as inevitable and something we would have to work with or perish.

For your information, the going rate in India (for our group) was around $15/hr all-in/out-the-door for a senior engineer with at least 10 years of experience in the field. Compared to a rate of maybe around$120/hr for a similar US engineer.

### RE: Consulting Section

WARose: sounds like you're saying that the rules are permitting an unlevel playing field. In that case; I agree that the rules should be changed.

To use my factory example; I imagine other companies that kept their factories domestic decry the fact that China has lax enivronmental standards, working conditions, and so on. I agree that tariffs or subsidizing local work could be used to offset these and create a more level playing field.

In short, I believe in fair competition; if there is unfair competition then I'll be the first to decry it in our profession.

#### Quote (WARose)

I don't know when "the day" was you are referring to here

16th and 17th century. Sorry, historical anecdote about the dawn of structural engineering; not exactly a fair apples to apples.

You're right that a country as a whole has an interest in protectionism if only to prevent a "brain-drain". I'm referring specifically to the profession exclusive from a countries interests.

HuckleberryFinn: Great anecdote. I guess the only question I have is how much review actually went on? Were the senior engineers actually reviewing the work or just quickly reviewing with some amount of plan-stamping? If you can't answer this I understand.

I would entirely agree that the profession cannot sustainably continue to rely on self-policing of our profession any more. The rules are setup assuming that the threat of a board cracking down on a firm outweigh the benefits; I would highly suspect that is not the case. If these rules are being broken then the system needs to change. If there are loopholes in the rules then they need to be patched.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://americanconcrete.com/

### RE: Consulting Section

Even if you better protect engineering work (which we should IMO), that won't stop drafting from going overseas one way or the other. Don't see why engineers can't set up barriers but lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc... get to pile them sky high. I do prefer Canadian style licensure for this reason - you need some Canadian experience, references from P. Engs, and then your permission to consult to practice.

### RE: Consulting Section

I should have known better than to get sucked into this one. I find it heartbreaking but I care too intensely to look away I'm afraid.

#### Quote (TME)

Hey, I just noticed that KootK doesn't have his usual signature any more. Gave up warning people in advance KootK? :)

Yeah. As you know, the way that I go about things here tends to get me mired in a lot of conflict. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't actually enjoy that for its own sake. I'm a stereotypical Canuck in that regard. It's just the only way that I know of to get smart people to stick with me to resolution on complex issues. I'd hoped that the signature would tamp the emotionally charged situations down some but that's not been my experience at all. Since the signature didn't seem to be accomplishing anything, I came to see it as just thread clutter that would be better eliminated.

#### Quote (WARose)

What is going on is destroying our profession.

I don't disagree. To simply add to the pool of shared meaning on this, I submit the following:

1) I can only think of two ways to deal with this. One is protectionism and the other is the peer review scheme that I described above. Otherwise, I think that we in the host marketplaces simply have to accept that our graduate degrees etc were poor financial investments as they do not garner much value in a global marketplace.

2) One of the few ways in which I am "Trump-ist" is that I'm am all in favor of protectionism for host markets like the US. I think that globalism really and truly is a bust for a country like the US that effectively IS the market that it itself wishes to serve. Access to such a market is the golden goose of economics. Why you'd want to share it with a world with whom you can't compete price wise is baffling to me. Locker 'er up and keep everybody out I say, even poor KootK. It's unfair and inefficient in a global sense but, seriously, does anybody in the host marketplaces really want their standard of living averaged with that of the rest of the world? I sure don't.

3) I know of at least two top tier US firms that are outsourcing the majority of their design work and effectively giving away design for free in exchange for procuring the special inspection work that has to be done locally. My dream profession as a loss leader. In a global marketplace, you want to be damn sure that your bread and butter isn't really great two-way slab design for condos using SAFE.

4) Through some recent forensic work, I've come into direct contact with some outsourced structural engineering. The engineering work was bad to the point of being dangerous and criminal. And this was a systemic thing involving many projects, not just a one off. I am not implying that all "foreign engineers" are doing bad work. I myself am a foreign engineer much of the time. That said, we would not be discussing the truth here if we didn't acknowledge that the quality of outsourced engineering work tends to be poorer than locally executed engineering work on average. That, particularly, since quality may be a legitimate basis upon which local engineers can compete if the benefits of that quality can be demonstrated.

5) Through my experiences here on Eng-Tips, my concern for the quality of outsourced work has only grown. Taken as an average not representing the capabilities of any one individual, it is my impression that a lot of very eyebrow raising questions tend to come disproportionately from members in developing markets. Moreover, members from developing markets seem to be suffering massively from a lack of quality mentoring. I can't help but wonder if the guys who should be mentoring such engineers from the cube down the hall are really located Pittsburgh, not doing any effective mentoring at all. In this sense, outsourcing may well be doing some harm to the remote engineering community as well.

### RE: Consulting Section

If I had to generalize; I feel we're all thinking the same thing, just for different reasons.

#### Quote (KootK)

I think that globalism really and truly is a bust for a country like the US that effectively IS the market that it itself wishes to serve.

Interesting line of thought.

#### Quote (KootK)

a lot of very eyebrow raising questions tend to come disproportionately from members in developing markets

You're not alone in this observation.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://americanconcrete.com/

### RE: Consulting Section

I think mandatory peer review for anything that does not fall under prescriptive codes is a big start. The peer review engineers would need to be vetted properly, and it must be sufficiently rigorous. Calculations for unique situations, the lateral force system, and even just loading diagrams should be reviewed. They should also note anywhere additional detailing is required / would clear up uncertainties.

As mentioned above, having consequences for providing shoddy design/drawings is a must if we want to stop the race to the bottom.

### RE: Consulting Section

I once worked on a project being built in China. In accordance with Chinese policy, our company had to partner with and split the design work with a local Chinese engineering firm in order to get the job. I wonder how it would work out if other countries (such as the USA) had similar policies.

### RE: Consulting Section

#### Quote (StrucDesignEIT)

The way I look at is as long as there are incompetent contractors making welds with rebar as filler, my job is safe.

How is that exactly, that you feel safe then?

All I see is potential for getting dragged into dispute/court where to contractor tries to make a case that it's my fault either way. Even if his argument comes down to my detail/instruction/drawings wasn't clear enough, or I saw it and didn't say anything, or I didn't see it and so why didn't I see it, blah blah blah...

I am genuinely curious how you see this.

### RE: Consulting Section

I think StrucDesignEIT's comment was in reference to the out-sourcing (correct me if I'm wrong) - you can outsource the design, but when the s\$%t hits the fan on the job site, you still need an engineer to put on boots and check it out - you can't outsource that. Advancement in technology makes it easier to outsource and reduces the amount of skill required to produce adequate designs of basic structures, but I think you'll always need the engineer who doesn't mind getting his/her hands dirty and figuring out issues on site. In the interest of staying relevant and valuable in my local market, that is the kind of work I have been steering my career towards.

### RE: Consulting Section

CANPRO is correct. As long as there is shoddy work performed on site, there will be a need for competent engineers to provide solutions. Neither a computer program or an engineer 3000 miles away can take the place of an engineer that is physically present to inspect the problems and devise repairs. IMHO, the quality of work that I have seen in my market is becoming worse instead of better. This, somewhat unfortunately maybe, keeps me busy fixing other people's mistakes.

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