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Monday, March 19, 2007

Civil Engineering Sucks...

The frequency to which I am updating my entries to this blog is probably a testament to how much longer it will be sustained, after all, actions(or rather the lack of) speak louder than words. Just thought I'll sneak in this entry and clear abit of cobwebs.

For the past few years, I have been living in disgruntle from some wrong decisions which I have made. Mainly the Civil Engineering Degree which I have taken. To start with, all the promised talks about having value-add that an engineer can give to the society and whatever pitch talks of "The best goes to civil", turn out to be blatant lies from my first pay cheque as a civil engineer to the turn of tide of the popularity of my discipline.

While my peers in Finance industry can probably predict a 5 figure salary in 2,3 years time, I see experienced "PROFESSIONAL" engineers struggling to hit 7,8k. You can't blame society for that. People in finance, bring in the money directly. Engineers do not bring in the money for you. Engineering is all about safety, which equates cost, hints liability. People don't pay you for saving their lives when they aien't dead yet but you don't mind giving you a slice of the pie if you can make them richer directly.

And one more thing which I feel I should do for society and namely, kiddos still in school. Spread the word, engineering sucks as a career. Please, unless you are some academic geek who wouldn't mind having your fortune capped by some research fund, I advise you to ply your trade elsewhere.

All I know for myself, is that I always have a hunger to succeed, although I have been pretty lost for the past few years. And I intend to do something about it. How I will go about doing it, I don't intend to disclose at this point in time. I may not be guaranteed success, but it sure beat rotting under the piece of toilet paper has "Bachelor in Civil & Strutural Engineering" on it.

Pui!

P.S. On hindsight, the tone above seems pretty strong. But rest assure, I am typing this entry without much of an expression on my face. Its simply something on my mind that has been around when I graduated 4 years ago. Just thought, now that I'm planning a move into another stage of my life, I'll just throw this out once and for all, never to look back again.

76 Comments:

At 8:20 AM, Blogger JayD said...

Hey, whilst googling "engineering sucks" I came across your blog. As I disgruntled electrical engineering specialized in telecommunications I can empathize. My conclusion afer 5 years of real engineering is that unless you are an uber geek who enjoys modelling stuff OR you are an uber aggressive business type OR you are a really good software designer who happens to know the latest coding language of the year, you are screwed. Better money is made in business or finance. Also, it seems the "interesting" engineering work goes to those with MASc's... just an observation. I am currently trying to figure out how I can get away from doing R&D work and move into customer facing work. An MBA or finance degree wouldn't look so bad at this point either, assuming one didn't need to go into debt to get it... sigh. Whatever you end up doing, good luck.

 
At 7:23 AM, Blogger Art said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger N Harold said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger N Harold said...

I also came across your blog while googling "engineering sucks". That fact there are multiple people googling that phrase says something about the career. I've been a civil engineer for about 5 years and I've completely regretted it for about 4 years. Why I chose this worthless degree I will never understand. I should have been a lawyer, I should have gone to med school, I should go work on a line in a factory. Bottom line; the school is harder than most majors, the pay sucks, everyone hates you, and all anyone tells you in the profession is how you're "protecting the public" blah blah blah. No one cares... pay me.

 
At 5:41 AM, Blogger Xosé Manuel Carreira said...

I am civil engineer and I am quite satisfied. Of course, being an engineer involves a lot of work, but I knew this before getting enroled and I am passionate about structures, water, computing, local development and such.

Probably you are in the wrong field because it seems you are not passionate about your profession. I know that if I had a degree in finance (which is easier than a master in civil engineering) I would make a bit more money but it would require also a lot of working hours and a lot boring tasks from my point of view. I ignore the situation in East Asia but in France, Italy or Spain, civil engineering is not a bad job. If you only care about money you just need to buy a ticket to Dubai.

 
At 3:53 AM, Blogger Jake said...

Engineering does suck. I am a mechanical engineering and I have been in the field now for 3 years. I have worked for three different companies in that time and have yet to find an interesting or intriguing aspect to engineering.

The pay is horrible, every company expects you to work 50 hours a week, you are expected to work weekends to keep up with deadlines, and did I mention the pay is horrible?

I have decided to leave the engineering and science field and pursue a more rewarding career. Sitting in front of a CAD terminal all week, day after day just is not what I am looking for in a career.

I could go on for hours about my gripes with engineering as a profession and how companies do not appreciate engineers, but to keep this post short I will sum up that.....engineering sucks as a profession.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Dute said...

I graduated with a First class in 2005 Civil engineering in UK.My friends who could qulify for the Beng took accounts and business admin instead...They graduated with second classes...The sad thing is that they are getting 5 times my salary...their pay affords them to live not this paltry pay i get...They even earn more than 3times the guys who have ten yeras in engineering industry...Imagine the best student not being able to buy a drink for a GF...It really sucks...feel like crying...

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger Dute said...

I graduated with a First class in 2005 Civil engineering in UK.My friends who could not qualify for the BEng took accounts and business admin instead...They graduated with second classes...The sad thing is that they are getting 5 times my salary...their pay affords them to live not this paltry pay i get...They even earn more than 3times the guys who have ten yeras in engineering industry...Imagine the best student not being able to buy a drink for a GF...It really sucks...feel like crying...

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger Rustin H. Wright said...

Damn. Somebody should show this to all the legislators who say that they're effectively working to get more people in the U.S. to go into technical fields.

Me? I dropped out of engineering school, studied economics for a while, dropped out again, and went into the tech support->consulting-> IT Director career path, had a blast at first, and then got bored with that as the field got routinized and the downsides of being an IT director for big companies began to get to me. And, trust me, I was under far heavier pressure to put in long hours than most of the engineers I knew. We're not even going to get into the halflife of such a skillset.

I'm not so sure what you're talking about is so true unless you only consider a job with a huge firm to be a "real job". And in my experience, that is what most engineers mean when they say "I can't get a decent job". What they mean is: "I can't get a job with all the perks of a huge staid institution, from regular working hours to solid benefits AND all the benefits of a computer industry job, with cool titles, glamourous work, and sky-high salaries."

TANSTAAFL, boys and girls.

You want "cool" work that pays well? Spend a few years living on ramen and build expertise in cob construction, AAC, strawbale, and process engineering aspects of greywater systems and you'll be guaranteed work for the next ten years, at least. Or maybe do lightrail infrastructure work. "Grey to Green" is becoming a golden field, in every sense. Get a few friends together and create a firm that consults on something like use of smart materials. Either way, you'll need to work your ass off to get to the sweet spot. And stay vigilant to stay there. That's how most white collar jobs work in a capitalist society, even one as corporate warped as ours.

 
At 2:39 AM, Blogger Karrar said...

You people seem to forget studying engineering. No doubt that business jobs pay more than engineering jobs in the long run. CFA's are 6 figures. But studying engineering sucks too. Spend long hours reading a useless Physics book that teaches you nothing that can be used in real life. OK WE ALL KNOW THAT A BALL FALLS IF WE LET GO, HOW MANY PAGES DO YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN THAT? Not to mention the useless math, triple integration; you wont find that at the cashiers. Whereas business students don't study, party all day, and after a few years get payed more than engineering.

PS I also googled engineering sucks and for anyone who is thinking about switching from engineering, grab your balls that you left down the hall and just DO IT.

 
At 11:55 PM, Blogger Jared said...

I completed my Civil Engineering degree with honors in 2006. One of the courses required for an engineering degree is Engineering Economics. After analyzing the cost to obtain a degree in Civil Engineering compared to the actual salary, it is easy to see that it is a very bad investment. Take Engineering Economics first and run the numbers. If I had I would have changed my major.

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Alicia said...

I'm just unhappy with being a female civil engineer. I love design and construction management, but feel like I am a glorified secretary. I'm tired of being given projects and then having them taken away and given to a male engineer when it comes to the actual design part.

Also, You spend four years as an Engineer Intern but no one will teach you anything. I've worked for two companies and all the Professional Engineers are too busy to actually teach you how to be an engineer. So far all my learning has been from the sink or swim method.

 
At 3:49 AM, Blogger Alicia said...

Another thing that has me a bit jaded with the industry, every Professional Engineer I've met or worked for thinks every other engineer is "stupid" and everything they design is a bad design. I'm so tired of it.

I think the world would be a much better place if we all helped each other out instead of being at each others throats all the time.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Ctoke said...

I agree engineering SUCKS. For you engineering students, GET OUT NOW !!!!!!!!!!!! Yes - you start out at a good salary, but 5 yrs down the road the lazy business majors are making twice what you do. If you insist on becoming an engineer, do it for 2 years, then get a high powered MBA - then get into investment management/analysis/Wall Street. Do NOT stay in engineering as a career - you will regret the shitty pay.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Drew said...

Engineering does suck. I am in third year Structural Engineering with one year to go. I am miserable. In the four years of my degree I'll earn 25 credits and and only 1.5 of those are optional. It is so incredibly boring that my head caves into what appears to be a black hole. We work our asses off for nothing. Assignments generally take four hours and are worth about 0.5%. We have them every week. Six of them, one in each course (or labs depending on the week). It's concrete, steel, and dirt.... why?

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Little English said...

Well I was debating whether to go into business or engineering.. I guess this blog all but solidifies my decision.. lol

 
At 4:21 AM, Blogger Mary said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

engineering sucks for you because you aren't good at writing.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger John said...

What goes good writing have to do with civil engineering? I believe getting the stress and deflection calculaions correct is more important than being punctual on a blogging site.

 
At 10:35 PM, Blogger banquet manager said...

I just wrote a comment about my engineering department on my blog, So You Want To Be a Banquet ManagerRead about it here.
http://soyouwanttobeabanquetmanager.blogspot.com/2009/05/engineering-department-sucks.html

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger Mia said...

I am a white male, Purdue mechanical engineering graduate. I am in debt up to my eyeballs, I hate my job, and my boss pays me peanuts (made 62k last year, which in Seattle is the equivalent of a position in fast food). To summarize, these are the things I will never get to do because of my chosen line of work: 1.) own a home, 2.) raise a family, 3.) see the world, 4.) be respected as a professional, 5.) purchase a brand new car. The list is just too long and painful to continue. Seriously, I live hand to mouth which means I can't afford to save for retirement. I'll have to work until I'm dead. Engineering, day in and day out until I'm dead. Suck! Can't go back to school (thanks to Sallie Mae) and I can't declare bankruptcy on my loans (thanks to Bush). I am soooooo screwed! Retirement pretty much equals suicide. Awesome. I don't remember anyone telling me this during orientation. Well, at least we have the "death with dignity" law here in Washington now. Think I'll sign up on account of being an engineer. It's terminal, is it not?

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Rikuakutenshi said...

Well, John, Daniel is probably on the mark. In the school all you learn is maths, but in the field, all you do is manage people and write reports. writing is up in the top three skills engineers use.

as for the other people... jesus! if you were only in the profession for the pay, then quit your bitching and get out! my dad used his 120K salary to justify his long and early hours and 5 day weeks away from his family for 20 years. way too proud to ever change his career.

if your salary is a deal-breaker, admit you were wrong, get out of the industry after the uni fees are paid up, and pick a job you're going to LIKE. don't f*ck around half complaining and never doing anything about it for years, comparing your salaries to finance students.

i found this site googling 'engineers suck'. because i'm surrounded by short-sighted drips in my degree.

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Siddharth said...

I came across this site while searching for Civil Engineer blog. I totally agree. I am in India. Civil Engineering sucks. No decent salary. No family life. You work in the sun. No AC. Work for 12 hours a day. No Sundays. It really sucks.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger AD said...

I am here by searching google "Civil Engineer + Blog" and your blog in first page. Congratulations!

I am a civil engineer a nd just build a blog. Could you spend some minute visit my site and give me your advice and comments.

Thanks in advance.

My site at http://civilengineersite.com just few weeks old.

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger sherly said...

You gave shown the reality. Thanks for such nice post. civil engineering services

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger sachin said...

you are so right... it sucks big time. I am an environmental engineer, I liked this field until I was in school.The moment I started my job, I realized that THIS FIELD IS dry and boring and full of assh----.With my salary I have to work for 100 years to buy a small house.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I have gone through this blog. I found it very interesting and helpful. Nowadays I am completing my engineering and management courses only.
And this blog really doing great for me. This blog also offers me more ideas and advices concerned to my career.


engineering and management courses

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger Huang said...

Like some fellow posters above, I found this blog by googling the 'magic words'.

Despite the blogger's post being about 3 years old, I still think the pointers given regarding civil engineering (or engineering in general) still apply today (2010).

I'm currently studying Civil Engineering in NUS and find every moment of it a torture. Calculations, calculations and more calculations. Not to mention endless nights of mugging as well. Textbooks are hardly enjoyable reading material. Taking an Arts module is always a welcome change and an avenue for me to regain my sanity.

I guess engineering isn't really for everyone.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger joancasilo said...

I have gone through this blog. I found it very interesting and helpful. Nowadays I am completing my Engineering Course.
And this blog really doing great for me. This blog also offers me more ideas and advices concerned to my career.


Engineering & Management Courses

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Unstable said...

Good Article Man! I read this a few days ago and it took me a while to digest your points and look at the situation for myself. As a graduate Student in Engineering (IE) I'll hit the job market with about $65,000/year, and over the course of a career (assuming I don't move into management) I'll be happy to bring in $90,000. I too have many buds who went into finance, usually financial advising, and with a BS they are already raking it in like you wouldn't believe. I think you are spot on with your observations about the value stream - engineering in many forms is a nonvalue added process and thus it's an 'indirect' cost. On the other hand, all my financial advisor friends hit the market working 90+ hour weeks, they worked hard for their 100 Grand..

Either ways, good post.

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger rob1987 said...

At least most of you are getting jobs in the field, I am one subject of Graduation with a BENG in Australia and I can’t even get a job. I have sent my resume etc and applied for about 52 jobs thus far and no one will even give me a chance. My GPA is high, I have been told my communication skills are good and I was one of the top in my class. I have asked quite a few people what I am doing wrong and it seems that there is no explanation other than after years of hard working studying you get royally screwed with the phrase “you don't have enough experience". I can’t even get a job in a graduate engineering technologist position. It seems that companies somehow expect people to finish University with at least two years experience in the engineering field.

Now that’s why I am question whether I have done the right thing by taking a Civil engineering degree and drowning myself in debt and why my passion has become hatred. Thus I think that the engineering profession is simply summed up “engineering suck” as suggest by many prior to me finding this site.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Nick said...

First, I am ashamed to say that I found your blog site by typing in the phrase "jobs for disgruntled civil engineers". Second, I'm in the U.S., and a licensed Civil Engineer with nearly 20 years of experience. The sentiments posted on your blog are not any different on this side of the pond...sadly. I personally am sick and tired of the long hours, "feast or famine" project logs, being underpayed and underappreciated,fired for being honest and ethical, working for idiots and/or "politicians" that the career field affords. Unlike most of the commenters to your blog, I recognized during the first several months of my first job that something wasn't right. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to change it...wish I had, though. I warn any propspective college student that the career is more paper-pushing, permit chasing, butt-kissing crap than anything that resembles "engineering" as we have been taught it to be. Further, once you are labeled an "engineer", forget trying to get an MBA to do something else. I've had many friends that tried that, and have been disparagingly unsuccessful at changed their identity. I thought being self-employed might change things. Not so. I still can't seem to find the work that I want to do, or as much of it as I need to pay my bills. Further, I am lucky to be able to get the scraps that fall from the table of the big firms, with their well-paid marketing strategists and SOQs that look more like travel brochures than anything to do with civil engineering. I'm even more sick of having those same firms offer me peanuts to be their slave: Te best offer? I would have 6 months to design and permit approximately 330 plan & profile sheets for a 24-mile long, 24 inch water pipeline, I would have 2 "helpers" with no real experience with water lines and no direct supervisory authority over them, all for less benefits and $6,000 US less than the job that I currently had was paying. At some point, you just have to laugh...otherwise you'll just go insane. Thanks for giving me a place to vent!

Regards,

Nick from California

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Adrian said...

I've been a civil engineering tech with 2 yr degree and slowly getting the the BS degree for 13 years. Many years ago I was already doing all of the site design, stormwater mgmt, specs for development jobs while my bosses did the same, all trying to keep up with insane deadlines. 5 yrs ago went to the public sector reviewing plans in planning dept., then to producing plans in the engineering dept. (fire stations, libraries, river flood reduction, bla bla bla. Thanks to the downturn it's been just sidewalks the past couple years which is drying up. I've never really been happy, though I've been getting paid generally what degreed engineers get, which totally sucks still. My neighbors are all renters, drunks, and govt check collectors sitting on the porch everyday hollaring at each other, and here am I asking myself, how is it I was blessed to be so smart and I'm living near this trash?? The answer? Engineering! Crazy deadlines, assh&^$ contractors, bosses and clients. Everyone really does hate you. This semester I have signed up for some computer science courses. I have two IT brothers that barely have high school diplomas pulling down more than me, and they mostly play video games all freakin day. I figure if I'm educated in the field and really working, maybe there is some potential, and WAY less $%&holes like CONTRACTORS <- they will ruin you!

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger mannyval said...

I don't think I can sympathize on that statement of the author. As far as I know, Civil engineering is among of the most essential field in the area of Engineering.

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At 5:46 AM, Blogger Wizzle said...

Seems like you picked it for the wrong reasons. So did I. My mentor in life did it his entire life, so I thought it would be a good choice for me... I was very very very wrong, and have hated engineering and life ever since. Anyways, best of luck to those that can change and make the most out of their experiences.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger green grace said...

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At 5:29 PM, Blogger meadows said...

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At 3:54 PM, Blogger Oil and Gas Jobs Offshore said...

Engineering is a great profession. There is the satisfaction of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realisation in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer's high privilege.
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At 11:38 AM, Blogger John K. said...

Chemical engineering salaries suck. I've a master's in Chem E with abt 20 years experience and salaries are basically around the 50K/yr. This is due to the ease with which these jobs can be outsourced and foreign nationals brought in to do engineering work.

 
At 7:43 AM, Blogger Dilbert said...

I am a chemical engineering student. The reason I chose this rigorous major is because I prefer math and science homework over any other kind of homework, and I also desire a decent job in the field.

Is there something I'm missing here? The way I look at it is you should do what you love, and if you love wiping s**t off the floor at a fast food joint you should get a liberal arts degree. If you want to work to work the deep frier you may need to go to law school.

grow some balls you stupid engineers

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger ARC now said...

I agree with the intent of the article. But there is some fine thing about engineering(has to be or we engineers will go insane !) I think the best thing engineering teaches is well, creativity,, now that you have identified pretty well that you are dissatisfied about the profession, you can be creative enough to search a good path out of it or do something new, i think the engg skills will help here. Whether you study for MBA or open a new DIY store or write software, you will use the energies to your advantage. Use that creativity that engineering afforded you to your advantage & do something. Chances are you will be successful...

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger icmpackers said...

The Packers have lots of owners nobody knows instead of one owner who doesn't know squat.Packer & movers!!

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

I'm so sick of engineering and I'm not even out in the field yet. I'm a mechanical engineering student in the 2nd semester of my junior year. I am so damn bored and overworked. I picked this major because I thought engineering was for bright and imaginative people. Perhaps it still is, but school certainly does not foster these beliefs. All the assignments feel so contrived and rarely require any creativity. Literally all I ever do is study, which wouldn't be so bad if I actually enjoyed the course work. But I struggle to find any enjoyment in the assignments. The work is so cut and dry with very little emphasis on actual design. I can only hope it gets better upon graduation, but this blog post and the subsequent responses are less than encouraging.

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi there,

I'm in my second year of studying Civil Engineering at Imperial College London (Best place in Europe to study civ eng).

I have never hated something so much in my entire life. I have even considered taking anti-depressants even though before uni I used to be an extremely happy character. If you are considering studying this at university, I would like to advise you to do more research first. Do Economics 101 first to realise why a engineering degree is a terrible investment.

Don't do civil engineering, go be a doctor. Anything. Don't do civ eng, for the love of god.

Tom

 
At 5:18 AM, Blogger , said...

Australian Eng grad. I did Civil for a bit, got out (could see in advance the poor pay council job working tech for shit pay). I transferred into petroleum eng and graduated. So many companies expect you to have 2years of work under your belt as a graduate very tough to get an initial start. I have also come to the Delmer that the work load/income is not sufficient (especially when you start stripping down taxes etc) so people will be passionate enough to want to do hard tech work for free to prove they are smart, i don't really get it at all? I do have an interesting job lined up that involves exotic travell (not great pay though) so I am willing to see how it goes save some money and perhase start my own buisness down the line if this Carrier is not for me. I feel so sorry for you Americans that had to get bank loans and now have no further options. In hindsite I do love/hate the degree, I missed out on travel oportunities and being able to live through my early 20's have had carear anxiety during my mid 20s and will probably be working/saving to get myself onto a path I will enjoy until my early 30's. I have done a lot of research of jobs in the last year since I graduated (i know should have researched more prior, but really is quite difficult when your 17 and just finishing highschool). I personally would recomend trying to start your own buisness around what you like to do. 1. you get to do what you love 2. your salary does potentially have no cap 3. you get to be proud of creating something yourself. good luck to everyone who f'ed up doing an eng degree, remember its never to late to try do what you love. I'll post back here in 6months and tell you how the job is going.

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger abbadi_882 said...

I am a civil engineer and I think it's the worst decision that I had made in my life,, I've worked in couple of companies, the first one "zero cash $" up to now and the second one closed since there's no work and project so that they will have an enough cash in, so they TERMINATED ME :)

Also my normal duty hours in 1st company was from 6 A.M to 6 P.M unless there's any emergency work maybe will takes up to 9 P.M or 10 P.M ( I'm a Civil Engineer :D ).
and the 2nd company was from 8 A.M up to 6 P.M because it was an Engineering consultancy company.
No doubt that the finance or marking employee those working in a Bank start from 8 A.M to 2 P.M with little headache works away from the heavy and dangerous sun light,

SO BE PROUD YOU ARE SUCH AN ENGINEER

 
At 11:18 PM, Blogger John K. said...

The problem is not the math, it's that "as an effort to promote scientists, the US gives an automatic green card to every overseas candidate a company wants to bring here. Also in an effort to encourage scientific development in other countries the US Gov't outsources a lot of technical engineering.

Thus even with a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering and significant industry experience, you'll find it very hard to earn much $ as it's better to outsource all technology overseas. In India a PhD Chemical Engineer is $2.50 /hr. That's 5K per year. Try to live off of that here in the US and still have a car and commute into work!

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Daniel Kelley said...

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At 12:36 AM, Blogger Jennifer Cyd said...

20 years as a mechanical engineer; and, I believe that my girlfriend that was school bus driver actually had a better life. Engineering is the epitome of being under-valued, long hours, endless paperwork, snake-pit politics... Every professional engineer I know would rather being doing something else; but, they got to a point where it's the only way they knew how to keep up your expenses. Be brave - start your own business. I have - MUCH HAPPIER!

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger John K. said...

Replying to JayD

Actually I am an uber Geek who owns his own CFD modeling company and I actually enjoy modeling stuff. Have an advanced degree in Chemical Engineering, undergrad in Chemistry, and worked 3 years for a guy who won the Nobel Award in Chemistry.

However the reason engineering sucks is that my market is flooded with very cheap competition. I think it may be the US Govt who believes that to stimulate engineering we have to import as many foreign engineers as possible. Look at the TV the next time there's an engineering disaster: you'll see they hire some engineering professor with grad students to do the work. Why not hire a professional engineering firm? Look at the next big lawsuit like OJ Simpson. Did they hire law school students to keep costs down?

I can't begin to list the projects I bid where I'd end up making $30/hr (gross) but lost either to new engineers coming into the US with Govt sponsored green cards or to Universities. Tho I love doing the modeling it's hard to make ends meet. The going rate for professional chemical engineers was $1.59/hr. That's $3,180. per year to hire a very dedicated advanced degree chemical engineer, although this was in 2008 and prices have undoubtedly risen.

 
At 3:34 AM, Blogger AniccaEng said...

I have and continue to be a consulting civil engineer for 20 years. It has been a very hard and rewarding career so far. I have won awards, led large teams, worked for international companies to tour the world and fulfill a childhood ambition to build big beautiful buildings. It affords me a salary from 2 to 5 times the national average. I have done my share of 80 hour weeks for 18 months straight and after burn out now limit myself to 30 hours per week over four days. On reflection I can only think that civil engineers will be valued when demographically growing countries need to develop infrastructure (eg India/china) or when engineer supply is limited (but Contractors and engineering national societies will never let this happen). BUT compare to lawyers with 80% emotional/depression rates and financiers loosing jobs as the age of cheap money coming to a close I'm thinking of becoming a farmer and doing the engineering just for fun on Tuesdays and wednesdays........ I try to remember not to take life too seriously: its not permanent ;)

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger AniccaEng said...

I forgot to mention that I believe with the exponentially growing power and connectivity between design packages that engineers aren't really needed for the design grunt work. Increasingly design teams will be smaller and more frequently located in 'high value centers' like India/Vietnam/Indonesia with Eng PMs to interface with the home based clients. I suspect demand for civil / structural engineers will be muted for a decade or so more until the next wave financial passes through.....

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Jazib said...

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At 7:10 AM, Blogger mufc689908 said...

Hello there!

I'm currently in my second year of a civil engineering course at Sheffield (4th best in UK?), and cannot emphasize exactly how much I hate this degree with a passion.

There are people doing medicine who go out almost every night and still manage to breeze through exams with a months revision beforehand, meanwhile all of the engineers are slaving away to keep up with what is expected of us.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel, as the average civil starting salary is around £25k (Average graduate salary around £30K), and even that is after what seems like thousands of rejections from engineering firms - meanwhile the 'mickey mouse' medics are guaranteed a job of around £60k upon passing.

My current aim is to switch from my MEng course to a BEng course, and then (hopefully, and with a bit of luck) pursue a career in actuary.
I genuinely feel sorry for engineers that are realising the truths about the profession at a stage too late, but even your comments on sites like this have opened my eyes to the reality - and I thank you!

Genuinely cannot advise anything more than avoiding this degree at all costs, and when you are shown the interesting landslides and structural collapses on open days do not fall for it, IT IS BORING AS FUCK, HARD AS FUCK, AND PAYS FUCK ALL.

Kind Regards,
Someone who is avoiding engineering so they haven't committed suicide aged 22

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger Grace Li said...

LOL

just one more rant from me.
I was from National university of Singapore studied electrical engineering.
HARD AS FUCK.
teaching qualities SUCKS,
school fees EXPENSIVE.
and I don't have passion in it.
Everyday I just wish a car can run over with so I can get done living.

then I quit school.
better than suicide still.


LOL

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger Nexus said...

The Bluetooth modules provide a platform to quickly and safely go into production with competitive and advanced features.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger ryan said...

I honestly feel bad for everyone in this thread. I was a civil engineering student until the end of my sophomore year. I had a couple labs and one I really remember was the fluid mechanics lab. IT SUCKED. I remember HATING doing that kind of work and couldn't imagine doing that kind of stuff on a larger more in depth scale every day for my job. That is when I thought about what else I could do.

The reason I went into engineering was because I liked math and was pretty good at it. I went to the math department to see what I could do with a math degree and they mentioned ACTUARY. Wasn't sure what it was but I took some classes on it and found it to be a good combination of interesting and challenging. The actuary exams are the hard part of the career. So far I have finished my bachelors in Math and passed actuary exams P,FM, and MFE. No job yet but I'm excited for the day when I do land one. I can honestly say I have a passion for the crazy intense math and puzzles involved in the exams and I feel a lot better with where i'm at right now as compared to being in the engineering field.

All of my friends who were in engineering with me have low paying jobs in pretty shitty cities and they hate their lives. I really feel bad for them cause they were cool dudes but unfortunately went too deep into engineering until there was no turning back. Glad I got out just in the nick of time to branch off into a more satisfying field for myself. Would encourage everyone else to do the same before its too late.

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Tuhin Mazharul Islam said...

civil engineering is the disgusting sector of engineering in terms of salary against gross workload and environment.at the time of studying i was so upset, that i regret and want to come back home.But my parents gave me consent and told me to stay 1 year longer, just try to adjust.Alas, i have just done it, but it seems for the way of bad not good, not good at all
regards
tuhin

 
At 4:34 AM, Blogger civil eng in jhb said...

Im a civil engineer in Johannesburg South Africa. My training was fantastic snd loved my job since i started 25 years ago.....until 2010. Work has dried up since our World Cup and mining sector has collapsed. Clients especially public sector are useless. Then we had the big internationals like hatch, aecom, worley parsons, motts etc coming in and buying up anyone stupid enough to take their money. The profession is destroyed. Cheap competition, feast or famine - it all sounds too familiar. The only work to be had is below cost. Oh im in senior management by way. I earn good money but for how much longer i dont know. I hate going to work for the past 5 years.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger kavya vr said...

Well I've one more year to complete my degree in civil engineering and I'm really filled with stupid thoughts about my future. I don't understand most of my subjects now whereas in school, I was the most brilliant girl in class. I feel like mentally retarded and an idiot now. I really know I'm wasting my papa's money. Feeling so distressed. What I do like is to watch movies and serials. I'm losing my confidence and my smile everyday. I wish my days would be so much different than what I'm having now.

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger fizbobunny said...

Hang in there Kavya VR! A lot of us feel that way towards the end. Being an engineer is nothing like school was.

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger kavya vr said...

yeah! @fizbobunny

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Julius said...

i'm so glad i'm not the only one! i just graduated with my bachelor's degree in civil engineering last june, jumped right into a full time transportation engineering job at a very large consulting firm, and found out i absolutely HATED it! i think it took me so long to figure it out because i really like learning new things, so the classes in college never bothered me. but when i got to the real world and it was all about efficiency and over-working, the field lost all of it's appeal. not to mention i went into the wrong profession for someone who hates contributing to overdevelopment and urban sprawl. i left my job after only a couple months and totally changing my career path.

some of the things i have hated the most about engineering have been the long hours (45 to 50 hours a week, pretty much no free time) and all the time just spent staring at a computer screen. not to mention the cutthroat depressed atmosphere of the people working at my company.

lastly, i want to tell future prospective engineers about the level of "creativity" that engineering requires. when i was in high school and college, i subconciously thought that engineering required the kind of creativity that artists and architects have. i thought that engineers would be able to be creative with whatever they were designing. i have since discovered that this idea was flat out wrong. in the engineering work i have experienced, engineers really don't have much room for creativity in what they design. if anything, the type of creativity engineers use is creativity in how they deal with bullshit from developers, politicians, architects, etc. to try to give the client what they want. for example, in road design, i initially thought that in most projects, i would be able to design the road however i wanted. it was only once i started working that i realized that there are right-of-way restrictions, speed limit restrictions, and developer plans that pretty much decide 80% of the design and that my main task was to just check to see if the road would be safe and would comply with all the legal regulations. there really wasn't any chance for me to actually design the road the way i thought i would be able to. just something i discovered that i wanted to share with you all.

anyway, good luck to you all in finding more fulfilling careers! i myself am going to pursue a land surveyong career so i can at least be outside more and not be on a computer all day! :)

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger xele fonte said...

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At 1:57 AM, Blogger xele fonte said...

Wow I thought I was the only one. But, I hate engineering more than all of you combined. I graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering in 2008 (worst possible time) from Illinois State University and had one measly design internship (that was useless for industry work and more correlated with academia) prior to my graduation. In 5 years after graduating, I had a total of 5 interviews (despite applying everywhere everyday) and 3 jobs (two internships). The first was short-term that paid $20/hour, a much easier degree nursing can start around $30/hour with lots of overtime to make $70-$80k/year. Next, I had a city internship, $11/hour with only 20 hours a week, I couldn't even pay rent. I was a grad student broke as hell and I felt like I hit rock bottom. Worse of all, I had the devil-wears-prada boss from hell so I ended up quitting after a few months. My first permanent job paid exactly $50k/year in San Francisco. It was a good job but I felt abysmal purchasing power renting a room and sleeping on a frameless mattress wondering about my job security. I did it for the experience, but felt more opportunistic than ever for something better. That job led to another and I'm now making $62 about 8 years after I graduated with a BS. My sister just got her B.S. in Nursing in 2015 and makes $96k. It's almost depressing having a Master's degree in such a rigorous field of Civil Engineering but making so little. Maybe, I should have gotten my P.E. license even though engineering has robbed me of all the ambition I had as a young engineering student. I've felt completely demoralized and reluctant to look at any engineering text. As a student, I was very studious and diligent, studying when everyone else was partying convinced it would pay-off, but today I feel more empty than ever. I HATE engineering with a passion. I don't care about other engineering fields like software that might be living a high life...or other Civil Engr students who've had a great experience. I've had a completely miserable one. Sure, it could be worse; I could be unemployed. I've managed to save $160,000 net worth (401K included) in 3.5 years mostly due to living ridiculously frugal. I can't see myself working as an engineer much longer, I hate the uninspiring work I do. Vast majority of it is not engineering and I only do it for the money. My passion was lost 6 years ago when I realized engineering is a total farce. You have all the burden without any pleasure. Everyone thinks you're so rich because of the glamorous title "engineer", and they aren't aware of circumstantial reality. It becomes negative attention when friends expect you to pay for everything (like the generous tipper in the movie, Waiters). Most of us are just middle-class and far from wealthy. Not all engineers are compensated appropriately and all engineers have different experiences with their career. Maybe, I'm in the worst case scenario with experience in my career, but I doubt it. It's unfathomable that the ACTUAL career is more dreadful than the 6-7 years of studying it. It's a pretentious career path where 80% never use their degree, and you have all the theoretical knowledge in the world with little practical skills that make you better off and more handy had you been a plumber. Engineering school provides very little real world skills and absolutely no education on things that DO MATTER like finances, health and social skills. This is why so many engineers are 1-dimensional and/or end up in heavy debt. This is supposed to be a career that empowers you but only leads to attrition. There are many reasons I despise my decision to study engineering, from job market to loss of ambition and psychological effects (yes engineering students can have PTSD) to negative attention to rigorous educational requirements to low wages/underpaid careers to incredibly tedious work, but all could be summarized with WORST COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS, all the hard work without paying off! It feels good to vent lol.

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger Evan Wright said...

Thanks a lot for this honest review... It really does helps a lot
environmental engineering

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 1:10 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Rick Pedraza said...

You still have time to go back and study something else if you really want to. 4 years from now will still come if you go back to school or not.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Rick Pedraza said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
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At 12:03 PM, Blogger hotgayno1 said...

Civil engineering is worst in case you want to do job. But for civil businessmen its good. In civil engineering there is so much boot licking and politics at work. I dont hate the job but I hate how these low level people torture you. They think we are earning because of them. And some are extremely arrogant and illiterate. To add to that your seniors support these low level employees and torture you more. I have straight away complained to my vice precident about this but the answer is we will work on it. But those guys get on my nerves. Those rats. They want to make sure our life is miserable beyond tolerance. And to add to that they influence labour class to act against us. And in all its horrible. I am thinking of doing own business even if I have to sell samosas and wada pao. But really freaked off of my job. And I just don't know why my profile name is hotgayno1. That's irritating beyond point. Any admins of this blog please explain why my profile is named hotgayno1? I am already having a bad time

 
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At 5:57 PM, Blogger Baskar J said...

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At 3:25 PM, Blogger Justin said...

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