They say money can’t buy happiness, but even a little more of the green stuff would make most engineers a bit more cheerful — that is if the results of this 2007 global engineering salary survey are any indication. (Note – you’ll need to register to view the full report.)
American engineers bring home the biggest paycheck ($90K vs $69K for their European counterparts, and that’s in dollars, mind you!). They also seem to be reasonably satisfied with their careers. Some two thirds of American engineers report being very or somewhat satisfied with their engineering careers — that’s similar to the results we saw when I worked on Design News magazine. But even so, that’s still a lot of unhappy campers. And no wonder. Engineering is a difficult curriculum in school, and the career path is typically less financially rewarding than, say, that of law or business. Engineers are also typically more vulnerable to their jobs being made redundant in an economic downturn and in recent years many have watched their own career opportunities narrow as more and more design functions move off-shore. OTOH, most engineers I know definitely didn’t go into it for the money. They talk a lot more about how fun it is to solve problems and how much they groove on the technical challenges. And you know what? They’re some of the happiest people I know.