Structures, water, computers, languages and people (not necessarily in this order)

Why don't engineers make more money?

Engineering is a diverse field often associated with stability, but not all engineers find themselves in an affluent state. In analysing the reasons behind the varying financial statuses of engineers, it is possible to discover an interplay of factors that go beyond mere salary figures. 

1. Climbing the Salary Ladder:

I perfectly remember my early days as a rookie engineer, navigating through the intricacies of the profession. It was a slow ascent up the salary ladder. Surprisingly, my academic degrees did not seem to be the main characters in this financial drama. Also, I realized that the salary disparities among engineering disciplines and sectors were not as big as I had initially imagined. Experience and, above all, site experience took centre stage. That is why at first I tried to look older than I was, for example, by growing a beard or dressing more senior.

2. Financial Literacy is the Missing Puzzle Piece:

In the excitement of pursuing my passion for engineering, the importance of financial education was not taken very seriously into account. It was not until later in my career that I recognized the significance of business knowledge. Looking back, I wish I had understood the power of budgeting, scheduling, planning, measuring, forecasting and so on earlier in my career. 

3. The Entrepreneurial Adventure:

While dreams of creating an startup dance in many engineers' heads, diving into the business world means embracing risks. I experienced this firsthand when I decided to dive into the side gigs world and created a small company based in the UK. The startup rollercoaster's initial loop is daunting to say the least. Engineers, wired to be cautious and conservative, find it really really really hard to take the leap. I speak from my own experience.

4. Passion, Ethics and the Wealth Dilemma:

Engineers are respected for their passion, ethical commitment and societal contributions. And it is OK. But this sometimes leads them away from the race for top-paying positions. People less skilled, but with much more ambition than me, have ended up managing my work. That position could have been mine, for sure. Striking a balance between vocation and grow is the unsolved equation for many engineers.

In conclusion,  reflecting on my own experiences, the financial status of engineers is a multifaceted outcome shaped by a combination of salary dynamics, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and personal values. Understanding these factors can help engineers make better decisions. 

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