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Engineers Feel Underpaid And Overworked

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 4:04pm
Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D

Manufacturing.net's sister publication, PD&D, recently asked engineers industry-plaguing questions centered on the OEM industry’s cogs, the engineers. As technology continues to move faster than Moore’s law predicted, and unlike the rest of the world who can sit and enjoy the fruits of technological splendor, engineers are required to keep pace with the changing landscape.

The commonality of high-end computers that fit in your pocket (or smaller stashing locations), puts a strain on both the understanding of technological research and the commercialization of these technologies.

View: Infographic: Are Engineers Really Qualified?

So, how qualified are engineers, or rather, how qualified do they feel? The survey results tell the suspected tale that engineers feel underpaid and overworked, but perhaps more importantly engineers feel qualified to engineer.

Nearly six percent of the engineers surveyed said that they felt extremely overqualified, but the majority said that they were either qualified to make more money or that their qualifications met their title and compensation. In general, we all feel that we do enough to earn a bit more on a paycheck, but the fact that only two and a half percent of surveyed engineers felt they were underqualified speaks to the currently balanced state of the industry.

Something that was unexpected (at least, to this editor) was the fact that most engineers (86.6%) felt that new hires were qualified or more than qualified for their positions. Less than ten percent felt that some new hires were underqualified, but the company was shorthanded – leaving very few begrudging new blood.

Another somewhat surprising statistic was the fact that most engineers felt that their superiors/supervisors were either as qualified or more qualified than themselves. In fact, 40.8% said that their supervisor had a more than adequate handle on his/her position, while two percent still felt their supervisors couldn’t handle a management position at McDonalds. 

The potency of skills and knowledge in the current and upcoming engineering community seems to be trending in line with the ever-changing world of technology. Only time will tell if skill-sets will keep up as we quickly edge away from the pace of Moore’s law. For now, shorthanded engineering issues appear to be an occasional anomaly.

Do you agree that most engineers (veteran, management, and green) are qualified for their positions? Or do these survey results tell a skewed tale? More results to follow. Comment below or email chris.fox@advantagemedia.com.

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