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Confessions: I’m A Young Filipino Engineer and I’m Barely Surviving

If you’re a Filipino engineering student reading this, I hope it wouldn’t discourage you from pursuing this profession. I really hope not.


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Filipino Engineer’s Struggles

 

 

This letter may come off as a rant about my condition now but I don’t think I’m alone in what I’ll be saying.

A lot of millennial engineers share my sentiments. But if you’re a Filipino engineering student reading this, I hope it wouldn’t discourage you from pursuing this profession.

I’ve been a civil engineer for three years already. I work as a production supervisor in a manufacturing and distribution company based in Manila for two years.

This is my second job since I graduated.

I quit my first job because the pay wasn’t good enough.

I live in the most expensive city in the country yet the money I earned was barely enough to help me survive my daily expenses every month.

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So when I went out to look for another job, I expected I’d find good opportunities in the city.

The only problem was that there really wasn’t a lot of them out there.

So I ended up getting a job that paid a little bit more than the first one I had.

The work load was okay. I get to leave the office at 5pm and have a social life.

But for someone who needs to earn more, I am forced to work overtime just so I’d get paid more.

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To be honest, living in Manila has always been challenging for most of its people.

For its engineers, we are paid a lot less than what we deserve. The competition is so tough that finding a job here is considered a blessing already.

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I don’t know why most of us are only paid the minimum wage.

Looking at my wallet, I don’t have enough money to even buy my family a fancy meal.

Everything just goes to bills and food now. While I am thankful that I’m surviving but this is not the life I’ve wanted for myself.

This is not the life most fresh graduates in engineering had envisioned for themselves.

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But what can I do? Somehow, this is the situation other young engineers and I face right now.

A lot of them are even considering working abroad just to earn more there.

Last night, I told a friend about how we earn so little as an engineer and what struck me the most in his response was the question he asked me, “Do you think you’re in the wrong country to be an engineer?”

It got me thinking. Am I in the wrong country to practice this profession?

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  1. There are no shortcut to success, perseverance, humility and patience required. Success is earned.

  2. Then stop being just an employee. I am also a civil engineer and I know hindi ako magsasuceed kung employee lang ako. Start your business connected to your profession.

  3. It’s about how you prioritize and save naman. I have a friend whose net salary every payday is less than 5K but she gets by. As for me who earns four times than her, I had a hard time “budgeting” but she made me realize it’s just about prioritization and discipline in saving.

  4. You are a disgrace to the engineeeing community in the philippines. You have time to rant about all you sentiments when you couldve used that time to better improve yourself to be ahead of the pact. This is the problem with stupid millenials. You expect that when you become an engineer you get a good life and get what you “deserve”? Well what do you deserve? You deserve nothing.
    Fresh Doctors gets paid at the minimum for 3-12 years depending on their specialty. They work their ass for 48 hours per shift and people expect them to save lives. And you?you finish at 5pm and what do you do?you socialize?youre a faggot.

    1. whoa, i don’t think it’s right to tell someone na they’re a disgrace to the engineering community when you don’t even represent it (like, who are you anyways), more or less call him a faggot just because of this “rant”. This post serves as an eye opener that there are engineers such as this person who’s getting paid less despite his profession. Stop comparing apples to oranges, doctors have their own share of troubles and this post doesn’t discredit that. Engineers save lives too, the safety of everything people use depends on us. And mind you, work-life balance is important nowadays since toxic people like you exists within the community. This is the problem with you, you fire up the expectations of “millenials” and when they complain you bash them. Fair enough.

  5. That’s the reality dude, professional @ minimum wage, we are all in this situation.. but let me share to you my method. I’m not rich but i can tell you i will become someday, so what you can do is save more.. buy only those things you need not what you want, give yourself a timeline let say 5 yrs you must earn this kind of amount then invest it for something… the truth about this method is that you can’t enjoy your money at mid 20’s, you ca only enjoy everything at late 30’s…. grind now, shine later.

  6. All of this is simply because of supply and demand. In the Philippines there is simply a great supply of professionals for companies to go around. Hence the salary is low, while abroad, like the middle east there is a shortage, therefore they get paid handsomely. I’m also an engineer and working abroad and I get paid pretty decently, at least more than I earn in the Philippines. And couldn’t have imagined having a better life if I haven’t worked abroad.

    So my advice to you is to gather as much work experience as you can and save as much as you can and try to get a job abroad.

    Goodluck!

  7. If an Engineer wanted to get rich then go into Engineering Contracting and earn big from projects. Also if you are just working as an employee then those HR animals doesn’t want you to earn big because they dont want you ti have higher pay compared to them.

  8. I agree. I also see a lot of people here commenting on how one needs to be “persistent, humble, patient, etc…” Everyone who’s ever went through the grueling process of earning their undergraduate in Engineering knows these things. It is a FACT that Engineers in the Philippines are severely underpaid, in that the engineering profession does not easily top the most lucrative earners like it is in other foreign countries like in America or in the Middle East. It is not alright to have this “go lang nang go” mindset if you know that your very environment has the odds stacked up against you. The mindset is honorable…yes, but it is NOT smart. Let’s be honest, one of the biggest reasons (and please don’t say it isn’t) that students pursue an engineering degree is to earn money that is higher than the national average and one that leads a comfortable lifestyle. “Surviving” and “getting by” is not LIVING. Especially, since the living expenses are a lot more expensive and inaccessible with what most entry level engineers make, I only have two advice for you. If you can’t seem to advance in your position there in the Philippines, then earn the experience and look for opportunities abroad.

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