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I Am An Overworked And An Underpaid Engineer

Are you one of those overworked and underpaid engineers?

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There are thousands of overworked and underpaid engineers around the world who are still trap in this viscous cycle.

Engineers are people who solve complex problems, build highly intricate machinery and develop each to make all of them work in an effective way. To become an engineer, you work really hard through your high school so that you can get into a good college. Then after four years of hard work, perspiration, motivation and determination, you graduate with flying colors and look forward to develop solutions and commercial applications. But the reality provides us with an opposite scenario.

Working diligently through high school, Harry Robinson got admitted into a reputed engineering college and graduated with a good CGPA. After that, he looked forward to work in a well- known company and climb up to a higher position. Some years later after gaining extensive experience, he planned to start a company of his own. But instead, he got a job in a new startup company because not having any prior experience or expertise prevented him from taking up commendable jobs in successful and well-known companies. Today, it’s been four years, he is still working in the same company and same position. But the most appalling and alarming part: even though he is an engineer, he overworks and gets underpaid.

Ironically, many engineering firms ain’t got a clue about project management or proper workload scheduling. As a result, most of them turn out to be overstretched and under-resourced. Even though hiring more employees does not solve the matter as each engineer must work 70-80 hours per week. Unfortunately, these engineers do not receive the appropriate reward for their work. But the fault does not lie with the company either. Engineering is such a field where the industries and companies try to create something from scratch and develop various technology and management.

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Source: Giphy (underpaid engineer)

Many people from Business management or Accounting and Finance earn more than an average engineer earns. It’s more like what a Chartered accountant earns after seven to eight years of experience is what an engineer earns at nearly the end of his career. Engineering is a path where one loves to do something he is passionate about such as inventing new technology, creating amazing mobile applications, building a complex structural building and much more.

One can argue that Engineers mostly work based on practical experience which is hardly taught in the college and the different sections such as applied sciences, networking, industrial applications, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and much more get completely erased from their minds. There are engineers who look for alternatives and end up taking up jobs in a bank as an executive or bank manager in order to earn more salary. As a result, all that he has learnt in his four years of college, his passion for inventing machines and creating various software remain forgotten. He becomes frustrated due to his nine to five job and has to give up all his creativity just to earn more.

Source: Giphy (underpaid engineer)

Not being appreciated for your hard work and feeling like a “nobody” can be very demotivating. But there is a way to solve this problem. At first, recite this mantra, “I am an Engineer and I will always do something better in life”. If you want to climb up the ladder, you need to first stand up for yourself. Change your perception towards things. It doesn’t matter if you are working a low- paying job, you can keep on applying to different companies, and prepare yourself to make an excellent impression at the job interviews. One of the most important parts is to mention the experiences you gained in your CV. No matter how minor your experience may seem, knowledge and experience have no bounds.

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Meet and make contacts with important people, and let them know your passion and experience. You never know when the opportunity that you have been looking for all these years will come knocking at your door. Remember one thing, do not work for the money as money cannot bring you experience. But if you gain experience, you will receive your reward for the hard work.

Whether you are a graduate of civil, chemical, electrical, electronics, biomedical, mechanical, systems or design engineering, you must have studied somewhere that efficiency is a measure of the useful output as compared to the total input. For a higher efficiency, the machine needs to be in a superior condition. So work on improving yourself, and you will get more opportunities to climb up the ladder towards a rewarding career…or at least one that pays well!

Source: Giphy (underpaid engineer)

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Patricia Eldridge
Patricia took her MBA in London, UK. She's a model, actress, blogger and a copywriter. Her boyfriend is an overworked and underpaid engineer.

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  1. Thanks for posting this. It pretty much sums up my frustrations as an engineer. I don’t have a definitive answer why many engineers are under compensated and overworked. From my experience, it does have a lot to do with the people you work for. Some companies do value engineers while other others will use you and then discard you when you either become too valuable (expensive) or become burned out. Every time I am faced with an aggressive schedule (which is always), I am given the choice to do the job or quit. I have been an engineer for a very long time, and I can say from my own fox hole that if I had to do it again, I would certainly do something else. There are other rewarding jobs out there where you can channel your creativity. If you want to be fairly compensated, start your own company.

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