Professional and Career Topics

  • 1.  Civil Engineering Graduation Rates

    Posted 10-12-2021 09:37 AM
    We are experiencing trouble recruiting qualified engineers to fill vacant positions which I'm hearing is not an exclusive problem.  Is anyone aware of national data that compares the current retirement rate of Baby Boomers to the rate of Gen Z engineer graduates?  I'm guessing there is a sizeable gap in the two rates that is contributing to a shortage of job applicants.  After an extended search on the internet I have not been able to find any good data on this subject.

    Thanks

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    Steven Sampson Brown A.M.ASCE
    Project Manager
    City of Dubuque Engr. Dept.
    Dubuque, IA
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  • 2.  RE: Civil Engineering Graduation Rates

    Posted 10-13-2021 09:46 AM
    It has been my experience lately with engineers and positions is that some company's are wanting to pay very low wages for a lot of experience. And- a lot of inexperienced engineers think they are worth more than they really are. You cannot expect a licensed PE with 10+ years experience to want a job for $65k-$75k. You won't get any qualified candidates. At the same time- green engineers should stop expecting $120k a year when they bring nothing to the table but a brand new PE and little real experience.  I am not sure if this unrealistic expectation is coming from college or where, but it is hurting the industry.

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    Lori Cox P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer
    Houston TX
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  • 3.  RE: Civil Engineering Graduation Rates

    Posted 10-18-2021 11:07 AM
    Completely agree with Lori.  Well stated.

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    Angela Hintz P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Environmental Engineer
    Buffalo NY
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  • 4.  RE: Civil Engineering Graduation Rates

    Posted 10-21-2021 08:15 AM
    Lori your post makes senses.  We're trying to leverage every recruitment strategy we can think of, but there just doesn't seem to be many interested candidates that want to apply.  Our entry level civil engineer positions I'd say are very competitive with the private sector and we generally do ok.  Admittedly we're at or just below the median pay scale for positions that require a PE with 10 + years of experience but our organization has a very competitive benefit package.  We feel like we should be able attract at least a few quality applicants to our positions that require experience but that's not happening.  Maybe it's more of an indication that job satisfaction is relatively high right now.  Considering that our industry goes up and down somewhat with the economy, it still seems like over the last 10 years the labor pool is trending in the direction of becoming smaller each year.

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    Steven Brown A.M.ASCE
    Project Manager
    City of Dubuque Engineering Dept
    Dubuque IA
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  • 5.  RE: Civil Engineering Graduation Rates

    Posted 10-14-2021 09:52 AM
    That's a really interesting question. I'm not aware of a report on this specifically, but would love to know if one exists. I did want to mention ASCE published the 2021 Salary Survey this week. You may be interested in a brief summary here. ​

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    Tirza Austin
    Manager, Online Community
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA 20191
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  • 6.  RE: Civil Engineering Graduation Rates

    Posted 10-18-2021 01:29 PM
    Thanks for the article citation, Tirza. Really interesting national level data. Regional breakouts would be informative, too. I suspect Lori's point is spot on. A few years ago the small consulting firms and public agencies recruiting at MSU were offering starting salaries well below the going rate at large consulting firms and a fraction of the industrial giants. They seemed bewildered when I showed them the job offers our grads were getting. The only grads accepting the low-paying jobs were doing it to stay close to family and friends. States and localities may be handcuffed by their salary regulations but smaller consulting firms just need to do the research and compete.

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    William McAnally Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.NE, F.ASCE
    ENGINEER
    Columbus MS
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