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Old 07.08.2007, 19:19
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engineering salary

Hi all and I am so glad that you exist:-)
I used to visit the forum very often then got kind of busy and now i am back.(with a new name...had completely forgotten my old one:-( )
Well I need some information and hopefully someone can give some feedback. I am a structural engineer with MSc and currently finalizing my PhD in ETH and looking for a job. As a PhD I get brutto around 80000 CHF so I expected that I would be able by going to industry that it would be reasonable to ask for something between 85000 and 90000. Actally there was a job that I got (but eventually did not accept) which offered 80000 and that made sense since my PhDwas not relevant at all. My argument though is that in any job if you have a PhD even if it is directly relevant to the job you should bring skills that a graduate with e.g. a masters does not have.Additionally I have been a head of the teaching group during my PhD and had extremely good results in the evaluaion of the course. A company to which I had an interview for junior project manager which will lead in 1-2 yrs in the project manager position offered me the job but with a salary of 71500 brutto plus a 0-20% bonus (average in the last years among employees is a 9-16% bonus as they told me). This salary for the first-second year and then as project manager a salary of 82000 plus the 0-20% bonus. I fnd the basic salary quite low to be honest and I cannot simply not feel kind of undervalued. Clearly form my two intervies and assessments in the company they were very satisfied and eve said so..that I did extremely weel and my CV seems kind of exotic (they said so..) since I have an excelent academic record. As other people have posted here people generally do not speak about salaries...and job posts do not have any indication (in England where I studied for example post normally have a range).
So please if someone has a clue...I tried web pages from the statistics department but did not get through too much nfo:-(

Thanks a lot.

kw
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Old 07.08.2007, 20:15
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Re: engineering salary

The SIA has published something on salaries of engineering graduates (MSc/ Dipl.-Ing. ETH). I unfortunately cannot find the same info on the internet. But for a structural engineer with only a MSc the average first annual salary was something like SFr. 85.000-SFr.90.000.

SFr. 80.000-95.000 is for most of my colleagues (transportation engineering) who finished their PhD recently, the salary inside and outside the academic world. But most of them are project managers directly.

I would continue the search for a better payed job.

Hope this info helps.

Good luck!
Will
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Old 07.08.2007, 21:14
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Re: engineering salary

Thanks Will for your answer. And sorry in advance if i posted this tonot the exactly correct place..I saw afterwards that there is an employment section. The market at the moment is good and from 4 interviws I was cut in one, one I did not finally likes the job so much and now I have this offer and I am waiting for another company to answer as well. The "ugly" thing here is that they ask you what you expect to get and then I intend to ba kid of honest and realistic cause I thought it would be appreciated...but does not really look like that. Cause there is this bonus system in the company they pay you 90% of what your 100% value is and then allow your efforts to get you to the 100. But my expectation was around 85000 to 90000 which would make a 90% around 76 to 83000 per year brutto but the 71500 even with the 10% bonus (78650) is lower than what I get now. And anyhow it is clear that when you start to a job the profit t the company is not immediate as you will need some time to get to know the company, products etc...but still they get you because they value you for your skills as far as they can see them anyhow from your CV and two-three interviews (mine by the way were both of 5 hrs duration). i am trying to balance between future development in the company which clearly is provided and salary which is not very sufficient..hmmm tricky!
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Old 07.08.2007, 23:04
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Re: engineering salary

When you start a job, both the company and the new employee take a risk. The company takes the risk "is this the right person for this job", for the employee it is more "is this the right company and work for me". To avoid any trouble for both sides, there is the introductional period. You should be payed a normal salary for this. The risk that you get sacked and will be on the street on short notice is compensating the company part of the risk described above. However, if the company really wants to give you a low salary during the introduction, this should be compensated by an agreed and contractual set substantial pay rise as soon as the introducton period is over. As long as the future developments are not written down but only empty promises, they are of almost no value.

BTW, interviews that took hours? What is this, the inquisition?

Good luck!
Regards,
Will (soon in the same position as you are, but probably in a completely different way)
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Old 08.08.2007, 06:18
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Re: engineering salary

FACTS Magazine has a page where you can put in your details and it compares salaries for similar jobs in different cantons. Here's the link:

http://www.facts.ch/dyn/magazin/fram...ner/index.html

It's not very scientific and it relies on information from people who want information to put their own information in (I think). Anyway, give it a whirl and see what comes out!
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Old 08.08.2007, 09:07
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Re: engineering salary

When a company asks: "what do you want to get paid"?

Simply answer: "during the interview I have shown you what I can bring to this company. How much is my contribution worth to you?"

And negotiate from there.

If they still hem and haw, ask for a figure 15% higher than what you want to make.

But remember, it is not "the PhD" what adds value to a company. What adds value to the company is what you can contribute as an employee (of which the experience and insight gained while studying your PhD may or may not be relevant/important). Make sure the company sees what this contribution of yours is during the interview. Then you'll see that your negotiations will go swimmingly.
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Old 08.08.2007, 09:23
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Re: engineering salary

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When a company asks: "what do you want to get paid"?

Simply answer: "during the interview I have shown you what I can bring to this company. How much is my contribution worth to you?"

And negotiate from there.

If they still hem and haw, ask for a figure 15% higher than what you want to make.

But remember, it is not "the PhD" what adds value to a company. What adds value to the company is what you can contribute as an employee (of which the experience and insight gained while studying your PhD may or may not be relevant/important). Make sure the company sees what this contribution of yours is during the interview. Then you'll see that your negotiations will go swimmingly.
You may find that this approach doesn't work very often. And you might also find you price yourself out of a job.

What does work is what you earn NOW (if applicable). I successfully failed to speak during negotiations with my new boss and got him to negotiate himself into paying me what I wanted
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Old 08.08.2007, 09:27
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Re: engineering salary

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You may find that this approach doesn't work very often. And you might also find you price yourself out of a job.

Worked every single time for me.
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Old 08.08.2007, 09:41
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Re: engineering salary

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Worked every single time for me.
you must have amazing work skills.
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Old 08.08.2007, 10:01
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Re: engineering salary

Get to the stage where they are begging for it and really want you Big Boy, and then discuss money. You will be surprised at the flexibility that can suddenly appear when someone really wants something...

dave

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When a company asks: "what do you want to get paid"?

Simply answer: "during the interview I have shown you what I can bring to this company. How much is my contribution worth to you?"

And negotiate from there.

If they still hem and haw, ask for a figure 15% higher than what you want to make.

But remember, it is not "the PhD" what adds value to a company. What adds value to the company is what you can contribute as an employee (of which the experience and insight gained while studying your PhD may or may not be relevant/important). Make sure the company sees what this contribution of yours is during the interview. Then you'll see that your negotiations will go swimmingly.
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Old 08.08.2007, 17:17
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Re: engineering salary

Thank you all for answering! Well it is true that having a PhD does not necessarily opens all doors...though for the specific position the subject of my PhD is quite relevant to the position of the manager. the company currently searches for two people- one as junior project manager for their engineering products and one for project manager in a department that is more relevant to my PhD. The thing is that following me showing interest in that department they proposed that I work 50-50 to both departments with the aim in 1-2 years to get the position of project manager int he department where my PhD is relevant. I think that this shows something. Becuase I expressed my concerns that what was offered was not representable of my qualifications and of what I could contribute to the company-through the contacts that I already have- they proposed to let me have an extra 7500 at the end of the first and second year as long as 3 targets that I will set up at the beginning of the year will be fulfilled and of course the targets will be such to improve the department for which my PhD is relevant. Even though I believe high on what I could achieve...I cannot avoid thinking whether these targets as they suggest them would be possible to meet withi normal working time. I need I guess to clarify with them about overtime...cause after 5 hrs of interview and at 8 in the evening was not more possible to discuss....practicalities..!

As I am looking now intensively for a job I realize how this process of intervies is so hard psychologically in many situations...so thanks for providing also your own experiences:-)
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