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Topic Title: Analogue Circuit Design to C&I Engineer?
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Created On: 15 July 2012 12:33 AM
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 11 September 2012 02:00 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Good afternoon?

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 11 September 2012 02:11 PM
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StewartTaylor

Posts: 99
Joined: 18 January 2003

Don't you mean

"Hello World"

-------------------------
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
 18 September 2012 09:27 PM
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guitarman002

Posts: 7
Joined: 25 July 2008

Hello World

Horowitz and Hill is a bit dated now but still has some decent stuff in it. Are you talking higher-level (PCBs) or chip-level design? There are a myriad of different books now depending on what you want to specialise in. The field is vast and the sub-fields are ... vast.

No further forward in my situation. I had a chance to peek at some industrial PLC stuff at a brewery my friend works at. Didn't look too taxing compared to what I do but obviously a lot of pressure in the heat of the moment when things go wrong. The BP scheme has opened up again but I don't know whether to go for it or not. A friend of mine works in Aberdeen and his flatmate is earning £800 a day (and paying just 20% tax on it, I may add) - unbelievable amounts of money. But physically I don't know if I'm cut out for that sort of work. Aberdeen is also a more expensive place to live compared to where I am now - undecided. I have some other opportunities in electronics.. roughly £40k or so if I stay where I am. Moving to Europe, perhaps €55k Euros in Austria (they seem to pay little) to €65k (Germany). Not a big jump from where I'm at now post-tax.

Honestly, sometimes I wish I'd done something else. I've now managed to halve my student loan after 5 years (!!!) and even though I'm staying at home, the prospect of saving a decent deposit is next to fruitless. When I look at what friends are earning in accountancy, finance, IT or oil and gas... I just despair at having a financially secure future. I enjoy what I do (controls engineering would also be pretty awesome) but for the work done, the pay really doesn't match.

I keep seeing on this website and that, that the average starting salaries for engineering graduates are some of the highest... HOWEVER the salaries really don't seem to take off much past that point, whereas after doing your CIMA, for example, your salary can double from £25k to £50k in just 3 years.

There's no grand conclusion to this, you get the drift from the points above. One disillusioned engineer...
 19 September 2012 11:35 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Are you clear what you're disillusioned about? Yes some engineers earn salaries in excess of £40k, but because:
a: they are very experienced in a specialist field (5years + expereince in that field),
b: they are working in unsocial conditions (e.g. offshore oil + gas), or
c: they also carry management responsibility.

With the exception of b:, five years after graduation 30-35k is a pretty good target to aim at, but I'm sure there are plenty here who earn rather less than that! And if you look across engineering it's surprising how consistent salaries are. (Also, contrary to popular belief, most other professions aren't that different.)

Re "did I make the right career choice?"; if you want to make a lot of money, don't go into engineering (or any other profession): go into finance. Makes sense - your work should relate to what you're interested in You can make huge amounts of money in engineering if you're prepared in dire conditions, which is fair enough. In my industry, the rail industry, I earn rather less as a senior manager running a high-flying design team than I would if I was a contract track maintenance worker (or a train driver!), but I really really wouldn't want to do their job.

The bad news is that someone is always going to earn more than you do (if you were going to be the next Bill Gates you'd be there by now ), the question is more whether you enjoy your job. IC design is a good example. A top flight IC designer earns a lot of money because they're rare. But those who get there haven't got there by thinking "I want to earn 70k", they got there by really enjoying IC design.

Sorry this is a bit waffly ... hope it helps

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 19 September 2012 01:55 PM
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guitarman002

Posts: 7
Joined: 25 July 2008

I'm not completely money-oriented (I'm not saying you were accusing me of that!). It's only when you look at the cost of a home in the UK it gets pretty depressing. I do know some doctors who don't earn what you'd expect (much lower) so I take your comment about how other industries don't always necessarily pay much more. Oil & gas is definitely different and it's why I'm to-ing and fro-ing with the idea. I've been doing analogue circuit design for a while now (which I do enjoy - though I enjoy human interaction a bit more so apps engineering might be a good route) and have lead some projects - after having spoken to recruiters and done some interviews it appears I should be aiming for close to the £40k mark - which isn't bad after such a short time, I admit. There's definitely a ceiling, though - and I feel that a lot of articles trying to get people into engineering focus too heavily on starting salary and not lifetime salary.

I don't know if I could stomach finance. I do enjoy what I do - I've just got this ambition, I feel pay doesn't match my responsibility, and I want to do more - grad starting salaries seem pretty high nowadays and are encroaching on mine, somewhat, which is ridiculous! Hence the interviews for other IC companies and thoughts of moving into a different type of work. Fair point about not wanting to do certain types of work. I could hardly handle the cold wind walking to my car this morning never mind North Sea gails on an oil rig!

Unless I really go off on a tangent and interview for some other type of work, I think it will pay dividends to switch company. I would love to work in Germany, learn the language, and study toward a business qualification at some point. I go hot and cold on the topic of engineering salaries. Relative to each other (the disciplines), they seem to be about the same. Relative to other careers... I know some which earn megabucks, some which earn the same sort of money that makes you wonder why you put the effort in, and many others that pay far less. All in all, there's a decent job demand and pay is ok - I enjoy it - those are the reasons I took up the study in the first place. One common theme I hear from engineers is that their friends who went down other avenues almost exclusively have done better, financially. Maybe this is just total bull***, but I hear it frequently from different sources. In any case, you'll hear all about what option I take, I promise

Thanks for your reply - truly appreciated!
 10 October 2012 06:29 AM
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margaritelsoto

Posts: 12
Joined: 13 September 2012

Excellent posting. Thanks for keeping us readers updated with such intriguing stuff. Looking forward to hearing from you again.
 08 November 2012 10:17 AM
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rauh11

Posts: 1
Joined: 08 November 2012

Thanks for your information
IET » Control and automation » Analogue Circuit Design to C&I Engineer?

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