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Topic Title: Salaries for Incorporated Engineers
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Created On: 21 January 2014 04:23 PM
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 27 February 2014 08:47 AM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

Originally posted by: mbirdi

Therefore, the conclusion that can be drawn from the survey (paid for by registered members) is that the salaries are representative of market values of managers, engineers and technicians in various posts and in various types of industries. They do not represent the values specific to being registered as CEng or IEng; any inference suggested by the EC or anyone else that they are is complete nonsense.



The bottom line is that one has to detach the salaries from the registration grades and just look at the salaries on their own to see what managers, engineers and technicians earn in various jobs in various industries. The registration grades are completely irrelevant to the exercise.

Many of your points make a reasonable argument, but I think that you overstate your case. I would suggest that a significant positive correlation between registration and enhanced earnings, could be shown, although certainly not a "black & white" cause and effect.

It is clearly the case that for many well-paid roles in certain sectors of engineering (such as professional services), registration is expected. I regret from an IEng and Technician perspective that this tends to be very CEng biased, but the a key driver is the market recognition of CEng (both in the UK & worldwide) which is significantly stronger.

Many people would see the primary purpose of registration as the acquisition of a personal brand, which informs a potential employer or customer that a certain standard of competence and professionalism can be expected. CEng is strong brand , which certainly offers its holders the potential for enhanced value, although market forces will determine, whether or not that potential can be realised in economic terms .

For some, the recognition conferred by the brand will be benefit enough, assuming that earnings are sufficient for their lifestyle choices.

The other registration titles also offer some brand value, but on average not as much and as a result are less attractive "products". This is unfortunate, since those people recognised by their peers as IEng and Technician are generally very able, highly respected and well-paid in employment. As individuals, such people may find themselves more technically able, or managerially responsible than others holding another registration title, but they may not have the evidence needed to transfer between sections of the Engineering Council register, even if they wanted to do so.

There is also a great deal more than just the acquisition of a professional title to be gained from engagement with a professional body such as the IET and from joining the Engineering Council register.

Over a long career I have met many well-paid, exceptionally able and high achieving engineers , who have chosen not to engage with EC registration, for other than financial reasons. However the average age of new registrants in recent years, suggests that the benefits of professional registration assessment, as an external validation of achievement, have become increasingly valued by experienced engineers and their employers.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 27 February 2014 01:23 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: roybowdler
I would suggest that a significant positive correlation between registration and enhanced earnings, could be shown, although certainly not a "black & white" cause and effect.

This may also be because the person who is interested enough to register, and make that effort, is also interested enough and makes the effort to improve their career in other ways. So it could be argued that instead of registering they should also channel that effort into improving their career and they may well improve your earnings even more.

Of course if the IET/EC can show a positive correlation and that makes their case for registration then of course they are well within their rights to do so. Any engineer should be intelligent enough to read what is said and critically analyse it and make up their own mind.

Many people would see the primary purpose of registration as the acquisition of a personal brand, which informs a potential employer or customer that a certain standard of competence and professionalism can be expected.

With regards to CEng this sort of works because as you suggest it is a strong brand but also these jobs are generally upper management and at that level CEng is better understood. When we come to IEng this is generally a lower level job and so is less understood outside the upper management levels; after all it's further away from their own positions. I have worked in industry for a long time and many of the management are not highly qualified and would only begin to understand professional registration if someone who had it took the time to explain it to them.

I am professionally registered myself and I have yet to meet anyone in senior management, outside the circles of those who are professionally registered themselves, who understands it. Of course I am quite sure there are many managers who understand it and maybe I just have not met them yet. It tends to be niche and fits well in certain areas of industry and at certain levels.

With many companies we could ask the question "guys do you think professional registration is a good thing?" "Yes, yes and yes it has this and that benefit, yes we want it". Next question, "guys do we have a budget/resource then to develop our 10 engineers to go through this process?" "Er, what, wow is that the time, sorry late for a meeting, see ya."

There is also a great deal more than just the acquisition of a professional title to be gained from engagement with a professional body such as the IET and from joining the Engineering Council register.


I like that point; it's a good one!

However the average age of new registrants in recent years, suggests that the benefits of professional registration assessment, as an external validation of achievement, have become increasingly valued by experienced engineers and their employers.


Providing the employer does not have to pay a premium for it.

Regards.
 27 February 2014 11:57 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Come on pmiller IEng has never had the equal status to CEng anyway so I am not really sure how it can be downgraded. When was this bygone era when IEng was seen as somehow equal to CEng?

It's a bit like the Manager and Supervisor, they are both equally employees and equally valuable members of the team but one is the boss of the other and therefore has higher status in some senses.

Some supervisors in some companies earn more than managers in other companies. In most companies the maintenance engineers, for example, generally earn more than managers because they get paid overtime and yet often both are working long hours. So basically the salary argument is far from clear.

If IEng has not gained the status you so desire then you as well as the other IEng have been equally responsible for that in not actively promoting and educating people on your status in business and industry. What exactly is stopping you and your colleagues promoting your own status where you work, and building it up that way?

Educate your own companies as to what it is and why it is important and why they should recruit IEng registered engineers and then when they do your status will be upgraded.

It's a good job MLK was not waiting for the IET to have a dream and instead took some personal responsibility. Imagine what would happen if 150,000 IEng started educating the firms they work for.

Regards.
 28 February 2014 03:19 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

Originally posted by: westonpa

Come on pmiller IEng has never had the equal status to CEng anyway so I am not really sure how it can be downgraded. When was this bygone era when IEng was seen as somehow equal to CEng?



I think that this is fair statement, although for a long time Engineering Council, as the regulator, promoted an "equal but different" message supported by good rational arguments around the value of engineers who were "know how led" versus "knowledge led", with each having an overlapping extent of (ie equal) management responsibility. This position was not accepted by the CEng majority as you illustrate. After all why would the average CEng support a proposition that appeared to downplay their distinctive status? We should however remember that status is something different to a statement of product particulars, it is social construct.

I also think that it is fair to state that the reputation of IEng is at least in part what IEng activism makes it, through personal and collective example

Many IEng registrants will possess distinctive characteristics which make them more valuable in their employment environment, than a similar CEng, especially perhaps as managers of more established technologies. The same principles apply to Technician practice, where detailed practically oriented technical skills are needed. However, the messages from those who have promoted the profession over many years have created and reinforced the impression of a of a hierarchy of value, with its attendant social connotations.

I think the use of a management hierarchy to illustrate your point plays to this agenda, which isn't an accurate reflection, since many managers and directors are IEng. Some of our best technically expert CEng are not particularly managerial and their talents would be wasted in the managerial domain. This is especially true at the more senior levels where many management roles become political in nature. It is also the case that many managing engineers are themselves managed by accountants.

A significant part of the problem in my opinion, is the conflation of technical and management responsibility. These separate dimensions are interwoven in the career journey of many engineers, but are not necessarily closely correlated. For example, in a City & Guilds study (Dec 2013) an apprentice's chance of becoming a director is greatest in the construction industry, with 47% of businesses in this sector employing former apprentices in board level positions. This is followed by manufacturing & engineering (43%), agriculture (33%) and energy and power (33%). Although some of these former apprentices may have developed technical expertise appropriate to a CEng during their earlier career, many are likely to have been at or around an IEng standard of technical capability, before migrating into a management career.

Once into that management phase (which for some comes in mid-20s) it is often difficult to differentiate between the capability of managing engineers holding different qualifications within the range from HNC to MEng and also by extension the A&B competences in UK-SPEC.

A significant number of engineers following this career pathway may lack sufficient evidence to fully satisfy the technical requirements of CEng, whilst at the same time having much more management responsibility than the CEng threshold. For many it will seem, that to retain or seek IEng is to accept "second class" status, but seeking CEng may seem a difficult, uncertain and perhaps unnecessary journey. Since most of these people are by definition successful, why would they want to register?

My own experience mirrors this, I trained as a Technician then completed higher qualifications in engineering and management, leading to IEng a decade or so into career. If I had chosen to study for an engineering degree, which at the time I enquired offered me no advanced standing for my HNC, or relevant additional knowledge that I could obviously apply, then CEng might have been the outcome instead. In my subsequent management career, whether I was IEng or CEng wasn't of immediate relevance, but my professional institution and EC told me that I was "equal but different" anyway.

Actually I didn't quite get this concept, because I expected CEng colleagues to have better developed technical expertise than mine, although their management responsibility could be less, similar, or sometimes more. I'm afraid I also don't get the idea of being in "progression", because I was on a different track.

If engineering careers follow a "single track" then a progression of technical capability over time seems sensible, and advanced standing with the right quality of academic preparation reasonable.

It is a matter for fair debate whether the registered engineering profession wishes to be more inclusive or exclusive.

If we want to be inclusive and define the scope of the registered profession by UK-SPEC, then all registrants should be able to pursue successful careers within this scope. A successful career will nearly always involve on-going development in one or more domains of technology and/or management. It should not be required to transfer to another category of registration, in order to gain an approrpriate measure of respect. If success is defined by CEng (with other caregories as "stepping stones") then it has to be "mainstream" and much more accessible through normal career progression.

The choice of a more exclusive "profession", raises different issues, including the potential for fragmentation which pmiller suggests.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 28 February 2014 05:17 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

I agree with westonpa's recent comments; though not sure about who MLK is?

However, in pmiller2006's support, the survey do reveal the extent to which CEngs are in control of the PEIs and EC; whilst IEngs and EngTechs play secondary roles in the hierarchical structure that was established by the CEngs.

The CEngs earn more than the IEngs who earn more than the EngTechs; but all categories pay about the same level in membership subscriptions and EC registration fees. An example of how command and control is effected by the leading figures i.e CEngs.

The future looks bleak for IEng and EngTech membership and registration who have to endure increases in fees against lower incomes against their better paid CEng colleagues or masters if you prefer.

The argument for pmiller2006 at el should be directed towards campaigning for lower membership and subscriptions fees in line with lower earnings. The survey reflects the salary differences between managers, engineers and technicians and so the fees paid should also be in proportion to earnings.

Edited: 28 February 2014 at 05:23 PM by mbirdi
 28 February 2014 06:00 PM
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Zuiko

Posts: 521
Joined: 14 September 2010

Regarding salaries - where I work, technicians earn significantly more than Cengineers, and some technicians earn more than senior management and directors. Several technicians I work with earn (low) six-figure salaries. Why? They have very-difficult to obtain competencies and authorisations that ensure they are essential to the running of the operation. Management do not and are not.

I am reminded of an article on Radio 4 a short while ago, in which the presenter (an American business academic) was attempting to correctly align management in the heirarchy of essentials in a business. The argument was that highly skilled staff - he used technicians, airline pilots and surgeons as examples, in very specialist roles are more crucial to the business than managers in the same company. So, that rewarding managers more than technicians was peverse. Essentially, is it sound business practice to spend several years (possibly decades) and hundreds of thousands of pounds training somebody to become a pilot or surgeon, only for them to move into management, which could be done, by lets face it - a manager. The upshot is that many technology and engineering companies (and where I work is a perfect example) pay technicians more than managers - significantly more.

"Management? I couldn't afford the pay-cut!" How much more often do we hear that nowadays!

There is nothing more satisying than hearing the finance director whining that a 28-year old tech's pay-packet is bigger than his!

Edited: 01 March 2014 at 12:07 AM by Zuiko
 04 March 2014 12:15 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: roybowdler
I think the use of a management hierarchy to illustrate your point plays to this agenda, which isn't an accurate reflection, since many managers and directors are IEng.

I think it makes my point quite well actually. There will always be some cases here and there, fair enough, but overall CEng will occupy the more senior positions and that is what matters. When, for example, you go out to drive your car to work there is a possibility you will be involved in a crash and die or else be seriously injured but that possibility is quite low and so you proceed. If however you turned the chances around and so now the chance of a negative journey was instead the significantly larger one then I am sure you would think twice about the journey. Those who take up CEng, IEng etc., take it up based upon what they think it has the most chance to deliver and not often based upon what is possible to the lesser extent, but of course still possible.

If I take my universities overall those in the senior positions were CEng and not IEng. Why?

The majority of managers and directors are in fact not professionally registered engineers anyway so really we should just be talking about the technical ones. I conclude from my experience that some who hold the professional status are not really in that profession anymore and have become far more commercial orientated but have retained their status in order to hold onto the notion they are still engineers. They have not upgraded because they know they do not have the required technical content at the right level. Yes there will of course be some examples where this is not the case but we really need to consider the overall picture.
Some of our best technically expert CEng are not particularly managerial and their talents would be wasted in the managerial domain.

How did they get CEng then, because the UKSPEC seems to require managerial experience? It speaks quite clearly about the managerial aspects.

I take your other points of course and I think the real issue is that the UKSPEC contains so many generic requirements, because the people who wrote it want it that way, that if push comes to shove I think we could even find enough managerial experience in an EngTech position to award CEng, providing of course other requirements were met. These things are generic enough to allow different interpretations, around a theme.

For many it will seem, that to retain or seek IEng is to accept "second class" status, but seeking CEng may seem a difficult, uncertain and perhaps unnecessary journey. Since most of these people are by definition successful, why would they want to register?

I do not see a supervisor as second class to a manager, they are just different jobs and one is in charge of the other, that is all. They are both still employees and both still have an important job to do. Generally though the manager has the higher status, because that is how society sees it, and if the supervisor has an issue with it then they need to either change something about their position or else change the way they think about it. IEng is an important status but it is not at the level of CEng, that does not make it second class and instead just makes it something less. Society likes hierarchy Roy, it's why we have PM's and Presidents and Heads of State and there is nothing you are going to do to change it.
My own experience mirrors this, I trained as a Technician then completed higher qualifications in engineering and management, leading to IEng a decade or so into career. If I had chosen to study for an engineering degree, which at the time I enquired offered me no advanced standing for my HNC, or relevant additional knowledge that I could obviously apply, then CEng might have been the outcome instead. In my subsequent management career, whether I was IEng or CEng wasn't of immediate relevance, but my professional institution and EC told me that I was "equal but different" anyway.

I think you keep IEng for two reasons:

1 - You are comfortable in your own skin and do not feel you need CEng to feel something more than you are, because you feel completely ok as you are. This is a good thing.
2 - You know very well it sets a good example and you can better argue your case for IEng, because you are IEng.

It's quite likely that if you now went through the CEng process you would be able to find enough to be upgraded. So really you are a CEng masquerading as IEng.

Society overall likes Hierarchy Roy, even though people do not like it in every aspect of their life they cannot avoid it. Mum and Dad are more senior than their children. Head master is more senior than teacher. Teacher is more senior than pupil. MD is more senior than FD, HRD, etc. President is more senior than PM. PM is more senior than cabinet secretary. Manager is more senior than Supervisor. CEng is more senior than IEng, as a status. There is no issue with this as such, there is only an issue with some people accepting it.

Regards.

Edited: 04 March 2014 at 12:23 PM by westonpa
 04 March 2014 12:28 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: pmiller2006
The reason employers say there are shortages is that they are offering 'call centre' salaries.

But is this because that is all the business will support or because they, for example, want to keep the big wages for those near the top of the company?

If employers are having a tough time and are not making enough money to afford high wages for their technical staff then it is of course understandable. However, I am sure we can agree that in many cases nowadays those at the top of some industries and public sector areas are raking in very high salaries, even for failure. I read recently for example the CEO of the Coop bank said the company had 'lost it's way over the last several years'. Strange how it lost it's way with highly paid executives in charge.

Regards.
 04 March 2014 12:39 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: pmiller2006
Excellent point, and I think the best way of doing this would be outside the control Engineering Council by creating a new organisation for engineering technologists.

Fair enough, what are you waiting for?

Regards.
 04 March 2014 12:42 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: mbirdi
The future looks bleak for IEng and EngTech membership and registration who have to endure increases in fees against lower incomes against their better paid CEng colleagues or masters if you prefer.

Are you enduring these increases etc.?

Regards.
 04 March 2014 03:57 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

I didn't renew my membership after I took retirement, though I am keeping my option open to re-join only on the basis that MIET might assist me in getting onto an online postgraduate course; which would be vastly cheaper than a 'break the bank' first degree course.
 04 March 2014 11:46 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

mbirdi, with what I have read about your quals and experience to date I very much doubt you will need anything more than what you already have to get onto a post grad course.

I think however my point, as you probably worked out , was more that no one 'has' to take up membership, it's voluntary. That so many choose to pay the 'high' fees etc., and taking into account they choose to do it and do not have to do it, would seem to provide some good support to the IET's claims that it is a good thing and well worth having, for whatever reasons people so decide.

Re the bank of mbirdi, I think that it is probably well in credit and even the first degree, from a cost perspective, would mearly be like removing an atom from planet Earth.

Regards.
 05 March 2014 12:23 AM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

I hate to think what would happen if I made a large enough withdrawal: It could lead to another financial crisis.
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