Thank you for sharing your experience. Lawyers? I’m an engineer as well (10 years and counting) and have worked with a lot of men in their 50’s who are planning on retiring at 62. I’m employed in a well-paying job with healthcare, just based on that I’m better off than a lot of people out there. I worked as a CPA in corporate accounting for 30 years. Those are difficult to replace, even if you get a younger engineer. They’re all gone now. r/engineering is a forum for engineering professionals to share information, knowledge, experience related to the principles & practices of the numerous engineering disciplines. So income wise, it’s like starting over. Well (for me), head down, chin up and all that. Where I was before, the work was hard but I enjoyed going in everyday. Where you and I diverged was on your points about seniority and leadership– what you say is true in general where I work, but we also have a “specialists” path where, yes, the meeting schedule increases, but then so does your freedom of action. All was well until the company merged with another and existing executive management was overtaken by the other. When I got a real job, it was about 100% solving a problem. was the best insurance that I gave my future self. There were always new challenges especially in a rapidly advancing technology (I worked in video, 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, deep learning). Going into management basically means retiring from your engineering career. All the freaking meetings just kill me! What are the main things I need in order to exit? Easiest math problem I ever had in life – I was out of there! I have remained unemployed and not sure what I will do next or where I will do it, but I have enjoyed the down time none the less. Long hours are expected, and so on. So, I am finishing up a PhD in education now, so I can have a intellectual environment and a smaller pay compared against senior engineering positions. They just wish to use you up and spit you out. I feel like I could have written this post. I make $0 from blogging. But I was so wrong. The process was fascinating. The expectations are that I should act more like a manager and I am actively trying to get away from that. This is very interesting. Every company needs to get the product to the market ASAP because any delay means a loss of profit and market share. Here’s a survey from 2013: http://www.architectmagazine.com/business/2013-aia-compensation-report.aspx Here I am at 55, weighing options and wishing I would have changed earlier! Even though I've only experienced a short stint as an engineer, I feel restless and I think it's time for a change. One of the little secrets about living and working in silicon valley is that wages can be very high but cost of living doesn’t have to be– cheap rents are out there if you look. boeing couldnt profit on training,so they delivered planes to companies and countries outside FAA oversight, who in turn put on very low hours pilots,who where cheap, and less then 300hrs in that body of plane,with zero flight training for that configuration,and never knew that leveling system was even in the plane. Then get on with the rest of your life. Agree but depends on personality, specially in current cultural environment. I was a chip designer also until early retirement. My work life balance is great. The following two tabs change content below. I’ve kept those people who supported me close and tried to avoid the negative people who discouraged me. Blue collar jobs are probably tough too. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reconcile the difference and had to retire from my engineering career. There was good reason senior managers used to have a few grey hairs. Bear with me here, I'm not saying I want to spend my life playing video games... Those strategy games had Economics and Management 101 at their heart. If you paid attention above, I gave them 1-2 weeks a month for free. I do think the grass is always greener in other’s professions. He needs to plan for early retirement if he goes into engineering. you can build cool shit with engineering, Ive been struggling with this problem myself. structural engineer here. I’ve been writing fiction (like, actual original stories, not anime fan-fiction) for about a year, I set aside time to write every single day. Wow. I looking forward to retiring as soon as I hit my minimum retirement age (for health insurance purposes). You habe more than enough school/experience to find a sleepy job you're overqualified for. My husband is a Software Engineer and he just started his work a few years ago. My dream is to be a full time travel writer/photographer. Started at high 30K when hired and currently in the low 6 figures. I like the technical part of the job, but the rest was just too much BS. I have enough to retire now at 50 with my last engineer’s salary as income in a conservative investment portfolio with a paid-off house. That’s the ultimate goal, right? We are preparing to not have the same job with the company for the rest of our lives. Go work for the county, work 36 hours a week with F/T bennies, and write on your lunch hour. You can’t count on an engineering career to last. Lets say in this state things are big. I am an engineer , a Staff Scientist MSEE and a musician and talented in languages. Most engineers will have to adapt and transition to another role. If my kid likes science and engineering, I would encourage him to follow that path. I agree with most of what you said, Engineering is tough in your 20’s and 30’s, but I have felt it becoming easier at 40. And the worst they'll do is send you a form rejection letter, but it at least means they received it and possibly read it. I have no idea about it after one semester. My dream is to work as a greeter or similar job for Disney, the happiest place on earth and the closest place to heaven. My family time is too precious to me. Good luck on your journey! My husband is struggling with this in his job (software engineer). Read the sidebar BEFORE posting. It’s not as if I was given the boring work no one else wanted, in my current job and last job I’ve been leading teams and I’ve been in positions of significant responsibility. If I stayed, life would be miserable for me and everyone around me. The work is not as stressful as engineers, but from time to time, we get a lay off shake up. I recommend you find a few people who are working in the field and talk to them. The thing is you retire and then pursue your passions or positions of interest on your own terms. 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