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Letters Engineer overload

ANALYSIS; The Editor welcomes letters at 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB fax: (0171) 505 6667 e-mail: nceedit@construct.emap.co.uk and reserves the right to condense.

In the last NCE (last week) I read with bemusement, some rather 'specialised' career opportunities, all of which used 'engineer' in the job title, but would do little to persuade the uninitiated of the diverse and challenging world in which we operate. Permanent way engineer, curtain walling engineer, senior engineer - parking, career grade engineer - parking management, and principal traffic engineering officer, to name but a few.

I have never been tetchy about overuse of the word engineer, but I wonder who conceives these job titles and I can't help feeling that such liberal use of the word simply adds to the already confused public conception of our profession.

'What do you do?' Answer, 'I'm a curtain walling engineer!' I should also point out at this stage, that salaries for all these positions were in the region of £16 to £26k, while in the same section I noticed a vacancy for a chief estimator, salary circa £42k plus car.

I could go on, but alas my washing machine engineer is beckoning from the kitchen and the door bell is ringing. That must be the glazing maintenance engineer calling for his window cleaning money. Seriously though, if we can't decide among ourselves what constitutes an 'engineer', then how can we expect the outside world to consider our plight.

Mark Hardisty (M), 2 Fir Close, Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1PD

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