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Survey fails to reflect engineers' poor pay and insecurity

CHARTERED ENGINEERS' earnings for this year will average £44,450, according to the Engineering Council's latest Survey of professional engineers and technicians.

Earnings are up 10% on 1997, with levels of job satisfaction keeping pace, the survey says. Salaries for incorporated engineers and engineering technicians have also risen 9% to an average £32,842 and £29,942 respectively.

But the Engineering Council's findings do not reflect civil engineers' experience of poor pay and insecurity, industry spokesmen said this week.

Association of Consulting Engineers director of professional affairs Brian Woodford claimed that, although demand for engineers in disciplines such as structural, transport, water and environmental engineering had helped boost salaries, an average figure of £30,000-£35,000 was more accurate.

British Consultants Bureau chairman Peter Garrett said: 'There's no doubt that civil engineers are substantially less well paid than engineers in other disciplines. And overall levels of job satisfaction are not high.'

The survey included chartered engineers from at least 40 fields, including electronics and software. ICE members made up 17% of the survey sample, making civil engineers one of the four single largest professional groups represented.

It also found that chartered engineers work an average of seven hours a week more than they are contracted to do, and that engineering is now considered as much open to women as men.

An Engineering Council spokesman said the survey was intended to 'set a benchmark' for salaries in the engineering profession.

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