How much money should I be making?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by netjaws, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. netjaws
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    netjaws Junior Member

    I know it's a weird question, but-

    I've been an intern for a small naval architecture firm for two and a half years. I started out making $15 per hour, but somewhere along the way that went up to $17 per hour. Having just received my degree in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, I was curious - how much money should my boss offer me, now, if he expects me to stick around?
     
  2. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    17 dollars an hr is not bad ,,to be learning a trade,,,so you have been to school,that got your foot in the door ,,now the real learning has begun,,,,,I have a question for you,,have you designed a boat or componant that reaped a profit for your company?that is your job,,to keep the yards working and what have you learned from the senior designers?can you put a price on that ? I risk my life daily for my money,,(my choice),,,powerlineman.but I have paid my dues,,and call the shots now,ask the same question in 7 more years,,,,longliner,,,,,,,,,,,,,,buy the way ,you shouldent be so vage about your location,,that matters ,,especially when asking questions
     
  3. netjaws
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    netjaws Junior Member

    Oh, I love my job and (secretly) don't plan on going anywhere. It's just that my boss asked me to come into his office with 'a number' and I'm frankly pretty clueless. It feels sort of like a game-

    To (try to) answer your question - I've reached the point where I can do most of my work unsupervised. Sometimes I take calls from clients and submit the calculations to Coast Guard before anyone even realizes I've opened a new job. As far as 'designing a boat...' I'm really not sure how to answer that - we're designing a boat now - it's going to take 2 yrs... if I tried to do it myself I think it would take 40....
     
  4. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Netjaws, maybe find out through application how much other firms will offer you, by all means stick with your current employer esp if they've looked after you in training etc - loyalty is gold but if the rates elsewhere appeal thats your decision & theres a lot to be said for working with new people/projects to expand the experience base. Do they have a set minimum award wage rate where your from? Does your employer expect you to stick around? Is there plenty of work for you & workmates coming through the door to keep you busy? Are you holding up a spot for a new intern-sometimes the most "fat" is made on the juniors wage. You got your ticket now, its destination is up to you. All the best from Jeff.
     
  5. netjaws
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    netjaws Junior Member

    Yes, we have lots of work (probably too much) and I'd never dare to dream of walking out of the place without having had time to train a replacement- not after all they've done for me-
     
  6. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    See loyalty is gold, if theres plenty of work & your happy there & not wanting to leave & the boss is a reasonably freindly/cosy guy better be upfront & not play the game, I know him asking is like a loaded question but he knows how much he'll go to & it wont be more than one of your senior workmates(unless your way far talented/dynamic etc & holding the whole firm up on your back!), ask him what he reckons & dont take it like a shot to the heart if it offends just remain composed & ask for a review at a set date, good employment is a two way thing you dont have to win, just be happy in it Regards from Jeff
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Selling your "resume" to find out what's available is a fair idea, but frankly, it doesn't matter at this point in your career.

    You can hang a "shingle" and strike out on your own, but that will yield frustration and missed dinners, until you can establish yourself as a designer with a solid reputation. You can take what your boss feels you're worth, which will likely be a business decision based on what he thinks you'll accept, probably considerable less then he'll pay to keep you. You can ask for a much higher amount and negotiate to an amount both you and he can live with or your could bid yourself out of a job.

    You best bet, is to get a feel for what the industry is willing to offer, then come at him with a figure somewhat less then that, so he has some room to advance you as your worth to him increases.

    In the end, most designers in your position are best served staying put and developing a reputation there. People have noticed who signs off of the detail sheets, trust me, or they wouldn't be interested in trying to negotiate a pay scale for you. There's so much to learn from the folks around you and opportunities will come up as you prove your skills and ideas. I've never met a successful designer who didn't have a "mentor" or other environment which fostered the more abstract concepts and principles we deal with, eventually developing you into a force to be reckoned with on the market.

    They know they'll have to cut you loose some day, but they also know that a good working relationship with you when that time does arrive could generate future business and another designer they can rely on, especially a person trained the way they like. Good Luck . . .
     
  8. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    I wasnt trying to be harsh,,pars advice is sound,,,,but your probably sitting pretty right now ,,your young and have time,,,,sometimes these things play out themself ,,ie,,,,,someone else may make you a offer ,but wiegh out the differance ,,,,,and good on you for reasearching,,longliner
     
  9. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I think he is looking for a number you guys. Though I do not know where you are and how common what you are doing exactly is. But it sounds like you have skills they want and need, if you leave now with both experience and a collage degree, it would be hard and expensive to replace you.

    I would guess somewhere between $25 and $35 an hour (or equivalent salary), depending on your benefits package (if any), and your local market. An experienced engineer would get direct pay of about double that or even more for certain specialties, so I would guess that is a good pay for a recent grad with some experience.

    You might start the conversation about pay by asking your supervisor (in private) what he had in mind as far as pay. He knows everyone's salary and has an idea of where you fit in that range. Do not ask any of your co-workers what they earn, if you can ask an associate in another firm that does similar work, or even some of your professors.

    He will also not want to pay you any more than it takes to keep you there. So he will start a little on the low side. If says he was thinking about $23 an hour, you say you were thinking of about 28 (especially if you have a very high GPA or other honors), and then you settle on something in the middle.

    Do not be intimidated about negotiating your salary, he is not clairvoyant and presuming he wants to keep you there, he want to keep you happy. OTOH, if he offers you only $19, it means they either think you are gullible or you are not worth that much to them. In that case I would not even counter offer. I would tell him you will consider it, and see what you can get elsewhere. You should be worth much more if you currently earn 17 and now you have both experience and a degree.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    OK - seeing New Zealand has the largest number of NAs per capita I will assume you are a Kiwi.

    Here is a web site that will give you an idea:
    http://www.careers.govt.nz/default.aspx?id0=60103&id1=J28350
    It gives the range NZD40 to 50k annual salary. So around NZD20 to 24/hr if you work a "standard" 40 hour week.

    If you are not a Kiwi then you can do a similar Google search for your own country.

    In Australia we often reference Hays:
    http://www.hays.com.au/salary/
    for salary information. Just don't look at the mining and resource sector as you might think you have chosen the wrong career. Anyway boats are a lot more fun than digging dirt.

    Rick W.
     
  11. sailfaiz
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    sailfaiz Junior Member

    17$ an hour is very little money!!its good for intern. with a B-Eng u should atleast start off at 22-25 dollars an hour.
     
  12. Volare
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Volare Non lo so

    Who not ask HR what the positions pay? If company is looking outside to fill a NA position they will have a pay scale they work to. This avoids cat fights with fellow workers and at same time tells what job pays. It would be wise to do a search at other NA company and see what they have offer and have a back up plan
     
  13. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    sailfaiz,,,the economy is bad right now ,,my daughters have degrees they cant use,at mc.donalds all working behine the counter have degrees,you are giving this kid false expectations,and it will only get worse,,why would I pay a NA top dollar when I can get one (who uses the same computer programs) from ,lets say pakistan or India?? for pennys on the dollar,,,,with nafta and cafta ,,,,thanks to the democrates ,,we are all taking a step backwords,and to beat all hell ,,we help them to do this,longliner
     
  14. eponodyne
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    eponodyne Senior Member

    If you'd like some practical experience in what works for shoving barges around, I know I could get you a job working with me in Chicago moving cargo up and down the Cal/Sag Canal. There's nothing like shoving the throttles all the way up (and having nothing happen except burying the stern) to give on an appreciation for the role of naval architect. Nothing like trying to get three hours of fitful sleep on an off-watch to appreciate just why noise reduction is so important on a working vessel. Nothing like trying to bend frozen Spectra around a deck fitting to make one understand why steel is still the gold standard for face wires.

    Mind you, I make just on the sunny side of $50K USD yearly for doing this; and I'm not an engineer, just a deck ape with a high-school education; but $17 an hour seems about right for indoor work with no heavy lifting.

    My point being, if you want to make yourself more salable, go ask your employer for a leave of absence so you can go WORK on commercial vessels as it's a truly invaluble experience that can't be learned any other way.
     
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  15. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
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    ted655 Senior Member

    What someone is worth is in direct proportion to supply & demand. Where you are better off & when it is time to move on is the 3rd eye of success
    When it's time to quit is dependent on 3 questions.Do I still enjoy it? Am I still good at it? and Can I still do it.
     
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