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apetnameddingbat t1_iuud0zf wrote

My BIL is a director of deep space exploration at Lockheed Martin. He used to be a Chief Engineer for the same division. He has stuff rolling around on fucking Mars with his name on it.

I'm a systems and cloud engineer at a startup. After bonuses, I make ~$50k more than him. It's insane how low-paid of a field aerospace is.


BecauseItWasThere t1_iuv8zms wrote

I get the feeling that really cool jobs with a ton of applicants might be paid less than unpopular jobs with few applicants, all other things being equal


Mocker-Nicholas t1_iux4iob wrote

I believe this is what happens in gaming. Your better off as a dev at some no name bank than you are as a dev at EA or something. Careers of passion pay like shit.


HorseFightingLeague t1_iuxgxub wrote

> Careers of passion pay like shit.

That's because those with passion don't value their labor, nor the labor of their peers. Entirely a self-inflicted wound.


Tomas2891 t1_iuxi5p3 wrote

Or they got a lot more supply of applicants than demand.


HorseFightingLeague t1_iuxj0cn wrote

You think this disproves my point how? If 99/100 applicants demand $100/hr, and 1 accepts $50/hr, guess what happens to wages. Go ahead, think about it.


Tomas2891 t1_iuxmxa7 wrote

Your point was people with passion dont value their labor but your example still had 100 applicants to 1 position… You seem to be agreeing to mine


rockstarmode t1_iuy9r9v wrote

One person gets a job, and the other 99 get to try again, or reevaluate what they assume is the market value of that position?


Omar___Comin t1_iuykhwh wrote

Yeah, and the bigger the applicant pool, the more likely you are to find applicants willing to work for less. Go ahead, think about it...


HorseFightingLeague t1_iuyld0p wrote

>That's because those with passion don't value their labor, nor the labor of their peers. Entirely a self-inflicted wound.

Focus on what we are talking about kid.


Omar___Comin t1_iuyly7t wrote

Bro everyone in this thread but you seems to have a grasp of this lol. But sure, why just be wrong when you can be wrong AND condescending

It's a supply and demand issue... its not because the people who apply for cool jobs are so passionate that they don't care about money.


HorseFightingLeague t1_iuynfsv wrote

> It's a supply and demand issue... its not because the people who apply for cool jobs are so passionate that they don't care about money.

So you think if the $50 engineer demanded $100 with the rest, no hire would be made. That the company would walk away and say "no, we don't need this after all." That is your understanding, yes?


3DSamurai t1_iuxxbgf wrote

Agreed. As a 3D artist, I could make significantly more money working for a non gaming company, making models of products for their online stores than I could working as a junior-mid level artist at a game studio making fun models of robots and aliens because no one wants to sit and model shoes all day every day, while everyone wants to make games and movies.


aw_tizm t1_iuuxxvv wrote

Low-paid? I know several making >$110k after 5 years in industry. Not insanely low by a long shot.

Seems like software is insanely high.. compare your salary with literally any other engineering field


maybeitsme20 t1_iuvajfh wrote

When you factor that alot of those jobs are in HCOL areas like LA, Santa Clara, Colorado. Yes low.


salocin22 t1_iuv5235 wrote

I think it’s more so that software compensation is more commensurate with the value provided to the company. Sure, plenty of Space Engineering positions pay 100-200k, but they are managing the work for 50-500 million dollar programs over a 2-10 year span.

I know plenty of very well paid software engineers, and I wouldn’t consider them more intelligent or efficient or getting more done than engineers in aerospace or anything, but software has become so important and with not enough people to do it that they can’t ask much closer to the going rate.

I read an article/study of NASA approved contractors (which many businesses have to go through to work in the public sector), and over half of those companies up charge their engineering hours up to 10x what they are actually paying the worker. The money has always been there, it’s just an inefficient system. In my personal experience most Aerospace grads or professionals are sometimes doing just as much software dev work as the actual software engineers, particularly in the areas of test or any sort of ground system work.


CallinCthulhu t1_iux11ww wrote

Yeah the reason Software is paid so high compared to other engineering fields is margins. That’s it. Software development has insanely high margins, the only costs are developer salary and compute. Given the high margins it allows for more room for competition for developers.

For traditional engineering, there is a lot more overhead, so salaries don’t have room to grow as far in a competitive environment


salocin22 t1_iuxdyb4 wrote

The margins really aren’t that much different, the overhead between infrastructure/etc. between the hardware and moving parts between the two aren’t that much different in my experience.

Software positions (at least the ones I’m familiar with) revolve around products. If you are a software engineer at Cisco you either work in sustaining/maintaining/troubleshooting products for customers, or you work on developing the product itself. You are “ahead of the curve” I would say with regards to contracts or procurement. In other engineering fields, the only difference is that a company is contracted to do XYZ, but based on work and engineering hours and deliverables as opposed to being product based. This essentially creates a bunch of middlemen between money received and work being done, where companies are paying realistic amounts (or getting paid) for work, but that money is cut tenfold before getting to the people doing the work.

Creating a similar example, you could be testing a spacecraft assembly at a company like Rockwell or a smaller company, who is then contracted by Lockheed for a spacecraft or hosted payload, who was originally contracted by NOAA or NASA or whoever. Your actual work has the same value as a software engineer, you’re just getting bent over because many companies are trying to get their dirty hands on the pie.


DBMS_LAH t1_iuwes11 wrote

I'm a barber and I make 6 figures. As a blue collar guy, I feel like engineers should make much more than I do.


xmilehighgamingx t1_iuwjt02 wrote

You are clearly good at what you do. Mediocrity in one field isn’t necessarily worth excellence in another. I also wouldn’t discount the value of quality service. I would imagine quite a few software engineers would be much more intimidated by the thought of carrying on a conversation with someone for an hour than you are by the thought of programming. A good engineer should make more than a good barber, but there is nothing wrong with an excellent barber making more than the average engineer.


DBMS_LAH t1_iux9i1f wrote

Hey, thank you! The conversation is fun, but certainly draining.


gwardotnet t1_iuyiwhc wrote

Postal carriers who average 55 hours a week make over 100k a year. Let that sink in. High school diploma only. And they always need more to apply.


Cutecatladyy t1_iuwny4d wrote

All honest work is good work. It took you a lot of time to develop your craft and perform at the level you do, same as an engineer.


DBMS_LAH t1_iux9f3i wrote

I appreciate that perspective. Thanks.


Leading-Ability-7317 t1_iuwcuz1 wrote

Lockheed is known for low balling as well. I can only speak to software engineering salaries but I received an offer from them in my last job search and they came in at 40% lower than my other offers and wouldn’t budge. Maybe they are baselining around other engineering fields but at least for software engineers they pay horribly.


Cutecatladyy t1_iuwo8fi wrote

Defense contractors don't pay as well as the rest of the industry from what I've heard. But depending on the company, you also aren't likely to exceed 40 hours a week the way you might in other areas of the field.


volvogiff7kmmr t1_iuwsw1u wrote

You aren't likely to exceed 40 hours a week at most tech companies either.


Cutecatladyy t1_iux07ap wrote

One of my friend's boyfriend is a computer engineer at SpaceX, and he had to work 80hr weeks alternating day/night shifts for $80kish in California. Granted, almost no one in tech is quite as horrible as Elon Musk when it comes to treatment of employees, but it can happen. I don't know how big of a field aerospace outside of defense contractors though, so I do have a data gap there.


volvogiff7kmmr t1_iux0idn wrote

musk companies are known for bad wlb. typically people in tech work 35 hrs a week.


Cutecatladyy t1_iux0xw2 wrote

Good to know! My boyfriend is in aerospace, so I only know what I know from him. And my friend who's boyfriend works for musk.


Agreeable_Ad3760 t1_iuxcl1t wrote

Depending on the contractor they may get government benefits too. A friend of mine worked for Applied Physics Lab and got government holidays, 10% 401k match, vacation banking etc.


apetnameddingbat t1_iuwd6u0 wrote

I applied once to a Sr. Staff engineer role there. They offered $225k total comp ($190k base and the rest was bonus). The startup I'm at pays Sr. Staff engineers >$500k total comp, half in salary, a 20% bonus, and the rest in stonks.


DoktorElmo t1_iuzv032 wrote

Here I am, Europoor from one of the „richer“ central european countries, thought „damn that‘s a nice average salary“, only to read the comments and notice how bad we are really paid here in Europe even with a masters degree :D


apetnameddingbat t1_iv0pze3 wrote

Well, you do have that whole cancer won't bankrupt your family thing going for you, which is nice.


DoktorElmo t1_iv20r2f wrote

Yeah, but we on the other hand have problems with other bullshit. Thanks to wages growing slower than inflation since many years in the EU, needing a new car or even a washing machine is a big problem, due to next to no disposable income left for many families here in the EU. That won‘t happen when you earn 70k+ a year (only 3% of us working Austrians earn that much!) with far less taxes. In the US, you might be in a tough spot when shit hits the fan, but here you are in a slightly less tough spot all the time and when shit hits the fan, you better have a private insurance as well because the public health sector will give you an appointment for surgery in maybe 3 months due to no capacity, even when you have cancer. Wage- and ingflationwise, we are super fucked here and our public health sector is bled dry.


MVRK_3 t1_iuwdd3i wrote

I was gonna say, seems kinda low to me.


nekochanwich t1_iux1g0n wrote

Supply and demand. Lots of people want to work on aerospace technology. No one wants to write the 500th iteration of their company intranet's login screen.


SpicyFlaps t1_iuxa5pb wrote

My friend's nephew is 25 and makes ~$150k/yr working in a similar tech field with only 1 year of school.


SweetCosmicPope t1_iuxge6m wrote

I'm shocked looking at these numbers. I'm an IT Systems Administrator and my income is right about in the middle of this. I do nothing that interesting or important.


alex6219 t1_iuuplyi wrote

I'm a systems and AWS cloud engineer! Hook me up with a reference!!


charleswj t1_iuuwxqr wrote

Why would he refer someguy7416?


Spartancoolcody t1_iuv27iq wrote

Referral bonus. It’s worth a shot to ask for it actually but probably better to do via LinkedIn or at least with a resume attached so you know a little bit who you’re recommending.


charleswj t1_iuv66oi wrote

Yea that's my point, pretty cringe to just say "refer me" like that


Spartancoolcody t1_iuv6mlj wrote

No not really, it’s probably got a better chance to get you in than applying to random job postings. If it’s stupid and it works it’s not stupid, or in this case “cringey”.


charleswj t1_iuv8cfk wrote

Just because something could ultimately work in their favor doesn't make it less cringe. I could stand in the corner begging for money even though I have a job, and maybe make some extra cash, but it would still be cringey.

Stupid is not the same thing as cringey.