Find out how much your peers are making and what they're thinking about in the 2006 MACHINE DESIGN salary survey.
What trends do you see in engineering?
"As the difference in wealth between "average" citizens in the U.S.A. and those in other countries becomes smaller, we will see consumer, as well as industrial, product requirements being driven to an increasing extent by non-U.S. customers and users."
International TechneGroup Inc.
"U.S. engineers are being asked to shoulder diverse responsibilities, including tasks previously handled by middle management or support staff who have been reduced to cut costs. They are competing with low-cost, educated technical professionals from overseas. To compete, engineers must be able to communicate complex technical concepts to peers and management, many of whom speak English as a second language."
"Service industries are booming, even in the engineering fields. Companies will continue to see regulations and guidelines make the expertise they need unaffordable. This will bring about a greater need for the engineering disciplines. Manufacturing will slow down here until we learn to compete with the foreign countries or until they learn they are being taken advantage of in the race for wages."
Strattec Security Corp.
"I see more medium-size companies with complementing, not competing, product lines forming joint ventures to provide more of a one-stop shop, globally, for OEMs. Rapid prototyping will continue to shorten lead times and development times and companies will license products they develop but have no way of marketing."
Sr. Product Engineer
Republic Windows and Doors
"3D modeling will be the standard for all mechanical industries. Engineers will multitask even more, moving into the area of "supply chain." Engineers will be making more assembly models that will serve to check "fit and function." They will need to make parts that require less secondary operations and have greater design flexibility."
Wheel Tooling Coordinator
Alcoa Wheel Products
"Engineering will need to change from purely study and research, and it will need to embrace marketing, sales, and accounting to succeed. If engineers believe they will run a CAD system or do calculations all day, they are mistaken. Engineers in the future will require a broader background to survive in organizations. They will need skills outside the traditional disciplines to gain respect and thrive within organizations."