{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My bf graduated with his PhD and masters in civil engineering and starting salary is just $65k (no bonus) and benefits are awful. It’s really impeding our plans on getting engaged and we are using...", "post_id": "5bbd8b8595929d0017b27071", "reply_count": 42, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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My bf graduated with his PhD and masters in civil engineering and starting salary is just $65k (no bonus) and benefits are awful. It’s really impeding our plans on getting engaged and we are using...

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Yeah, I’d re-evaluate your thoughts and importance on money before making any moves. Civil engineers get paid shit; all engineers know that. Those who choose civil generally have a strong passion for it. If he went all the way through Phd; I’d assume he is passionate for it.

Telling your lover who just spent ~10 years to get his PhD in civil engineering to go do real estate or become a consulting associate at a b4 because it pays better just sounds super inconsiderate.

Maybe instead of trying to have him give up the career path he chose to make more money for you to feel better, you should just not get married and find someone else who makes the kind of money you want who doesn’t have to sacrifice their passions (usually people who sacrificed them years ago).

Lastly, if the wedding is stressing you out. Don’t have it... a wedding does not symbolize your love, your relationship should do that. Just wait till you or both make more money and you feel more comfortable or downsize your wedding.

likesmart

Ok I think some responses here are a little harsh on OP. But let me try to focus on the question OP is asking.

As an engineer graduate more than 10 years ago (bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from a top 10 engineering school), I can confirm that Civil Engineering has one the lowest starting salary in the engineering field (Electrical/Computer/Chemical > Mechanical > Civil/Industrial). My first job out of college was at $62k with $13k sign-on/relocation package. Keep in mind this was the good time right before the financial crisis in 2008/09, when I can just open a CD at a bank and earn more than 6% percent interest. For Civil Engineer job, it would be around $5 to 10k less. So to answer your question OP, $65k with a PHD today is certainly on the low side but still within the band.

With all that said, think long term because Civil Engineers progression can be huge, especially you become more experienced (get your PE cert and black belt) and get on to large scale projects (e.g. building bridges, power plant, mass transport systems, etc). My older brother is a Civil Engineer throughout his 15+ years career with less than $50k salary, and now he is making more than 5 times of that, excluding the bonus which has been pretty significant as well.

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OP- First thing, if what you're saying is accurate, you and your boyfriend together make close to 200k annually. If you're saying that you're unable to plan an engagement and a wedding with that kind of money, you may want to reevaluate the amount of money you're spending on a party. Yes I know it's not what you want to hear but worth a thought.

Second, you can't compare degrees and starting salaries. Not all industries pay as well as consulting. And honestly 65k isn't that bad for a starting salary. If you're feeling stressful after a combined salary of 200k, back to my first point, you're doing something wrong and you may want to reevaluate your lifestyle.

likesmart

Civil Engineering jobs are tricky. Start very low but 4-5 years into the job he could be at 250K base easy if he does well amd he is smart.
But here is my honest advice... You dont need a huge wedding, nor a massive stone... you need a good man for a marriage to work and you simply need to give him the professional drive and coaching to chase more responsibilities...

likesmart

My wife and I made ~60k *combined* when we got married, now I make many multiples of that just myself, and my wife is a full time mom. I am thankful that she took a bet on me.

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In a nutshell OP, you are being called a Superficial, inconsiderate Gold Digger...

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YES. Why in the world is it so low? Even starting salary for analyst is 80k this year at D! And PhD would start at C with extra buff for higher education. Sounds like he got a horrible comp or needs to try some more challenging roles.

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McK1, why isnt your scenario gf the civil engineering PhD with a $65K job? Why is she suddenly a teacher? Check your biases please.

And actually, the responses here are at par with a post of the opposite gender. You don't agree?

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My family has a couple of civil engineers and they all get paid like that! I'd advise him to get into real estate management for a corporate or bank or consulting as they do a hybrid of construction and business management. Real estate is a very important topic for every CFO these days. It can also be a case of heavy academic resume without much professional experience. If that's the case then he should do teaching and in a few years he'll break into safe 6 figures for the rest of his life with free education for your kids! Weddings are always an expensive affair and given your situation may be try to find an alternative like one in Mexico or on a Friday or something like that

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200k as a couple allows a very comfortable lifestyle, even in expensive cities. But it all depends on your expectations.
Agree with the above: if you found someone who follows his passion, support him!
Unless you want to quit or change your job or become a stay at home parent down the line, I would say from my experience: 1 crazy / consulting job in the house is enough. High paid jobs do often (not always) with sacrifices, such as travel, high pressure, long hours etc, and if he can do something he is passionate about, and perhaps be close to home in a job he likes and perhaps not so crazy job, it may give a lot of stability in your home. In case you are looking to build a family, you may eventually look for more than just a lot of cash. But again, that is very personal.
As said above, think it through. What do you want, what is important to you?
And I would suggest not making him feel like he needs to change, if this is what he is happy with

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I can only imagine the responses if a man had written this post.

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Doesn't cost anything to get married, and renting is an option. Live below your means, whatever they are

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Also - Scale back your wedding, or expectations - or find someone else

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Guys
Focus please, this post is not about gender bias...
This is about helping our Gold Digger OP fund her wedding or figure alternative plans
It is also about the future of construction and Engineering in America

By the way, not sure I have mentioned this but Im a Civil Engineer Graduate actually

likefunny

Are you marrying him so he can take care of the family when you want to start a family? If so, adjust your expectations financially. You are in a highly lucrative profession that few qualify for. Remember that except for the very few who can get into and keep jobs that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, the “real world” of working professionals is 100–200 per year. Plan for him earning that and evaluate your decision. If you don’t like it, then plan on working or marrying one of the rare birds such as yourself.

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And they wonder why nobody wants to go into STEM 🤔

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My parents lived and retired with a total income of 60K. Always felt we couldn't be any wealthier and we had everything we needed. My siblings and myself turned out fine (I guess)...

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MD1 - “My gf has just started work post her Masters as a teacher. I make way more and are using my money to live and pay for the wedding. Shouldn’t she contribute more, or get a better job? How can she be worth so much to me if she makes so little?" Something like that. Inequality is all around us - including in ways we do not typically question (but perhaps could/should).

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If you’re going into this with the viewpoint that you have to both contribute equally then you’re setting up for failure. An equitable relationship shouldn’t hinge on finances. Regardless of what you each make (even if it’s $500k and $0) you both have an equal voice and responsibility in running your finances.

Spend less on the wedding if it’s an issue.

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OP - if money is that important to you, then you’re with the wrong guy. Clearly. And based in your post it’s pretty clear.

likesmartfunny

OP I know you think that you “care about your husband and just want him to live up to his full potential”, but it really sounds like you think less of him for accepting a job that pays only 65k. Honestly if you don’t tell him and he continues to be at say 80k in 5 years I promise that you’ll end up resenting him and leave him. The other option is to ask him if this work makes him happy and then live with the fact that he’s happy and forget about the money aspect

likeuplifting

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