Are engineers undervalued? 8 tips for more appreciation

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“Engineers are undervalued in comparison to other professionals”, someone wrote me. I hear this often. And this despite the fact that technology companies often complain that there is a shortage of engineers. The 2016 salary survey by Technisch Weekblad shows that the pay of an engineer rose considerably by 4.6% compared to previous years.

Are engineers and technicians undervalued? Is the salary of an engineer still fixed to a table or does it follows the trend of supply and demand?
The average salary of an engineer/technician is € 44 K per year according to the 2016 salary survey. This is less compared to a lawyer (€ 65 K) and an economist (€ 74 K) (source). Anyhow, the starting salary of an engineer in the US is $66 K. That’s more than a lawyer ($ 45 K) and an economist ($ 59 k) (source). In addition to the professional field, other factors such as age, education, region play a role in the challenging determination of an average salary.

The question is, what does appreciation consist of? Is it just the salary? Or are factors as collegiality, a good environment (computer, phone, office design), training, mobility also forms of appreciation?

What can you do for more appreciation at work (or at home)?

Here are 8 tips:

1. Find out what is necessary to feel appreciated at work

Is it about the money or do you want a better office, training or even different work within or outside the company you work for? You can also ask for less work if it simply is too much and when you have difficulties to find balance between work and life.

2. Find out what your goals are and make a plan for your career

Create a business plan for your career and make choices that are in line with what you want in life.

3. Speak up

If you feel unappreciated, don’t sit quietly in a corner but not speak up ASAP! Tell why you you don’t feel appreciated and what needs to change. And also let others know when you have contributed something to the success of a project!

4. ask for a raise and promotion

Convince your manager of your added value and that good salary or promotion is justified. You can check your salary here.

5. create an appreciation list

On my phone I have pictures with messages I’ve gotten from customers, colleagues and trainers where they recommend, thank and compliment me. I read them when I feel uncertain or not appreciated and in need of encouragement.

6. Share your successes

Invite friends to share their successes to you. Share your own successes. Create an environment where you occasionally “brag” about your work or life.

7. Say: “good job!”

Appreciate your work as you hope that others do too. Don’t say “it was nothing” but say to yourself and your colleagues that you have worked well and give compliments. Express appreciation when you receive appreciation.

8. Taken for granted = compliment

Maybe you never get appreciation for the timely delivery of a report, a calculation or other work that you pick up proactively. The mere fact that there is nothing said about it, is actually a compliment because you meet the expectations that the other has of you.

What do you think? Are engineers are undervalued and how can you be more appreciated in the future? Let me know in the comment box below. I look forward reading from you!

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