It has been suspected for sometime that there might exist a disparity between the wages of university educated engineers and college educated engineers, like ourselves. Now tangible statistics have become available to show the spread, and it’s big…. Like huge different!
The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) has just released a report on the yearly earnings of all engineers across the province. The information is current, as of June 1st 2012. There is a subsection of the survey that discusses the earnings of new engineering graduates, with less than two years of experience. 1,442 new engineering grads were included in the survey. According to the OSPE’s survey, the average new engineering graduate is earning an annual wage of $59,200. This does not include additional compensation which bumps the average total cash compensation to $61,400 per year. This is the average over the entire province. In our area of southwestern Ontario, the average is a little lower at a annual wage of $56,800 and average total cash compensation of $58,800 per year. Remember this may include engineering graduates from every university of college, and from every discipline.
Another report was published on June 12th by our own Karen Cain, the Mechanical Systems Engineering (MSE) Coordinator. This annual report, the MSE Coordinator Report, includes data on the previous graduates annual salary. The average for last years graduate’s yearly wage was $46,206.
As I stated before, there was always a disparity expected, but not this much! A separation of over $10,000? I have thought of three explanations to the massive disparity other than a difference in education:
- Discipline: Mechanical engineers are quite populous, though as we know, MSE is much more encompassing than just a Mechanical program. Remember very well paid disciplines like Nano-Technologies (A relatively new program at University of Waterloo) and mining are included in the OSPE survey as well.
- Co-op: Our co-op office markets our program too low. The last co-op term our co-op office recommends pay of $19-$21 per hour. With this wage at 40 hours per week, the annual wage would be $43,680. Simply enough the co-op office at Conestoga doesn’t know what we are worth to employers.
- Finally KW job market may not be that strong. I know for a fact that many soon to be grads are currently looking for any job they can get.
There is a discussion forum both on LinkedIn and the Facebook group. Please voice your opinion!