Work Environment for Female Engineers

I have read many articles that claim that women, generally, receive 25% less in pay than male counter parts when it comes to engineering. Now, I know there are many factors that make this up, but I am wondering if you have any experience?

I know I may get some lash from asking this, but as a person who equally loves engineering and literature, I'm not sure why I would spend the excess money on a degree that will offer me very little growth or pay respect, because I am a female.

Thank you!
posted by LP, New Brunswick, NJ on April 24, 2014

Answer by Ms. Peggy Layne

Salaries for engineers vary depending on the engineering discipline and the type of employer, as well as years of experience and location. It can be somewhat misleading to look at average salaries for engineers overall. For example, engineers in the petroleum industry typically have much higher salaries than civil engineers working in a government agency.

In general, women and men in engineering start out with very similar salaries. Differences are more likely to appear as they progress through their careers, but that is changing as more women enter the field.

If you love literature and have strong communications skills - that is, if you can write and speak well - those skills will give you an advantage combined with an engineering education. Someone with a good technical background who can also clearly communicate their ideas to others will have great career prospects in engineering.

Regards,

Peggy