Job Offer

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Hey all I need some advice.

    A little background,I am a graduating mechanical engineer who will be summa cum laude with a 3.96 gpa.

    I am asking for your opinion on a job offer. I recently received an offer in my hometown, which also happens to be where I attend school. The company is VERY small with 10 or less employees. The big draw is that I will remain in Fort Collins, which I love ( I have lived all over the US and no town is as nice as Ft Collins in my opinion). My concerns are

    1) job stability since so small
    2) there is health insurance only for me personally, not my family if i have one down the road
    3) there is no program to assist me going to grad school
    4) pays 47000 a year

    the pros are
    1) in fort collins
    2) more personal since small
    3) owner is very nice

    What are your thoughts? I know that the AVERAGE starting salary with a B.S. in mechaincal engineering immediately after graduation is 55,000

    Being at the top of my class, is it wrong to suspect I should have an offer for more than the average? Any way to negotiate a higher offer? This is all new to me so any advice is very appreciated.

    If anyone is looking for an entry level engineer for a job opening, you know where to go *wink* *wink*! :p
  2. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I'm a little out of my element here, since I know next to nothing about engineering...

    ...but I imagine with your credentials, plus a good interview performance, you could get many other good job offers. The trouble to me seems to be your connection with Fort Collins. It sounds a little provocative, perhaps, but there are many nice places to live in the US with an income of 55,000 a year (and being single!).

    Maybe shop your CV around a bit and see what else bites, although on the other hand, working at this smaller place for a few years might give you some time to decide if you need anything more, or if this position is just right for you.

    Best of luck deciding!
  3. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    Have you thought about cost of living? How far does 47000 go in Ft. Collins versus 55000 in another community?
  4. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    the cost of living in fort collins is 6.7% higher than national average according to stats in 2003

    more stats

    cost of living in 06

    cooler stats

    the last link says avergae home costs is about 210k. im pretty sure its more than that now though
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    You can either be a big fish in a small pond, or a very small, faceless fish in a big pond.

    Personally, I'd aim for the middle and head to a mid-sized company where I know my work will actually make a difference.
  6. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    any reccomendations on great companies to work for? preferably in aeronautics but im flexible in the field i work in
  7. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    nothing beats living in your hometown. you may not make as much cash living somewhere else, but there's a value that's hard to peg for staying at home.

    if it were me, i'd take it and see where the next year or 2 takes me. smaller companies sometimes serve as the greatest learning ground b/c you can get in on more projects and play a significant role, thus expanding your knowledge and experience quickly.

    whatever you do, best of luck,
  8. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    at least u got a job offer. I've been interning for a TV station since september and nothing.... :eek:
    and looking around there isn't many jobs i'm qualified for.. they all want like 4+ years experience :mad:
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Personally I think the pay is a little low. The oil companies I know are offering 63k/year for fresh college grads. 47 very low for an ME. Mix that 47k/year in with the less than stealer benefits and it looks even worse. The benefits are not as nice because the company can not match the buying power.

    Also it is always easier to go from a large company to a smaller one. It is not so easy to go the other way.

    Lastly remember money is not everything. The work environment is part of the package but you are getting under paid. You can try asking for more money and see what you get.
    Remember it is all a balancing act between salary, benefits, and work environment.
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wow, is $47000 per year really a low wage in America for a Mech Eng graduate? You're expecting $55000, which is amazing to me.

    I remember in 2000, when I was just entering uni, and looking at starting salaries. I remember engineers of all types with starting salaries of around $40000 to $43000, and that was Canadian dollars! That would have been around $30000 USD at the time. :p I wonder how much it is now?

    Anyway, I'm still attending uni, and when I graduate (eventually), I expect a starting salary of around $65,000 to $70,000, although I have never looked up the statistics. I just think I should earn that. :D :p I know that if I worked in the US of A, and the centre was big, I could earn around $85,000 to $100,000 starting salary, but who knows. I doubt I'd work in America unless it was in New England. :eek:
  11. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    well as i said, 55k is the average so i do kind of expect it
  12. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    I am in a slightly similar situation in the UK. I have am finishing an MSc in electronics and starting a new job just over a week.

    Of your concerns:

    1. Job security in a small firm: I kow of plenty of large companies that struggle, just because a company is small does not mean it will go under. As a graduate I would prefer to work in a small company (the one I am going to is relatively small, 25 people maybe). You get to know everyone, they know you and you work better in a team. Also you are more likely to do a wider range of jobs. In a large company you will do a specfic job and thats it for maybe your entire career with that company, then when you leave your skills set is relatively low.
    2. Health insurance. Not too sure about this one and in the UK it works a bit different. However the question needs to be, how long do you see yourself working with this company. I think normally it is best for a graduate to do 3 different jobs within his first 10 years of employment. That gives him a good balance of experiences and also a reasonably big set of skills (providing you do different jobs at each company). So maybe look to stay with this company for 3 years. No do you envisage having a family within that time period?
    3. No grad scheme. Again in the UK that is not very common and to do my MSc I had to save up myself. Maybe push them and say - look I really want this job but I also really want to go to grad school, if you can provide me with that funding I will take the job. Maybe worth a go?
    4. Salary. Bloody hell that is far better than graduates get in the UK. When I first graduated from university 3 years ago I would have got the equivalent for 40k. Now I am nearer 50k. You say that you will be living in your home town. I know this may not be practical but have you considered living with your parents for a year or so and saving up some money? I wish I could do that but my industry is so small that I have to go where the work is and that is not where my parents live.

    Anyway, good luck with it all. But remember that jobs don't grow on trees. If you turn this down it maybe another 12 months before another opportunity arises.
  13. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    That's what I was thinking. There are a lot of grads in the UK would give their right arm to start on £27500 ($55k-ish). I earn quite a lot for someone two years out of Uni and I only just beat the 55k figure.
  14. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Experience really helps you get into the bigger companies so it does help to get experience where possible.

    You could always take the job and stay for a year or so, this will give you experience, safety (by being in a place you know), some money a better idea as to what you actually want to do.

    I'm applying for jobs and the pay is between $53k-60k (converted from £) so perhaps it is a little low but you are also getting paid in experience and there might be opportunities to progress up through the company. Are there any structured pay reviews (most schemes here offer 6 monthly for the first 2 years).

    I would be willing to take a lower paid job for a year or so if it meant being able to get into a bigger/higher paid firm in a years time.

    All from a chemical engineering pov.
  15. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    How much experience outside of your degree do you have? Any internships or co-ops? If you have none, then $47k is pretty good IMO.

    I say take your $47k job, and get some experience from it. Then in a few years you can decide to stay and negotiate a raise, or move on.

    Ask yourself this: what do you have to offer that requires the company to pay you $8k/year more?

    I'm taking a career development course and we talk about all these kinds of things. From what I've read most electronic/computer engineers average at around $42k, but like you said that might be different for mechanical engineers. But I think it all varies depending on experience.
  16. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Growth potential of the company

    One thing you may need to think about is in your opinion, how much growth potential does the company have? Working at a small company can be difficult and sometimes much more demanding than working at a big company, but since you are starting off with such a small crowd, its much easier to catapult ahead in a small company if they start to grow. Being one of the core can really accelerate your career growth, but on the other hand if the company folds you will have a lot of experience at a company that is now dead and probably almost nobody has heard of, not exactly a star on the resume.

    I would consider this as well as the more tangible items when considering your offer.
  17. GroundLoop macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2003
    Ever consider working for Lockheed Martin? They have a Space Systems Company on the south side of Denver. You could work on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.
  18. UWSpindoctor macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2007
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Lockheed Martin was the first company that jumped to mind although I admit I have some bias in this case. LM is not exactly a small company though.
  19. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    oh yes ive applied to many positions by them, done a mnay interviews in which they say i did well and should hear from them. however...i dont hear from them at all which is dissapointing

    also have interviewed with raytheon, atk, ula, boeing, adams aircraft etc

    just that i dont hear from them and i always leave the interview feeling like i did a great job

    its just frustrating to say the least
  20. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    Northrop Grumman? Any of the bigger defense companies should be hiring pretty much constantly. I know you don't want to get lost in the shuffle, but starting with a large company won't kill you and will give you experience you can market somewhere else.
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The benefit of a small company if they are doing a lot of work in your field ... experience.

    You will tend to get a lot more experience quicker in the small company than the big ones. Of course this will depends on what work they do, how many other people you have to help with furthering your training, etc.

    However with your standing in the class, you would probably jump ahead of the rest of the new employees also in a large company.


    So talking to the other mechanical engineers at the small company would help. See if what they work with is something you want to get involved in.

    Sometimes taking a cut, for staying around can help.

    But also without some supplemental education dollars it could hurt, especially if you want to add an MBA or a Masters soon.
  22. DocSmitty macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    Lincoln, NE
    Couple of points:

    First, if you are applying for position(s) at a large firm, the onus is on you to follow up with the employer. They will likely do many interviews, and any followup you can provide will give them all the more notice that you are actually interested. If they LOVED you then sure, they will follow up.. but if you aren't hearing back from them, that probably isn't the case :(

    Second, you may want to consider working towards your PE rather than grad school. If you intend to work as an engineer and not a manager, that is likely going to be a larger benefit to you. Ask if they help with that, rather than grad school.

    Last, $55,000 may be the average but keep in mind this is not the strongest job market right now. Depending on what sort of firm it is, work may be drying up. However, with a slightly above average cost of living and poor benefits, if you really want to work at that company your best bet is to get a job offer from another place and then be able to use that as a bargaining tool. In the long run, you're the only person who can decide how much staying in Ft. Collins is worth, and whether you can afford to live the way you want on that salary. I had friends who owned their own home in California, Bay Area, making that much and supporting a family and wife in school simply because they were willing to sacrifice just about anything that could be considered a luxury. But if you expect a certain amount of spending money, factor that in.

    Good luck!

Share This Page