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Hope Your Kid's an Engineer

By Dian Vujovich

With spring break, Passover and the Easter holidays nearly behind us, figure it’s back to college for those of you with college-aged little darlings. And for those young-en’s who will be graduating this year, guess what? Life begins with work.

We all know the job market isn’t what it was a year ago, and way off the mark from its hiring highs, but that doesn’t mean all the tens of thousands of dollars you’ve spent on your kid’s education will go up in smoke. Some will find jobs. Really.

To make sure you’ve a clue as to how much they might earn, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently released its Class of 2009 starting salary pay list.

The not-so-good news is that the average offer to someone graduating this year with a bachelor’s degree is $48,515. That’s down 2.2 percent from 2008. (My first job after college paid $10,000 a year. That was considered good. Of course, that was back in aught-seventy-something.)

Not all average starting salaries have gone down though. If your kid is a chemical engineer, the average starting salary for them is said to $65,403. Or, up almost three percent from the year before. The average salary for all engineering disciplines is $58,438. Also up from ’08.

Computer engineering grads can expect to begin their careers with a lovely income of over $61,000; mechanical engineers around $58,750.

From there it’s downhill to the average salary level mentioned previously for those earning accounting and business management/administration degrees.

And way down for the liberal arts grad. Bummer. They’re probably going to have a tough time paying the rent and saving for their future. Average salary for them: $36,800. No mention of the average teacher’s beginning salary but figure it’s not gonna top that 36 grand level. Double bummer.

You can find out more about NACE and college grad incomes at http://www.nace.org . Their salary income reports come out quarterly.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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