How Many RE Investors are Engineers?

677 Replies

Is it just me or are about 25% of all real estate investors, also engineers? As an Engineer myself I could be biased but curious if anyone has insight. I know folks usually have professional background like IT, accounting, dr but would be going out on a limb to say engineers cover the majority of all real estate investors?

I did the eng gig until REI proved to be way more profitable. It's paid off in so many ways allowing me to do 'permitted' electrical (took that minor in elect.), opening & replacing walls with LVL beams, HVAC installs, on-demand HW (elect & NG) etc etc. It's a discipline that opened so many cost saving opportunities & you don't get snowed by contractors, home or building inspectors. Biggest job 'permitted' by my town was the complete design, install & wiring/flow rate monitoring of complete fire sprinkler system for a 6 unit. They allowed me 6 months & did it all myself.

But then again I remember our final exams forbade the use of calculators, slide rules were the only device allowed as were card punched software solutions in our lab finals.

 

I worked with some institutional RE firms in the past and I have to say that some of the smartest people I met were engineers (either in undergrad, grad) who then took on finance in academia or practice. 

I would love for my daughters to take it on as a major. 

Full disclosure - I have an urban planning background...so my viewpoint has little credibility...we are barely smarter than architects!

I worked with some institutional RE firms in the past and I have to say that some of the smartest people I met were engineers (either in undergrad, grad) who then took on finance in academia or practice. 

I would love for my daughters to take it on as a major. 

Full disclosure - I have an urban planning background...so my viewpoint has little credibility...we are barely smarter than architects!

Civil Engineer here from Tampa, FL. I think engineers are the most business like field aside from well... actual business or finance. To be a successful engineer you are an engineer, accountant, finance person, salesperson, etc. We are a field that encompasses a wide variety of other fields under our umbrella. At the same time, engineers are problems solvers and we (for the most part) tend to be paid on the higher side of the scale. I think RE as a whole speaks to a lot of engineers because of the way we think. 

I was an industrial automation controls engineer for quite some time but made the move to project development with REI as a side hustle. That being said, I would agree that I find many engineers who dabble in REI.

Originally posted by @Pat L. :

But then again I remember our final exams forbade the use of calculators, slide rules were the only device allowed as were card punched software solutions in our lab finals.
 

I think I can one-up you -- I remember when there was no issue forbidding the use of electronic calculators -- they weren't invented yet!

 

I got a job at McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach, CA in 1985. Most the "guys" (at the time, a female aero engineer was rare) were 20 yrs older and were some the early employees at Douglas Aircraft in El Segundo, CA. They were always telling me of the wonders of REI. One owned 200 apartment units on the "strand" in Manhattan Beach. The other owned both residential and commercial units throughout the south bay. They were in the right place at the right time!

I'm a safety engineer, and from what I've seen there's a good mix of backgrounds. I see a lot of folks coming from RE sales. But there are a notable amount of engineers!

I graduated from a college of engineering with a degree in Construction Management (basically watered down civil engineering). I'm using my current salary from my job at a large GC to save up, to do some out of state investing. I would like to continue to save as much of my salary as possible until I have enough cash flow in my portfolio to switch to REI full time !

Originally posted by @Kevin Mahoney :

I graduated from a college of engineering with a degree in Construction Management (basically watered down civil engineering). I'm using my current salary from my job at a large GC to save up, to do some out of state investing. I would like to continue to save as much of my salary as possible until I have enough cash flow in my portfolio to switch to REI full time !

I'm in the same boat, currently working on the road as a safety engineer living off of that sweet sweet per diem in construction.. It's quiet a challenge investing while moving around the Southeast every few months. Are you on the road as well?

@Adam Zach

In my experience, it varies. I'm not a licensed engineer, but have spent the last 27 years in an engineering-type job in the oil & gas industry. I think it goes back to the numbers as to why you as an engineer like REI. I know that is part of why I do.

I have a bachelors in electrical engineering technology and currently work as a test development engineer. I've worked with 3 other engineers that dabble in REI too. When I listen to the podcasts, it seems pretty common that the guests are/were engineers. Even Mr. Money Mustache was an engineer.

I think @Antonio Cucciniello hits it on the head that engineers are numbers people and this is mostly a numbers game.

Originally posted by @Peter Korty :

I have a bachelors in electrical engineering technology and currently work as a test development engineer. I've worked with 3 other engineers that dabble in REI too. When I listen to the podcasts, it seems pretty common that the guests are/were engineers. Even Mr. Money Mustache was an engineer.

I think @Antonio Cucciniello hits it on the head that engineers are numbers people and this is mostly a numbers game.

 Absolutely 

We engineers are many! The two factors that draw us in are the tangibility and RE's numbers-orientation. 

The biggest factor that stops many engineers is how much real estate is a people business. 

Most engineers are capable, but not all are willing to put in the work!