It's insulting that you would say that. Yes, a good engineer who can schmooze, sell, and build relationships is a damn good thing. But don't expect that good engineer to get a job in consulting. They'll want to work on solving problems and making the product better.
Consulting covers a pretty large area. I currently work for a Consulting firm that specializes in custom built enterprise software development (perhaps I should have said this instead of "Consulting"). 50% of my job is designing and building solutions, 30% is managing other technical people and 20% is sales. I love it. I get to use my engineering skills to solve problems, my people skills, and build my rudimentary sales skills. This is after spending 12 years in industry as a heads down developer and 6 years in a pure management role and finding myself stuck. Consulting was the best move I ever made.
Engineers who bitch about the sales people making more than them aren't saying that the Engineers should be the ones making more, (at least most of the time) they are saying that the damn good top engineer should be making at least as much as the damn good top sales or consulting person.
I agree. Unfortunately it's much easier to measure the revenue generated by a sales person or a consultant than it is to measure the contribution made by a good engineer. It's also not obvious to a non engineer (the folks that generally decide how valuable someone is) what a good engineer looks like.
And the best salesman in the world is useless if he has nothing to sell. You think that the salesman is valuable enough to be paid so much? That's fine, but your engineers are just as valuable as your sales people.
I agree completely. Once more, unfortunately it's easy to measure the value of a sales person by the amount of revenue they bring in and much harder to measure the worth of an engineer. Most executives like things that are easy to measure.
At the end of the day, reality is reality. You can either work to change it, change yourself to work with it, or sit around and bitch...