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Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

03/31/2009 12:52 AM

This email is floating around work lately and I wanted to get the board's opinion on whether or not they think it is a good idea. My apologies if it has already been circulated and I missed it. This is a paste from AIChE.

If you and your employer feel that being a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) can be an important component of an engineer's career, you need to know about an important change that is being implemented. The rules regarding eligibility for the PE exam change in 2012. AIChE's leaders oppose this change.

What's changed?
The change in the Model Law of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying requires a master's of science degree or its equivalent beginning in 2020. That would be on top of the current requirements that you have graduated from a four year, ABET-accredited engineering program; have four years of work experience; and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering examination. State legislatures and governing boards are being urged to adopt this change by 2012 so it can be implemented in 2020.

Proponents claim that additional credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree are needed to fully prepare tomorrow's engineers for practice. They argue that, as universities reduce the hours required for the BS degree, additional credit hours are needed to properly prepare future engineers.

What are the adverse effects of this change?
The change will likely reduce interest in engineers becoming licensed and possibly drive students into other disciplines. It will increase costs to engineers and their firms and the time that it takes to get licensed. While strongly encouraging chemical engineers to become licensed, AIChE leaders believe that the change is unwarranted, expensive, and won't provide any increased benefit or protection to the public. For chemical engineers, the BS degree, four years of practice, and passage of the PE exam are sufficient to assure a reasonable level of competence and protect the public.

Several other engineering societies share AIChE's view. In fact AIChE, along with seven other societies, endorsed an American Society of Mechanical Engineers' position paper opposing the change. The Academy of Engineering Companies is also against it. The major proponent of the change is the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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#1

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

03/31/2009 9:32 AM

Damn civil engineers anyway!

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

03/31/2009 10:59 PM

Civil engineers dam!

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

03/31/2009 11:17 PM

Ha Ha - great!

Mike

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#11
In reply to #2

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 9:39 AM

Hey, Hey, come on guys, stop blaming civil engineers, They are civil people.

If it was not for the civil engineers,

you will not be living in the houses

you will not be working in the good buildings and

you will not be crossing the rivers in your fancy cars on the bridges,

well not those bridges built by French engineers. Well what is good about the French any ways? I even gave up French Fries and French bread. Please spare me with your comments on isolating French people or language as it was just for a jest. No offense intended.

Oh, by the way, I am a chemical engineer and turned to chemical after love affair with civil engineering was over because of going to a new country and I left civil behind and took over chemcial engineering and finished my Master of Science in Chemical with petroleum engineering and never looked back or regretted ever.

Have a great day.

Regards;

Nadeem

04012009

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 4:55 AM

"Civil Engineer" - oxymoron

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 5:23 AM

Didn't you know that mechanical engineers build missiles while civil engineers build targets?

What work would the mechanical engineers have without them?

Maybe we'd better leave the poor civil engineers alone.

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#5

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 5:18 AM

I had not heard of this but when I checked the NCEES website I found an article that says the following:

"In 2006, NCEES delegates passed a motion to draft Model Law language requiring candidates to complete 30 academic credits beyond an accredited bachelor's degree (or earn a master's degree) as a prerequisite for engineering licensure. Since then, members of the Council have wrestled with the specifics involved in implementing this requirement at the state level. This requirement has gone by several names, most commonly the "bachelor's plus 30." NCEES will now begin referring to this requirement more simply as the master's or equivalent. To promote consistency and simplicity, I encourage all of you to do the same. "

Full article here:

http://wwww.ncees.org/news/index.php?release_id=37

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#7

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 5:31 AM

Reminds me of the late 18th century comment that the French produced engineers who knew how to design bridges - and their bridges fell down. The British didn't know how to design bridges, they just built ones that stayed up.

A fresh graduate generally needs a few years experience before he will produce decent engineering.

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#8

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 8:02 AM

I took some graduate courses several years ago, and they had even less to do with my everyday work than my undergraduate courses. The most beneficial and relevant courses I took were my senior-level electives. I could maybe see a requirement for professional development hours during the four years of experience leading up to eligibility to take the exam. Keeping kids in college another two years studying more theoretical stuff (which is entirely appropriate for a career in research) will not make them better at doing everyday engineering.

Many high-school seniors will look at 5 years for a BS and 2 more for an MS and see the salary they get coming out of it and decide to become lawyers instead.

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#9

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 8:27 AM

I am on the board of the local PE chapter and am also the chiarman of the "Project Lead the Way" program. The move I have been hearing is that many of the states are wanting to make a MS or a PHD the statndard to get a PE licence. The US engineering schools have the option of being acredited for a BS program or a MS program. One of the Universities here has a BS program and another only 50 miles away has a MS program.

A lot of this move seems to be that most other professionals have, over the years, uped the requirements while engineers seem to have not.

Speaking of education, I believe that one of the best thing we as engineers can do is to get more envolved with the community. By that I mean, we need to educate the lay people of what we do and the importance and impacts we make in the lives of everyone.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 8:41 AM

I must respectfully disagree. Can you give specific examples of other professionals raising requirements? Lawyers have to go to law school and pass the bar, doctors attend medical school and serve a residency, accountants need 4 years experience and to pass the CPA exam, and the standard requirement for the business professional is the MBA. None of these have changed in decades.

Improving my game in my everyday work comes from technical reading of codes and standards that apply to my field, as well as reading books and articles that are very specific to what I'm doing. There is very little in any graduate curriculum that is going to make me better at my job.

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#12

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 10:20 AM

My opinion is that this is a bad idea, the beauty of engineering is you don't need to put up with all that extra school to be an effective engineer. I have never, ever used Transport Phenomena in my job and there is a big part of me that never wants to do so. Most of my classes from junior year like Fluids, Mass Transfer, and Heat Transfer I use much more frequently and like others have said, I didn't know anything about being a real engineer when I got out of school. I have a good friend that says an engineer isn't really worth much until he/she has been out of school for 10 years and worked in an engineering environment and I would have to agree. I've been out for almost 7 and I definitely still have some rough edges. More school wouldn't make that any better.

To me, this impending change is a money grab as the more requirements you put in the way of getting your PE, the fewer there will be and the more money PEs can demand. Wait a second, I have my PE, why don't I like this?

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 11:18 AM

As a Chem E with 40+ years in the field (now retired), I never did see the point in a PE license other than to allow you to be bonded. That is necessary to satisfy state law requirements frequently, but it doesnt make you a good engineer. I have had to work with numerous licensed engineers over the years and frankly I found many of them wouldn't know how to engineer their way out of an empty paper bag

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#13

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 10:44 AM

I believe this increase in requirements is unwarranted. That is if an ABET engineering degree is as thorough as it was 30 years ago when I got my BS. Out of honesty I must say I am not a PE. I regret that I never took the EIT even though I qualify to "sit" for it.

A friend who is a PE recently told me, he is now required to take a certain number of continuing credit hours every year to maintain his license. He lives in Ohio, US. Also in Ohio (and probably other places) just a few years ago the requirements to take the surveyor exam changed so that a BS in Civil Engineering is required. The correct Associate degree used to work.

Many industries are having the same problem. The degree requirements for the teaching and medical industries are constantly being expanded. I suspect this is a result of the huge lobbying ability of the education industry. When they force new Government requirements their industry grows. Like so many of our problems, follow the money.

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#14

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 11:07 AM

Book smart and practically stupid.

What I have seen/experienced, The higher degreed engineer very few were practical, they would basically bankrupt a company on just focusing on items that would carry nominal if any importance to a project.

try telling it to them, their response, its a point of the matter

phoenix911

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#16

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 11:48 AM

I'm not sure what they think they will accomplish. As it stands, the PE requirements are too exclusive in my opinion. They should be considering eliminating the EIT and just allowing engineers with a BS and 4 years of verified experience to sit for the PE. They should also be allowing for a set number of years of verified experience in leu of a degree (ecspecially since you can not get a BS in engineering online, only a BA). This would boost PE recognition and they would make their fortune in continuing education requirements and test fees. Instead they could potentially retire the concept of PE's. Law school is 3 years tacked onto any BS degree.

Of course, if you have a BS and you don't think they should allow for years of experience in leu of a BS degree, I guess you have nothing to complain about. They did this to everyone else who earned their stripes through the military or the school of hard knocks, why should those who have a BS be any different?

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 11:53 AM

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:http://www.insights.designworldonline.com/

if this link doesn't show up, hit the cached copy. Perhaps soon enough anyone without a PE may not be allowed to work as an engineer.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 11:58 AM

There is still a path to the PE without going to college. You can work for 8 years doing engineering work and sit for the EIT/FE test. After that, it's the same as anyone else - 4 years of work under PE supervision and passage of the PE exam.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 12:39 PM

That would be nice, since I served a 5 year internship and have 13 years experience on top of that. Which state are you in? I've checked on this in illinois, but could not find any reference to it. It is writen to specify a degree as manditory to even be allowed to sit for the test. It does say that your degree can be from a non-accredited engineering curriculum, but none-the-less a degree. Am I mis-interpreting or is it perhaps different in your state?

http://www.idfpr.com/DPR/APPLY/forms/pe-ex-i.pdf

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/02/2009 6:08 AM

It looks like in Illinois you must have a 4-year ABET accredited degree to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (you can sit for it in the last 12-months of your degree program but it will not be issued until you graduate).

It appears that most states have moved away from allowing people without a 4-year degree of some kind sit for the exam. In Ohio you can sit for the exam without an ABET accredited degree but it must be reviewed first. You can also have a non-engineering degree if you have an MS in engineering.

Each state is different but most are getting stricter. There are links to all of the state (and territories) licensure boards here:

http://www.ncees.org/licensure/licensing_boards/

You can see if any of them do not require a 4-year degree.

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#22
In reply to #16

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/11/2009 9:08 AM

You are right that law school is 3 years tacked onto a BA/BS but law school isn't required to take the bar exam. Anyone can take the exam that has the money. The thing is, I remember reading a paper on this several years ago and at that time only one or two people had passed the bar without law school.

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#20

Re: Potential Increase in PE Licensing Requirements

04/01/2009 4:52 PM

Agreed with earlier posts, there are plenty of smart non-PEs and plenty of not so smart PEs floating around. In TX, you can no longer use experience as a way to sit for exams, I believe that you have to be a degreed engineer at this point. Also, you can no longer use experience to exempt yourself from an exam in TX. Different states will have different rules although the testing agency is the same.

In TX, we are also required to have 16 continuing ed hours which is not a very big deal as there are a myriad of things that you can count towards that. I like the continuing ed course requirement as it helps keep me somewhat up to date in some areas.

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