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10 Reasons to Become a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER

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Presentation on theme: "10 Reasons to Become a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER"— Presentation transcript:

1 10 Reasons to Become a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER
Presented by Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers It is my pleasure to be with you today to discuss processional licensure for engineers. I am [provide your name, title, and relevant background associated with engineering licensure]. I want to provide a broad overview for you of professional licensing for engineers and particularly 10 OR MORE reasons that you should become a Professional Engineer!

2 But first, what is a professional engineer?
A professional engineer ( P.E.) is a person who is licensed to practice engineering in a particular state or US territory after meeting all requirements of the law. To practice in multiple states or territories, the P.E. must be licensed in each state in which he or she wishes to practice. Before getting into the details of professional licensing, let’s answer the question “What is a professional engineer?” Like other professions such as medicine, law, or accounting, engineering is a profession regulated by certain laws. Thus …[Read statement on slide.]

3 OVERVIEW Legal Requirements for Engineering Practice
Professional Registration Process FE Examination Specifications Strategies for Passing the FE Exam Study Materials Answers to Common Questions Why Become a Licensed Professional Engineer? Let me give you a quick overview of some of the topics I intend to discuss with you today, so we will all share the same concept of where we are going in this discussion. And please, feel free to ask questions at any time. We will discuss…[Read the bulleted items, providing emphasis on those items of particular importance to this specific audience.]

4 LEGAL REQUIREMENTS All States and Jurisdictions have Registration Laws Governing the Practice of Engineering Most States prohibit persons who are not registered PE’s from: advertising, using a business card, or otherwise indicating to the public that they are an engineer assuming the title of engineer practicing, offering to practice or holding themselves out as qualified to practice as an engineer Exemptions for Industrial Practice In 1907, Wyoming became the first state to require professional registration for those persons who wanted to practice engineering and land surveying. Now all states and jurisdictions of the United States have registration laws governing the practice of engineering, as do many foreign countries. These laws are often both “title acts” and “practice acts”, i.e.…[note the difference, giving examples if you have the time] Despite these legal provisions, the majority of engineers in the U.S. are not licensed. Why? ...Because in most states there are certain exemptions for industrial practice.

5 What are the requirements to become licensed as a P.E.?
Education (ABET/EAC) FE Exam (EIT) Experience (4 years) PE Exam (P&PE) What are the requirements to become licensed as a P.E.? While there are minor differences from state to state, generally licensing for engineers, just as in other professions, is based on education, experience, and examinations.... In engineering, this means getting a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited program, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, sometimes called the EIT Exam, then obtaining four years of engineering experience, and finally passing the Principles and Practices of Engineering Exam in your chosen discipline (Electrical, Civil, etc.) [Should the question arise about whether the experience must be under the direct supervision of a PE, it is important to explain that this varies from state to state. However, the general rule is that experience under a PE is preferred, but other experience can be credited with appropriate additional references from PE’s who were not in direct supervision.

6 New FE Examination Format
FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGINEERING EXAMINATION MATH, PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, ENGINEERING SCIENCE, ENGINEERING ECONOMICS Morning Session 4 HOURS POINTS Afternoon Session—Choose one of five below CIVIL ENGINEERING 120 POINTS ELECTRICAL MECHANICAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIAL The first examination, called the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, or “FE” exam and sometimes the “EIT”, is normally taken in the final year of engineering school or soon after graduation. The NCEES recently changed the format of this eight hour examination The morning examination covers subjects common to most engineering disciplines, [read at least some of the text in the top of the slide]. In the afternoon, the candidate chooses to work problems from one of the major engineering areas. [Read titles] Note that there are 120 problems in the morning worth one point each and 60 problems in the afternoon worth 2 points each. Thus the two parts have equal value and total possible is 240 points.

7 MORNING SECTION Chemistry 9 % Computers 5 % Dynamics 8 %
Electrical Circuits 10 % Engineering Economics 4 % Engineering Ethics 4 % Fluid Mechanics 7 % Materials Science 7 % Mathematics 20 % Mechanics of Materials 7 % Statics 10 % Thermodynamics % Total 100 % The first four hours of the FE exam covers topics that form the basis for all disciplines of engineering.... Note that engineering ethics is included in this exam, so if you are not already familiar with one of the Codes of Ethics for Engineers, you should study the ethics section furnished by NCEES.

8 AFTERNOON SECTION Applicants test in only one of the following disciplines: Civil Engineering Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Chemical Engineering Industrial Engineering or General The afternoon section of the exam provides questions in each of the five largest engineering disciplines of engineering .... The “General” afternoon exam is provided for those individuals whose major is not one of these traditional disciplines, such as systems engineering, biomedical engineering, and the like. However, if your major is not one of the major five, I suggest that you look carefully at the specifications before selecting your afternoon exam. For example, aeronautical engineers might want to select mechanical and petroleum majors may want to work the chemical exam.

9 FE EXAM STRATEGIES Watch the time THINK before you start
Eliminate incorrect choices Answer all questions Prepare for the test Since the FE is a multiple choice exam, there are certain test-taking strategies that you should employ to help you pass the test.... [I find it useful to discuss each bullet at some length. By THINK BEFORE YOU START I mean making sure you think about the problem and try to select the easiest way to work it. Many problems that could be done with integration might also be done by finding the area under the curve or energy methods, etc.]

10 STUDY MATERIALS FE Sample Questions Book
FE Exam Supplied Reference Book NCEES P.O. Box 1686 Clemson, SC Phone: (800) Fax: (803) Internet: There are many different study guides and review manuals available to help you prepare for the FE and PE exams. Since the NCEES is the organization that prepares the tests for all jurisdictions to use, I particularly suggest that you get materials from NCEES. They can be ordered from the web site. Note that in most jurisdictions, you are given a copy of the supplied reference book at no cost when you sign up for the exam. It can also be obtained directly from the web, but requires many pages of printing. [Where appropriate, include information about available review materials like those from NSPE and ASCE for the CE exam, IEEE for the EE exam, etc. Examples would be the PE Readiness courses from NSPE, the PE Review CD ROM from NSPE, PE Review videos from IEEE. More info available from these organization on their web sites.]

11 FREQUENT QUESTIONS Can I transfer my EIT Registration?
Will graduate school count for the 4 years experience requirement? What score is required to pass the test? If I fail, can I take the test again? How can I contact the registration board in my state when I’m ready for the PE exam? The answers to these and other questions are addressed on the NCEES web pages. Let me answer a few of the questions that I am frequently asked about professional engineering registration. I’ll begin with some of the simplest ones.... [No need to transfer –all jurisdictions recognize EIT status from other states] [Graduate work counts for one year, only if it is in engineering, not MBA, etc.] [Exam is equated, so no set score is known ahead of time, but typically about 50% correct will pass] [Yes, the exam may be repeated – but who wants to endure it again, so get prepared and pass the first time] [Go to and find address, telephone, of your state board.]

12 What is an “accredited” degree?
Most colleges or universities that award an engineering degree are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. If you do not have a degree accredited by EAC/ABET additional experience requirements may apply. In Massachusetts, other degrees and accreditations are permitted. If you have never heard of EAC/ABET, you might first wonder if your school is accredited. You can usually find out by consulting the school’s catalogue or asking a faculty person. If your school is accredited you can typically become licensed with an engineering BS degree, four years of qualifying experience after graduation and passing the FE and P&PE examinations. If your school is not accredited, it may take additional experience or, in some states, you cannot become licensed as a P.E. (Note: It is recommended that the presenter be prepared to answer the question about which schools are EAC/ABET accredited within the territory of interest to the audience. Such a list is available from the ABET web sit,

13 After qualifying, am I licensed as a P.E. in Electrical Engineering?
In some states, yes. In other states, you are licensed as a P.E. without any other designation, however, you can practice only in your field of expertise gained by education or experience. About a dozen of the states license engineers by their discipline. Most of the states provide a license simply as a Professional Engineer, or P.E. Even in some of these states where the license states only professional engineer, the Board may publish a roster of registrants which lists your primary discipline. [Be sure to note second bullet and that you must limit your practice to areas in which you have demonstrated competence.]

14 Can I become licensed nationally?
No. Just as with other professions, the requirements for licensure are left to the states. However, most state laws are similar to the NCEES model law so usually you do not have to pass exams again and you can be licensed by “committee”. Licensing professional practitioners is not mentioned in the US Constitution, so it is among those powers “reserved to the states”. However, since engineering has adopted quite uniform licensing requirements and national examinations, it is usually very easy to obtain your license in additional states through a process called comity.

15 What are the 10 reasons for becoming licensed as a P.E.?
There are really more than 10 reasons but most will fall in four categories . . . 1. A legal necessity. 2. Improved employment security. 3. Better opportunities for advancement. 4. Personal satisfaction. Well, finally we are ready to address those top ten reasons for becoming licensed as a Professional Engineer.....

16 Legal Necessity 1. If you ever want or need to become a consulting engineer, you must be licensed as a P.E. 2. Only a P.E. can sign and seal engineering documents that are submitted to a public authority or for public and private clients. Some engineering graduates may initially be employed by a Consulting Engineering firm. They cannot sign and seal documents until they are licensed. Increasingly, engineers who change careers or are required to leave employment of a company, turn to consulting if they are licensed.

17 Improved Employment Security
3. Restructuring, downsizing and outsourcing ARE REAL! A P.E. license may make the difference in finding new employment. 4. Industry and utility exemptions are being eliminated in some jurisdictions. 5. Continuing education is required for a professional engineer-- in some states by law but in all states in practice. Current trends are for some companies to downsize by reducing employees on their payroll, but hiring them back through a consulting engineering firm. In this case, the engineer must be licensed or must work under the direct supervision of a P.E. employed at the consulting firm. Some states have already eliminated industry and utility exemptions as not in the public interest. Others are considering the same step. The PE licensure will assure potential employers that you are maintaining professional competency.

18 Opportunities for Advancement
6. Many companies encourage licensure and some even pay a bonus for becoming a P. E. 7. In education, more colleges are requiring a P.E. license for engineering faculty or for holding certain titles. 8. Increasingly, in many industry, utility, and government positions, a P.E. is required for specified jobs or levels. Look at advertisements for engineering positions. You will find that many employers encourage their engineers to become a P.E. Some of you will decide to become faculty members, and some colleges require the faculty to be licensed P.E.’s. Many senior engineering positions require the P.E.

19 Opportunities for Advancement - Continued
9. With the engineering profession now operating in an international environment, licensing may be required to work in or for other countries. You will be prepared in the event your career moves in this direction. Don’t forget that most foreign countries recognize the P.E. license!

20 Personal Satisfaction
10. Licensure is the mark of a professional. Ethical standards, continuing education, and professional competency are expected. P.E. after your name indicates you have met the standards and can be respected as a professional. Perhaps the most important reason to become a P.E. is the personal satisfaction that it brings to you. It is a credential that belongs to you, not your employer or your position. It brings the respect of your peers and goes with you wherever you career interests may take you.

21 ... And One More Reason Oh....and there is one other reason for becoming a PE that may interest you. While there are many things that will affect your salary, the results of this survey of several thousand engineers a few years ago illustrates that ....

22 The future . . . Are you ready?
Having a P.E. license is the best insurance policy and could affect your career. The time to start is now. Contact your state licensing board for requirements and examination dates. Licensing board addresses and phone numbers can be obtained from the Internet -- So, I hope this has given you some perspective on professional licensing of engineers and convinced you that your future would be well served by deciding now that you will become a P.E. There is no question that it will never be easier to start the process than right now. As you graduate from your engineering school, your command of the basic areas of engineering is the best it can be....

23 There are many benefits to becoming Professionally Licensed.
P.E. There are many benefits to becoming Professionally Licensed.

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