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Engineering A “Learned Profession”  Google “learned professions”  Medicine, law and engineering  A body of knowledge so broad and technical that it.

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Presentation on theme: "Engineering A “Learned Profession”  Google “learned professions”  Medicine, law and engineering  A body of knowledge so broad and technical that it."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engineering A “Learned Profession”  Google “learned professions”  Medicine, law and engineering  A body of knowledge so broad and technical that it requires specialized schooling.  The “learned profession” premise is the basis for licensure.

2 Engineering Licensure  To protect public health, safety and welfare  Approximately 10% (400,000) become a Professional Engineer (P.E.)  Licensure is administered at the state level (state’s rights)

3 How Do you Become Licensed? Each State licenses PEs within their jurisdiction. Licensing laws vary between states, but generally include successfully passing/completing the following:  An 8-hour Fundamentals of Engineering Exam  4 years of progressive engineering experience under the supervision of a PE  An 8-hour Principles and Practices Exam Only licensed PEs can use the term “professional” engineer.

4 Once You Become Licensed  A license needs to be renewed (typically every two years)  Most states require continuing education (15-30 contact hours every two years)  You are judged and disciplined by a PE Review Board administered by the state with jurisdiction.  You can be sanctioned, fined and/or lose your license if you are found negligent in your actions.

5 Scope of Profession  Only licensed professional engineers can practice in prescribed areas that affect public health, safety and welfare.  Law reasons that only those at the pinnacle of their profession can be entrusted with this responsibility.  PEs are charged to operate under a standard of care, and negligence is weighed against it.  PEs enjoy a malpractice standard not given to many.

6 Principles Behind Licensure  Practice only within your area of competency  Follow ethical standards Knowledge without ethics is corrupt Ethics without knowledge is ignorant  Innovation (we are expected to arrive at new solutions to advance mankind)  We don’t need to be perfect. We are judged on a negligence standard.

7 Cornerstones of Licensure  Competence (this is not static!)  Continuous learning  Specialized knowledge  Ethical conduct  Societal view (public health, safety and welfare above all other considerations)  Innovation  Judgment (the essence of judgment is choice)

8 Acceptance of Responsibility The quality of a professional’s judgment is directly related to their grasp of special knowledge, applied skills and years of experience. All three are moving targets that advance and never retreat. The standard is to use best professional judgment and act with highest integrity and ethics…and ethics is the fulcrum as ethics is the measure upon which judgment either benefits or hurts the public.

9 Standard of Care Principle  We are not expected to be right 100% of the time, but to act with the highest standards of professionalism, knowledge and ethics, always with the public’s health, safety and welfare at the forefront.  Without this “standard of care,” who would push the envelope, innovate and advance engineering for the betterment of humankind?

10 So What About the 90%?  An estimated 90% of engineering graduates do not pursue licensure.  A substantial amount of engineering practice doesn’t fall under the regulated (licensed) practice of engineering.  For example, engineers in industry are typically exempt from licensure. The products they create typically fall under the Uniform Commercial Code for product liability.

11 The Principles Behind the Standards Should Still Apply  If you are applying engineering principles in your work, you are taking math and science to produce something. While the product may or may not affect public health, safety and welfare, you are applying the same core principles to your work.  Shouldn’t you conduct yourself…? Ethically Competently With an eye toward innovation Using sound judgment With a societal view

12 Why Should You Care?  The engineering profession is judged by the performance of each of us and all of us (you and your peers).  This is a least common denominator principle.  We are only deemed as worthy as the engineer who provides the minimal level of judgment, competence, ethics and societal awareness.  We are responsible for holding each other to the highest standards of conduct to protect the profession.

13 I’m About to Graduate, So…?  Register for and take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Go to to find out more.www.ncees.org  Look for employment opportunities where you can at least tangentially work under the supervision of a PE.  Track the advancement of your work experience.  Join a professional society to network with other professionals.

14 Enjoy the Journey  You may not see licensure as relevant now, but you may change your mind down the road.  You will likely change careers 6-8 times before you retire. How sure are you that you won’t need to get licensed at some point?  You got an engineering degree. Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate it with PE after your name?

15 PE stands for… Whether you need to be licensed for your chosen career path or not, PE says that you have committed to …  Competence and continuous learning to maintain it  The highest ethical standards of conduct  A societal view for the betterment of humankind  Exercise sound judgment following these principles.


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