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Job Title "Engineer" without PE?


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#1 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 01:52 PM

I know in Texas, a Graduate Engineer working in a Registered engineering firm under the supervision of a PE can have the title "Engineer" (Article 1001.406). What about other states? Do they require PE licensure to be called as Engineers...

#2 jroyce

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 02:00 PM

In PA, you aren't considered an enigneer until you have the PE. Until then even though my title is project engineer I can't use my title on anything even business cards.

#3 kevo_55

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 04:42 PM

In MA they now have a draft policy on this same thing. It might be a bit more lax than TX or PA though. You can still have "PE" after your name if you are registered in the state found on your letterhead or business card.

#4 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:29 PM

Thanks for the replys. I was told that I couldn't have "Power Engineer" title because some states probibit it without a PE license.

MA - Yes
PA - No
TX - Yes

Anybody else from other states?

#5 kevo_55

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:40 PM

Well, I guess MN doesn't really care.

Also, I'm not sure if this is the case all of the time but in California (OSHPD) will freak out if you write a letter and you have either a PE after your name or use the title "engineer."

#6 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:59 PM

I don't want "PE" after my name without becoming one. I have "EIT" next to my name right now and I am happy with it. I am just trying to find out how many states prohibit "Engineer" titles without PE licensure. IMHO it is not fair to call an engineering degree holder anything but an "Engineer".

Can a graduate engineer have the title "Engineer" before becoming a PE?
CA - No?
MA - Yes?
MN - Yes
PA - No
TX - Yes

Thanks kevo for your reply.

Ilan.

#7 jregieng

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 07:22 PM

In Florida, No unless you meet one of the exemptions provided for in 471, F.S.

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#8 benbo

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 07:33 PM

In California there is an industrial exemption (sec 6747 Prof Eng Act) for any electrical or mechanical engineer working in the power, defense, almost any industry. Otherwise the Board might be a little upset with the thousands of aerospace and high tech workers and companies openly calling non licensed people "engineers" of one type or another, and advertising for more.

#9 Undertaker

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:02 PM

I have seen a lot of crap on that matter. Sound Engineer,Maintenance Engineer,"You Name It" Engineer.I think that is the reason we are not at the same pay level of doctors and blood suckers(aka as lawyers).Most of you will probably not be in the same page with me but our profession is screwed.I would love to see a doctor without a license performing a surgery or a lawyer without the bar exam making an opening argument before a judge.Now do you know how many "engineers" without a license are out there doing "engineering"?Personally I give a damn about the tittle.Show me the money.Call me whatever title you want.

#10 Undertaker

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:08 PM

I read my post and it might look like I am against engineers without license working as engineers and that is not true.We all have to go thru that f%^@#ing process.What I wanted to point out is that the PE license does not have the same value as a Doctor's or a lawyer's.That is not right.Just MHO.

#11 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:14 PM

Thanks benbo and jregieng for your replys. I guess most of the boards see the term "Engineer" synonymous to "Professional Engineer". I am working under the supervision of a PE in TX and I do interact with clients from other states. Is it wrong, when I hand out my business cards with "Power Engineer" title in these states? I do have EIT next to my name.

EB Rocks!
Thanks,
Ilan.

Can a graduate engineer have the title "Engineer" before becoming a PE?

FL - No (unless meets 471, F.S.)
CA - No
MA - Yes?
MN - Yes
PA - No
TX - Yes

#12 TXengrChickPE

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:30 PM

I would guess that since it says EIT, no one is going to mistake you for a PE. I'm in Texas, my official title (according to the company) is Engineer III. My card says Engineer.

#13 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:59 PM

I saw this link in another thread, It answers my question about handing out business cards in other states. I guess I am OK as long as I have TX address in there.

Ethical Behavior in the Cards

Thank you all for your input. smile.gif

Ilan.

#14 benbo

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:10 PM

In a couple months you'll be ordering new business cards anyway party-smiley-048.gif

#15 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:43 PM

Thanks benbo for your vote of confidence. My new manager and I had differences of opinion on this one. I just want to set the rules right for future entry level engineers in my company.

Three more days to the exam multiplespotting.gif



QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 23 2007, 04:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In a couple months you'll be ordering new business cards anyway party-smiley-048.gif


#16 IlPadrino

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:54 PM

QUOTE (Ilan @ Oct 23 2007, 04:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I saw this link in another thread, It answers my question about handing out business cards in other states. I guess I am OK as long as I have TX address in there.

Ethical Behavior in the Cards

Thank you all for your input. smile.gif

Ilan.


Yeah... but I don't think NSPE BER is worth much. The State legislature is where you need to look. Oregon's ORS 672 says:
CODE
672.007 Acts constituting practice of engineering, land surveying.
(1) Within the meaning of ORS 672.002 to 672.325, a person shall be considered practicing or offering to practice engineering who:
(a) By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card or in any other way implies that the person is or purports to be a registered professional engineer;
(b) Through the use of some other title implies that the person is an engineer or a registered professional engineer; or
(c)  Purports to be able to perform, or who does perform, any service or work that is defined by ORS 672.005 as the practice of engineering.


I don't think the out-of-state address helps you if your title implies "engineer". But I haven't looked at any OSBEELS court cases which might clarify.

#17 mudpuppy

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:42 PM

Here is what the Michigan statute says. Looks like you're safe using "engineer" here, as long as you don't use "professional engineer."

339.2014 Prohibited conduct; penalties.

Sec. 2014.

A person is subject to the penalties set forth in article 6 who commits 1 of the following:

(a) Uses the term “architect”, “professional engineer”, “land surveyor”, “professional surveyor”, or a similar term in connection with the person's name unless the person is licensed in the appropriate practice under this article.

#18 Dleg

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:05 AM

Well, for what it's worth, the Northern Mariana Islands prohibits a person from using the job title "engineer" unless they are a PE, with a few exceptions - one being if you work for the state government, and then another for "industrial exemptions" or such (I assume, because I have seen a lot of guys around working at hotels and the phone company with "engineer" after their name).

I actually received a warning letter/notice of violation from the licensing board here once, because my name showed up in my agency's newsletter followed by my title - "environmental engineer." I wrote back to the Board and cited the section of their law which exempted me from the rules, and signed the letter "[Dleg], Environmental Engineer". I never heard back from them. (Now I'm PE so II have no worries biggrin.gif )

But once again, people shouldn't get too hung up on the PE issue. It really only matters in certain industries. While it is common and expected in the construction business, it is less common and virtually unheard of in a lot of other engineering industries. I seriously doubt that there were many "PEs" involved in the design of the airplanes you travel on, or the computer you are typing on now, for examples.

#19 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 01:37 AM

Thanks, I will stay out of OR & NSPE then. tongue.gif I just saw another thread discussing about NSPE. Nobody seems to care about it.
Anyway, back to the original question,
My company is a registered engineering firm in TX and it is stated in the card. In reality, my company is offering the service, not me. I tell everyone that the work will be performed under the supervision of a PE licensed in that state.
I am beginning to think it is safer to use EIT as the title instead of Power Engineer. dunno.gif
Others: Thanks for your input.

QUOTE (IlPadrino @ Oct 23 2007, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah... but I don't think NSPE BER is worth much. The State legislature is where you need to look. Oregon's ORS 672 says:
CODE
672.007 Acts constituting practice of engineering, land surveying.
(1) Within the meaning of ORS 672.002 to 672.325, a person shall be considered practicing or offering to practice engineering who:
(a) By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card or in any other way implies that the person is or purports to be a registered professional engineer;
(b) Through the use of some other title implies that the person is an engineer or a registered professional engineer; or
(c)  Purports to be able to perform, or who does perform, any service or work that is defined by ORS 672.005 as the practice of engineering.


I don't think the out-of-state address helps you if your title implies "engineer". But I haven't looked at any OSBEELS court cases which might clarify.


#20 jregieng

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 01:55 AM

QUOTE (Ilan @ Oct 23 2007, 09:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am beginning to think it is safer to use EIT as the title instead of Power Engineer. dunno.gif

If I may offer a humble suggestion/opinion:

For nearly all of us, attaining professional registration marks a pinnacle achievement as it regards licensure. It is a badge of honor and though the letter of the law may not prohibit you from using the term 'engineer' or in your case 'power engineer' on your business card, I think it is ALWAYS best to err on the side of caution. I am not suggesting that you have portrayed yourself in any way other than honestly, but when it comes to perceptions, some may take it the wrong way.

For me, I was always very clear when it came to my title or how I portrayed myself (in my case as a regulator). Trust is critical in the relationships that I form, so to me this was very important especially when it came time to qualifying the things I could independently accomplish and those things I needed to rely upon my supervisor. In the end, what may seem as small change to you may seem like a jab to someone else.

That is my 2cents.gif

JR

#21 benbo

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 01:23 PM

Ilan-
You work for a company right? The title you have is the title that they gave you, right? They are the ones who print up these cards, right? I assume they have been in business a while and are aware of the rules. You could check with your board, but let me point out this-

My uncle was an engineer for Lockheed in Houston for thirty years. No PE, no problem. THere are hundreds of engineers down at NASA, very very few PEs, and I'm sure none of them are at risk of prosecution. And a quick search of monster anywhere in Texas will yield hundred of ads for engineers, none of which call for a PE. Either the board is completely incompetent in pursing these criminals, or this is not a crime.

I wouldn't worry about it.

#22 JoeBoone82

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 02:07 PM

I've always wondered about this topic myself. I've always been told that you should not use "engineer" unless you are registered/licensed. I have passed the EIT and I have the E.I. after my name only. My certificate says "engineer intern" so i do not use any other title or variation. It seems that the laws have exemptions, etc. and can be difficult to comprehend. I have friends who are from the ME, AE, EE and think it's okay to use "engineer". Some did not even pass the EIT and they say to me "you can call yourself what you want, but I'm an Engineer!" Maybe it is different under certain companies, gov't agencies, industries, etc... but I will stick with E.I. for now. My grandfather worked his way up to become a Chemical Engineer without license and maybe not even an engr degree... but that was back a long time ago when years of experience counted for a lot.

Someone can read this and tell me what you think for the State of Tennessee.

62-2-102. Practice and persons exempt from registration. —
(a) Except as provided in subsections (cool.gif and (d), nothing in this section shall
be construed as requiring registration for the purpose of practicing architecture,
engineering or landscape architecture by a person; provided, that the
person does not use the appellation ‘‘architect,’’ ‘‘engineer’’ or ‘‘landscape
architect,’’ an appellation which compounds, modifies or qualifies the words
‘‘architecture,’’ ‘‘engineering’’ or ‘‘landscape architecture,’’ or which gives or is
designed to give the impression that the person using same is an architect,
engineer or landscape architect.

62-2-105. Penalties — Reporting offenses.
(2) A violation of this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.
(3) Each day’s violation of this subsection is a separate offense.
© A person is construed to practice (or offer to practice) engineering,
architecture or landscape architecture who, by verbal claim, sign, advertisement,
letterhead, card, or in any other way, represents such person to be an
architect, engineer or landscape architect, with or without qualifying adjective,
or through the use of some other title implies that the person is an architect,
engineer or landscape architect.
(d) It is the duty of the members of the board to report any violations of this
chapter to the proper authorities.

Let me know what you get out of this from the link here...

http://www.state.tn....ects05E_000.pdf

#23 IlPadrino

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 24 2007, 09:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Either the board is completely incompetent in pursing these criminals, or this is not a crime.


I'm thinking it's usually the former but incompetent might be a bit harsh...

In Oregon:
CODE
672.991 Penalties. (1) Violation of any provision of ORS 672.045 is a Class A misdemeanor.
(2) Notwithstanding ORS 131.105 to 131.155, prosecution for violation of ORS 672.045 may be commenced within two years after discovery of the offense, but in no case shall the period of limitation otherwise applicable be extended by more than 10 years.


and

CODE
Category/Prison Term-ORS 161.615/Maximum Fine ORS 161.635
Class A Misdemeanor/1 year/$6,250


I don't think many State boards have a lot (any?) time to start their own reviews. They depend on complaints and let's be honest... not many people are going to complain.

I, too, wouldn't worry about it. But I would do what I think the law prescribes.

#24 benbo

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 02:27 PM

Well, it is a pretty big scandal that the board is igrnoring, because huge, and I mean huge companies like Boeing, Microsoft, etc, and govenrmental agencies like NASA are flouting the state boards. And very openly. THere is a difference between calling yourself an XXX engineer, and practicing engineering or offering engineering services or calling yourself a professional engineer. And as I said, many states have industrial exemptions for electrical and mechanial engineers. California is one. And it looks like the Texas board has exceptions as well.

If I worked for NASA and they hired me as a "Systems Engineer" I think I would be inclined to just accept my title. I don't think I would assume my legal judgement susperceded the judgement of NASA attorneys and refuse to accept the title they gave me.

#25 chaosiscash

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:08 PM

I don't know how NASA in Texas is, but I do know this. If the work is done by the Fed gov or their contractors on Federal land (like the site I am currently at in TN), the State board has no jurisdiction.

#26 Dark Knight

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:08 PM

The bottom line here is that you can have the tittle you want but have to pass the NCEES test to put P.E. after your name on a business card or call yourself a Professional Engineer. I agree with Benbo's statement.

The fact is that there are hundreds to go around that because the nature of our profession and the fact that not 100% of graduated engineers take the PE. Some do not take the EIT!!!!!.

My first job out of college my tittle was Design Engineer. By the time I got the job my EIT results were unknown so I was not an EIT. My bosss was not even an EIT but his title was Principal Engineer. Have to mention that it was a job with the Federal Goverment in Tennessee.

On my next positions my titles were Engineer II, Substation Engineer, and Engineer II - Protection & Control. The first with a city utility and the last two in Florida. Only the last position was after the P.E. but it was not a factor in any ways.

My point is that the title is irrelevant. That is something the companies play with at their convinience. The trick here is how do you sell yourself to the public. If you are going to offer your services to the public you HAVE to be a P.E. Inside a company, most could not care less.

#27 Guest_Ilan_*

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:54 PM

I wanted to find out the rules at different states about having the "Engineer" title.
It is interesting to see that each state has grossly different rules and are interpreted differently. bowdown.gif EB.
I will let my company's attorneys break their head. I have an exam to worry about.
BTW, I just learnt that you can take the PE exam in NV without meeting the experience requirement.

#28 squishles10

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 04:28 PM

CA is a no way. My old company gave us titles that we couldn't use. I accidentally attached my signature when I emailed the board once and I got a cease and desist reply. I took it to HR and they acknowledged that it was illegal but didn't want to change it. I had a Masters and they still didn't care. I tend to like how Texas does it better, and I also agree that I hate how "software engineers" give me crap about "we're engineers too". Please.

#29 Tark62

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE (squishles10 @ Oct 24 2007, 09:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
CA is a no way. My old company gave us titles that we couldn't use. I accidentally attached my signature when I emailed the board once and I got a cease and desist reply. I took it to HR and they acknowledged that it was illegal but didn't want to change it. I had a Masters and they still didn't care.

The California Board does regulate certain engineering titles, but not all. For example, they don't regulate the plain-vanilla title of "engineer". They also don't regulate titles like "aerospace engineer" or "project engineer".

The law only gives them authority over certain specific titles, as per Section 6732 of the Professional Engineer's Act:

QUOTE
It is unlawful for anyone other than a professional engineer licensed under this chapter to stamp or seal any plans, specifications, plats, reports, or other documents with the seal or stamp of a professional engineer, or in any manner, use the title “professional engineer,” “licensed engineer,” “registered engineer,” or “consulting engineer,” or any of the following branch titles: “agricultural engineer,” “chemical engineer,” “civil engineer,” “control system engineer,” “electrical engineer,” “fire protection engineer,” “industrial engineer,” “mechanical engineer,” “metallurgical engineer,” “nuclear engineer,” “petroleum engineer,” or “traffic engineer,” or any combination of these words and phrases or abbreviations thereof unless licensed under this chapter.


There are a few other titles that are regulated as per other sections of the Act, like "engineer-in-training", "soil engineer", "soils engineer", "geotechnical engineer", and "structural engineer". But that's it.

You can legally use the title "engineer" in CA, as long as you don't use one of the titles specifically regulated in the Act. For example, look at the "operating engineers".

Edited by Tark62, 24 October 2007 - 05:52 PM.


#30 benbo

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 05:37 PM

Squishles=
I don't know what was up with your company. In Cali it is a lot stricter for CEs. Obviously you can't claim or imply that you have a credential you don't have. But you need to read the Professional Engineers Act for California. There are many exemptions, including the telecommunications exemption for telecom engineers, and the industrial exception for engineers working in many industries. I won't list all the exceptions here. Pick up the PE Act in California. - http://www.dca.ca.gov/pels/pe_act.pdf

Here's a few examples -
6746. Exemption for communications companies under the Public Utilities Commission
Plans, specifications, reports and documents relating to communication lines and equipment prepared by employees of communications companies which come under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, and by employees of contractors while engaged in work on communication equipment for communications companies which come under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, are not subject to the provisions of this chapter.
6746.1. Exemption for employees of communications industry
The provisions of this act pertaining to licensure of professional engineers other than civil engineers, do not apply to employees in the communication industry, nor to the employees of contractors while engaged in work on communication equipment. However, those employees may not use any of the titles listed in Section 6732, 6736, and 6736.1, unless licensed.
{Added by Stats.2006, Ch. 658.}
6747. Exemption for industries
(a) This chapter, except for those provisions that apply to civil engineers and civil engineering, shall not apply to the performance of engineering work by a manufacturing, mining, public utility, research and development, or other industrial corporation, or by employees of that corporation, provided that work is in connection with, or incidental to, the products, systems, or services of that corporation or its affiliates.
(cool.gif For purposes of this section, “employees” also includes consultants, temporary employees, contract employees, and those persons hired pursuant to third-party contracts.

6737.3. Exemption of contractors
A contractor, licensed under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3, is exempt from the provisions of this chapter relating to the practice of electrical or mechanical engineering so long as the services he or she holds himself or herself out as able to perform or does perform, which services are subject to the provisions of this chapter, are performed by, or under the responsible charge of a registered electrical or mechanical engineer insofar as the electrical or mechanical engineer practices the branch of engineering for which he or she is registered.


6739. Exemption of federal officers and employees
Officers and employees of the United States of America practicing solely as such officers or employees are exempt from registration under the provisions of this chapter.

#31 jregieng

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 06:28 PM

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 24 2007, 01:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are many exemptions, including the telecommunications exemption for telecom engineer ...

Speaking of which .... did you see the Washington Post ??

[attachment=814:Toles___Telecom.JPG]

JR

#32 squishles10

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 10:16 PM

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 24 2007, 12:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Squishles=
I don't know what was up with your company. In Cali it is a lot stricter for CEs. Obviously you can't claim or imply that you have a credential you don't have. But you need to read the Professional Engineers Act for California. There are many exemptions, including the telecommunications exemption for telecom engineers, and the industrial exception for engineers working in many industries. I won't list all the exceptions here. Pick up the PE Act in California. - http://www.dca.ca.gov/pels/pe_act.pdf


Yeah, they were just stupid. Every other company in the city did it right. I was an Assistant Civil Engineer right out of college, then a Civil Engineer, and when we got our PE, we were a Design Engineer. screwloose.gif Everywhere else you were design first, then civil, OBVIOUSLY. Since it's ILLEGAL.

#33 Dleg

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 03:27 AM

I was a Junior Field Engineer, Field Engineer, and Senior Field Engineer in CA. Never had any trouble with any board ... of course this was in one of the "exempt" industries, and no one gave a crap about professional licensing - you simply wouldn't keep your job if you weren't competent. No testing required. And, if anyone even mentioned "industry expemtion", we would probably have just laughed at them: "As if you're going to step in and stop us!" That sounds like a label that was just slapped on by the licensing boards after-the-fact, after being laughed out of some legislator's office. "We'll just grant them an exemption, so it looks like it was our decision."

Seriously, I think some engineers are way too absorbed in the building/construction industry to notice that there is a whole world of engineering out there that cares little for a licensing model that was developed 100 years ago and has failed to keep up with the explosion of technologies unrelated to construction. Simply put: most "engineering" being done in industry is so diverse, and so specialized, that professional licensing can't ever keep up, and therefore can never have much value to those coroporations and agencies. I've seen many, many articles and editorials in the NSPE literature bemoaning this fact. Invariably, they are all written by some senior civil or HVAC PE who just can't get past the idea that their organization is unable to collect membership fees from this 40% or whatever of graduate engineers who never pursue licensing.

I'm not saying that professional licensing isn't a good idea for all forms of engineering. I'm not sure, to be honest. But what I am saying is that people should not get so worked up about it. A PE is meaningful in certain industries. Enjoy what you have. But don't detract from the people who work in industries where it is meaningless. I guarantee that there are folks working over at Boeing or NASA or even Microsoft who could out-smarts any one of us "PEs". I wonder how many PE's were behind putting men on the moon? You can't tell me that wasn't engineering.

Sorry for the rant. I just think we need to be a bit more open minded and humble about this part of our profession.

#34 Dark Knight

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 03:48 AM

QUOTE (Dleg @ Oct 24 2007, 11:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was a Junior Field Engineer, Field Engineer, and Senior Field Engineer in CA. Never had any trouble with any board ... of course this was in one of the "exempt" industries, and no one gave a crap about professional licensing - you simply wouldn't keep your job if you weren't competent. No testing required. And, if anyone even mentioned "industry expemtion", we would probably have just laughed at them: "As if you're going to step in and stop us!" That sounds like a label that was just slapped on by the licensing boards after-the-fact, after being laughed out of some legislator's office. "We'll just grant them an exemption, so it looks like it was our decision."

Seriously, I think some engineers are way too absorbed in the building/construction industry to notice that there is a whole world of engineering out there that cares little for a licensing model that was developed 100 years ago and has failed to keep up with the explosion of technologies unrelated to construction. Simply put: most "engineering" being done in industry is so diverse, and so specialized, that professional licensing can't ever keep up, and therefore can never have much value to those coroporations and agencies. I've seen many, many articles and editorials in the NSPE literature bemoaning this fact. Invariably, they are all written by some senior civil or HVAC PE who just can't get past the idea that their organization is unable to collect membership fees from this 40% or whatever of graduate engineers who never pursue licensing.

I'm not saying that professional licensing isn't a good idea for all forms of engineering. I'm not sure, to be honest. But what I am saying is that people should not get so worked up about it. A PE is meaningful in certain industries. Enjoy what you have. But don't detract from the people who work in industries where it is meaningless. I guarantee that there are folks working over at Boeing or NASA or even Microsoft who could out-smarts any one of us "PEs". I wonder how many PE's were behind putting men on the moon? You can't tell me that wasn't engineering.

Sorry for the rant. I just think we need to be a bit more open minded and humble about this part of our profession.


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#35 SSmith

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE (BringItOn @ Oct 24 2007, 11:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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I agree with above.

For another data point for this discussion:

I work for the Army as a civilian in beautiful Fort Knox, KY.
I have my FE certifiction.
Job title is "Reliability Engineer"

No problems with the designation so far.

Edited by SSmith, 25 October 2007 - 03:34 PM.


#36 Tark62

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 05:11 PM

QUOTE (SSmith @ Oct 25 2007, 08:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I work for the Army as a civilian in beautiful Fort Knox, KY.
I have my FE certifiction.
Job title is "Reliability Engineer"

No problems with the designation so far.

My understanding is that employees of the Federal government are not subject to state licensing laws, in any state or in any profession. This is explicitly stated in some cases (for example, the California Professional Engineer's Act has a "Federal exemption"). However, my understanding is that it applies universally, whether the state laws explicitly say so or not.

Federal agencies (e.g. Army Corps of Engineers) may voluntarily comply with state regulations and licensing laws, but they are not legally required to do so.

#37 Tark62

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE
I'm not saying that professional licensing isn't a good idea for all forms of engineering. I'm not sure, to be honest. But what I am saying is that people should not get so worked up about it. A PE is meaningful in certain industries. Enjoy what you have. But don't detract from the people who work in industries where it is meaningless.

That's well and good, but keep in mind that deregulation, via the industrial exemption, does have a downside.

Yes, deregulation removes a bureaucratic burden from "real" engineers who work in industries where licensure is meaningless.

But deregulation also gives anyone else, in those same industries, the freedom to claim the title of "engineer", even when they are arguably not "real" engineers.

The "operating engineers" (= dozer drivers), or the "maintenance engineers" (= custodians), or the "sales engineers" (= marketing staff), and the "soSucks!are engineers" (= programmers) may not have engineering degrees, or even basic understanding of math or physical science. But in the absence of professional board regulation and enforcement, they have the same claim to the title of "engineer" as someone with ABET BS and MS degrees.

If you don't legally protect your "trademark", then it falls into the public domain. Some people feel that the title of "engineer" has been cheapened in this manner.

For example, do you agree that the person who fills this job -- which requires no formal education or training -- is really an "engineer" ?

Edited by Tark62, 25 October 2007 - 06:10 PM.


#38 Dleg

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (Tark62 @ Oct 26 2007, 03:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's well and good, but keep in mind that deregulation, via the industrial exemption, does have a downside.


Don't kid yourself - it was never regulated to begin with. Do you really think that the term "engineer" was coined by the Wyoming Board of Professional Licensing 100 years ago? I don't know my engineering history terribly well, but I believe that even back in the heydays of licensing, a fairly large proportion of mechanical engineer graduates went into industry and never bothered to get licensed. I've even read recent editorials by old-timers in publications such as CE News that mention how uncommon it was even back in the 1950s for ME professors to be licensed as PEs.

I agree with you that of course there is is a downside. And I'm glad you are up front about protecting our profession. I understand that "safeguarding the public safety and welfare" argument, but it rings a bit hollow in the NSPE articles, when we all know that professional licensing is just as much about protecting our jobs and salaries. I will agree 100% on that. But I don't think that simple, blanket prohibitions on the use of job titles is the way to go about that. The PE licensing model has worked very well in the "built environment" industry, but obviously not so well in other parts of the engineering world. And until those "other" engineers get engaged in the process of trying to figure out a way to protect themselves from the janitors and train drivers (oh my!), nothing is going happen. The Mars Rover re-entry systems engineer is not going to be swayed by some culvert designer shouting at him that he needs to get a PE license to call himself an engineer.

#39 benbo

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 12:14 AM

I am a PE and an electrical engineer by trade and education. But I don't understand this marginalization of soSucks!are engineers or programmers. The notion that real programmers don't know math - I just don't get it. We are using an internet that was designed by programmers, and at work we use operating systems and applications programmed by programmers. A lot of innovation is in the programming of devices, not the hardware. Do you think firmware programming for cells phones or GPS systems is simple? I guarantee it isn't. And programmers use lots of math, especially numerical methods.

My first "technical" job was as an intern at Hughes Research labs. We used Runge Kutta methods to solve differential equations and boundary value problems and programmed the algorithms in Fortran, and wrote multidimensional integration progams to analyze deep space antennas for satellites. It was just as hard and technically advanced as anything I saw on the PE exam. Especially when they want everything optimized to run as fast as possible with the fewest number of steps.

LAter in my career I went for an interview for Qualcomm. A soSucks!are engineer position. I walked in and they threw a paper down with some gibberish I didn't understand vaguely and asked to see my algorithm, flowchart, and some code for some sort of driver, or digital Kalman filter. I can't even remember. Basically I just said thanks and walked out.

I guess what I'm saying is that all programming is not writing a few lines of SQL, HTML or Basic. Some of it is pretty advanced.

#40 Tark62

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 12:51 AM

QUOTE
Don't kid yourself - it was never regulated to begin with.
Of course not. What profession ever started out that way? For example, nobody ever told Abraham Lincoln that he needed to graduate from an ABA-accredited law school. Just like nobody told 19th-century engineers to get ABET degrees or take the PE exam.

But today, you need to earn an accredited graduate degree and pass a rigorous licensing exam to be a "lawyer". On the other hand, there is no need to do either of those things to be an "engineer". The lawyers apparently perceived some value to increased regulation, while the engineers apparently did not.

QUOTE
But I don't think that simple, blanket prohibitions on the use of job titles is the way to go about that.

Yet other professions make a point of establishing exactly such prohibitions. The legal profession, for example, is very strict about the use of titles like "lawyer" or "attorney". The lawyers apparently perceive some value to title restrictions, while the engineers apparently do not.

Do the lawyers know something that the engineers don't ?

Edited by Tark62, 26 October 2007 - 01:09 AM.


#41 Tark62

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:04 AM

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 25 2007, 05:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I guess what I'm saying is that all programming is not writing a few lines of SQL, HTML or Basic. Some of it is pretty advanced.

I don't think anyone doubts that some programming is "pretty advanced". But -- as you acknowledge -- maybe some programming isn't. Are you comfortable granting the title of "soSucks!are engineer" to a junior high school kid that developed some cute applets for his website ? If the title is completely unregulated -- as it is in my state -- then anyone can claim it.

#42 benbo

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:11 AM

QUOTE (Tark62 @ Oct 23 2007, 11:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think anyone doubts that some programming is "pretty advanced". But -- as you acknowledge -- maybe some programming isn't. Are you comfortable granting the title of "soSucks!are engineer" to a junior high school kid that developed some cute applets for his website ? If the title is completely unregulated -- as it is in my state -- then anyone can claim it.


If you want to regulate the title, that's fine with me. I don't really care much one way or the other. I just think it's absurd to imply that there is no such thing as soSucks!are engineering, or that no soSucks!are enigineering requires mathematics. And I'm not saying what you said was absurd, I'm responding to a recurring notion that there is no such thing as a soSucks!are engineer, period. That they are all glorified data entry people. I disagree with that.

Additionally, the technical level of work which I perform now, after getting my PE, is actually less than the work I performed in aerospace or semicondcutor work. The only difference is that I passed a test.

#43 Dleg

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:35 AM

Tark62, I think we can agree on the basic principle that we as engineers ought to take a more aggressive approach to defending our livelihood. I also have no problem with trying to regulate use of the title "engineer" similar to what lawyers have done. All I am trying to say is that the engineering profession has never even been close to that point, and after 100 years, it seems obvious to me that the licensing model developed by the building/construction industry has failed to work for the rest of engineering.

#44 IlPadrino

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 25 2007, 08:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am a PE and an electrical engineer by trade and education. But I don't understand this marginalization of software engineers or programmers. The notion that real programmers don't know math - I just don't get it. We are using an internet that was designed by programmers, and at work we use operating systems and applications programmed by programmers. A lot of innovation is in the programming of devices, not the hardware. Do you think firmware programming for cells phones or GPS systems is simple? I guarantee it isn't. And programmers use lots of math, especially numerical methods.

.
.
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I guess what I'm saying is that all programming is not writing a few lines of SQL, HTML or Basic. Some of it is pretty advanced.


What's wrong with calling "the process of what programmers do" programming? Once upon a time I think there were some new school programmers who didn't like the stereotype of the old school programmers and came up with a new title. Now there are some programmers you don't like the term "engineering" and call themselves "software artists". Rejecting Software Engineering is an interesting discussion on the topic.

I don't think anyone can reasonably disparage those that create and maintain software (whatever you want to call them). When you talk about the recurring notion that there is "no such thing as software engineering", it comes down to what defines engineering. Most "software engineers" have Computer Science degrees, not Engineering degrees - which makes sense considering there is already a well defined field of Computer Engineering. So there's the added challend that to be a registered P.E. you need an ABET accredited Engineering degree. Programmers certainly "develop" software... we can call them "software developers". I think no one should rightly consider what programmers do as a subset of Engineering. Certainly there are programming and algorithm aspects of Electrical and Computer Engineering or Control Systems Engineering. But it just doesn't seem reasonable that they have more in common with Engineering than Science. It would be a great challenge for most software developers to pass the FE exam.

NCEES Survey contains a list of what Engineering titles are restricted by State. Does anyone know what happened with Texas that had started licensing Software Engineers back in the late 1990s? I googled but couldn't find anything. Are these P.E.s liable for errors and omissions? I sure hope so! Imagine suing Microsoft for those BSOD. This points out another problem with licensing software developers as P.E.s: what are the standards of practice? There are many design methodologies for software development, but there are no standard design PRACTICES. What would malpractice mean to a software engineer?

I did run across an interesting (but dated) article that supports the Software Engineer: SE Illegal. But I think the article Professionalism does an even better job of explaining why it doesn't make sense.

For me, the bottom line is this: Engineers have more to lose than to gain by adding software developers to their ranks. Let them come up with their own title.

Disclaimer: My undergraduate degree is in Computer and Systems Engineering and my graduate degree is in Information Technology Management. I've done a fair share of developing software. I don't consider it anything similar to what I've done as a Civil Engineer. Yeah... it was hard. So is brain surgery.

#45 benbo

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (IlPadrino @ Oct 25 2007, 01:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It would be a great challenge for most soSucks!are developers to pass the FE exam.

Where do you get this experience? What kind of soSucks!are developers are you talking about? I wish you would be specific about exactly what they do. Because I work with a couple who passed both the FE and the electrical PE. I'm not sure what their degrees were in, but they spent a lot of their careers developing soSucks!are for aerospace. When I worked in Silicon Valley I knew a Java developer who took the FE on a whim (actually because I was taking it and he wanted to test himself). He didn't study at all and passed. So I guess we just have different experience with soSucks!are engineers, programmers, developers, or whatever you want to call them.

As far as the degree - a person could have a computer engineering degree or an EE degree or whatever and still say their work is "SoSucks!are Engineering." Obviously, a peson is more defined by what their occupation is than what your degree is, and you are a prime example.

THe folks at the IEEE don't seem to have a problem with the term soSucks!are engineering.
http://www.computer....t...eneric.xsl

I guess your one article writer (who talks about slide rules for engineers) considers IEEE an outlaw organization. Well, their standards are used all over the world. So I'll go with them, as opposed to some fellow who writes on Dr. Dobbs about being too lazy to renew his license. And I don't even see this fellow arguing against the term "soSucks!are engineering." He is basically saying it is not worth it for developers to get a PE because they don't use it. It is required for my current job but I don't stamp anything either. You work for the Navy. Do you stamp a lot of documents? Is that required in the military?

He also points out that this goes for most EEs and MEs because of various exemptions for industry. Are you arguing against these exemptions? Because I suspect that will be a losing argument since there are far more "engineers" in industy without PEs than with them.

#46 Dleg

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 01:09 AM

SoSucks!are development is too broad to be able to talk about it in these terms. There are obviously engineer-soSucks!are developers who use the laws of physics and engineering principles to develop control and simulation soSucks!are, who I have no problem calling engineers, and then there are videogame developers and cash-register programmers. So obvious there needs to be some definition.

#47 benbo

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 12:48 PM

QUOTE (Dleg @ Oct 26 2007, 11:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SoSucks!are development is too broad to be able to talk about it in these terms. There are obviously engineer-soSucks!are developers who use the laws of physics and engineering principles to develop control and simulation soSucks!are, who I have no problem calling engineers, and then there are videogame developers and cash-register programmers. So obvious there needs to be some definition.

THat makes sense to me. This is the reason I think there are some soSucks!are engineers at least. To me, an engineer is given a problem to solve to a set of specifications, and uses technical and mathematical expertise to solve the problem, then tests the solution often to standards. THere are standards for soSucks!are, I believe there are even MIL Specs for soSucks!are. At least I remember fellows in uniform sitting with soSucks!are developers testing progams for failure ad nausem. For that reason I think the guy who designs the targetting soSucks!are for the Patriot missile is every bit as much an engineer as some fellow who designs grade separations. But that's just my opinion, and I can see that many others have their own opinions and aren't likely to change. I will say, good luck to you in your quest to eliminate the soSucks!are engineer title. I think that ship has sailed.

As far as video game programming, I don't know if you've done a lot of it, but I'm not sure it's all that non technical. I guess it depends on the game. I haven't done a lot of it either, unless you count progamming a hangman game in Basic.

#48 IlPadrino

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 01:06 PM

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 27 2007, 12:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Where do you get this experience? What kind of software developers are you talking about? I wish you would be specific about exactly what they do. Because I work with a couple who passed both the FE and the electrical PE. I'm not sure what their degrees were in, but they spent a lot of their careers developing software for aerospace. When I worked in Silicon Valley I knew a Java developer who took the FE on a whim (actually because I was taking it and he wanted to test himself). He didn't study at all and passed. So I guess we just have different experience with software engineers, programmers, developers, or whatever you want to call them.


I get my experience with government IT development and my educational colleagues. When I wrote "most", I meant more than half but not all; sure there are many exceptions especially for those that work in the engineering realm. I agree with Dleg that there are many different types of software developers but I consider the stereotypical programmer working on business applications, personal entertainment, OS, or webdev. Do you think more software developers have a Computer Science degree or an Engineering degree? I'm confident it's the former. And I also think most software developers have very little engineering education. According to the NSPE, the following engineers definitions apply
QUOTE
Computer: Computer engineering involves the design, construction, and operation of computer systems. Computer engineers work on both computer hardware and software (programming) problems.

Control Systems: Control systems engineering involves the design and manufacture of instrumentation and ways to control dynamic processes automatically. Such engineers draw on a variety of disciplines, including elements of electrical, mechanical, and chemical, and focus on the technologies needed for feedback and feedforward control of dynamic systems. These engineers ensure safe and efficient system performance.
I think those do cover some software developers but let's call them Computer Engineers or Control Systems Engineers.

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 27 2007, 12:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As far as the degree - a person could have a computer engineering degree or an EE degree or whatever and still say their work is "Software Engineering." Obviously, a peson is more defined by what their occupation is than what your degree is, and you are a prime example.


I don't disagree with that... it's just another reason that credentials and registration are important. Otherwise, we'd be calling sports trainers doctors.

QUOTE (benbo @ Oct 27 2007, 12:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
THe folks at the IEEE don't seem to have a problem with the term software engineering.
http://www.computer....t...eneric.xsl

I guess your one article writer (who talks about slide rules for engineers) considers IEEE an outlaw organization. Well, their standards are used all over the world. So I'll go with them, as opposed to some fellow who writes on Dr. Dobbs about being too lazy to renew his license. And I don't even see this fellow arguing against the term "software engineering." He is basically saying it is not worth it for developers to get a PE because they don't use it. It is required for my current job but I don't stamp anything either. You work for the Navy. Do you stamp a lot of documents? Is that required in the military?

He also points out that this goes for most EEs and MEs because of various exemptions for industry. Are you arguing against these exemptions? Because I suspect that will be a losing argument since there are far more "engineers" in industy without PEs than with them.


The author is a member of IEEE so I don't think he considers the IEEE an outlaw organization. I linked to that article because I find it an interesting perspective. I think it's right that States protect the title "Engineer" and here was a guy that got his PE, found it didn't do much for his business (other than letting him get started!), and then abandoned it. I will never stamp a document, but considering it is "... the mark of a professional. The licensure process demands an extra measure of competence and dedication." (see Why Should You Get Licensed?), it is required for my military career field.

I haven't thought much about the exemptions (which are a State issue) but I think I'm probably not in favor of them in theory but support them in practice. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, Oregon doesn't have any exemptions. I'd have to give it more thought...

#49 JoeBoone82

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 01:36 PM

Where I work.... there is no Field Engineer, Design Engineer, etc. I will be a Civil Engineer Intern (just like the certification says... EI or EIT) until I pass the P.E. Only then can I remove the "intern" from my title.

#50 SuperAlpha

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 01:10 PM

Texas regulates the use of the word engineer and all synonyms such as designer, consultant, etc. Many industries are exempt but the main ones that are not are the ones that provide engineering/design/consultant services.




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