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toledoEI

PE Exam Application Denied

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I just recently was informed that my PE application was denied because all of my engineering experience was under the supervision of consultant engineers rather than engineers that are technically my supervisor.

I design timber frame structures and all of my work for the past 10+ years has been under the direct supervision of a licensed PE but the board stated that this experience was not considered a mentoring relationship which was the rational why my application was denied. 

I have a meeting with the board to discuss this next week and I need any thoughts or past experience that may help. 

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I have a real issue with the way they evaluate experience... but there's nothing I can do about it.  There are engineers who work for 4 years under a PE and don't do a single thing with regards of engineering, design, or anything else and yet they get approved with issue.  I was on the other end of the spectrum, when I first applied I had 3 years and 11.5 months of heavy design experience (I applied on the last day possible to get as much experience as I could toward the 2 years) and I had several years of construction experience.  I tried to argue that my 2 years of construction experience =2 weeks of engineering experiencing as I'm a structural engineer and understanding how details are incorporated and construction sequencing is important and in my opinion my 3.95yrs of design experience were probably significantly better (I'm arrogant) than the vast majority of other applicants...

Long story short, I was denied.  My construction experience wasn't under a licensed PE, therefore it didn't matter what the experience was.  I did not meet the 4 year requirement.

It worked out though as the state of MT was kind enough to work with me, since I got my application in on time, and the state of MT's application was almost 2 months prior to the NCEES deadline they gave me a continuance and allowed me to resubmit my experience prior to the NCEES deadline and still make it through.  But I still was left thinking the system seems somewhat... odd.  I realize they have to draw a line somewhere.  But it did seem somewhat odd, that WHAT your experience is is irrelevant and the only thing that matters is if you work under a PE no questions asked.  Otherwise tough luck.

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I have a real issue with the way they evaluate experience... but there's nothing I can do about it.  There are engineers who work for 4 years under a PE and don't do a single thing with regards of engineering, design, or anything else and yet they get approved with issue.  I was on the other end of the spectrum, when I first applied I had 3 years and 11.5 months of heavy design experience (I applied on the last day possible to get as much experience as I could toward the 2 years) and I had several years of construction experience.  I tried to argue that my 2 years of construction experience =2 weeks of engineering experiencing as I'm a structural engineer and understanding how details are incorporated and construction sequencing is important and in my opinion my 3.95yrs of design experience were probably significantly better (I'm arrogant) than the vast majority of other applicants...

Long story short, I was denied.  My construction experience wasn't under a licensed PE, therefore it didn't matter what the experience was.  I did not meet the 4 year requirement.

It worked out though as the state of MT was kind enough to work with me, since I got my application in on time, and the state of MT's application was almost 2 months prior to the NCEES deadline they gave me a continuance and allowed me to resubmit my experience prior to the NCEES deadline and still make it through.  But I still was left thinking the system seems somewhat... odd.  I realize they have to draw a line somewhere.  But it did seem somewhat odd, that WHAT your experience is is irrelevant and the only thing that matters is if you work under a PE no questions asked.  Otherwise tough luck.

The rules are written, published and fairly clear on what they will count. One should know whether or not their experience will count long before they submit their application.

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The state of montana explicitly states that experience NOT under the direct supervision of a licensed PE will be taken into consideration depending on the type of experience.  And that's really not my point.  My point is, I realize there have to be rules, but not all experience is equal.  Applying a one size fits all is both inherently fair and unfair, but that's just the way it is.  

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On 8/9/2016 at 7:56 PM, toledoEI said:

I design timber frame structures and all of my work for the past 10+ years has been under the direct supervision of a licensed PE but the board stated that this experience was not considered a mentoring relationship which was the rational why my application was denied. 

 

That is easier said than done, even harder for them to defend should they reject someone. I think we can all agree the system is far from perfect. Such is the nature of the government trying to do anything.

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I understand this is a few months old, but how did the meeting go? 

For other people in this position, my suggestion would be to reevaluate your written experience on the application and have someone else review it for you as well. Find out how they view your relationship with the engineer and compare that to the relationship you actually had with the engineer.  The issue could be the fact that your description doesn't fully explain the relationship you had.

Another possibility would be to bring the engineer to the meeting with you. That would give the board the opportunity to address the engineer directly on his evaluation of your work as well as how he seen you grow (i.e. how often was he reviewing your work, did the complexity change or was it same problem/design every time). 

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I need to go back and read the guidelines again but I seem to remember that in Alabama, as long as you had a certain number of other PE's who could  vouch for your experience then you supervisor did not necessarily have to be licensed.  Of course, if that's the case it doesn't do much good for someone out of state.  Then again if you are close enough to another state that allows that you apply for that particular state and then turn around and ask for reciprocity for your home state.  After all, it's the same test regardless of where you live.

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