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SpallSoHard

SE License in any state?

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A bit of a strange question...but can you only obtain an SE from states that require it?  Or can be a licensed SE in any state?

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Bit of a follow-up...if there is only a select number of states where it can be acquired do you know which one has the easiest process?  I'm just trying to figure out if I take and pass the exam in my own state (which doesn't provide SE licenses) where to go from there.

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if they don't provide it, what test are you taking?    

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You can only be a licensed SE in state's that have the designation. This shouldn't be confused on where you can sit for the exam which is virtually every state. I'm not personally familiar with a state that does not offer the examination as an option to take.

Link below shows a nice graphic on the right hand side of page showing which states have the SE designation.

http://www.ncsea.com/resources/licensure/

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If you pass the exam in a state that doesn't recognize the SE license, then you can take your passing SE exam scores and simply apply for licensure in a state that does recognize the license via comity.

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Thanks, that was helpful.  I need to visit some of these states to see what their procedure is.  I was afraid of the scenario where I passed the exam but it wouldn't technically count because I was not approved first.  Can you imagine...  :blink:

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You can probably take the exam in any state. The question is do you need an "SE" license to do certain structures vs. a "PE" license. This is where certain states differ. Most states, like my state, South Carolina, you can take the SE exam, and if you pass, you will get your "PE" stamp. You can also take the civil "PE" exam in these states and get your "PE" license. There is no separate "SE" license.

In the western states (CA, WA, etc.) you have separate "PE" and "SE" licenses. In most of these states a "PE" can stamp non-essential, non-tall structures. But you must have an "SE" do hospitals, or tall buildings and have passed the 16 hour SE exam. 

In Illinois, you must take the 16 hour SE exam to stamp all structures now. This, and Hawaii, is the only state that does this however. 

That being said, I hear that Illinois may not be the best place to take the SE exam. They don't allow certain references, more strict. But most other states will pretty much let you bring in any references you need in accordance with NCEES rules. South Carolina gave SE exam takers their own areas in the test facility and our own full size table, which was really nice since you will have lots of reference materials. 

But, basically in a nutshell, you don't have to worry that taking the SE exam will be null and void since you took it in a different state vs. another state. It's now standard nationwide.

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Wow, SE only in Illinios, huh?  I wonder how that went over... Did they grandfather the existing PE's in and require all new engineers to obtain the SE?

I will check out Connecticut first as it is near me and go from there.

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6 minutes ago, SpallSoHard said:

Wow, SE only in Illinios, huh?  I wonder how that went over... Did they grandfather the existing PE's in and require all new engineers to obtain the SE?

I will check out Connecticut first as it is near me and go from there.

Illinois PE and SE acts are both dated 1989 so they established the official process at the same time.  

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2 hours ago, David Connor, SE said:

You can probably take the exam in any state. The question is do you need an "SE" license to do certain structures vs. a "PE" license. This is where certain states differ. Most states, like my state, South Carolina, you can take the SE exam, and if you pass, you will get your "PE" stamp. You can also take the civil "PE" exam in these states and get your "PE" license. There is no separate "SE" license.

In the western states (CA, WA, etc.) you have separate "PE" and "SE" licenses. In most of these states a "PE" can stamp non-essential, non-tall structures. But you must have an "SE" do hospitals, or tall buildings and have passed the 16 hour SE exam. 

In Illinois, you must take the 16 hour SE exam to stamp all structures now. This, and Hawaii, is the only state that does this however. 

That being said, I hear that Illinois may not be the best place to take the SE exam. They don't allow certain references, more strict. But most other states will pretty much let you bring in any references you need in accordance with NCEES rules. South Carolina gave SE exam takers their own areas in the test facility and our own full size table, which was really nice since you will have lots of reference materials. 

But, basically in a nutshell, you don't have to worry that taking the SE exam will be null and void since you took it in a different state vs. another state. It's now standard nationwide.

In Illinois, you can get an SE without having a PE. If you don't have the PE, but only the SE in Illinois, some states your SE will translate into essentially a PE until you have the requirements and possibly test for the PE, depending on the state. There's even a whole special FE section, which licenses you as an SEI (Structural Engineer Intern) instead of an EIT, and technically doesn't allow you to take the PE with the same requirements as an EIT. (you are required to have more experience since your degree was likely in a related field)

Illinois also used to have strict rules for references, but within the past 5 years has conformed to allowing all of the items on the NCEES approved list, so they are in line with other states in this circumstance. 

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You should be careful and verify that would meet the requirements for licensure as a SE in whatever state you eventually seek that license.  While the examination requirement has become more standardized, that doesn't mean that everyone will accept your experience as SE experience regardless of whether you have passed the SE exam or not.

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13 hours ago, CAPLS said:

You should be careful and verify that would meet the requirements for licensure as a SE in whatever state you eventually seek that license.  While the examination requirement has become more standardized, that doesn't mean that everyone will accept your experience as SE experience regardless of whether you have passed the SE exam or not.

That's a good call.  I've sent emails to licensing boards in Illinois and Washington to double check the process.

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NCEES will also give you a designation as Model Law Structural Engineer (MLSE) if you get an NCEES record, which is not tied to a certain state - providing you meet the other requirements for it, such as no disciplinary actions, etc.

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Can someone with a PE go ahead and sign up for NCEES 16-hr Structural Exam without a state board approval?

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probably depends on the state

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31 minutes ago, SoCalBound said:

Can someone with a PE go ahead and sign up for NCEES 16-hr Structural Exam without a state board approval?

In North Carolina you can, and in states that have effectively disconnected experience requirements with sitting for PE and/or SE, I would assume you can as well. I just went through this process in NC and it took all of 10 minutes to register for SE exam through NCEES after verifying with NC state board I did not need their approval. This would have been the same whether I was registering for PE or SE.

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In Texas, I was able to sign up for the SE without state approval after I passed the PE. At that point, it was just another test according to them (they were actually confused on why I would want to do that).

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In Texas you have to go ahead and register with NCEES directly, but the state approval comes automatically about 2 weeks later, that is if you already have a P.E. 

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I believe my state allows you to take the SE exam to become a PE in the state.  I did take the PE first and am now going through the SE process.  I did have to get state approval to sit for the SE, however, I did not have to go through all of the paper work because they had already approved me to sit for the other exam.  I basically just had to email them which exam I was taking and they forwarded that onto NCEES as approval to sit.

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2 hours ago, kennyb04 said:

I believe my state allows you to take the SE exam to become a PE in the state.  I did take the PE first and am now going through the SE process.  I did have to get state approval to sit for the SE, however, I did not have to go through all of the paper work because they had already approved me to sit for the other exam.  I basically just had to email them which exam I was taking and they forwarded that onto NCEES as approval to sit.

I did this as well kenny; took the SE in lieu of the PE for my state and then used the SE exam to get licensed in IL as an SE.

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On 1/10/2017 at 5:20 PM, CAPLS said:

You should be careful and verify that would meet the requirements for licensure as a SE in whatever state you eventually seek that license.  While the examination requirement has become more standardized, that doesn't mean that everyone will accept your experience as SE experience regardless of whether you have passed the SE exam or not.

This is spot on.  Some states (Nevada for instance) simply require you have 4-years of experience after an undergrad.  Other states (utah for instance) require you obtain 4-years of post college experience AND get a PE, and then obtain an additional 3-years of post PE experience before you get your SE.  And there are all manner of in between in terms of experience requirements for specific states.

I do think its really weird that some states require 4-years of experience, while some require up to 7-years of experience and a PE.  Those requirements are considerably different.  And there may be states with more stringent requirements than Utah... I haven't looked very hard admittedly.

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