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RBHeadge PE

When You Should Add PE After Your Name

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At some point over the next month many of you will find out that you passed the PPE exam. Congratulations! Passing the PPE is a major accomplishment that takes 8+ years of work and sacrifice. I'm certain you'll be excited; you should celebrate!

But first I need to tell you:

DO NOT IMMEDIATELY ADD PE AFTER YOUR NAME!

Wait until you are actually licensed.

I am not trolling! I am not trying to take away your accomplishments! I am not trying to kill your buzz! I want to keep you out of trouble.

Just because you passed the PPE exam does not mean that you are a professional engineer*. Only someone with a current PE license is a professional engineer and can use the postnominal “PE”. **

Every jurisdiction has laws and/or regulations governing who may offer their engineering services to the public. To claim that you are a professional engineer, when you lack a license is false representation. There are civil penalties associated with claiming to be a PE without a license, and it may prevent you from getting licensed in the future! The rules and enforcement vary from state to state. But it’s better to just wait until you officially have a license.

So how long do you need to wait? It varies by state, and it can range from hours to months to officially get your license. It could be longer if you took the test before satisfying the experience requirement, but you probably knew that already.

When is it official? It varies from state to state. But the consensus is that you are official when you find yourself in the state engineer license lookup with a current license. You will certainly be listed there before they send you an email or mailed envelope.

 

Once it’s official, go ahead and add those letters after your name!

 

What do I tell my boss, clients, colleagues in a big meeting, proposal, C.V., etc? You have to be ethical about this. You still can’t claim to be a PE until you are licensed, and you can’t imply that you can stamp things right now either. The easy and safe thing is to say that you passed the PPE (or PE exam), but are awaiting license from the state. Other PE’s will know that the hardest part is over, you’re basically in the club, but it’s just a formality of getting through the bureaucracy. However the subtlety may be lost on others, like clients and non-engineer bosses, so don’t leave people with the impression that you can stamp something currently in that jurisdiction.

 

One other note about adding PE after your name. The physical address in your signature,  business cards, etc should match where you are licensed to practice. This goes back to falsely representing yourself. If your business card says, for example, DC, but you are licensed only in Virginia, then you are falsely representing yourself as a licensed engineer in DC.  If that same business card adds that you are only licensed in Virginia, then you are not falsely representing yourself. Of course if you have a license in both jurisdictions, then you are not falsely representing yourself. The same principle applies when trying to get business outside the state/jurisdiction of the license; you have to make it clear where you are actually licensed.Engineers get in trouble for this sort of thing all the time. So be careful. The NSPE website has dozens of ethics case studies on this sort of thing available for reading.

 

 

 

tl;dr wait until you actually have a PE license before adding PE after your name

 

 

 

*For simplicity I use the title professional engineer or PE in this thread, but depending on the state or jurisdiction, the term may be: engineer, licensed engineer, licensed professional engineer etc. For the purposes of this discussion, all terms are interchangeable.

** PE and P.E. are interchangeable. There is no legal difference. The use/non-use of periods are personal preference.

 

Can a mod please sticky this.

Edited by RBHeadge PE
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7 hours ago, RBHeadge PE said:

Can a mod please sticky this.

Done.

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On 12/3/2018 at 12:12 PM, knight1fox3 said:

Done.

Technically, there's a whole sub forum for discussing this.

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8 minutes ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

Technically, there's a whole sub forum for discussing this.

There is, but its hidden unless someone states that they are a PE in their profile. And even if they could see it, most noobs don't look past this subforum. 

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3 minutes ago, JP >/= PE said:

@RBHeadge PEWhat do I do if I passed the early PE exam??? I got to add something after the name??

You're not a "PE" until after you've passed the test, met the work experience, and the state board cashes your check. I didn't add "PE" to my name until after I was listed "active" in the state's database which meant that I met all requirements. 

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Just now, matt267 PE said:

You're not a "PE" until after you've passed the test, met the work experience, and the state board cashes your check. I didn't add "PE" to my name until after I was listed "active" in the state's database which meant that I met all requirements. 

@matt267 PEHow can someone mildly brag about passing the exam then??

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19 minutes ago, JP >/= PE said:

@matt267 PEHow can someone mildly brag about passing the exam then??

Usually you mildly brag about passing the exam while eating crudités and sipping a sparkling cocktail at a non-denominational holiday party, following it with a hearty, but false-sounding, laugh. 

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7 minutes ago, matt267 PE said:

But, NOT like this: 

Related image

 

Image result for bragging gif

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1 hour ago, JP >/= PE said:

giphy.gif

You've got some colorful friends. 

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1 hour ago, matt267 PE said:

But, NOT like this: 

Related image

 

Well, she obvs. shouldn't have messed up the steps.

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6 minutes ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

Well, she obvs. shouldn't have messed up the steps.

I can't stop watching that gif. What they hell is going through his mind? 

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Must be varying by state, but as a statistical point for Iowa.

Results yesterday (12/05), in around 15 minutes I finished an application (1:26PM), and today I received an email to pay the fee. Once I paid the fee, I got another email with such certificate (cut off my name and license number), and on their webpage license is sown as active. Which likely entitles me to put a PE in my signature almost instantly.

pe cert.png

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what about those that choose to put in EIT after their name? lol

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1 minute ago, andres_ocho_tres said:

For those in TX I was already assigned my PE license number a few hours after receiving the test results. After login in on the board website, there it was.

Hmm too bad I don't remember my password to my ECHO account to login :(

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1 minute ago, txjennah PE said:

Hmm too bad I don't remember my password to my ECHO account to login :(

After login in using the Application Login and getting my PE license number, then it directed me to do the ECHO profile and login in there. So it's 2 different logins.  

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4 hours ago, blee26 said:

what about those that choose to put in EIT after their name? lol

I've seen it done.

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