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RBHeadge PE

When You Should Add PE After Your Name

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At some point soon 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

 

Can a mod sticky this please?

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Yes. It has happens all the time for a variety of reasons.

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6 hours ago, PE_PE said:

Can a board deny giving you the licence after passing the exam?

Yes, for lack of proper experience, ethical issues, etc.  Hence the application is separate from the exam itself.

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Yes, you're legal now

12 minutes ago, kohkohpuffz said:

I just received my passing score results yesterday and I checked my state's board this morning and my name was already up there with the license number.

Is this a good enough reason to put PE after my name?

 

 

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Question..

So I got email from Texas board today with my license number, which means I am licensed in Texas I suppose; however my work place is in another state so I get that I cannot add PE after my email signiture since my work address is not in Texas. 

But, can I add PE after my name on LinkedIn? There is no address issue on LinkedIn, I guess?

Thanks! 

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1 minute ago, MiMeowToby said:

Question..

So I got email from Texas board today with my license number, which means I am licensed in Texas I suppose; however my work place is in another state so I get that I cannot add PE after my email signiture since my work address is not in Texas. 

But, can I add PE after my name on LinkedIn? There is no address issue on LinkedIn, I guess?

Thanks! 

Personally, I would double check your location on LinkedIn first. If you say you’re a PE, and you’re not one in the location you’re listed in, it could be potentially misconstrued as misrepresentation.

You should also list your license number and appropriate issuing state in your “certificates” area. This would make it clear that you are licensed in that state, and since you are licensed “somewhere”, you’re not misrepresenting yourself by adding PE after your name.

Take my advice with a grain of salt though, since I am not currently in this situation. Perhaps @RBHeadge PE can chime in since he’s a pretty smart guy.

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5 minutes ago, ChebyshevII_PE said:

Personally, I would double check your location on LinkedIn first. If you say you’re a PE, and you’re not one in the location you’re listed in, it could be potentially misconstrued as misrepresentation.

You should also list your license number and appropriate issuing state in your “certificates” area. This would make it clear that you are licensed in that state, and since you are licensed “somewhere”, you’re not misrepresenting yourself by adding PE after your name.

Take my advice with a grain of salt though, since I am not currently in this situation. Perhaps @RBHeadge PE can chime in since he’s a pretty smart guy.

Thank you! 

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11 minutes ago, MiMeowToby said:

Question..

So I got email from Texas board today with my license number, which means I am licensed in Texas I suppose; however my work place is in another state so I get that I cannot add PE after my email signiture since my work address is not in Texas. 

But, can I add PE after my name on LinkedIn? There is no address issue on LinkedIn, I guess?

Thanks! 

You're only allowed to put it on facebook and myspace.

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You can use PE in your email signature. But you'll need to add to your signature that you are a "licensed PE in Texas", or "only licensed to practice engineering in Texas" or something similar. You don't want to leave someone with the impression that you can legally practice engineering in [office address state].

re: linkedin. Just about everyone treats this like an advertisement, so make sure you put on there that your PE is in Texas somewhere in your profile. I don't know if you have to add your license number to your profile though. I do include my license number in my C.V.

You may want to consider getting your license via comity in whatever state you are working in.

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7 minutes ago, ChebyshevII_PE said:

Personally, I would double check your location on LinkedIn first. If you say you’re a PE, and you’re not one in the location you’re listed in, it could be potentially misconstrued as misrepresentation.

You should also list your license number and appropriate issuing state in your “certificates” area. This would make it clear that you are licensed in that state, and since you are licensed “somewhere”, you’re not misrepresenting yourself by adding PE after your name.

Take my advice with a grain of salt though, since I am not currently in this situation. Perhaps @RBHeadge PE can chime in since he’s a pretty smart guy.

oh jesus christ no one gives a shit unless you're stamping drawings for a state you are not licensed.

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4 minutes ago, ME_VT_PE said:

oh jesus christ no one gives a shit unless you're stamping drawings for a state you are not licensed.

I strongly disagree with this statement. The P.E. title may be necessary for stamping drawings, but it also carries legal weight, say, in a court setting. So to even use the title is to claim such authority.

Edited by ChebyshevII_PE

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Just now, ChebyshevII_PE said:

I strongly disagree with this statement. The P.E. title may be necessary for stamping drawings, but it also hold legal weight, say, in a court setting. So to use the title is to claim such authority.

Unless you affix your seal and signature to your work, its not legally bound to you. That is the point of the stamp and license number. LinkedIn is social media and not much else...

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9 minutes ago, RBHeadge PE said:

You can use PE in your email signature. But you'll need to add to your signature that you are a "licensed PE in Texas", or "only licensed to practice engineering in Texas" or something similar. You don't want to leave someone with the impression that you can legally practice engineering in [office address state].

re: linkedin. Just about everyone treats this like an advertisement, so make sure you put on there that your PE is in Texas somewhere in your profile. I don't know if you have to add your license number to your profile though. I do include my license number in my C.V.

You may want to consider getting your license via comity in whatever state you are working in.

Thank you! Yes I am working on getting a NCEES record right now, pretty complicated process. 

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18 minutes ago, RBHeadge PE said:

rYou can use PE in your email signature. But you'll need to add to your signature that you are a "licensed PE in Texas", or "only licensed to practice engineering in Texas" or something similar. You don't want to leave someone with the impression that you can legally practice engineering in [office address state].

re: linkedin. Just about everyone treats this like an advertisement, so make sure you put on there that your PE is in Texas somewhere in your profile. I don't know if you have to add your license number to your profile though. I do include my license number in my C.V.

You may want to consider getting your license via comity in whatever state you are working in.

@MiMeowTobyI absolutely second RB comments. You are PE already, but in attempt not to violate any state rules you only need to reference Texas PE. For the state you currently work, all you need is to transfer your Texas PE and follow the guides and policy of the state where you work on how to get this done. 

Edited by Fissy_PE
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21 minutes ago, ME_VT_PE said:

LinkedIn is social media and not much else...

Linkedin’s own user agreement would disagree with you...

https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement

See section 8.2 above, and:

https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/89880?trk=microsites-frontend_legal_user-agreement&lang=en

Furthermore, most (if not all) states have laws against misrepresenting yourself, regardless if the misrepresentation is in stamp form or not.

Personally, I prefer to play it safe just in case. I worked too hard for too long to want to risk losing my license.

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4 minutes ago, ChebyshevII_PE said:

Linkedin’s own user agreement would disagree with you...

https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement

See section 8.2 above, and:

https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/89880?trk=microsites-frontend_legal_user-agreement&lang=en

Furthermore, most (if not all) states have laws against misrepresenting yourself, regardless if the misrepresentation is in stamp form or not.

Personally, I prefer to play it safe just in case. I worked too hard for too long to want to risk losing my license.

Do you provide engineering work through LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a live resume that sometimes reminds you about a work anniversary. If you're a P.E. in all 50 states or in one, putting P.E. at the end of your name and leaving it at that isn't wrong, illegal, or worth reading the LinkedIn user agreement.

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5 minutes ago, ME_VT_PE said:

Do you provide engineering work through LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a live resume that sometimes reminds you about a work anniversary. If you're a P.E. in all 50 states or in one, putting P.E. at the end of your name and leaving it at that isn't wrong, illegal, or worth reading the LinkedIn user agreement.

Sounds like we’re arguing two different points here.

You are correct, it isn’t “actually” wrong or misrepresentation to post the PE suffix on LinkedIn if you are licensed in any state. My point was that avoiding misleading information is important.

Yeah, I may be a PE in WA, but if I go do work in OR, for example, i can’t legally claim to be a PE there without a license in that state. By clarifying my state of licensure on LinkedIn, I do better to avoid immediate misrepresentation to potential customers/colleagues.

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1 hour ago, MiMeowToby said:

Thank you! Yes I am working on getting a NCEES record right now, pretty complicated process. 

It is, but once you have one, getting licensed in other states is so much easier. My initial license was in NC but got my SC license recently and only had to fill out a few portions of the application and send in a $75 fee, along with having NCEES release my record to SC board.

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Got an email that my application was approved and I now show up in the system an an active licensed Professional Engineer in Michigan.... Yahooo

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Michigan already? Wow, they had a reputation for years for taking quite a while to finally issue the licenses.

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I'm in New York as well as my coworkers. On the website it says 4-6 weeks for an application review. Bummer. I remember when I passed the FE it took them about the same amount of time to issue me the intern engineer certificate.

One of my other coworkers passed and is already using the title. Tisk, tisk, tisk.

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Can you put "PE-candidate" if you passed the PE but still waiting for the license from the State?  

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