California SE - License Eligibilty

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Roll_Tide_SE

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I am a licensed structural engineer (PE & SE) looking to obtain comity licensure in California. I understand CA has the Seismic Principals Exam and the Surveying Exam which PE registrants are required to pass. Are both of these exams required if I am pursuing an SE license only? Can I obtain a CA SE license without first obtaining a PE license in the state? I cannot seem to find a clear answer amongst the myriad of flowcharts on the board of licensure's website. Thank you.
 

CAPLS

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I am a licensed structural engineer (PE & SE) looking to obtain comity licensure in California. I understand CA has the Seismic Principals Exam and the Surveying Exam which PE registrants are required to pass. Are both of these exams required if I am pursuing an SE license only? Can I obtain a CA SE license without first obtaining a PE license in the state? I cannot seem to find a clear answer amongst the myriad of flowcharts on the board of licensure's website. Thank you.
The simple answer to your question is you are required to first be licensed as a Civil Engineer in California (this state licenses by specific branch of engineering). Primary reason why is that licensed civil engineers are authorized to practice structural engineering in California. Only purpose for the additional SE title is due to other state laws which require an SE to design public schools and hospitals.

One place this is shown on the Board's website is https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/se_faqs.pdf

Its also mentioned here Professional Engineer Application - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

If you've already passed the equivalent national PE exam and SE exam, the two California civil exams would be the only ones you'd be required to pass.
 

_tslewis

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what happens of you don't have a PE and only a SE from another state? would you still need to sit the PE civil or only sit for the CA specific survey and seismic exams?
 

CAPLS

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what happens of you don't have a PE and only a SE from another state? would you still need to sit the PE civil or only sit for the CA specific survey and seismic exams?
Depends on what exams you passed to obtain that SE license. What exams have you passed?
 
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@CAPLS I had a similar question. I have passed both the 8 hour civil-structural exam as well as the 16 hour SE Exam and am licensed in New Jersey and Rhode Island. I'm currently looking into the requirements of becoming a registered SE in the state of California, but based on the information above, one must first obtain a California PE license before obtaining a California SE license. Would you be able to provide some information as to what I would need to do to first become a California PE?
 

Hamilton

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@CAPLS I had a similar question. I have passed both the 8 hour civil-structural exam as well as the 16 hour SE Exam and am licensed in New Jersey and Rhode Island. I'm currently looking into the requirements of becoming a registered SE in the state of California, but based on the information above, one must first obtain a California PE license before obtaining a California SE license. Would you be able to provide some information as to what I would need to do to first become a California PE?
Based on my understanding, you would need to pass the CA seismic and survey exams, and become a licensed PE in CA. Then, after a certain number of time practicing as a licensed PE in California (three years?) you can apply for your SE license in California.
 

CAPLS

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@CAPLS I had a similar question. I have passed both the 8 hour civil-structural exam as well as the 16 hour SE Exam and am licensed in New Jersey and Rhode Island. I'm currently looking into the requirements of becoming a registered SE in the state of California, but based on the information above, one must first obtain a California PE license before obtaining a California SE license. Would you be able to provide some information as to what I would need to do to first become a California PE?
First, one must be a licensed civil engineer in CA before obtaining an SE license. Since you've already passed the NCEES PE-Civil exam and presumably can document the required experience to qualify for civil engineering, you would obtain that license first which requires passing the two CA civil exams. Then since you've already passed the NCEES SE exam, and you presumably can document the required structural engineering experience, you can obtain your SE exam.

Suggest reading more here Structural Engineer Application - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
 

bassist

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@CAPLS For someone with 4 years of qualifying experience and a PE and SE license in Nevada, does s/he need to show 3 years of experience after getting a PE in California to be eligible to get an SE in California? For instance, I got my Nevada PE in June 2021, my California PE in June 2022, and then my Nevada SE in December 2022 (Total experience = 4 years until Dec 22). Now if I wish to apply for California SE in January 2023 then am I eligible? Or, do I need to wait until June 2025 so that I get 3 years of experience from the date of getting PE in California which was June 2022?

I read the link you provided above but my confusion is - how do you count qualifying experience for SE in CA if you are applying for SE under comity?

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but a potential loophole in the system is that it doesn't tell us that we only need to show 1 year of experience for a PE in CA because the rest of it can be used for SE. So let's say you are applying for an SE in CA under comity and you showed your 6 years of experience on your PE Civil application in CA then you can not use any of those 6 years to be counted towards SE as you must have experience outside of those claimed 6 years to be counted towards SE. If my understanding is correct then as a good practice - no one should put more than 1 year of experience on PE Civil application if s/he wishes to apply for SE in the future.
 
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CaliPE

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@CAPLS For someone with 4 years of qualifying experience and a PE and SE license in Nevada, does s/he need to show 3 years of experience after getting a PE in California to be eligible to get an SE in California? For instance, I got my Nevada PE in June 2021, my California PE in June 2022, and then my Nevada SE in December 2022 (Total experience = 4 years until Dec 22). Now if I wish to apply for California SE in January 2023 then am I eligible? Or, do I need to wait until June 2025 so that I get 3 years of experience from the date of getting PE in California which was June 2022?

I read the link you provided above but my confusion is - how do you count qualifying experience for SE in CA if you are applying for SE under comity?

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but a potential loophole in the system is that it doesn't tell us that we only need to show 1 year of experience for a PE in CA because the rest of it can be used for SE. So let's say you are applying for an SE in CA under comity and you showed your 6 years of experience on your PE Civil application in CA then you can not use any of those 6 years to be counted towards SE as you must have experience outside of those claimed 6 years to be counted towards SE. If my understanding is correct then as a good practice - no one should put more than 1 year of experience on PE Civil application if s/he wishes to apply for SE in the future.
To qualify for a Structural Engineer license in CA, an individual must be licensed as a CA Civil Engineer and demonstrate a minimum of three years of qualifying structural engineering work experience in which they were in responsible charge. The three years does not need to be after your CA Civil Engineer license was issued if you are licensed in another state.

In your specific situation, the earliest you would be eligible to apply for your CA SE license would be three years after you were issued your NV PE, assuming you were in responsible charge of structural engineering work in NV.

When evaluating whether an applicant has met the requirements for an SE license in CA, the Board will also look at your CA Civil Engineer license application to make sure work experience that was used to meet the requirements for your CA Civil Engineer license is not being used to meet the requirements for your CA SE license. If an applicant claims six years of work experience on their CA CE application, but only needed two years (with an ABET-accredited BS degree), the applicant can claim the other four years on their CA SE application so long as it is work experience in which they were in responsible charge (i.e., licensed in the state where the projects were located).
 

bassist

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To qualify for a Structural Engineer license in CA, an individual must be licensed as a CA Civil Engineer and demonstrate a minimum of three years of qualifying structural engineering work experience in which they were in responsible charge. The three years does not need to be after your CA Civil Engineer license was issued if you are licensed in another state.

In your specific situation, the earliest you would be eligible to apply for your CA SE license would be three years after you were issued your NV PE, assuming you were in responsible charge of structural engineering work in NV.

When evaluating whether an applicant has met the requirements for an SE license in CA, the Board will also look at your CA Civil Engineer license application to make sure work experience that was used to meet the requirements for your CA Civil Engineer license is not being used to meet the requirements for your CA SE license. If an applicant claims six years of work experience on their CA CE application, but only needed two years (with an ABET-accredited BS degree), the applicant can claim the other four years on their CA SE application so long as it is work experience in which they were in responsible charge (i.e., licensed in the state where the projects were located).
This helps, thank you!
 

CAPLS

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CaliPE answered your questions very well. Basically speaking, you cannot claim experience more than once...whether that is on your CE application or your SE application.
 
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