Are engineering certifications useful



If a particular state legislature gets too carried away the this nonsense, the main effect will be to drive "high tech" companies into another state.
Even in California the legislators aren't that stupid.
Slight OT: The "licensed psychologists" in California and, perhaps, some other states have gotten a legal monopoly on the administration of "IQ" tests. They have intimidated the so-called "High IQ" organization, Mensa, to STOP giving IQ tests to prospective members. Mensa now gives a bogus pass/fail test and charges $40 for it. All the candidate gets for his $40 is a letter saying whether he "passed" the test.
Since the largest consumers of IQ tests are the public schools some kind of compromise was needed because if the "licensed psychologists" got into a pissing contest with the education establishment it's likely that the "educationalists" would win. The compromise is/are tests which "correlate" with IQ tests but aren't. (I'm not making this up.) One such test is the Otis-Lennon. The "IQ" flap was, in part, responsible for the College Board to state that the "A" in SAT no longer stands for anything. Since the "A" has no meaning, they dropped meanings from the S & T. So now it's quite proper to talk about the SAT Test or the PSAT Test.

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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

But it most certainly does matter what you mean. You said it. The various legislature*s* (jurisdictions) have various ideas of what constitutes "the public", and "engineering". That *you* mean is quite important to the context, here.
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Keith

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Public always includes but is not limited to taxpayer funded and jurisdiction always includes but is not limited to the government entity spending that taxpayer money. This expands to entities like the public utilities, which may be privately owned but operate under government regulation. Anything requiring a permit from an authority having jurisdiction is subject to codes that are in place to protect the public are public. Any project on government owned property is public. Any engineering testing for the FCC, FAA, EPA etc. requires a license.
If you want to engineer anything that the "government" owns or touches with taxpayer money you will probably need to be licensed by the government in some way. If you want to work on projects that touch government owned property ( water, power, gas, streets, signals, communication airwaves, telephone company equipment and outside plant, civil engineering, structural engineering, bridges etc.) you must be a PE. A PE must supervise all testing for equipment licensed for FCC compliance.
If you want to publicly call yourself an engineer or advertise for engineering services in the US you must be a licensed PE or face prosecution.
Oddly enough if you work for the government many times you are exempt from license but the government has a very high proportion of PE's. Maybe not so odd since a good part of the government is focused technology used for killing people.
peace dawg
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...

Wrong. Government <> "the public".

Utter nonsense.

Wrong.
What an idiot.
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Keith

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krw wrote:

Actually it is correct. Perhaps you would expand on why you think it is wrong.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
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Ben@somewhere says...

No it certainly is not.

Only because it is. This is a state issue.
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Keith

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krw wrote:

That is true, and every state requires it. Therefore, his statement is correct.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
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Ben@somewhere says...

Wrong.
You're an idiot.
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krw wrote:

How so? Can you name a state that does not have a PE act? Or can you identify a PE act that allows the unlicensed practice of professional engineering (which would sort of defeat the purpose of its existence)?

Aw, we were doing so good. Now you hurt my feelings.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
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Ben@somewhere says...

Each state has *DIFFERENT* laws, regarding licensing and what is covered under those laws. Can't you get that through your thick skull?

The truth sometimes hurts.
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krw wrote:

Yes, I am aware of that. However, the laws are all very similar, and in fact many of the PE acts are based on a model law from NCEES. No state that I am aware of will allow one to offer engineering services to the public without a PE license. You have yet to refute that.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
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Ben@somewhere says...

They are *not* at all the same.

Again, define "engineering services". Since you won't do that, I'll assume you're just a PE unionist blowhard.
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The responses have gone way beyond the scope of the topic i originally intended. Please allow me to bring it back into focus.
Of course PE licensure is important, but I don't think we can liken it to being an MD (medical doctor)or passing the bar (lawyer). Our lines of work are so varied and take us down paths that are often not closely related. It is difficult for me to buy any assertions that a guy who busted his butt for 4 years to graduate from an accredited engineering program can't call himself as an engineer because he or she hasn't passed the PE. However, I agree not calling yourself a professional engineer (per legislative edict) is understandable since i could see a number of issues related to public safety coming to bare.
If I'm an engineer who is actively involved the development of sustainable design, low cost construction for developing countries, please tell me why I need PE. Is that structure a threshold building? Probably not? But isn't it more important that an individual be recognized for having an understanding of the materials and technologies involved in that line of work. Having the LEED AP designation would be helpful for a design professional in that scenario because at least it does provide some education in this area.
Benjamin, given your current position and the arguments you've made, does this mean that you think any designation other than PE is worthless?
QualifiedEngineer.com
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not at all. Other certifications are of varying usefulness, depending on who provides them and who accepts them. However, those augment, rather than replace, the PE license. A PE license is legally required in virtually every state to offer or provide engineering services to the public. This is often in the form of consulting services, but it could be other things as well. In my state, it also includes using the term "engineer", "engineering" or any derivatives thereof, on any advertising or business cards. You will definitely need a license if you provide plans to any inspection authority for public facilities. KRW is correct in that each state defines what is covered as "professional engineering". The purpose is to protect public health, safety and welfare by insuring a minimum level of education and competence.
Most states have a manufacturers' exemption, which someone mentioned earlier. This applies to engineers who work for a company designing their products. The justification is that product liability and other laws provide protection. If you are designing the facility or process system for your company, however, that likely falls under the definition of professional engineering and requires licensure (again, that is up to each state).
There are certainly non-licensed engineers who are every bit as competent as licensed ones. They simply have not met the legal requirements and do not have the legal right to advertise or provide engineering services to the public. It is a legal matter, not a question of ability.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
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My principal work was in the aerospace industry where a PE was not typically required. I think people designs for airport terminals or rocket launch probably would require signing off by structural engineers, but I never was involved with such matters.
I think that it would be advantageous for the US Government, and consequently taxpayers, if proposals and other documents be certified by PE's as to the veracity of the plans. As I remember it, too many proposals were fictions condoned by the US contracting officers. A PE whose license and future career is in jeopardy is likely to be much less optimistic when making unrealistic claims about a project.
Bill
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Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

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Salmon Egg wrote:

There is also a school of thought that even with the industrial exemption, the engineer in responsible charge at a manufacturing company should be licensed. It is pretty much the same philosophy that you just expressed. I don't see it happening any time soon.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
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I think that Business and Government effectively conspired to keep the business climate favorable. Requiring ethical behavior will stifle the excesses that make almost everyone happy--for a while. A PE or a similar employee willing to comment on the puffery in a proposal upsets the system and usually becomes a pariah. The modern example is that of Government conspiring to deregulate. The primary method was pushing credit inflation so that some business can be immensely profitable who then contriuted to politicians. The consequence is our present economic crisis, Was it worth it? I'll bet there are many well retired executives who would say yes and would be happy to do it all over again.
I predict that when we come out of this crises there will be a period of more ethical behavior. After a while, the same pressures will surfacer to cut ethical corners. I expect to be dead when the next pile of shit hits the fan. But with progress in information technology and communication, there will be many bright and unscrupulous people willing to take advantage of our system's vulnerabilities.
Bill
--
Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

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Ben, you are forgetting that just because an activity is illegal does not prevent it from flourishing. After all, drugs are illegal but is seems that the illicit drug trade is doing well.
Bill
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Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

Because there is a stupid law in CA doesn't mean that law has any relevance to CT.
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Keith

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An engineering certification is typically a document issued by an association which is recognized as a leading authority in a specialty or subset of an engineering discipline, such as HVAC in the case of mechanical engineering. The goals of the certificates are to acknowledge the expertise of a design professional in that specific field and also to provide an indication to the public about that person's abilities in a particular field. For examples of what I am referring to, I encourage to visit www.qualifiedengineer.com so you can see what I am talking about.
Many engineers in the US don't seek PE licensure for a various number of reasons, certifications offer another means for the professionals to be recognized and to validate their expertise.
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