NSPE Promotes Licensing

As part of an ongoing push to encourage engineers to become licensed P.E.s, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Alexandria, Va., has initiated a couple of new efforts including a proposal to change the model law for licensure.

12/01/2000


As part of an ongoing push to encourage engineers to become licensed P.E.s, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Alexandria, Va., has initiated a couple of new efforts including a proposal to change the model law for licensure.

"We believe it's absolutely imperative for engineers to become licensed as other professions are licensed, whether it's doctors, lawyers or accountants," explains Arthur Schwartz, NSPE's deputy executive director. "It's particularly important because engineers have a fundamental obligation to hold paramount the public health and safety."

Currently, the P.E. licensure process, as outlined in a new licensure kit, is as follows:

  1. Graduation from a four-year accredited engineering program.

 

  1. Passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

 

  1. Completing four years of practice as an engineer in training.

 

  1. Passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.

To better cater the licensing process to the needs of engineers, the revised model-law proposal suggests that a credential/portfolio review be added to the process at the end of the engineer-in-training period, and that the final PE exam focus more on professional practice issues-ethics, codes and standards-and less on technical material.

Secondly, NSPE is proposing that unlicensed engineers who hold a master's or doctorate degree not be required to take the FE exam and that these individuals complete just two to three years of acceptable experience.

In addition to the proposal, NSPE is also circulating a "Get Licensed" kit designed to help educators promote licensing.

While only one in five engineers are currently registered as P.E.s in the United States, Schwartz points out that engineers involved in facility design and construction are more likely to be licensed because only P.E.s can legally sign and seal drawings. Yet another benefit of licensure is the potential to earn an average salary increase of 15 to 25 percent, according to NSPE.

For more information on licensure, see www.nspe.org, or the Web site of the National Council of Examiners of Engineering and Surveying at www.ncees.org.





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