“Raise the Bar” is a catchphrase coined for the initiative to increase the qualifications required for licensure as a professional engineer after 2020. There is a recently craftedeight-minute videoavailable on You Tube. If you haven’t yet seen this presentation, spend eight minutes of your time and watch it.
The words below of Chris M. Stone, P.E., F.NSPE, the immediate past president of NSPE, aptly describe the rationale behind the Raise the Bar initiative and the Model Law requirements for licensure as a professional engineer after 2020:
“At the beginning of the 1900s, a four-year baccalaureate degree was required to enter the engineering profession—more than for most other learned professions. Learned professions, such as medicine, law, pharmacy, architecture, and accounting, recognized the exploding body of knowledge in our society and responded to these changes by expanding their formal education requirements beyond a bachelor’s degree. The engineering profession’s requirements have remained unchanged, despite the ever-expanding technical and professional knowledge and skills and the fact that engineering services and engineered products affect the public health, safety, and welfare in all its aspects. PEs need greater breadth and depth of knowledge, leadership, and vision to address the increasingly complex challenges facing society. In response to this, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying changed its model state licensure law to require additional education beyond the bachelor’s degree for newly licensed professional engineers. The Model Law requires (no earlier than 2020), the following for obtaining an engineering license:
1. An accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering;
2. A master’s degree or an equivalent 30 credits of graduate or upper level undergraduate courses in engineering, science, mathematics, and/or professional practice topics;
3. Four years or more of progressive engineering experience (three years with an engineering master’s degree, two years with certain PhDs); and
4. Successful completion of the appropriate NCEES-sponsored written examinations (FE and PE).
NSPE endorses the NCEES 2020 Model Law and encourages enactment of Model Law provisions in all jurisdictions as a means to further protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. Now is the time to “Raise The Bar” for professional engineering.”
This posting has been reviewed by L. Robert Smith, P.E., F.NSPE, and Bernard R. Berson, P.E., P.L.S., F.NSPE
Published August 1, 2012 by Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of and should not be attributable to the National Society of Professional Engineers.