PE Licensing Blog

August 24, 2016 - 08:34
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE There are currently eight jurisdictions in the US that license multiple engineering disciplines separately. The longstanding policy of the National Society of Professional Engineers is that engineers should be licensed as professional engineers, with the obligation on the part of the individual to practice within his or her area of competence. That policy notwithstanding, there is a trend over recent decades for jurisdictions to consider changing to licensing engineers in a discipline-specific fashion. The Model Law and Rules of the National Council of...
June 20, 2016 - 16:04
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying is widely used for two basic, equally important, yet independent purposes. First, it is one of two examinations, along with the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE exam), that is a prerequisite for obtaining a license to practice as a professional engineer. Also, it has become extensively used by university engineering programs as an outcomes assessment tool because it is an effective way to identify programmatic...
January 26, 2016 - 08:29
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE Engineering licensure is often described as being a “three-legged stool,” with education, examinations, and experience as a basis. Much attention has been focused on the content of both the education and examination legs of the stool, to assure that professional engineers possess the minimum level of competence necessary to protect and enhance the public health, safety, and welfare. Far less attention has been paid to the equally important experience leg of the stool. Currently, virtually all licensing jurisdictions require experience that (1) is engineering...
January 7, 2016 - 13:49
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE After years of controversy and disagreement among engineering societies about a proposal to make additional engineering education a prerequisite for licensure in the future, it appears that the engineering profession may be ready to constructively discuss consensus-building. In August 2015, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) recast prior model law language as a position statement, advocating that state licensing boards consider requiring a master’s degree in engineering or equivalent for licensure in the future. NSPE and...
November 16, 2015 - 14:52
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The topic of discipline-specific licensure has been a lightning rod in the engineering profession for decades. The National Society of Professional Engineers has a long-standing policy advocating that engineers should be licensed only as professional engineers with a requirement that PEs practice only within their areas of competence. The rationale has been in part that the lines between disciplines and subdisciplines are in many cases blurred, and that individual PEs are the best judge of their individual competence based on their knowledge, skills,...
September 15, 2015 - 12:43
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE In 2002, the National Society of Professional Engineers adopted a policy advocating consideration in the future of enhanced qualifications for engineering licensure. The education-related part of the old Professional Policy 168 (“PP-168”) read as follows: With the continuing rapid expansion of knowledge required to practice in the basic as well as the many specialized areas of engineering, NSPE believes that additional engineering education, beyond the four year ABET/EAC degree, will be required in order to meet the formal academic preparation necessary for...
June 29, 2015 - 14:03
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE Accreditation by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) of an engineering master’s program constitutes what is often referred to in licensure as the “gold standard” for graduate engineering education. Such programs face a rigorous accreditation process that includes reviewing facilities, faculty, and program requirements, as well as assessing student outcomes and continuous improvement initiatives. And perhaps most importantly, all graduates must adhere to the baccalaureate-level general and program criteria of a related...
June 8, 2015 - 10:03
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE This is the third in a series of articles on the role of technologists within the engineering profession and within engineering licensure. The first article dealt with the process for technologists to become licensed as professional engineers in some, but not all, US jurisdictions. Seventeen licensing jurisdictions require a degree from an EAC ABET accredited program and do not allow technologists to become licensed as professional engineers. The second article dealt with the differences in undergraduate curricula between technology and engineering programs....
April 23, 2015 - 15:30
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has proposed modifying the ABET baccalaureate-level civil engineering program criteria which, along with general criteria, set accreditation requirements for civil engineering programs accredited by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC).These changes to the program criteria have been approved by the EAC and passed first reading by the ABET board of directors in November 2014. If passed at second reading by the ABET board in November 2015, the modified program criteria would become applicable for...
March 2, 2015 - 14:53
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The NSPE Engineering Body of Knowledge (EBOK) provides a description of 30 capabilities that are necessary for the practice of engineering in responsible charge of projects that may impact public health, safety, and welfare. While some are learned initially in engineering education, many of these capabilities are attained in part or in whole through progressive engineering experience. It is important to note that there is a great difference between four years of progressive experience and one year’s experience, four times. Engineer interns (EIs or Engineers...

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