The licensing of engineers began in Wyoming in 1907 to protect the public from untrained individuals practicing engineering and surveying. Today, all states and territories license professional engineers to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
While every licensed professional engineer has expertise in certain areas, such as civil, electrical, or mechanical, they are licensed as a professional engineer rather than a professional civil engineer or a professional electrical engineer. Every professional engineer has an ethical obligation to practice only in their areas of competence.
NSPE endorses and supports the concept of licensure of engineers only as a professional engineer and opposes licensure status by designated branches or specialties . This well-tested approach to the regulation of engineering practice has been protecting the public for decades.
- NSPE Position Statement No. 1737—Licensure and Qualifications for Practice
- NSPE Position Statement No. 1774—Use of Certification Credentials
- NSPE Position Statement No. 1778—Professional Practice