Threats to Professional Licensure

Select a State to Explore

 Threats Reported
 No Threats Currently Reported

SELECT A STATE ON THE MAP TO EXPLORE OR LEARN ABOUT NSPE'S ACTION ON THREATS TO PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE. INFORMATION IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING STATES: ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, GEORGIA, IDAHO, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MARYLAND, MINNESOTA, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NORTH CAROLINA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, PENNSYLVANIA, UTAH, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WASHINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA, AND WISCONSIN.

The debate over the role of government in regulating occupations and professions has recently come to the forefront. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational licensing directly affects nearly 30% of U.S. workers. Barbers, cosmetologists, florists, interior designers, naturopaths, manicurists … and the list goes on.

While the work of professional engineers—like that of doctors, registered architects, and attorneys—clearly affects the public health, safety, and welfare, it is not uncommon for state legislatures to categorize highly educated and trained PEs with barbers and cosmetologists in the debate over eliminating occupational licenses.

For example, model legislation championed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an association of state lawmakers that supports private-sector interests, led to a recommendation that would have eliminated the PE license in Indiana.

On August 20, 2015, as the result of extensive advocacy efforts by the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers and NSPE, the Indiana Job Creation Commission, inspired by ALEC’s model law, rescinded its troubling recommendation to eliminate licensure of the professional engineer. (Nearly identical versions of this model legislation were quickly introduced in several state legislatures, including Arkansas, Iowa, and Minnesota.)

Although ALEC’s model legislation does not specifically target PEs, in opposing occupational licensure in general, this broad attack undermines the value of the PE and unintentionally impacts engineering licensure.

NSPE’s Position

NSPE is working closely with its state societies to ensure that any effort to undermine the value of the PE license is promptly and soundly defeated. Promoting and protecting the PE license is of the utmost importance.

Licensure Under Attack Webinar

On January 10, 2018 NSPE Executive Director Mark Golden, NCEES CEO Jerry Carter, and Arizona Board of Technical Registration Executive Director Melissa Cornelius presented a webinar that addressed the concerted national effort to undermine licensure on a state-by-state basis.

Participants:

  • Learned more about the proposed threats occurring across the states;
  • Understand how the proposed threats affect the PE;
  • Identified how the threat grew in 2016 and 2017; and
  • Gain insight on what to expect in 2018.

Missed the live webinar?  The recording of the webinar can be accessed as part of the 15 Free Courses for members, or via an on-demand course for non-members.

More on this issue

 
PE Articles

A Rising Threat Level: Many lawmakers and regulators want to deregulate occupations. Now PEs are facing a growing risk of damage to their license.

Is Your License Safe? Over the last several years, there has been a growing movement to roll back occupational licensure requirements.

Defending the License: NSPE members and state societies are battling efforts to erode professional engineering licensure

In Minnesota, A Major Victory Against Additional Certifications

State Societies Back NSPE Opposition to Federal Rule to Weaken PE Role

Who Needs NSPE Anymore? PEs at risk of becoming collateral damage in debate over occupational licensing.

 
Attacks on Licensure in the Media, Industry and the Federal Government

Editorials, opinions, and white papers from the country’s top newspapers and the White House mischaracterizing the value of licensure.

A license to be a florist? How occupational rules can be a burden on workers.
(The Washington Post)

How to Keep the Unemployed Out of Work
(The Wall Street Journal)

If states want to help workers find jobs, they should reform licensing
(The Washington Post)

Maryland blows away a hurdle for workers
(The Washington Post)