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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, DELAWARE, INDIANA, IOWA, MARYLAND, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW JERSEY, NORTH CAROLINA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, AND WASHINGTON.
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Indiana Society of Professional Engineers and NSPE, the Indiana Job Creation Commission, inspired by ALEC’s model law, rescinded its troubling recommendation to eliminate licensure of the professional engineer.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 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.
- NSPE Position Statement No. 1773—Protecting the Professional Engineer Against Attacks on Licensure as a Barrier to Trade