Federal Agency Payment of Licensing Fees

Talking Points

  • The federal government should pay the licensing fees of its professional engineer employees.
  • The federal government should pay the costs related to employee maintenance of their PE license.

NSPE Position

  • NSPE supports federal agency payment of the licensing fees of professional engineers, and the costs related to obtaining and maintaining the license.
  • Federal payment of professional licenses is especially necessary in instances where a professional engineering license is a required qualification for the position.
  • Payment of licensure fees by federal agencies will also serve as a vital tool to recruit and retain the best possible cadre of engineers. It also encourages the federal engineer to seek and obtain the PE license.

In December 2001, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (PL 107-107) established statutory authority for all federal agencies to pay fees for its employees to obtain their professional credentials. The law granted agencies discretionary authority to pay expenses for professional accreditation, state imposed and professional licenses, and professional certification as well as the examinations to obtain such credentials. The authorization language granted authority for the federal government to pay for these fees through appropriated funds or funds otherwise available to the agency. Although the Act granted agencies authority to pay the expenses of employee's professional licensure, each individual agency has the responsibility for implementing the provision. Also, it is not clear if the authorization covers

  • The costs related to employee maintenance of the license;
  • Payment for preparation materials and classes; and
  • Other services offered by professional organizations.

NSPE References
NSPE Professional Policy No. 2 - Recognition of the Engineering Function Within Government

Issue Brief and Position: