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Professional licensing for technology students. Prepared by Captain Tim Johnson, PE Associate Professor Wentworth Institute of Technology. Reason for licensing.
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Professional licensing for technology students Prepared by Captain Tim Johnson, PE Associate Professor Wentworth Institute of Technology
Reason for licensing • Increased complexity of systems has necessitated the need to separate competent engineers from inexperienced and untrained personnel for the safety of the public. • Recognized professional stature and adherence to ethical standards. • Membership in professional engineering societies promote continuing education, engineering ideals, fraternity, and community service.
A Doctor… Has a Hippocratic Oath. Is involved with health issues. Spends years studying. The State gives a medical license if they can pass their board exam. Can belong to a medical society. Can add MD to their name. Comparison of professions • A Lawyer… • Upholds a code of ethics. • Is involved with legal issues. • Spends years studying. • The State gives them a license to practice law if they pass the bar exam. • Can belong to a legal society. • Can add Esq. to their name. A Professional Engineer • Upholds a code of ethics. • Is involved with design issues. • Spends years studying. • The State gives them an engineers license if they can pass the FE/PE exams. • Can belong to an engineering society. • Can add PE to their name.
It’s a two phase process involving education and experience. Each State has slightly different rules so check locally. If you have graduated (or are about to) from an undergraduate engineering program (or related sciences) at an ABET accredited engineering college, your submission of a transcript enables you to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The experience is a reprisal with documentation and supervisor verification of your engineering work record for a minimum four-year period after the FE exam and before taking the Professional Engineer (PE) exam. Technology students need an additional four years of experience before they can take the PE exam. What is the process for licensing?
Path to PE flow chart 4-yr engineering graduate Engineer in Training (EIT) FE exam 4 years work PE exam PE 4-yr technology graduate FE exam 4 years work 4 years work PE exam PE EIT Short cut to getting a PE for both engineering and technology graduates Engineering graduate degree 4-yr college graduate PE exam PE FE exam 3 years work
In summary Students wishing to obtain a PE license can accelerate the process by obtaining a graduate degree in an accredited engineering program. Taking courses part-time at night and working is difficult but the board requires one less year to sit for the PE exam. Obtaining a graduate degree makes passing the exams easier because you are that much more knowledgeable. Your resume will make you look like a triple threat: having a PE license, an advanced degree, and experience.
Sources • www.mass.gov Consumer Affairs and Business regulation website links to the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors website. There you will find links to the statutes and regulations that address licensing of professional engineers.
M. G. L. references • ABET Undergraduate Engineering Degree Criteria Policy advisory summary of General Laws, CMR 250 and paragraph #22 of the application for Professional Engineer. • Chapter 112:Section 81J (1) (b) & (c) • Chapter 112:Section 81J (3) (a) & (b)