This past Wednesday, August 3, was Professional Engineers Day, as recognized by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Each year, the NSPE celebrates licensed PEs and their important contributions to our cultures and infrastructures. We were thrilled to celebrate our PEs at KTM Solutions, who are licensed in multiple states.
What makes a “professional engineer”?
What does it mean to be a professional engineer? Our engineers get this question a lot, and if you’re a PE maybe you do too. Being a licensed Professional Engineer means more than that you work in the engineering field as your profession. Licensed PEs have to meet several criteria:
Earn a four-year degree in engineering from an accredited engineering program
Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
Complete four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE
Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam
These criteria guarantee that a PE has undergone rigorous training and has thorough experience in the field. Additionally, the NSPE has a strict code of ethics requiring, among other things, that PEs may approve designs only in their own area of expertise and must consider the general public’s safety their top priority. Engineers who don’t adhere to these standards could face license suspension or revocation.
What’s the benefit of a PE stamp?
OSHA has numerous requirements regarding who can be responsible for certain tasks. When OSHA regulations specify that a task must be performed by a “qualified person,” that person “must have a recognized degree, certificate, etc., or extensive experience and ability to solve the subject problems.” When a design needs to be completed or approved by a qualified person, a PE stamp is a great way to prove qualification. This step provides assurance for whoever is purchasing the design as well as for anyone who will use the end product.
A Professional Engineer’s credentials are your assurance that the individual has the qualifications to solve the problem at hand. An engineer cannot be called an engineer without the proper education and testing to verify their knowledge. Each state in the United States and each province in Canada have Boards of Registration that verify the legitimacy of Professional Engineers.
An engineer, while he or she may hold a degree from a university, cannot be called a Professional Engineer without receiving further training under the supervision of a licensed engineer and successfully passing licensing tests. Provinces and states also require continuing education on an annual basis to ensure an engineer’s expertise. A Professional Engineering Seal on a design is your indication that the design was conducted according to accepted engineering standards and that the design is safe.