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I'm curious about this community's views on board certification for CE specializations. Board certification was the topic of a recent Source article. I'm open to certification but question if the initiative has been fully thought through. My online response is below for interest.
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I think there also needs to be an element of financial remuneration for additional certification to be truly compelling. One might argue that certification equates to more responsibility and therefore higher pay but it is also a case of show me the money. A complementary effort needs to be by the civil engineering profession to provide a financial reward for the increased complexity of the challenges facing the profession. This reward may also come at the expense of higher mobility. This might happen as those achieving certification use their new credential to market themselves and job hop to a new employer willing to pay for the cache they bring. By way of conclusion, this push for certification could benefit from some systems thinking to ensure it delivers the aspired results.<o:p></o:p>
Data are limited so far but the information we have so far suggests about a 10% income boost for engineers with Board Certification (https://aawre.org/certification/benefits-board-certification).
Presently, benefits are most noticeable in increased credibility for board certified engineers. They are more likely to be hired/contracted for top level roles. That will eventually show up in ASCE's salary surveys.
I think there also needs to be an element of financial remuneration for additional certification to be truly compelling. One might argue that certification equates to more responsibility and therefore higher pay but it is also a case of show me the money. A complementary effort needs to be by the civil engineering profession to provide a financial reward for the increased complexity of the challenges facing the profession. This reward may also come at the expense of higher mobility. This might happen as those achieving certification use their new credential to market themselves and job hop to a new employer willing to pay for the cache they bring. By way of conclusion, this push for certification could benefit from some systems thinking to ensure it delivers the aspired results.
------------------------------Mitch Winkler P.E.(inactive), M.ASCEHouston, TX------------------------------
I am sure several raised this question. What about engineers certified in California? In California we do have Geotechnical Engineer (GE) and Structural Engineer (SE) which I think is way more valuable than Board Certified because of the additional requirements and additional exams prior to obtaining these licenses. How is this benefiting GEs and SEs in CA? I strongly suggest that Board Certification should follow same requirements as GE or SE, as they are more stringent, and having exams as well prior to providing certification.
Thanks for the information. Board Certification does require passing an advanced exam plus additional, years of experience beyond the PE.
Thanks for the reply. The BC includes an oral "interview" not advanced exam, very subjective. Still not comparable to the GE or SE in CA, unless the website has the incorrect requirements?. Master's degree requirement also? That puts all the very smart and sharp GE or SE (CA) very experienced senior engineers with only bachelor's on the back of the list?
I still believe this Board Certification, specifically in CA, is not worth it or seen by our clients as a major impact in professionalism. In fact, GE or SE will still be the local requirements for approvals, stamping reports, drawings etc. Until Today, no one has answered my question from ASCE in regard to GE or SE in CA.
I am a Board Certified Environmental Engineer through the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, have been since 1976. I got benefits from webinars/seminars, plus association with other members. We have a workshop every year in the Los Angeles area, where I practice, and the information and comradery is very helpful (networking, reconnecting with other members who as past associates, etc.). Another benefit is on Professional Liability Insurance, I get a discount through ASCE's program since I'm certified. I would recommend doing it in your area of practice.
As a licensed Professional Engineer, in Florida, I can affix my seal to just about any type of document that requires a PE. The majority of my work, over more than 40 years, has been for public agencies or major clients with the resources and ability to vet the engineers they contract with. However the few individuals or small businesses for whom I have provided professional services have rarely asked about my qualifications. For them a P.E. after my name is good enough. They trust (I think) that I will not practice outside of my areas of expertise, even if they don't know about ASCE's Canons, NSPE's Codes, or the Obligation of the Engineer which I have taken and followed. I would like to think that if specialty certification were available that more clients would look for it, the way they do for lawyers or doctors. And I would like to think they would be willing to pay a premium for a board-certified engineer to provide special professional services. However, this will only come about after experience has demonstrated that certified engineers have provided a higher value for their services than non-certified engineers.
I think this post misses the point entirely. The purpose for board certification is to enhance the value of engineering to society. Certification has nothing, whatsoever, at all, to do with being entitled to more money.
Plenty of practicing engineers make more money than I do and they're not board-certified like I am. If renumeration is the goal, which is fine, go into management and sales, not actual engineering. Top-level roles should be filled by people good at managing people, not at engineering.
For water-resources engineering, here are the stated goals:
Similarly, for coastal, ocean, port and navigation:
Having spent half of my career (30 years, so far) in private consulting (design, inspection, evaluation studies, etc.) and other half in public sector (review of other consultant's studies & designs), having a PE registration in that jurisdiction (state) is sufficient to practice engineering. I realize that a few individuals and/or orgnizations (both in public and private) like lengthy acronymns after their or their employees' name, the additional certs or acrocyms are neither useful nor truly needed to practice engineering of the projects - just more hands-on experience with more projects. Maybe addition acronyms for trainsing on project management, people soft skills, etc.
Also, I don't like the idea of certain professional organizations coming up with their own "certification/s". I realize the new "certification/s" is a annually-recurring revenue-generating scheme for some organizations, true licensure and certification should be from jursdiction's (state's) governmental board of occuplational regulation. And some orgnizations not only charge quite a bit for their workshops, technical papers, symposiums, etc., they invent new categories of certfications, memberships, etc every few years. I have geneuine respect and admiration for technical societies that make access to technical papers, symposiums, workshops, etc. very affordable or none for their members but those societies don't come up with new "certication/s".
Kanthan Siva, P.E.
Fairfax, VA, USA
------------------------------Umakanthan Sivapalarasah P.E., M.ASCEFairfax County Land Development ServicesFairfax VA------------------------------
------------------------------Dudley McFadden P.E., BC.WRE, M.ASCEPrincipal Civil EngineerRoseville CAOriginal Message:Sent: 09-05-2023 12:30 PMFrom: Mitchell WinklerSubject: Board Certification - Do We Really Know What We are Getting Into?
I agree that increased credibility is a valid goal for certification, Dudley; however, we should recognize that others may seek certification for more money.