ASCE Collaborate has switched to a new platform called Thrive.
We appreciate your patience during the transition. What is Thrive? View more information here. Any questions or feedback? Please contact [email protected]. View Video Tutorials here.
An ASCE membership login is required to participate in discussion forums and ASCE Mentor Match.
As today (August 7th) is Professional Engineers Day, I would like to start a discussion about PE Licensure. To give a bit of history, the first professional engineering license was issued to Charles Bellamy in Wyoming on August 8, 1907. Since that time, licensure has expanded and professional engineers around the world have made the commitment to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. I personally took the FE exam during my senior year of college and am now two years into my career (so two more years of engineering design experience under a licensed professional engineer until I can sit for the exam). I would be glad to answer any questions about the FE if anyone has any!
For those of you who are licensed Professional Engineers, how did your career change after becoming a licensed PE or what career actions were you able to take after getting the PE?
More about Professional Engineers Day can be viewed here.
Getting my license allowed me to sign my own plans. That's about it. I put off getting my license for many years because I saw that often the engineering designers were more competent than the PE's who supervised them. Often, those that received their PE's were those that were better test takers. For some reason people believe that a PE bestows upon the bearer some magic knowledge, so I needed to get it.
While I do believe that licensing engineers is essential, I feel that the current methods of licensing do not produce the engineering professionals that it supposes. I have literally been yelled at by friends of people that I wouldn't sign off as one of their recommendations. I was told I should just sign off because it doesn't mean anything and they'll just find someone else that will. That's the general attitude about getting recommendations.
I have gotten resumes from foreign students doing graduate work in the US that have their PEs. In some cases, it was questionable how they were able to gain the 2 additional years of work experience needed to be eligible to sit for the exam (I can only speculate that their professors signed off on their application). The majority of college prof PEs that I know (not all) are very good technicians and can solve complex problems, but is that all a PE is - a person whose technical abilities are really good?