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Practising Engineering in USA States
17

Practising Engineering in USA States

Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Has the requirement for bieng licensed in a state ever been challenged as being in restraint of free trade?

Does the free trade agreements with Canada, mexico, Australia allow for engineers considered professional in their homelands to work without registration in the state?

I am a consultant working out of Sydney Australia and undertake work all over the world except as yet in the USA. I am primarily engaged by consultants as a sub consultant. Is it possible for me to work on USA projects? It would be a nonsense if I did my work but some other engineer had to sign off on it because he had a license and I didnt. The only relelvance that engineer may have to my speciality is knowing my email address and phone number.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

3
What does this have to do with free trade?  Free trade is about taxation, not compliance...




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

4
Free trade is about much more that taxation. It is about allowing other countries and their companies and individuals to compete in your economies on the same basis as your citizens. You then get the same rights in the other countries markets.

The US likes to sign free trade agreements and then violate them. This along with softwood lumber and beef are examples of that.

Under NAFTA there is a clause that should allow free transfer of professional credentials from Canada and Mexico to the US.

That is if you are a professional engineer in Canada (with sufficient experience) all you should have to do is apply to any US state and you should be issued a license.

Texas was one of the few that allowed this to happen and they are as of 1 Jan 06 reverting to the usual method of having to pass the FE and the PE exams for all new applicants.

Unfortunately in the US the federal government can make these commitments to other nations but lacks the authority to bind the individual states to their agreements.

Makes you wonder about the validity of the agreements if they are unenforceable doesn’t it.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK - I know where your political bias lies - it's a common theme for you.  However, at it's very definition, free trade *IS* about taxation - about breaking down tax barriers between nations.   I don't care what politicians have tried to define it as, or how you want to see it.  I've never seen any reason to allow someone with foreign credentials the ability to work in the US without a regional accredidation, or certification.  I find the concept absurd.  Especially in the MORE PROSPEROUS country, where MORE COMPETITION drives the need for MORE REGULATION. (unfortunately, a necessary evil in our attorney-ruled society)

I, personally, would love to see "free trade" agreements scrapped.  Those agreements were, of course, meant for one-way commerce, at the behest of mainly the US automobile, aircraft, and electronics industries. (cheap labor, and no import tariffs)  In the meantime, we have people all over the world bitching about how they can't just walk into our country, and do whatever they please, without proving a demonstrable knowledge of the subject matter, as it pertains to the locale in which they work.  Why should *you* get that privilege, when we, as citizens, aren't even granted it?  Thank God that states have adequate rights to overrule the federal government in all areas, barring the Constitution.

If I were you, I wouldn't invest too much of my soul in the integrity of "free trade" agreements.  Most of us don't.  (probably 90% of americans don't even have a clue what a "free trade" agreement is)  Evidently you are taught from birth (in Canada) to put too much faith in politicians.  

*sigh*




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Solid7

You also show your political bias. It is anti internationalism, anti free trade and pro isolationist.

I do also agree that Americans are woefully ignorant about international affairs.

Just the sort of attitudes that free trade is to combat.

Free trade is about much more than taxation. If you believe that it is only a tax agreement then you are missing the complete point of these sorts of agreements.

It is about two or more countries having free access to all aspects of one another’s markets. Taxation is only a small part of the agreement. It does reduce or eliminate import and export taxes but it also does allow free movement of capital and manpower. These are not taxation issues.

If the only point to free trade agreements were to give foreigners access to your markets they why would any politician in their right mind sign such an agreement? They also give Americans free access to Canadian oil reserves on the same basis as any Canadian firm or individual. Remember we have the second largest proves oil reserves in the world. They also give American companies access to the markets of our country and allow your companies access to our markets.

Free trade agreements are highly pro business.

Why else would these agreements have been agreed to between two right wing pro business governments?

The best example is the European community. Goods, capital and manpower can move freely, often without any documentation or other artificial impediments between countries that are party to the agreement.

As far as the regional licensing issue goes I see no difference between driving and engineering licenses.

I can drive anywhere in the US on my Canadian driver’s license. There are regional and state differences in driving conditions and driving laws. As a out of state driver I am obliged to follow all the rules and regulations of the state where I am driving. If I fail to do so and get a ticket then that disciplinary implications flow through to my Canadian license.

This is exactly the same as it should be with engineering licenses As a licensed engineer why cannot I practice engineering anywhere with the responsibility for following the local laws and being cognizant of local conditions solely my own? If I fail to practice in accordance with local standards then the disciplinary implications should flow through to my local license. ( I’ll acknowledge that internally within Canada I need a separate provincial license for each province but once I have one getting all others is simply an administrative matter.)

The only reasons for the restrictions are isolationist and protectionism.

I also recognize that your states have the right to make local licensing laws. However my issue here is that your federal government entered into an agreement where they stated that they would give Canadian professionals access to American work on the basis of their Canadian license. This is something that they simply did not have the right to put in the agreement. It would be like me entering to an agreement to sell your house. I could be charged with fraud. Just as should your government was dishonourable in negotiating something that they had no right to do so.

As far as your other comments on my political leanings they are simply straw man arguments only intended to discredit me and not to attack my arguments. I should have red flagged them but will leave them as evidence of the weakness of your argument against free trade. In the future please respond to the arguments put foreword and refrain from getting personal.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I think what we have also touched on here is US federal government power versus state government power. The US federal government has decided to allow free trade of engineering within its jurisdiction. Now the US states must also be negotiated with to broker this same priveledge. Lets remember that the US state system was set up to achieve a balance of power between the central (federal) government and the local governments. The issue being posted by the Australian engineer above falls into this central government/state government structure.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


You also show your political bias. It is anti internationalism, anti free trade and pro isolationist.

I'm not any of the above, and yet, I'm all of the above.  You see, I don't go to extremes.  Everything should be tempered with a shot of reality, which is what I'm hoping to present.  Your perspective and mine differ, because we are on "opposite sides of the fence," metaphorically speaking.  My comments about scrapping free trade agreements were made, because the free trade agreements that were passed, were conceived, nurtured, and ultimately passed, by crooked individuals, who didn't deal directly with their respective constituencies, but rather, behind the scenes.  Again, thank God that the states have the ability to trump the federal government in certain aspects of these agreements.  The so-called "will of the people" is definitely not being served, in most cases by these agreements.

Quote (RDK):

I do also agree that Americans are woefully ignorant about international affairs.

Don't think that I give a free pass to anyone else.  Most people *are* woefully ignorant, whenever it benefits them to be so.  We all have the same human nature, and there is no sense being arrogant about it. I'm not calling anyone in particular arrogant - I'm just speaking to my previous point about being realistic, and assuring you that I don't have any nationalistic pride that prevents me from disseminating the issue.  (I'm sure that you can understand my point, especially if we start talking about the difference between the French and English speaking provinces, and the differing attitudes of the people)

Quote (RDK):


It is about two or more countries having free access to all aspects of one another’s markets. Taxation is only a small part of the agreement. It does reduce or eliminate import and export taxes but it also does allow free movement of capital and manpower. These are not taxation issues.

I totally disagree with you here.  There are too many sensitive issues to allow "unfettered" access to each others' markets, in "all aspects."  That's totally unrealistic, and I think we both know it.

And by the way - capital and manpower issues apply to corporate entities. (or other legitimate business entities)  Therefore, these *are* taxation issues.  Does your company employ any local people?  Does your revenue become part of the GDP for the country in which you are working?  Of course!

Quote (RDK):


If the only point to free trade agreements were to give foreigners access to your markets they why would any politician in their right mind sign such an agreement? They also give Americans free access to Canadian oil reserves on the same basis as any Canadian firm or individual. Remember we have the second largest proves oil reserves in the world. They also give American companies access to the markets of our country and allow your companies access to our markets.

The free trade agreements, from what I can see, had less to do with Canada, and almost everything to do with Mexico.  If you take the standard of living in the USA, and subtract the standard of living in Canada, the result is Mexico.  That means cheap labor.  Sure, we get some good stuff from Canada - electricity, lumber, etc. - but NAFTA was born in some back room in Mexico City.  The returns of "free trade" are disproportionately skewed in favor of our neighbors to the south.

The feeling of being "screwed" is universal.  Many Americans didn't want NAFTA, for some VERY legitimate reasons.  Not necessarily because they were anti-free trade, per se - but because of specifics of NAFTA. (I'm not just talking about union members, either)

Canadians don't seem to be liking NAFTA right now.  And Mexico seems to think that they're not grabbing enough out of the deal.

Serve everyone right for trusting the people who promised us how wonderful it would be, eh?

Quote (RDK):

Free trade agreements are highly pro business.

Duh.

Quote (RDK):


Why else would these agreements have been agreed to between two right wing pro business governments?

I don't like extremes, and I don't like unbalanced arguments.  Right wing doesn't have much to do with it.  It's pro-business, period.  How many liberal, or "left wing" politicians do you know, who aren't as rich as their "right wing" opponents?  Our last presidential election featured a liberal billionaire, running against a conservative multi-millionaire.  Let's be fair... (liberals like to get rich, too - and they can be just as nasty)

Quote (RDK):


As far as the regional licensing issue goes I see no difference between driving and engineering licenses.

I can drive anywhere in the US on my Canadian driver’s license. There are regional and state differences in driving conditions and driving laws. As a out of state driver I am obliged to follow all the rules and regulations of the state where I am driving. If I fail to do so and get a ticket then that disciplinary implications flow through to my Canadian license.

Again, a moot point.  You cannot drive *indefinitely* on a Candian driver's license, in any place in the US.  Eventually, the local authorities will come to *collect taxes*. (property tax)  You will have to get a driver's license in the state where you are driving so much, and it may even be inconvenient.  This is where states have the right to hamper certain aspects of "free trade."  (I completely support it, too)

Quote (RDK):


The only reasons for the restrictions are isolationist and protectionism.

No, not really, but to some degree, yes.  And, to be perfectly honest, some of us have more to protect than others.  You wouldn't throw away your prosperity to subsidize other countries.  You might say that you would, but until you've been a US citizen, and experienced what I'm talking about, you have no idea how your position will change, when the shoe is on the other foot.  You cannot believe how many of your own countrymen that I know - many of them right here in my own area - who have traded in their Canadian pride for the American dream.  None of them look back.  Number one reason?  Taxes, (too high in Canada) of course!  Socialization seems like a great idea, until you actually try to make it work.  There's a similar parallel involved in free trade.

I have a problem with politicians and corporations that have agendas that don't consider their own people, or make promises that make them look great while in office, when they know that those same policies will fail miserably - usually when they're already out of office, and someone else can take the heat.

Quote (RDK):


I also recognize that your states have the right to make local licensing laws. However my issue here is that your federal government entered into an agreement where they stated that they would give Canadian professionals access to American work on the basis of their Canadian license. This is something that they simply did not have the right to put in the agreement. It would be like me entering to an agreement to sell your house. I could be charged with fraud. Just as should your government was dishonourable in negotiating something that they had no right to do so.

Again, you put too much faith in politicians.  Everyone with an ounce of common sense knows that if government officials were held to the same standard of conduct that the non-executive faction of public corporations are held to, they would all be impeached/discredited/jailed.  You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking that elected officials had honest intentions. (there have been scandals in Canada, too - they're no better than ours - just have less power)

By the way, are you not aware of the long standing dispute over the balance of power in this country?  We have 2 main parties, with one claiming to support strong central government, and the other, states rights.  They don't really play well together, and we've been having all kinds of fun since the birth of our country over this.  It's not unusual for the federal government to overstep its bounds, or make promises that it can't keep.

Let that be a lesson to you, the next time you try to enter into some sort of deal with the US that sounds too good to be true.

Quote (RDK):


As far as your other comments on my political leanings they are simply straw man arguments only intended to discredit me and not to attack my arguments. I should have red flagged them but will leave them as evidence of the weakness of your argument against free trade. In the future please respond to the arguments put foreword and refrain from getting personal.

I'm not trying to get personal.  I was just trying to point out that all of your arguments are recycled from numerous other posts.

I have nothing against free trade.  I just don't agree with you on the point of compliance.  I think that local governments need to ensure that he individuals who are performing services, are held to the same standard as citizens.  Aside from that, free trade does not mean that we should be burdened with the task of validating your foreign credentials, at our personal expense.  In that regard, my friend, you have "free access to every aspect" of our market.

Thank you for taking the time to reply, and give your thougtful insight.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Hi Solid7 Like your passion, acknowledge you point of view.

I must disagree with you about free trade only being about taxation. I serve on a number of Standards Australia committees and we are told repeatedly that the standards cannot and must not be used to prevent others marketing their product in this country. There is a history of weird sized pipes and flanges here that were once designed for just that I suspect.

Hence we see more and more ISO standards adopted although our conditions in Australia are somewhat different from Euroope in terms of temperature, UV radiation etc.

The laws of physics are no different in Australia to those in Canada, USa or Mexico. So why cant a practising engineer who has the USA standards undertake a surge analysis for a consultant based in the USA? Surely this is a form of protectionism? After all I would use American software just an Aussie brain!

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Well solid7 at least you did respond to the arguments that I put forward.

You do seam to be weak in the consistency part. At the start of the post you claim that you are against free trade and believe that the agreements should be scrapped, by the end of your post you s ate that you have nothing against free trade. You also take exception to my being consistent in the underlying rationale for my posts on free trade issues.

I do agree with you that most politicians are corrupt by most ethical standards, however we, on both sides of the boarder tend to reelect them so we collectively get what we deserve.

I CAN drive indefinitely in the US on my Canadian driver’s license as long as I do not relocate my domicile to the US. Then I only have a period of a few days to get a US one.  That is exactly the same in Canada. I can drive anywhere in Canada indefinitely on my current license but have to change it once I change my domicile.

However that license is good everywhere in the US and Canada, just as my current Canadian one is good everywhere. Why other than protectionism should not my Canadian engineering license be good everywhere, since I as a responsible professional or driver have to take responsibility for my actions?

The NAFTA agreement came about after the US Canada agreement was signed. It is essentially the same agreement other than Mexico became a signatory to that agreement and the only terms that were changed were mainly administrative to recognize the differing Mexican institutions involved.

As far as the federal government having overstepped their bounds in giving Canadian engineers access to the US market when they do not have that authority then the US government did not behave in an honourable manner. They continue to behave dishonourable in other areas of the free trade agreement, softwood lumber and beef being the ones that cause most Canadians the most grief. They also are a major cause of the dissatisfaction with NAFTA in Canada. I do not believe that the agreement is in trouble only US prestige and reputation for their not living up to their agreements.

I am strongly free trade in spite of these problems. I believe that free trade and integrated markets world wide is the way of future peace.  I also believe that there will be short term hemispheric free market zones. The EU is currently the most advanced. NAFTA will eventually become a North and South America free trade zone and there will become an Asian one with Australia a member.

Any country not a part of one of these three agreements will suffer economically, politically and socially. That includes Africa and the Middle East.

Finally I am not asking you to validate my credentials at your expense. Once again you are assigning me motives that I do not have. I never said anything about the US associations having to validate my credentials. For starters I am a graduate of a university and program already recognized by your associations as acceptable. All you have to do is look at my wallet card to see that I have a Canadian professional license; I keep it in the same compartment with my driver’s license which is acceptable.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The laws of physics might be the same, but those are the only ones that are.

Nobody wants to keep someone else's products and services off of the free market.  I welcome competition, as quality vs. cost keeps improving with the liberalizing of certian markets.  My point still stands, though - free trade, or no free trade - you simply can't have any different treatment than a resident.  That's perfectly fair, wouldn't you say?  Therefore, free trade is NOT about compliance. By compliance, I mean licensing and regulation - that applies to US as well as YOU.  We all have to pay our dues.

I haven't spoken to your other issues, about standards and whatnot.

I apologize to the world for the mess that our politicians have made.  I don't like it, either.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

One last point - "free trade" agreements MUST NOT bring developed nations down to the same level as developing nations.  If they tend to do so, some degree of "protectionism" must be enforced, and that's where the blessing of limited autonomy of states is beneficial to us...

Free trade is great, when it acts to stabilize other nations.  But as I mentioned to RDK, great nations are not built on the premise of subsidizing the rest of the world, nor exploiting it, either.

Hope that sounds like a voice of reason.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK - to make a long story short - I ONLY said that the EXISTING agreements should be scrapped.

I have NO PROBLEM with free trade, nor did I ever.  I have a problem, specifically with NAFTA.  (and you do, too, I believe)

Yes, we DO get the governments that we deserve.  But let me tell you - I am ONLY guilty by association!  (I didn't vote for either of the major players in our last election)

You *cannot* drive indefinitely in the US - although I concede that some states may allow you to do so, or turn a blind eye. Many more states, however, will eventually attempt to make you pay your dues.  I can give you very specific examples of this, but I don't think that the issue, left unchallenged, is worth the space that it requires.

As for driver's license vs. professional license - did it take you 4 years of university to get your driver's license?  If you think that having enough IQ to get a driver's license should be comparable to getting a PE, there is something seriously wrong with that thought.  And, even in America, it's possible - even EASY in some places - to get a *fake* driver's license.  This is currently a contentious debate in several US states.  Again, should I, as US citizen, by virture of some "agreement", be burdened with validating your foreign credentials, when I, myself, would be required to demonstrate the same proficiency or compliance as you, to be certified, and work in other areas?  It does cost money to validate someone's credentials.  In the current atmosphere, we have to validate our own citizenry.  How much more difficult, then, for foreigners?

Yes, our governement has behaved badly.  I can't say if it's unintended consequences, or something more - but it happens to us to.  Hasn't your government ever disappointed you?

I have no problem with your vision.  I have a problem with the current implementation.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The issue of driver’s licenses vs. engineering licenses is that the individual states in one case allow the other jurisdictions to determine who is allowed to do something. They also rely on the other jurisdiction to enforce their disciplinary rulings.

The same is not the case for engineering licenses. The position of the states is that only they can determine who can practice engineering in their state. They let other jurisdictions say who can drive but not who can practice engineering.

Some 50,000 people a year are killed by bad driving. Not that many people are killed every year by bad engineering.

I’m not asking for any different treatment than you give US residents. All I am asking for is the rights that your federal government traded away in the US Canada Free Trade or NAFTA agreements.

I really have no problem in the terms of NAFTA. What I do have is a problem with the US violations of that agreement.


Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Solid7

I have paid my dues but in another country. I am a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK). I am a Chartered Engineer in both countries. Both governments have recognised these as universal qualifications of these learned societies. They both have requirements for continuing professional development. The USA has recognised the qualifications and status but it  appears we need a free trade agreement with each and every individual state as the federal government doesnt have the power to make decisions for them. In Australia federal law overrides the states.

Why should I have to pay more "dues" because I want to work in one of your states? All I can see is protectionism by the individual states however it is dressed up. It does not provide a balance as you suggest it is pure protect our own ideology.

I see it also in consultant specifications prepared by USA companies. It is the fifth column at work as they basically rewrite the USA manufacturers catalogue and call it a specification. Thye attempt to keep imports out. That is why USA industry is going the way of he Holy Roman Empire--Out the back door.

At a meeting in Sydney last week ASME came to exalt the new relationship with IE Aust. 12 people turned up! That is the measure of interest. Of those most wondered why ASME were there except their membership is plummeting in the USA and they are trying to recruit numbers under the guise of globalisation. They are fighting a losing battle with the current protectionist attitudes of the USA states.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Maybe I could sue to start practising medicine and doing heart surgeries because it is against free trade to only allow MD's to practice medicine.  

The MD's earned the qualifications.  You are free to earn those qualifications or earn the PE qualifications.  

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States


Nice try with a red herring.

I’m not saying that free trade should allow anyone to practice any profession, quite the opposite. I am saying that the terms of NAFTA should be followed and observed by both sides. One of these terms is an open labour market for many professions. Having an open labour market means those licenses and other credentials should be easily transferable. To have these licenses non transferable is an impediment to free trade and is the opposite of what the agreement is all about.

The difference is that a MD in Canada has the training and ability to do those same operations; they also have little trouble transferring those skills from a Canadian to a US hospital. They also have little trouble getting US licenses to do so.

Engineers however have a lot of trouble transferring their P.Eng status in Canada to the US’s PE qualification. While we have the necessary skills and abilities to practice professional engineering, we have difficulty to get licensed to do so in the USA.

I am saying that under the terms of the NAFTA agreement the US federal government agreed to allow Canadian engineers to practice engineering in the US and that US states were to modify their state laws to allow Canadian professional qualifications to be transferable to the US.

This was a power that the US federal government clearly did not have to make these agreements.

However US engineers can easily transfer their qualifications to Canada and get P.Eng status here.

Is that fair trade?

Is that an honourable thing for the US government to do? Obtain access to the Canadian engineering market for US engineers while denying the same access for Canadian engineers?

What is fair about that?


Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I'm not saying that I'm supportive of bad deeds on either side - don't get me wrong.  But Canada isn't exactly blameless in the issue, nor is Europe.  Free trade discrepancies exist across the board.

Canadian companies seem to have a hard time coping with the idea of hiring American firms.  As a matter of fact, your example about Americans easily getting a PE in Canada doens't surprise me at all.  After all, getting a PE is one thing - getting a JOB is another all together.  There are a number of issues that contribute to that, and not all are cost constraints. (although it's true that the American economy is much more "robust" than the Canadian)

Secondly, European and Canadian companies have a hard time with "letting go."  Whether it be by subsidies, or by refusing to sell to American investors,(even when the American investor has cash assets in hand, and the national does not) it's all the same.

Where I am realistic about all of this, and it seems some "free trade" proponents are not - is that this is partially justified.  Canada has a population of California.  Any major industry that operates in Canada, plays a vital role in the economy.  To lose a major industry, could wreak havoc.  Similarly, American farmers are protected by subsidies and import tariffs.  While this is a different debate, it becomes relevant, in that, a wrecked economy for any of the major players, benefits NOBODY in the long run. (if you really want peace and stability)  Unfortunately, this is one of the areas of free trade, that as much as you'd like to have it in "black and white," it cannot - it only exists as a dim shade of gray...

Perhaps what needs to be realized, is that implementing truly free trade isn't something that happens overnight with a piece of paper signed.  It takes year, even decades, to phase out non-competitive industries, establish new competitive markets, and bring economies on par with one another.  In case you didn't notice, that's already happening.

In the meantime, better agreements can be realized, by understanding the realities of the present situation, and learning the lessons needed to put the process on the right track.  In either case, free trade, itself, isn't going away.

In the meantime, you'll still have to apply for a local PE.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Stanier and other folks....

Happy new year.

I am new to this forum and let me throw in my opinions....

Stanier, if you are so interested in practising engineering in USA, why can't you fly to one of the States (California, where I live is an awesome place)and take your PE exam and get registered? When you get in registered in one State, you can apply for registration in most of other States by comity without taking any additional exams. What prevents you from doing this, apart from financial reasons?

BTW, I am educated/trained in India and USA as Structural Engineer. Don't I need to take some exams if I want to be chartered engineer in UK and Australia even though I am already a PE in the State of Ohio, USA?

Thanks,
Senthil Puliyadi

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Again solid7 I have to disagree with you.

I know several companies that have Americans on the payroll as well as landed immigrants of many other nations. I also know of several American firms that have been hired by Canadian firms.

I was once involved in a major bid where the main players were a joint partnership between two firms one US one Canadian. The US firm was involved in a lot of the engineering and the Canadian firm had brought me in to be their knowledgeable representative in that area.

At the conclusion of the bid the senior exec from the US firm told me that he was impressed with my work and that it was too bad that he could not hire me to work for the US firm. When questioned I was told that it was his company policy only to hire American citizens for any position.

I also have to question where you feel that Canada is not blameless or is this another red herring?

Do you have any examples where Canada has ignored many tribunals ruling against us in trade with the US and we have ignored these rulings, refused to comply with these rulings and made threats to the US should you continue to push for resolution on this issue?

That is exactly what the US has done over the softwood lumber issue. Do not underestimate the degree of dissatisfaction that the Canadian public has over this issue. There are strong feelings especially in those areas which have been economically devastated by the issue.

The really ironic part is that the US consumer is the one being hurt. Compare softwood lumber prices in Canada and in the US.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Hi a7rshr,

I actually work for companies all over the globe without leaving my office in Sydney. Like California a great place to live. Why would I want to leave? People send me briefs including drawings. I undertake the surge analysis for them and send a report. they send me money. Win win!

My original post was for clarification should I embark on marketting my services to the USA now we have a wonderful free(?) trade agreement in place between USA and Australia.

It would appear that there are still road blocks to offering services because the individual states rule the roost.This no doubt will prevent major consultants employing me as a sub consultant. I know I would be more cost effective than local American engineers as our dollar is so low in value. But good old fortress America just got in the way again.

Never mind I shall just have to continue boycotting USA goods in my specifications until the position resolves itself. As Solid& says the economies have to balance out. Its  a bit hard when the field aint level folks. Like looking for a lake to water ski on.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK - I have several Canadian and European examples that support my previous argument.  Some of them appear to amount to free trade violations, and others are simply just  nationalistic attitudes, of the same variety that you would find anywhere.  (shows you that people aren't so different, no matter where you go)  I had a vested interest in one of the examples, and am not free to disclose too much. (I'm sure you can figure out what that means)  A few more examples don't mean much, unless you are familiar with the specifics of the organization.  European subsidies of EADS - the Airbus consortium - is probably my most recognizeable example, and YES, a clear violation of "free trade."

In short, we could play, "he said, he said," all day long.  But my point was, there are other guilty parties in trade discrepancies, to which your point appears to be, that all others except the "Great Satan", America, are totally blameless.  Do you really believe that all others are guiltless, just because you can't see it happening?  You do know that reporting of current events differs from place to place? (emphasis varies widely)

I feel for Canadian companies who are getting the short end of the stick - I really do.  But that's going to happen whenever people, on any side of the fence, feel threatened.  That's why I say, there are problems with the current agreements, that someone, evidently, didn't have the foresight to predict, or just didn't give a damn...




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Of course there are problems with the current agreements however they are the best that the parties could come up with. They were negotiated by people and people are not perfect.

Ever negotiate a contract? Ever have a disagreement with the other side as to what the words actually mean?

Why should free trade agreements be any different? If you want to wait for people to be perfect I predict that you will be waiting for a long time.

I notice that you have not come up with as serious an example as the US continued violations of NAFTA over the softwood lumber dispute. This is a case where an allegedly nation of laws is simply thumbing its nose at the many tribunals that have ruled against it.

How can you defend the dishonourable actions of your nation? How can you compare this is severity to the actions of some isolated companies when this is an action of your federal government to violate the agreement?

If you really do feel for the communities in Canada that have been economically devastated by the softwood lumber dispute then do something about it. Don’t apologize for your government write your president and other elected representatives and encourage them to honour their word and agreements.

Let them know that you want to live in a country where your government’s word is its bond and that written agreements actually mean something.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


Ever negotiate a contract? Ever have a disagreement with the other side as to what the words actually mean?

Almost every day.  I have an engineering business, and most people don't seem to understand what a "change of requirements" means... (change in requirements = change in price)

Quote (RDK):


How can you defend the dishonourable actions of your nation?

I am not the spokesman for this nation.  Why would you expect me to defend the actions of someone else? (as previously stated, I'm only guilty by association)

Quote (RDK):


I notice that you have not come up with as serious an example as the US continued violations of NAFTA over the softwood lumber dispute. This is a case where an allegedly nation of laws is simply thumbing its nose at the many tribunals that have ruled against it.

I really don't understand enough about the issue!  (but keep reading on)


Quote (RDK):


If you really do feel for the communities in Canada that have been economically devastated by the softwood lumber dispute then do something about it. Don’t apologize for your government write your president and other elected representatives and encourage them to honour their word and agreements.

Let them know that you want to live in a country where your government’s word is its bond and that written agreements actually mean something.

With all due respect RDK - you're way too idealistic.  I told you a long time ago, I don't put any faith in politicians.  I don't care if they're yours or ours.

Unfortunately, even though I feel for them, I feel for a whole slug of other people, too.  There are things that are unfair in the US.  I don't believe in "letter writing."  Before you go ballistic on that - understand, my little letter does NOTHING to stop the lobbyists behind the "cause."  Unfortunately, we live in a society where bribery is legal, but ONLY for politicians. (see previous post, about politicians NOT being held to the same standards as companies)  If YOU were profiting from the conflict, who would YOU listen to - American companies who are buying your vote, or some letter writing whiner?

And, whether you realize it or not, the American "2 party" system is KILLING us.  They are both on the same bankrolls. Some just make more than others, depending on the cause.

Sorry to be so blunt, but unfortunately, the best way to resolve this conflict, may be to just starting putting your dollars into the politicians' pockets.  If Canadians have to compete with Americans for the lobby, you will surely beat the American companies. (I don't think we do too well on exports)  It becomes a game of "diminshing returns" on the part of the American companies, who are barely competitive now.

In that regards, you once again, have "free access to every part of our markets."  That's exactly how everyone else has to play the game.

Once again, I'm a realist.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I may be an idealist who thinks and works for the world being a better place that a so called realist who is pessimistic and defeatist in believing that the world will not improve.

Merry Xmas.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


I may be an idealist who thinks and works for the world being a better place that a so called realist who is pessimistic and defeatist in believing that the world will not improve.

Translated - "My ideas are superior to yours."  OR  "I'm better than you."

NOT an effective debate technique, RDK.

Your ideas may be different than mine, but they don't necessarily put you on the high ground.

I think this thread is overshot.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

stanier,

The US has some of the most lax engineering licensing laws of any industrialized country.  If your work falls under what is typically called the industrial exemption, engineer away. If not, it's a different story, and for good reason. In your second post, you wrote:

The laws of physics are no different in Australia to those in Canada, USa or Mexico. So why cant a practising engineer who has the USA standards undertake a surge analysis for a consultant based in the USA? Surely this is a form of protectionism? After all I would use American software just an Aussie brain!

For that matter, why shouldn't an Australian car salesman who has the USA standards undertake a surge analysis for a consultant based in the USA?  Because he clearly isn't qualified.  Even a US engineer must prove his or her qualifications, so why not the Australian engineer?  It's prudent and not anti-competitive.  Whether the US and Australia have reciprocal licensing agreements or whatever - I do not know what there may be - is a subject for negotiation.

Even just knowing which standards apply is not a trivial matter.  It is the responsibility of you the engineer, not your customer, to know and design to the correct standards.

Rob Campbell

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
rjcjr9,  

Your argument lacks logic.

Simply the car salesman is not a professional engineer in his own country so would not be expected to be suitably qualified in any country to practice engineering. Whereas when the Australian engineer has demonstrated his qualifications to an international body, ratified by the USA government, he should be allowed to practice in that country without fear or favour.

It is straight out anti competitive behaviour.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I doesn't lack logic. Most people would pick up on it being an intentionally ludicrous example. Substitute Rwandan engineer for used car salesman, or Albanian engineer, or engineer from some other country that clearly does not have the same standards, formal or informal, as the US. I hope you can now agree that that person should not automatically be granted the privelage to design buildings for earthquake-prone San Fransisco simply because (1) he has a job as an engineer in his own country and (2) the US recognizes that his country exists. Some kind of requirement for certification is reasonable, just as it is for domestic engineers. Whether that's a reciprocal agreement recognizing each other's certifications or requiring that the foreign engineer get domestic certification is a matter for negotiation to resolve and treaties or some other agreement to codify.

"Free trade" is not a specific term. All the countries in the world did not sign a "Free Trade" agreement in 1998 that said there shall be no restrictions what-so-ever on international commerce of any kind. Free trade is a concept that refers to a general loosening of regulations, reduction of tarriffs, and elimination of subsidies - for better or worse. It is only manifested in hundereds, if not thousands, of treaties and agreements between sovereign countries.

My Googling indicates that the Australian government doesn't certify engineers. There are professional organizations that do, and they seem to have reciprocal agreements with the UK, at least. I don't know if there is a formal agreement or if it is simply because Australia is part of the Commonwealth, but I'm sure it isn't simply due to negligence on either party's part. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

What "international body, ratified by the USA government" are you referring to? And did you mean a particular agreement? I don't think bodies are usually ratified. Please educate me.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

So, your argument is that an Albanian structural engineer needs to be certified by the state if she is to design buildings for San Francisico.

I don't know your industry, so I'll take your word for it.

I can assure you that an Albanian automotive engineer can design cars for the USA, and needs no certification by any one in the USA to do so. In fact as I look down the row of desks in my section I see one German, one Italian, me (a pom) and oh yes, an Australian, all busy designing cars for the USA, China, India and Australia. These cars will also be sold in canade, South Africa and New Zealand, and some other places.

So thank you for proving my general point about the validity of industry exemption.

However, back to your example. How about a Japanese structural engineer?  Might know a little bit more about quakes than the members of your little club.

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

sorry, not club, union.

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (GregLocock):


How about a Japanese structural engineer?  Might know a little bit more about quakes than the members of your little club.

"I can work here - *I'M* Japanese!" (see how far that gets you in ANY country)

The point is - and watch me now, because this is big - YOU CAN'T, AND SHOULDN'T BE TREATED ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN A CITIZEN OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH YOU WORK. (no matter who you are, or where you are from)

Besides, if you really are who you say that you are, and can do what you say you can do, it's a simple process.  Getting a PE in the states isn't half as cumbersome as getting a building permit these days.  (that means I have no sympathy when people whine about having to put up with the same beureaucracy that the rest of us have to deal with)

That being said, this thread is probably much more geared towards the architects and civil engineers, than the automotive engineers.  And even if it's not, consider this:  If you are designing automobiles in a foreign country for import and sale in the US, somebody has to ensure that those vehicles are compliant with both STATE and FEDERAL regulations.  It doesn't matter who is doing the designing in that case, because your design doesn't mean squat until it's been signed off on... by someone QUALIFIED.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Greg wrote:

However, back to your example. How about a Japanese structural engineer?  Might know a little bit more about quakes than the members of your little club.

Yes, he might. And there may be a particular Albanian engineer who is even more qualified. I don't want to be making subjective jusgements about who should be in the club. There must be some objective criteria used to judge qualifications - in the US, it's licensure.

If there is to be reciprocity or some other solution to allow engineers of one country to perform regulated work in another country, there must be some agreement. That is the nature of politics between sovereign countries. Free trade is based on such agreements, not on the lack of such agreements. If the US had such an agreement with Japan but not with Albania, the better-qualified Albanian engineer would be SOL (sh*t outta luck), but that does not make the US in violation of a nonexistant free trade agreement.

I doubt many free trade agreements are concerned with details as trivial as engineering licensure; they would be so unwieldily as to be nearly unuseable, and would still be incomplete. They do, however, typically provide recourse for those who feel they are the victim of an unfair practice. I believe my Australian friend would be disappointed by the result if he ever got his grievance heard. Countries do not give up all rights to self-regulation when they sign a free trade agreement. Regulating the practice of something with such a direct impact on public safety as some forms of engineering is not onerous.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote:

Has the requirement for bieng licensed in a state ever been challenged as being in restraint of free trade?

Does the free trade agreements with Canada, mexico, Australia allow for engineers considered professional in their homelands to work without registration in the state?

When I went from Canada down to Illinois to work, I crossed into the US under a type of work visa provided for under NAFTA, specifically for engineers (and a list of other professions), signed between the US and Canada.

In order for me to be a PE in the state of Illinois, to stamp drawings, etc., I would have needed to take (and pass)the state PE exam. I believe that the experience I have here in Canada is recognised by Illinois.

In our case, our discipline lead passed the Illinois exam, and was then able to stamp engineering drawings.

Quote (RDK):

Under NAFTA there is a clause that should allow free transfer of professional credentials from Canada and Mexico to the US.

That is if you are a professional engineer in Canada (with sufficient experience) all you should have to do is apply to any US state and you should be issued a license.

As far as I know, NAFTA allows a Canadian engineer to enter the US to work as an engineer (you have to have a PE here in Canada). I am not aware that NAFTA includes any reciprocal arrangements between any Canadian province and American state for licensing.

As I understand it, the reciprocating arrangement between Texas and Canada (actually, I thought it was only Alberta - but I may be wrong on that too), was outside of NAFTA. As RDK informs us, that is now not so any more.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Greg wrote in response to my post:

So thank you for proving my general point about the validity of industry exemption.

However, back to your example. How about a Japanese structural engineer?  Might know a little bit more about quakes than the members of your little club.

and:

sorry, not club, union.

I really don't know what to think. Not in an "I'm shocked and offended" sort of way; I'm just not sure if this is directed at me and what it's supposed to mean if it is. And without looking at past comments you've made on the subject, I don't know if your point about the industrial exemption is that it's good or bad.

I think the industrial exemption is good. In my first reply to Stanier, I pointed out that the vast majority of engineering work in the US requires no qualification whatsoever. In some companies, an assembler can "work his way up" to engineer. That's bad, but it certainly isn't restrictive.

For what it's worth, I don't belong to a union and I work under the industrial exemption; always have. I got my PE license for the challenge and personal satisfaction. If Virginia Tech hadn't made such a point about undergrads taking the EIT exam (a pre-requisite for the PE), I wouldn't have bothered with the PE and been none the worse-for-wear professionally. I have worked at six companies in my career and only one other PE.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

rjcrj9 - VERY well stated.  Articulate, accurate, and concise.    You made some very profound, and necessary comments about sovereignty, that as of yet, were only implied.

The statements that you made get right to the heart of the matter, and make the point in a way that I wish I could have made.  Cheers to you.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
rjcrj9,

The point you miss is that the USA has gone to great lengths to investigate and recognise qualifications in varous countries to establish that they are equivalent to those in the USA. I doubt if those in Rwanda have been so recognised so you dont have a worry. But Australia's qualifications and institutions and those of the UK have been recognised. We as engineers have been through the bureaucracy of our own countires to become recognised. Why do we have to do it again when there has been high level recognition of the equivalence of qualifications.

Just because you live in a particular state doesnt mean that is where you undertake projects. In fact in our global economy working outside where one is domeciled is more prevalent than ever.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

rjcjr9 you shouldn't be shocked, offended or whatever. Puzzled is good, since  I thought I was in a different thread where the usual diatribe about the evils of the industrial exemption comes up. Sorry.





Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The Washington Accord is the means by which degrees from the developed world are recognized by the different countries. It is not a USA effort but rather an international effort of the engineering community.


The issue is that although the free trade agreement pays lip service to allowing recognition of Canadian P.Eng status in the USA the individual stares have for the most part refused to live up to the terms of the agreement and allow Canadian P.Eng easy access to the US market.

US engineers on the other hand have an easy time getting a Canadian license on the basis of the PE status.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I doubt that any engineer is the USA could get licensed in all 50 states or even be able to afford the fees. stanier seems to be proposing that he/she should have the right to practice in all 50 states of the USA because of free trade agreements (and what about the fees?). Why should we give a right to someone in Australia that we here in the USA don't have?

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK,

Thanks for posting the information about the Washington Accord. Here are few useful links:

http://www.washingtonaccord.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_accord

http://www.abet.org/

I'm not sure if Stanier was referring to the Washington Accord in his post, but it is not an agreement between the United States and other governments and it is not about engineering licensure/certification. The "US" signatory is the "Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology", which grants accreditation to university engineering programs. Graduating from an ABET-accredited program is the first step on the easiest path to getting licensed in the US, but it isn't the only path. Thanks to the Washington Accord, graduates of accredited programs in signatory countries - like Australia - are guaranteed access to the same "easiest path" as domestic engineers. But it does not waive all requirements to practice engineering (in the narrow sense of "practice" as it is being used in this discussion).

Rob

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Sorry I was forgetting it is the "United" "States" of America where the states do their own thing rather than one country.

Please explain one thing then. If there were say five engineers in the world who were capable of designing a new technological advanced reactor needed for a process. If the process was to be part of a plant in a particvular state in the USA and none of the five would bother getting their PE license would that stop the plant being built? Or would a licensed PE sign off on the job even though he didnt have the expertise?

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (stanier):

Or would a licensed PE sign off on the job even though he didnt have the expertise?

Now that would be unethical.


The engineering stamp is required on an engineering drawing. If this reactor was built in the home country of the engineer, and then shipped to the US, the reactor can still be imported.

You don't need an engineering drawing to be stamped by a PE in the states if you are importing a thing.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

stanier,

In Canada, you need a PE license per "province" to practice as a professional engineer, since the engineering acts are provincial acts.

To be a PE in Ontario, you need to be a PEO member, in Alberta, you need to be an APEGGA member, etc.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

EddyC - then the USA should not sign agreements that it knows it cannot honour. The reciprocity right gives an American engineer the right to practice in any Australian state. So where's the reciprocity?

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I wrote:

The "US" signatory is the "Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology"

Stanier wrote, I believe in response:

Sorry I was forgetting it is the "United" "States" of America where the states do their own thing rather than one country.

I didn't put "US" in quotes to emphasize ABET as a federal versus state organization. In fact, it is neither; that's why I put it in quotes. The Washington Accord is not an agreement between the USA and Australia. It's an agreement between ABET and the Institution of Engineers, Australia (among others). I don't know about its foreign counterparts, but ABET is not a part of either the federal or the state governments. So not only does the Washington Accord not stipulate that each country recognize the other's engineering licenses, it is not an agreement between countries.

That said, if the US tried to sign away the state's rights to regulate engineering, it would surely be challenged in court as an unconstitutional by NSPE (the National Society of Professional Engineers) and others. The Constitution grants the federal government very limited powers; all others belong to the states by default. The Constitution is a living document - the words largely remain the same, but the interpretation constantly changes - so the outcome would be unknown. But I suspect the federal government would lose.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Greg wrote:

EddyC - then the USA should not sign agreements that it knows it cannot honour. The reciprocity right gives an American engineer the right to practice in any Australian state. So where's the reciprocity?

Please read my last couple of responses above. The US has signed no such agreement, and the agreement that Stanier seems to be referring to says no such thing.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Actually, the Washington Accord does allow engineers to "practice" engineering in a limited way. From the second bullet on their site:

Establishing that graduates of programs accredited by the accreditation organizations of each member nation are prepared to practice engineering at the entry level.

Entry level means you can't stamp drawings. Domestic engineers can't, and foreign engineers can't. But because of the Accord, foreign engineers have the same opportunity to become PEs as domestic engineers.

Greg, as you and I know and as I've pointed out to Stanier, the accord is meaningless for the vast majority of engineering work in the US, because no credentials whatsoever are required.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote:


The Constitution is a living document - the words largely remain the same, but the interpretation constantly changes

No, that's a position held by certain political idealogues.  It's a set in stone document, that has the ability to be CHANGED by a 2/3 vote.

The idea of a "living breathing document" lends itself to political activism, and creates all sorts of messes - not unlike the one we are discussing, albeit in a different context.

This a different thread, however...




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (Ashereng):


You don't need an engineering drawing to be stamped by a PE in the states if you are importing a thing.

What about in the case of aircraft of automobiles, to meet airworthiness and emissions standards?

I've never seen an auto or aircraft that wasn't signed off prior to import, and that's exactly what I had in mind when I posed the question.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

PEs are not required to sign off cars in the USA and members of IEAust don't have any particular authority when they sign them off over here.

Cars are signed off by self certifying companies which demonstrate that the products comply with the regulations.








Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Solid7,

I am not sure about an airplane.

However, I used to work for Honeywell (an American company), and with regards to a control system, when you buy a control system manufactured outside of Canada (from the USA), the drawings are those of Honeywell USA, and the stamp is that of an American PE.

Signing off for import is not the same as an engineer's stamp. Signing off for import for example, means that it meets CSA requirements (for Canadian use, CSA is required).

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Good points fellas - but some *companies* DO require a PE, in order for the employee to be able to sign off.  Though not universal, it is a mandatory title, in some professions.  (because senior level engineers are often classified as "subjet matter experts")

I've seen it in several cases.  One of those cases, was an engineer (American) working composite structures for aircraft.  Some of those structures were built outside of the US.  While it's true that the products were still allowed to be imported by the governmental authorities, they were not signed off on until they met the proscribed internal requirements.  The PE was the visible authority for handling the matter.

The engineer in question was a senior level engineer, and the job prerequisite was that he also be a PE.  So to be honest, nobody is really saying that the title is required for that functon, but rather IF it's required, then we're still going back to a few simple things:

1) It's available to ANY qualified individual.
2) It's the same process for a citizen or non-citizen.
3) Non-citizens should NOT get any special (or differing, if you will) treatment, and treaties were not meant to allow such a thing.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Going full circle.   The USA and Australia has signed a free trade agreement. Great play was made of the fact that engineers could now freely work in the USA. I believe that the Washington Accord may even have been mentioned. What a crock.

The situation in the USA isnt going to change as there is no political will that side of the Pacific. It appears each state has its own protectionist policy and no one wants to change it. Even threats of organisations sueing if they do. Perhaps the Anti Trust Laws should be revisited. There doesnt even appear to be free trade between the states in this matter. If an engineer is competent in New York he then has to prove it again in California. And I thought the Canadians were bureaucracy gone mad.

Free trade to the USA means "Mind over Matter". They dont mind and we dont matter. Or "Give and take". We give they take.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Stanier - I think it's time you reconsider whether or not this thread is worth your time to type.  As I see it, you are now using the forum as a soapbox to whine about what you don't like in someone else's country, when it's been adequately discussed and debated.  Clearly, you want to make the kind of money that is to be had in the US, but you are unwilling to play by the simple rules that everyone else - citizens included - have to follow.

I'm sorry that things aren't the way you'd like them to be.  But the fact is, just because you can't get your way, doesn't mean that the whole world is going to hell. (because of the big bad ol' USA)  Things still manage to get done, despite your disliking.

Your nation isn't perfect, and neither is anybody else's. (the person who steps forth to tout is a fool)  It doesn't mean that I want to talk about it.  Just please keep your mind on the subject at task, or please refrain, altogether.  

Your remarks are no longer intellectual - they're just plain abrasive.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

From Chapter 10 of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, Cross-Border Trade in Services:

Article 10.2 :  National Treatment

Each Party shall accord to service suppliers of the other Party treatment no less favourable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to its own service suppliers.


In other words, it is not an unfair practice to require that foreign engineers be licensed just like domestic engineers if the work requires it. It would be unfair if foreign engineers were not given the same opportunity to become licensed, but they are.

Ealier in the same document, it is made clear that Party can refer to any or all of "central, regional, or local governments and authorities." It is not against the rules for states to have their own regulations.

Article 10.7, Domestic Regulation, says:

2. With a view to ensuring that measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards, and licensing requirements do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services, each Party shall endeavour to ensure, as appropriate for individual sectors, that such measures are:

(a) based on objective and transparent criteria, such as competence and the ability to supply the service;

(b) not more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service; and

(c) in the case of licensing procedures, not in themselves a restriction on the supply of the service.


Nothing that says certified Australian engineers are granted a free pass to bypass state regulations. You could argue that the state's regulations are restrictive, but I think you would lose.

Unlike Greg, I'm sure that Stanier is in the right thread, but I'm still confused:

Going full circle.   The USA and Australia has signed a free trade agreement. Great play was made of the fact that engineers could now freely work in the USA. I believe that the Washington Accord may even have been mentioned. What a crock.

Does he think the Washington Accord is a crock because he incorrectly believes we don't live up to our end of the bargain, or does he still not understand what it actually says?

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Article 10.9: Recognition

1. For the purposes of fulfilment, in whole or in part, of its standards or criteria for the authorisation, licensing, or certification of services suppliers, and subject to the requirements of paragraph 4, a Party may recognise the education or experience obtained, requirements met, or licences or certifications granted in a particular country.  Such recognition, which may be achieved through harmonisation or otherwise, may be based on an agreement or arrangement with the country concerned or may be accorded autonomously.

May, may, may...

Experience obtained, requirements met, or licences or certifications granted

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Stanier's original post:

Has the requirement for bieng licensed in a state ever been challenged as being in restraint of free trade?

I don't believe so. If it has been, the challenge failed.

Does the free trade agreements with Canada, mexico, Australia allow for engineers considered professional in their homelands to work without registration in the state?

The AUSFTA doesn't, and from RDK's comments, it doesn't sound like NAFTA does either. A country can unilaterally recognize the other's certifications, or a side agreement may be negotiated. As a minimum, the requirements can't be anymore restrictive than they are for a domestic engineer.

I am a consultant working out of Sydney Australia and undertake work all over the world except as yet in the USA. I am primarily engaged by consultants as a sub consultant. Is it possible for me to work on USA projects? It would be a nonsense if I did my work but some other engineer had to sign off on it because he had a license and I didnt. The only relelvance that engineer may have to my speciality is knowing my email address and phone number.

It is absolutely possible for you to work on USA projects. Whether or not the work needs to be "stamped" depends on its specific nature. I would ask your US counterparts whether your type of work needs to be stamped.

If it must be stamped, it must be stamped by a Professional Engineer (PE). You can work with a PE, or you may become one yourself. Such a working arrangement is not unusual. Many who are engineers by education and profession are not engineers by licensure (again, in the vast majority of cases, stamping and licensure is not required).

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (rjcjr9):


 Many who are engineers by education and profession are not engineers by licensure (again, in the vast majority of cases, stamping and licensure is not required).

Right right.

I really don't understand what the whole dilemma is.  You've pretty much summed it all up with that one single statement.  And this pretty much seals the debate:

Quote (rjcjr9):


As a minimum, the requirements can't be anymore restrictive than they are for a domestic engineer




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
I will ignore the darts being thrown as I take them in good humour. I am very clear on the rules and regulations. I do not actually want or need to work in the USA. Nor do I wish to denigrate that country or its inhabitants. The USA have made a massive contribution to engineering in my field. If you find my interest abrasive I am sorry.

 I have a question though.

Do not "domestic engineers" find the state regulations restrictive?

I hate bureacracy for the sake of it. There are national and international standards that allow the profession of engineering to be applied to things physical. Local state rules, industry codes etc to me just clutter up the works.

If one can design a piping system to B31.3 in Texas how should it be any different in Arkansas? The same engineer, pipe materials, fabrication and testing.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


If one can design a piping system to B31.3 in Texas how should it be any different in Arkansas?

You say that as if it's the only issue. (???)

I was taught from the beginning, that engineering is not about designing the perfect product - but it's about learning how to make the perfect compromise.

What do I mean by that?  Well, what you seem to not realize, is that federal bureaucracy is *always* more costly, and inefficient that state.  The reason is really simple - the closer you get to the voters, the easier it is to get something done.

Now, back to the compromise issue - Suppose the federal government set engineering regulations for architects, as they do for automobiles, for example.  They want to impose Miami Dade building code for South Dakota.  While that is the ideal scenario, how well do you think that would fly with the residents of South Dakota, how now will be paying 1/3 more for a house, in an area that's not on par with the rest of the nation economically?  And to have the federal government enforcing that?  It would take 5 years to a site plan approved!

Our state setup is really beneficial, an a number of ways.  But to make this easy, I find it refreshing that local politicians can have a say in matters that affect them directly, instead of having some out of touch politician flowing with the lobby, or turning the matter into election year politics.  Plus, with the way federal agencies, by their very nature work, we'd end up growing the government tenfold, and still not get anything done.

This is where I could insert some nifty examples of federal oversight in various countries, but I didn't like it when it was said about my own country, so....




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

solid7

You are attributing things to me that I did not type.

NAFTA allows Canadian engineers along with a number of other professionals to obtain TN visa easily. A TN visa allows a Canadian (or Mexican) to enter the country and to work in the named profession. The list of included professionals is quite extensive.

The only restriction is that the person is otherwise acceptable for entry into the US. Thus a Canadian engineer with no criminal record or other reason to be denied entry into the US can easily get a TN visa to work there.

The problem is that it is very difficult for a Canadian to hget the P.Eng license transferred to the US.

Quote:



http://www.worldexpertise.com/cross-border_engineering_prac.htm

After several months of negotiation between CCPE, USCIEP and COMPII, a Mutual Recognition Document (MRD) was initialed in 1995, subject to full ratification by the governing boards of the several groups involved in the negotiations. The MRD was basically structured to recognize successful professional engineering practice in each country, as certified by that country’s licensure system, and to allow engineers with a valid license in any of the three countries to be recognized to practice in the other two.


 In Mexico, the relevant authority was the Federal government, and it ratified the MRD. In Canada the CCPE Board first ratified the MRD at the national level and recommended that its member provinces and territories adopt it, then each of the 12 licensing units in turn ratified it. In the United States, the NSPE Board fully ratified the MRD, and the ABET Board did also. The NCEES Board had more difficulty in accepting the MRD however, with many of its 55 member licensing jurisdictions being unwilling to accept the concept of mutual recognition of another country’s licensing system. Many of the state licensing boards insisted that any applicant to practice in their jurisdictions must comply with exactly the same process that a resident of their state or another jurisdiction in the United States must follow – an ABET accredited degree, two examinations, and four years of satisfactory practice. At the NCEES annual meeting in 1995, a provisional two year acceptance of the MRD was approved, to allow states which wanted to pursue it to do so. Only one state, Texas, has accepted the MRD to date. At its 1997 annual meeting, the NCEES Board declined to extend its endorsement of the MRD, so that document now has questionable validity.


Since the appropriate Canadian and Mexican authorities have fully adopted the NAFTA MRD, cross-border engineering licensing and practice is occurring between those two countries. The southern border state of Texas in the United States is also moving rapidly toward cross-border licensing, particularly between engineers in Mexico and in Texas. Other states in the United States are considering whether to follow the path of Texas, and to adopt the MRD in spite of the reluctance of NCEES as a whole to give it full recognition.


 


This is what I am talking about.

I can under the terms of NAFTA get a work visa and engineering licence in Mexaco.

Under NAFTA I can get a work visa but no licence to work in the USA.

Don’t you think that it is now time for the USA to honour the terms of NAFTA?

My engineering licence should be as easily transferred to any US jurisdiction as is my driver’s licence. That is what the MRD says and that is not what the US states are practicing.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
Solid7

I thnk the remark you attributed to RDK was mine. No offence. I thinl that you strayed from the matter. i was talking engineering no architecture. Architects are more on the artistic bent and require engineers to conform to building codes. Yes there are local rules and requirements but a professional engineer can meet those base don competence not where he is licensed.

I would suggest that there would be far less restriction if one could register as an American engineer & be recognised in all states. Those who just wanted to practice in one state could register there but it does appear to be limiting.

With large USA companies going off shore there may be a problem. GEC to Malaysia, CH2MHill to Delhi and Fluor Daniel to the Phillipines, all to get cheap engineering done there could be a major problem in your backyard now and cetainly into the future..

These restrictive practices make USA engineering more costly and every licensing rule means another job in a third world country.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Are you saying that companies in your country aren't outsourcing also?  Cause if you are, I don't believe you!

Canadians recently broke precedent, and starting the outsourcing game, also.

No matter where you live in th world, outsourcing is a reality.  Even the countries who are doing outsourcing work, have work that is outsourced to someone cheaper.

There is still plenty of work for Americans. (and Australians)  There are companies who refuse to outsource, due to the problem of language barriers alone.  And, those nations who are more militarily advanced, and more free enterprise oriented, have plenty of work that can't go outside of their own borders.

Outsourcing is just simple economics, and it's here to stay.  That being said, the competitive will continue to be innovative, and find ways to do business, while the non-competitive will whine themselves into obscurity.  We, as entrepeneurs, are the leaders in this area.  There are always creative ways to keep yourself in business, even if it means reinventing yourself a litle bit.

I really hope that more jobs do go to third world countries.  In my opinion, the more competition, the higher that quality standards will have to raise, and that's NEVER a bad thing.  The 1990's, with the mass influx of cheap chinese junk, totally turned manufacturing upside down, and as a result, you can get better quality stuff for less money, than ever before...




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (stanier):


I thnk the remark you attributed to RDK was mine.

Yes it was.  Sorry about that.


Quote (stanier):


No offence. I thinl that you strayed from the matter. i was talking engineering no architecture. Architects are more on the artistic bent and require engineers to conform to building codes. Yes there are local rules and requirements but a professional engineer can meet those base don competence not where he is licensed.

Many an architect is also a PE.  The example I gave earlier is valid.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
The reality is that outsourcing to other countries has been met with mixed success here in Australia. There have been some catastrophies as the ideology as well as the standards are totally different.

Dont get confused about the Chinese junk you will find many a USA company behind the manufacturer taking advantage of cheap labour, lax environmental laws, low occupational health and safety standards. I have nothing but disgust for such companies and those who support them. MY point was that the protectionism offered by the states in this matter is only making easier for the MBAs in the USA companies to make a case to outsource offshore.

Europe appears to be slower to adopt such tactics. In Italy recently I could only buy Italian goods, not even product from the EEC. It was considered unItalian to go offshore or even across the border.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (stanier):


The reality is that outsourcing to other countries has been met with mixed success here in Australia. There have been some catastrophies as the ideology as well as the standards are totally different.

Yes, here, also.  There are definitely pros and cons, as there are with anything.

Quote (stanier):


Dont get confused about the Chinese junk you will find many a USA company behind the manufacturer taking advantage of cheap labour, lax environmental laws, low occupational health and safety standards.

And many other countries, too.  This really needs some work, but it's one of the solutions that people who really want to stay in business, took advangate of.

Quote (stanier):


MY point was that the protectionism offered by the states in this matter is only making easier for the MBAs in the USA companies to make a case to outsource offshore.

Well, if it's really such a problem, history will take note, and something will happen to change it.  Again, a good thing.

But there's no "protectionism" offered by, for, or to the states.  We don't have the same type of government as others.  Evidently that can't be such a bad thing.  The US is still the most prosperous nation on earth, with its citizens enjoying, quite possibly, the highest standard of living.  Could that change?  Sure, it could.  But I'm not about to go "doom and gloom."

Lighten up a little.  Most everyone in the US agrees that the public safety is first concern.  That's the point of the licensure requirements.  I know that we're portrayed as savages, criminals, and crooks everywhere else in the world, but we want to feed and nurture our families - just the same as you do, and everyone else in the world.

Thanks for the discussion.  I'm out of this one. (I wish there was a moderator to close these over-extended threads)




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I’m not sure what outsourcing has to do with the topic of this thread.

The issue is if qualified engineers from countries with free trade agreements can have their qualification easily recognized in the USA and vice a versa.

As far as the requirements for the US to remove all artificial trade barriers for Canadian and Mexican professional engineers to obtain professional licensure in the US that has not happened.

Canadian and Mexican qualified professional engineers can easily obtain licenses in the other country but the US is still practicing isolationism and protectionism and refusing to honour the terms of NAFTA and reduce this barrier to trade.

We can get a work visa but for those of us in engineering disciplines where licenses are required in the US cannot easily obtain recognition of our qualifications.

It apopears that the same applies to Australian engineers as well.

I know that the reason is that the state boards are independent of any central control. However in Canada the provincial associations are independent of any control other than by the members of the profession. We have lowered our trade barriers. When will the US?

Discussions about Chinese or Albanian engineers are simply read herrings and contribute nothing to the topic because as far as I know there are no free trade agreements between the US and China or Albania that require the US to reduce trade barriers.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I'd like to share a story with you folks:

About a year ago my employer was asked by a USA based client to review a testing apparatus that had been designed & built in the USA and was being sent to Alberta, Canada for use. The Alberta authorities wanted to make sure that the apparatus was code compliant and not something that was "jury rigged" by non-engineers. The folks in Alberta were willing to accept a New York State PE stamp on the project drawings. I doubt if the reverse would be allowed.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK wrote:

I can under the terms of NAFTA get a work visa and engineering licence in Mexaco.

Under NAFTA I can get a work visa but no licence to work in the USA.

Don’t you think that it is now time for the USA to honour the terms of NAFTA?


and

As far as the requirements for the US to remove all artificial trade barriers for Canadian and Mexican professional engineers to obtain professional licensure in the US that has not happened.

Canadian and Mexican qualified professional engineers can easily obtain licenses in the other country but the US is still practicing isolationism and protectionism and refusing to honour the terms of NAFTA and reduce this barrier to trade.


This is where you are in error. While the US may not, in your opinion, be living up to the spirit of NAFTA, it is not in violation of the terms of NAFTA. Here is what NAFTA says about cross-border trade in services:

http://www.worldtradelaw.net/nafta/chap-12.pdf

Just as in AUSFTA, there is no requirement for one country to recongize the professional certifications of another. Each party "shall endeavor to ensure" that requirements are not unduly burdensome, amoung other guidelines. If you think that means countries and states can't require that foreign engineers jump through the same hoops as domestic ones, you would make neither a good lawyer nor a politician. Take that as a compliment, if you'd like.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Stanier wrote:

Do not "domestic engineers" find the state regulations restrictive?

I find it annoying that I must inconvenience the same people who kindly gave me references when I applied for licensure in Vermont, when I want to apply again in New Hampshire. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has developed a partial solution to this problem. They created a repository to hold all such application information for engineers that wish to participate. Every state has its own rules regarding this, but it generally makes it easier to get recognized in another state.

Federalism and states' rights are enshrined in the Constitution and many people's hearts. Without these and the compromise they represent, it is unlikely there would have even been a United States of America. It may be hard to believe when we're talking about something as trivial as professional licensing, but that's what it all goes back to.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
If this were a commercial matter and the USA government were the holding company and each state was a separate subsidiary company owned by that company we would have all sorts of class actions.

Misleading and deceptive conduct would be up there.

The USA governement obviously cannot speak on behalf of the states. I am not argueing with this fact. I am not trying to change it. I accept it. But I do believe that the representations made, if not literally, but in spirit in the free trade agreements are misleading and deceptive.  By the arguments put by our Canadian cousins they feel the same.

If this has happened in a simple matter of being able to practice as an engineer then what about the rest of the trade? Are there similar weasle words for the USA agricultural subsidies, car industry etc.

You are right we poor sods at the receiving end are mere mortals . Not politicians and lawyers. We get most of our information from the media. The Dirty Digger just got us again.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Rjcjr9

The spirit of the free trade agreement was that Canadian licenses would be recognized as equal to US licenses.

This applies specifically to engineers.

Quote:



The parties shall meet within one year of the date of entry of force of this agreement to establish a work program to be undertaken by each party, in conjunction with its relevant professional bodies, to provide for the temporary licensing of in its territory of nationals of another party who are licensed as engineers in the territory of the other party.


This is from the reference that you claim that does not oblige the US to recognize Canadian licenses.

I think that I would make a better lawyer than you because I at least read to the end of the document before I claim that it doesn’t say something.


That is what has happened between Canada and Mexico but the US has reneged on their word in this matter.

I accept that the individual states have the right to make their own laws in this area. I know that, you know that unfortunately when your US national government signed this international agreement they forgot that.

A nation should have integrity just as an individual should have integrity. If you cannot honour an agreement then perhaps it would be best to not make these sorts of agreements in the fist place.

Now the US has access to our oil reserves, the second largest in the world, and we engineers do not have access to your markets in accordance with the agreement.

BTW The US often violates article 1202 when it restricts many government contracts to US citizens only. Your companies also violate this because many US job vacancies posted specify US citizens only as well.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

In reply to RDK:

I read it. Temporary licensing is analogous to the Massachusetts regulation that allows me to practice up to 30 days in the state on the basis of my Vermont license. Temporary licensing is not a bridge to automatic recognition of licenses. And it is subject to the same "wiggle words" as the general licensing section:

Temporary Licensing
5. Where the Parties agree, each Party shall encourage the relevant bodies in its territory to develop procedures for the temporary licensing of professional service providers of another Party.


Yes, I am reading Section C (Temporary Licensing of Engineers) as being a further specialization of and subordinate to Section A (General Provisions).
I'm going to give your Canadian negotiators the benefit of the doubt that they understood the United State's two-hundred year old system of government at the time they negotiated NAFTA, and that they did what they could in that light. Likewise, I'm sure the US negotiators involved in crafting the section on engineering knew what they could and couldn't promise under the US Constitution.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The section quoted by RDK states that the "parties shall meet within one year of the date of entry of force of this agreement to establish a work program to be undertaken by each party, in conjunction with its relevant professional bodies". This states that a "work program" is to be established. It doesn't state that a PE is to be recognized by Canadian provinces, nor a P.Eng/ing. be recognized by American states.

This is consistent with my experience working in the US.
- I can work in the US
- if I want a PE, I need to take the PE exam
- however, my work experiences are recognized as valid (by Illinois anyways)

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

That is why I said that the spirit of the agreement is that the licenses issued in Canada shall be recognized in the US. The Canadian associations were more than willing to recognize the US PE as meeting the requirement for Canadian licenses, just as Mexico and Canada have mutual recognition.

A 30 day US license is useless unless one is only working on a 30 day project. Simply to take and pass the EIT and PE exams would take a year simply due to scheduling issues.


Scrap the exam requirement and our licenses are equal. There is the same or at least very similar requirements for education and experience. We work with the same mathematics and physics and there is remarkable similarity between the various codes and standards used. In many cases we all use the same code. Often the only difference between the US codes and the Canadian codes are that the US are in imperial measurements and the Canadian ones use SI. For example NFPA 70 and CSA C22,2 (Electrical Codes)

There have been many threads here on the exam process not meeting the needs of having a properly regulated profession so why bother unless it is to be protectionist?

The only reason the US uses exams is because they have not adequately policed the universities to turn out only quality graduates and not adequately policed the profession to only allow adequately experienced people into the profession.

This is a prime example of non tax regulatory restraint of trade and that is what the free trade agreements are all about. Making trade in goods and services free of tax and non tax regulatory issues.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK, yes, I hear you. There are two sides or more to most issues, and they are well represented in the above posts.

I was just sharing my experiences using a NAFTA visa to work in Illinois.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK,

In the US, the jobs that require licensure are largely limited to those that affect the public safety in a very direct way, e.g., structural engineering. The faulty design of a toaster oven could easily cause injury or death, but the engineers that design them are not regulated in any way - that's the industrial exemption.

Does the industrial exemption exist in Canada in some form? How limited is it?

Must one be certified to call oneself an engineer, or to put it on one's business card?

Thanks,
Rob

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK,

I did some Googling just after I made my post, and found this, by you:

Several of our American friends have posted here about the “industrial exemption”.

Let me be clear. This does not exist in Canada. In order to legally call oneself an engineer or any other title that may lead the public to believe that you are an engineer you MUST be registered as a professional engineer.  Thus something like 90% of engineering school graduates are P.Eng’s (some never entered the field and some branched out into another field like law.) Most of the professors at engineering facilities are P.Eng’s.

The only exemptions are power engineers or boiler operators, train engineers or drivers or military engineers and then you have to be a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in an engineering capacity. To use the term engineer with any of these traditional exemptions one must use the full term i.e. power engineer.


http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=47541&page=1

This is vastly more resrtictive for the degreed US toaster oven engineer who wants to work in Canada than it is for the Canadian bridge engineer who wants to work in the US.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The industrial exemption does not exist in Canada. If you are practicing engineering then you must by law be a member of the provincial association where you are practicing.

In actual practice the law enforcement is very lax in this area. However most engineers in industry are licensed. It is as much a “social” license as anything else or a company employment requirement.

To use the title engineer in any way shape or form with limited exemptions one must be a P.Eng. The exemptions are railway train drivers, boiler operators and military engineers. In these cases the individual must use an appropriate modifier with the term engineer to distinguish themselves from professional engineers.. i.e. power engineer.

The Microsoft Certified System Engineer and other computer company titles are illegal in Canada and people have been fined for using these titles.

Most officers in the Canadian Military engineering branches are P.Eng’s. However again this is not a requirement for them to be but is generally a “social” license.

By social license they are registered for personal status, to be able to attend and participate in professional activities as opposed to almost everyone else being legally required to be professionally registered.




Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

There is no reason that someone in my line of work - engineering, at various times, imaging equipment, medical devicess, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and weapons systems - needs to be certified by some government bureaucracy.

Canada is in violation of NAFTA.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

In what way is Canada violating NAFTA?

US products made under the terms of US laws are allowed into Canada without engineering certification.

Unless you came to Canada and practiced engineering here then Canadian law has no effect on you.

Canadian engineering laws are in no way a restraint on the trade in the goods or service that you manufacture or sell.

The provincial associations are NOT  government bureaucracy. They are organizations established under provincial laws to regulate the practice of the profession. Professional engineering in Canada is a self regulating profession. We professional engineers elect the board that runs the association for the protection of the public.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I would like to add that to become an engineer in Canada, there are two primary routes that I am aware of.

Route 1:
1) Go to an accredited university in an accredited undergraduate program (and pass). Note undergraduate. A graduate degree (e.g. M. Eng) does not work.
2) Accrue the required working/experience requirement of the province you seek registratin in. This ncludes "credit" for equivalent experience.
3) Write and pass the law and ethics exam.

Route 2:
1) Write and pass the "technical" exams as mandated by the province you are seeking registration in.
2) Accrue the required working/experience requirement of the province you seek registratin in. This ncludes "credit" for equivalent experience.
3) Write and pass the law and ethics exam.

I left out the character reference, criminal record and all that stuff - I would imagine that it is similar to the US.


Any Canadians (for that matter, anyone else) out there, please correct me if I have erred.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I do believe that Rob makes a good point.  I failed to completely understand the hangup over this whole issue - when in fact, it appears that the very people who started the thread aren't even speaking of a "professional" engineer in the proper context - at least not in terms of what it is in the US.

If that's the case, Canadians should have an easier time working in the US than Americans would have working in Canada.

RDK - do you *still* believe, that as an engineer, you do not have full and equal access to American markets?  (in the context of engineering, not lumber, or whatever else)  I've heard that charge leveled so many times, but I still have yet to see it adequately supported.  

The analaogy regarding the driver's license now becomes moot.  You're driving without a license (metaphorically speaking) in the US, unless you're signing off on safety or environmental issues. (which require a "PE" license)




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK,

I would like to provide engineering design services in my area of an expertise to a Canadian company. I could probably do all of it from my desk in New Hampshire, though I might like to take a few trips up there to work side-by-side with the Canadian engineers. For the sake of this argument, I do not have my PE license.

Is this allowed?

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

2
Let's be a little more direct on this "Free Trade" issue. Stanier, have you contacted any USA state boards and asked them for permission to practice engineering in the USA under the "free trade" agreements? Have you been denied? Has anyone else that we know of pursued this? Or are we all speaking hypothetically?

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (rjcjr9):

This is vastly more resrtictive for the degreed US toaster oven engineer who wants to work in Canada than it is for the Canadian bridge engineer who wants to work in the US.

solid7, quoting Rob, yes, the Canadian licensing/P.Eng, is more restrictive than your US counterpart.. I believe this is the case.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The issue is on licensing. The intent of the free trade agreement is that each jurisdiction would have its own licensing requirements in place and that every person wanting to work in that jurisdiction would have to meet the local licensing requirements.

The basis for meeting the licensing requirements would be either one of two methods. For national of the location, they would have to obtain the license in the same manner that existed without the free trade agreement.

For nationals of the other country, their home license would be recognized as the basis for admittance to the profession in the other country.

Thus anyone with a PE/P.Eng could easily get a P.Eng/PE as the case may be.

If you never bothered to get a PE then that was your choice and you would not be eligible for a P.Eng on the basis of prior licensing. If you did get a PE then you should be eligible for a P.Eng.

Of course the reverse should be true that a P.Eng should be able to get a PE solely on the basis of the P.Eng status.



Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The issue is not licensing, it is the free trade of professional services. You encourage the US to "scrap the exam requirement", presumably for both US and Canadian engineers. I encourage Canada to scrap licensure requirements for work that comes under the industrial exemption in the US, even when that work is performed in Canada or for a Canadian firm.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Asereng

You are correct that there are (or at least were) those two routes. However the second route is almost never used. I have only met one person who obtained his P.Eng this route. He had completed three years of university and had to either take one more year or write 7 exams. He chose the exams.

After the end of it he said that the one year university would have been much easier and have taken less time. He was either working 75% of the time or  studying for about  2 ½ years.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I know of a B.Sc with a M.Eng who took the exam. Because the undergrad degree is science, not engineering, he had/decided to take the exam.

Another colleague, foreign trained, also took the exams.

I was told that it wasn't that hard, just time consuming.

Anyhoot...

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States


rjcjr9

I’m not sure why US refusal to live up to their agreements is grounds for Canada to make changes to our system.

Even if we did adopt the industrial exemption, it would not change the fact that I cannot compete in the US because I work in a field that generally requires licensure in the US. The intent of NAFTA is clearly that P.Eng and the Mexican equal be recognized as sufficient qualifications for a PE in the US.

I can never understand why a nation like the US which takes great pride in being an honourable nation where a man’s word is his bond can collectively decide to simply scrap a troublesome clause in an agreement like NAFTA or the Geneva Convention for short term interests.

Do you not see that this harms the prestige of the US in the international community?

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Asherng

The exam route for Canadian engineers is fundamentally different than the US exam system.

Its not a 8 hour open book multiple guess exam on limited topics but was an intensive long answer on one topic at a time in depth. Think of simply getting the course outline and then having to write, with no study guidance or other preparation material being provided, an in-depth exam on the topics of the course.

The full slate was if I remember correctly 21 exams in total. Exemptions could be granted for prior university education. It covered all engineering areas so a civil candidate would have had to take the water, transportation, municipal and other exams along with structural.

Like I said I only know the one guy who did it and that was when I was a summer student in 1975. (He got his last marks back when I was working for him.) I do not know if this route is still available but if available it is almost never used.

We had a guy in my engineering class who was 51 years old in first year. He had worked as an engineering technician and wanted to become a P.Eng. He had looked at the exam system and decided that 4 years university, when he was older than most of our parents, was an easier route to follow.

Sometimes exams are required of foreign graduates who cannot prove that their courses are equal to Canadian ones but that is usually limited to one or two exams. These people have bachelor degrees prior to writing the exam.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK wrote, "That is why I said that the spirit of the agreement is that the licenses issued in Canada shall be recognized in the US."

Stanier wrote, "But I do believe that the representations made, if not literally, but in spirit in the free trade agreements are misleading and deceptive."

RDK wrote, "The spirit of the free trade agreement was that Canadian licenses would be recognized as equal to US licenses."

RDK wrote, "That is why I said that the spirit of the agreement is that the licenses issued in Canada shall be recognized in the US."

RDK wrote, "The intent of NAFTA is clearly that P.Eng and the Mexican equal be recognized as sufficient qualifications for a PE in the US."

Nothing in NAFTA obliges any party to honor the certifications of another or to standardize on the same criteria for certification:

http://www.worldtradelaw.net/nafta/chap-12.pdf

If we're going to talk about intent or spirit, we may just as well talk about the spirit of free trade in general, or the spirit of free market economics, the concept from which the others derive. In that case, see my immediately previous post.

Rob

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
MR Mojito

I have not applied to any Boards. The thread started as a hypothetical question. The responses have filled these pages with many suppositions. The thread has meandered through many topics. All have been passionate and interesting and perhaps should be over a beer or two. There is unlikely to be any concensus when the passion of nationalism is involved. I did hope that the unity of being fellow engineering professionals would rise above that anachronism.

The question of how engineers in the USA find the constraints of individual licensing remains largely unanswered save for that is the way it is done and we are all proud to serve our country. My resolve to not bother working there is solid. There are far easier places to earn a quid.

I will take my case up with the learned societies here and with our government. I am sure it wont make a jot of difference for we are burdened by a federal and state bureaucracy as well.

Take care and have a happy new year. Perhap some could read the works of The Delai Lama, Ghandi  or Martin lther  King and see a different way forward.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Stanier wrote:

The responses have filled these pages with many suppositions. The thread has meandered through many topics.

Take care and have a happy new year. Perhap some could read the works of The Delai Lama, Ghandi  or Martin lther  King and see a different way forward.

You're joking, right? I took the time to look up AUSFTA and NAFTA, which you at least cited but clearly had not taken the time to read, then based my arguments on it, and I need to seek enlightenment?

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

To be clear, I support mutual recognition of Canadian and Mexican engineering licenses, and I would love automatic recognition of one state's license by another. But this thread didn't ask that question.

I do not support the elimination of the industrial exemption in the US.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (stanier):


 There is unlikely to be any concensus when the passion of nationalism is involved. I did hope that the unity of being fellow engineering professionals would rise above that anachronism.

Passion of nationalism?  That's odd - because I thought that everything was presented pretty straightforward.  Engineers don't make law in the United States.  So what gives?

The basic fact - no opinion or nationalism set forth - is that US law (in the US, of course) comes BEFORE any trade agreements.  The United States, as well as any other signatories, have an obligation to uphold their own laws, and protect their own citizenry, ahead of any external treaties.

I do not speak toward any specific aspect of NAFTA, or any other treaty.  I am not a lawyer, RDK I assume is not a lawyer, nor is anyone else who has posted, unless they have failed to identify themselves as such.   Therefore, we can poke fingers at each other all day long about who is upholding the treaty, and who is not.  But my point is simple, concise, and clear - citizens of a country come FIRST.  If politicians don't understand that, I can't be held responsible.  Constitutions are bigger than treaties.

Quote (stanier):


The question of how engineers in the USA find the constraints of individual licensing remains largely unanswered save for that is the way it is done and we are all proud to serve our country. My resolve to not bother working there is solid. There are far easier places to earn a quid

Most engineers in the US work for large companies - hence, they never even notice.  It's not an issue.  They go straight out of the university, and straight into a job.  End of story.  Many of them even go on to start their own business.  Again, no licensing, (except for occupational, which everyone must have) unless they have to sign off on safety or environmental related issues.

The only thing that makes it hard to earn a living in the US, is finding your way in a highly competitive workplace. (getting your first customers)

Quote (stanier):


Perhap some could read the works of The Delai Lama, Ghandi  or Martin lther  King and see a different way forward.

Sounds like a complete waste of time.  There are definitely better authors than those 3 combined.

For what it's worth, I actually enjoy reading RDK more than these.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Solid7 wrote, "Most engineers in the US work for large companies - hence, they never even notice."

Actually, it's not the size. Most of us work in "industry", so licensing isn't an issue.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (rjcjr9):


Actually, it's not the size. Most of us work in "industry", so licensing isn't an issue.

OK, point taken.  I probably wasn't thinking of "large" in the same terms as the IRS.  My firm is only 2 employees, so anything much bigger than that is "large" to me.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I’m blushing. To be compared to those great men is truly an honour. blush

The thrust of your argument is that governments exist to protect their citizens. You will get no dissention from me on that issue.

However we are as you may know in the last days of a federal election here. When you read most of the ads of the various parties they all say that they are for the same fundamental issues that are shaping this election. Government accountability, defense, social programs, law and order etc. These are essentially the same as they are every election and pretty much the same in most elections that I have followed in other countries.

To simply list off these as important points does nothing to advance the debate. They are “apple pie” issues. What really counts is the recipe that is used to make the pie.

Where the parties differ is in the recipe that they will use to carry out their mandate.

Is it serving the citizens of a country to close their international markets to trade thus keeping the jobs at home or is it to open their markets to other countries thus allowing their citizens opportunities in the export markets and the advantages of lower prices for goods and services?

You can argue that either position is serving the needs of the citizens. Economists for the vast majority believe that the advantages of free trade outweigh the negative consequences of free trade and that the population is better served by having open markets.

The governments of Canada, Mexico and the US agreed to this by implementing NAFTA. George Bush, with whom I disagree on almost every other issue, supports free trade.

Thus the powers that be support free trade as being to the advantage of their citizens.

The sub message is that international agreements must be subordinate to US domestic law. This issue is a red herring. International agreements, such as NAFTA, are laws agreed to and ratified by your Congress. They are the law of the USA as well as being agreements between two or more sovereign countries.

What we have here is a case where the laws passed implementing NAFTA is at odds with the laws of the individual states. I understand about state rights but am at a loss to understand how the side that lost the Civil War (which was about states rights) and had to give up their slaves, somehow still has so much power in US politics.

If the US has not got the power to force the individual states to grant mutual recognition to Canadian and Mexican licenses then why did they negotiate language supporting this into the agreement?

As for the counter argument that why did Canada agree to this clause when they knew or should have known that the US federal government lacked the authority to implement it I can offer two possible answers. They felt that it was a good agreement even without the mutual recognition or they were incompetent idiots. Take your pick.

Bottom line is that both Canada and Mexico were willing to grant mutual recognition to US PE’s provided that the US was willing to grant the same rights to Canadian and Mexican engineers. Out of all the states only Texas as far as I know actually issued PE’s on the basis of P.Eng’s and as of 1 Jan 06 they stopped this practice.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

stanier,

I am based in the USA. I too think that the state-by-state licensing system is anachronistic. Probably only the civil/structural folks should be state licensed due to site specific issues. The rest of the diciplines could easily be nationally or even internationally licensed (assuming that international licensing exists).

There are numerous ways of looking at this licensing issue.

At least half of the engineering workforce is employed in industry, where licensing is not an issue and therefore not a barrier to free trade. No problem here.

One could argue that engineering is performed all over the world by various persons, with few problems. So why couldn't someone overseas perform engineering for the USA?

Another arguement that could be made is that the modern legal system coupled with pressure by insurance companies has a greater "regulatory" effect than the state licensing system.

All things to think about.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (MrMojito):

So why couldn't someone overseas perform engineering for the USA?

They do. When products are imported, the "engineering" was done outside of the country.

The OP question was licensing.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Ashereng,

My statement above that you quoted was in reference to consulting engineering, not engineering of a manufactured product. This is the topic what I believe stanier is refering to.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


Is it serving the citizens of a country to close their international markets to trade thus keeping the jobs at home or is it to open their markets to other countries thus allowing their citizens opportunities in the export markets and the advantages of lower prices for goods and services?

Nobody wants to close the markets.  We want to ensure that nobody can subvert our established standards and practices, for the sake of "saving a buck."  If anyone can meet the requirements, I see no reason to limit anyone.

Quote (RDK):


You can argue that either position is serving the needs of the citizens. Economists for the vast majority believe that the advantages of free trade outweigh the negative consequences of free trade and that the population is better served by having open markets.

Free trade is good.  But we are SUPPOSED to have a system of checks and balances in this country, that hasn't worked properly for about 200 years.

It's hard to argue the benefits of a properly implemented free trade agreement.  But it's something that needs to be planned, and implemented gradually, over time. (so as not to interrupt the stable flow of any single economy, and allow time to adjust, without the "squabbles")

And, of course, no single branch has the power (theoretically) to run roughshod over state law, so long as it doesn't violate the Constitution.  In case you don't follow American current events, we have a real problem in our country with judicial activism, and both legislative and executive branches overstepping their bounds.  Need I say more about the subject in light of that?

Quote (RDK):


George Bush, with whom I disagree on almost every other issue, supports free trade.

Unnecessary ideology, to be sure.  But thanks for sharing.


Quote (RDK):


The sub message is that international agreements must be subordinate to US domestic law. This issue is a red herring. International agreements, such as NAFTA, are laws agreed to and ratified by your Congress. They are the law of the USA as well as being agreements between two or more sovereign countries.

No, the underlying message is that signed agreements must not clash with existing US law, in ANY form, whether it be state or federal.  The same should be true for the laws of any nation that is signatory. (or what good is sovereignty?)

In this particular case, NAFTA did not affect the way that states license and regulate engineering practice, and that's a good thing.

How can you say that the US should be held accountable to the treaties that it signs, and not also agree that the federal government must not interfere with the power that has been granted to the states since the inception of the country?  That's a double standard.

Quote (RDK):


What we have here is a case where the laws passed implementing NAFTA is at odds with the laws of the individual states. I understand about state rights but am at a loss to understand how the side that lost the Civil War (which was about states rights) and had to give up their slaves, somehow still has so much power in US politics.

I don't think there is a discrepancy.  From what I've read, I still don't think the concept of PE is being properly understood.

Oh, and if you can't understand the idea that the states still hold the same power that they always did, it might help to understand the concept of a Democratic Republic.  The US is not a democracy, as is so frequently attributed.  The Civil War did nothing to diminish states rights.  It was an argument over some particular issues, and what role the federal government had in enforcing them.  That was much more of a Constitutional issue. (and it may be that the federal government overstepped its bounds in not allowing secession of the Southern states - not a discussion for this board, though)

Quote (RDK):


If the US has not got the power to force the individual states to grant mutual recognition to Canadian and Mexican licenses then why did they negotiate language supporting this into the agreement?

Do you just want to work as an engineer in the US?  Because if that's the case, you've got no issue, here. If you want to be a Licensed Professional Engineer, that's a different story.  It's just not an apples to apples comparison, in this case.


Quote (RDK):


As for the counter argument that why did Canada agree to this clause when they knew or should have known that the US federal government lacked the authority to implement it I can offer two possible answers. They felt that it was a good agreement even without the mutual recognition or they were incompetent idiots. Take your pick.

Option 3 - They knew that more Canadians and Mexicans would flock to the US, than the other way around, and didn't want to try to fight an uphill battle to change laws that work the same for everyone in the US.

Option 4 - Everyone knew that NAFTA was primarily drafted at the behest of certain US industries who wanted cheap labor, and they wanted it immediately. (in other words, an oversight, or deliberate malfunction for you)

Quote (RDK):


Bottom line is that both Canada and Mexico were willing to grant mutual recognition to US PE’s provided that the US was willing to grant the same rights to Canadian and Mexican engineers. Out of all the states only Texas as far as I know actually issued PE’s on the basis of P.Eng’s and as of 1 Jan 06 they stopped this practice.

Here's a link.   This document is from the Texas Attorney General's office, to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.  I think that this letter is especially pertinent in this conversation, because for once, we actually have the input from an actual attorney, and a relatively high ranking one, at that.  Please pay attention to the part where the Attorney General's office states,

Quote:


http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/JC/JC0051.pdf

Nothing in NAFTA allows Canadian or Mexican professionals to practice a licensed profession in the United States without meeting state licensing criteria and receiving such licenses, nor requiress change in state certification or licensing procedures, other than elimination of citizenship or permanent residence requirements.

 




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

MrMojito,

Quote (stanier):

Has the requirement for bieng licensed in a state ever been challenged as being in restraint of free trade?

My apologies for misunderstanding. I quoted stanier's OP. He specifically inquired about licensing. NOT performing engineering for the USA.

With over 100 responses, I misunderstood your reference to consulting engineering, and not to engineering of a manufactured product, and not to licensing.

In that case, I believe the answer is yes, someone overseas CAN perform engineering for the USA. They can come to the US, and work, provided they qualify under the industrial examption, as per several posts above.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I’ll only address the one issue since this topic would branch out too much to address all issues.

Quote:



No, the underlying message is that signed agreements must not clash with existing US law, in ANY form, whether it be state or federal.  The same should be true for the laws of any nation that is signatory. (or what good is sovereignty?)


NAFTA is a law of the US. There was a law passed by your congress implementing the agreement.

No one rammed NAFTA down US throats. Your national government negotiated it and your national government passed it into US law.

This is, as I understand it, the same for all treaties, your Congress passes a law ratifying the treaty and then it becomes a US law as well as an international treaty.

Once the Congress ratified NAFTA it became US law. However it had a clause in it that stepped on the toes of state jurisdiction.

Therefore the US national government should never have entered into an agreement that they had no power or standing to enforce.

It would be like me selling your house. The sale would be fraudulent because I have no right to sell your house. The US national government had no standing to negotiate areas under US state jurisdiction.


And I just have to respond to one more issue.

The USA is a democracy. All democracy means is that the people elect the leaders. You do elect your leaders down there don’t you?

There are many forms of democracy, we have a Constitutional Monarchy and you have a Republic. However they are both democracies because we go to the polls periodically and elect our leaders.

To call the US system of government anything other than a democracy is sloppy thinking and ignores the definition of a democracy.



I should also point out that the NCEES Model Law DOES recognize my P.Eng as equal to a US PE and suggests that I should be allowed to transfer it without any problem.

Quote:



http://www.ncees.org/introduction/about_ncees/ncees_model_law.pdf

130.10 C 1 a (1)

A person holding a certificate of licensure to engage in the practice of engineering issued by a proper authority of a jurisdiction ….. or foreign country, based on requirements that do not conflict with the provisions of the act and possessing credentials that are not lower…may be licensed without further examination ….


Does anyone actually know if there is mutual recognition in any state? Texas was at one time offering it but as I understand it they have reverted to Canadian engineers starting over as would any US national with no special recognition for P.Eng status.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


To call the US system of government anything other than a democracy is sloppy thinking and ignores the definition of a democracy.

Really?  My wife just got her United States citizenship, and had she answered on her test that the US was a democracy, she would have gotten the question wrong.  

This is not one of those subjects that's open to interpretation.  Not the "spirit" or "intent" of democracy.  The pure definition.

Rome was a democracy - not the US.  The united States of America is a Republic.

Quote (RDK):


Once the Congress ratified NAFTA it became US law. However it had a clause in it that stepped on the toes of state jurisdiction.

Therefore the US national government should never have entered into an agreement that they had no power or standing to enforce.

In this case, you're still wrong.  I've seen multiple references to this issue from various state and federal attonreys, and none of them agree with you.  Not everyone in America is a "protectionist", as you say.  So either nobody knows what's going on, or you're smarter than the lawyers.  I guess that's for you to decide.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (Wikipedia):

There is another definition of democracy, particularly in constitutional theory and in historical usages and especially when considering the works of the American "Founding Fathers." According to this usage, the word 'democracy' refers solely to direct democracy, whilst a representative democracy where representatives of the people govern in accordance with a constitution is referred to as a 'republic.' This older terminology retains some popularity in U.S. conservative and Libertarian debate.


solid7, I was also told by a Texan colleague that the only republic in the USA is Texas. Something about it's terms and conditions when it joined the union that allows it special rights and privileges unique to it amoungst the current states. I don't know if this is true. But I digress, again.

Sorry.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

While some may suggest that my use of terminology is incorrect, I'm not terribly interested in the contemporary definition, set forth by revisionists.  In addition to that, Texans are a proud people, so you can be sure that the definition was embellished to suit the narrative.  The wikipedia definition is correct, if you just take out the ideological lingo. (wikipedia isn't exactly the best source of info, as you probably know)

I don't mind your digression.  It's relevant to the discussion, as there should be some basic understanding of the tenets of American law, if one is to participate in a conversation that hinges upon it.

Thanks for your input.




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RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

A republic is simply one form of democracy.

Check out the definition given by the US State department.

http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/whatsdem/whatdm2.htm

The US meets this definition.

Once again a democracy is one where the people elect their leaders. A republican democracy is one that the US has but it is still a democracy. In a republican government the people are supreme, in say a constitutional democracy like Canada, the UK , Australia and New Zealand the supreme leader is the Crown who rules based on “advice” by the elected representatives. In practice the elected representatives exercise power in the name of the Crown.

Americans often incorrectly assume that direct democracy as the only form of democracy. In a direct democracy the people vote on each and every issue and the results are binding without any limits or the need for precedent. In a constitutional democracy the elected representatives are bound by a constitution which limits their powers.

Democracy means the people elect their leaders nothing more or less.

EddyC

I am Canadian and a P.Eng and so can call myself an engineer. I was not aware that any states limited the right to title to PE’s only.






Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I read most of these posts so the emotions were swinging back and forth rather quickly.  Maybe someone has already responded to Mr Kitson's acknowledgement that some PEngs are PEngs for "social" reasons.  I don't mind letting those PEngs drive in the US on the Canadian driver's license, but I would be disappointed to see them obtaining a PE... unless it was for "social" reasons only.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK,

Please please please please please pull direct quotes from NAFTA, in context, that shows that the US MUST do something and hasn't followed through. If you do, I will shut up and go away.

Again, here is the link to the section of NAFTA that deals with trade in professional services, including engineering:

http://www.worldtradelaw.net/nafta/chap-12.pdf

For those who have stumbled upon this amusingly long thread without reading it in its entirety:

I have refuted, by quoting NAFTA, RDK's assertions that the US is in violation of NAFTA, as it regards engineering licensure. RDK seems to believe that:

(1) NAFTA requires that the signatories recognize each other's licenses

(2) NAFTA does not allow the signatories to have different licensing standards

(3) NAFTA reqquires that signatories embark on a _successful_ effort to provide foreign engineers temporary licenses in their territory.

Before getting into what NAFTA says, notice that these points are illogical when taken as a whole. If one is true, there is not need for two or three. If so, we have some very dumb people writing our trade agreements.

If you read chapter 12, you will find that it encourages the signatories to have uniform licensing standards and to recognize each others licenses. It does not require this. Here it is, in Article 1210, Licensing and Certification:

1. With a view to ensuring that any measure adopted or maintained by a Party relating to the licensing or certification of nationals of another Party does not constitute an unnecessary barrier to trade, each Party shall endeavor to ensure that any such measure:

If it was a violation of NAFTA to require foreign engineers to get the same licenses as domestic engineers, this section would not be necessary. Ergo, it is not a violation of NAFTA.

The text continues with the list of protections that NAFTA does provide:

(a) is based on objective and transparent criteria, such as competence and the ability to provide a service;

(b) is not more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of a service; and

(c) does not constitute a disguised restriction on the cross-border provision of a service.


According to RDK, Mexico and Canada allow each other's engineers, as well as US engineers, to practice in their countries on the basis of the engineer's home license. Under NAFTA, must the US allow the same? Based on the preceding section, we already know the answer is no. But let's see what other clues NAFTA provides:

2. Where a Party recognizes, unilaterally or by agreement, education, experience, licenses or
certifications obtained in the territory of another Party or of a non-Party:


"Where" is legalese, more or less, for "If". So the US need not recognize, unilaterally or by agreement, any or all of the listed items obtained in Canada or Mexico. Based on other agreements, the US does recognize all but licenses, but NAFTA doesn't require that any party does so.

(a) nothing in Article 1203 shall be construed to require the Party to accord such recognition to education, experience, licenses or certifications obtained in the territory of another Party; and

NAFTA reiterates that a country is under no obligation to recognize these.

(b) the Party shall afford another Party an adequate opportunity to demonstrate that education, experience, licenses or certifications obtained in that other Party's territory should also be recognized or to conclude an agreement or arrangement of comparable effect.

NAFTA only requires that Canada and Mexico be allowed to make the case that these things are comparable. As previously noted, the US recognizes all but licenses.

The next section lists the real, concrete protections that NAFTA does provide. RDK and Stanier seem to think they're insignificant.

3. Each Party shall, within two years of the date of entry into force of this Agreement, eliminate any citizenship or permanent residency requirement set out in its Schedule to Annex I that it maintains for the licensing or certification of professional service providers of another Party. Where a Party does not comply with this obligation with respect to a particular sector, any other Party may, in the same sector and for such period as the non-complying Party maintains its requirement, solely have
recourse to maintaining an equivalent requirement set out in its Schedule to Annex I or reinstating:

(a) any such requirement at the federal level that it eliminated pursuant to this Article; or

(b) on notification to the non-complying Party, any such requirement at the state or provincial level existing on the date of entry into force of this Agreement.


So there can be no residency or citizenship requirement.

4. The Parties shall consult periodically with a view to determining the feasibility of removing any remaining citizenship or permanent residency requirement for the licensing or certification of each other's service providers.

5. Annex 1210.5 applies to measures adopted or maintained by a Party relating to the licensing or certification of professional service providers.


Can it be any more blazingly obvious that the US is not in violation of these provisions?

There is no emotion in what I posted above.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

SteveBraune

When I say that some people are P.Eng for ‘social’ reasons I am referring to those who do not require a license to do their job.

For example all federal government employee engineers who are registered are registered for social reasons.

In Canada the federal government can supersede the provinces and is not bound by any provincial law. Thus the provincial engineering acts do not apply to engineers working for the federal government and there is no requirement for them to be registered to do their work.

However registration is almost universal among them. Why? For what I am lumping into “social” reasons. They want the recognition of the .PEng they want to participate in the associations activities, they want to have the credential for future job prospects etc.

It takes nothing away from their professional status or capabilities, just that there is no legal reason for them to be registered and they have done so voluntarily.

Another group would be engineers working as project managers for a construction company. They would not be practicing engineering and would be doing the same work as someone up from the trades or a CET. However people eligible for P.Eng status almost always obtain and maintain that status even when their current job does not require them to do so.

I am sure that there are many PE’s who do not require the PE status but obtain it and maintain it for many similar reasons.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I have never said that requiring an engineering license violates either the spirit or letter of NAFTA.


What I have argued is that the spirit of NAFTA is to remove all barriers to trade and that one of these is that mutual recognition of thee licenses issued by another country as being the equal to the license issued by the US states is part of the spirit of NAFTA.

Read this carefully. Requiring a PE license by foreign nationals is not a violation of NAFTA. What is a violation of the spirit of NAFTA is that the foreign nationals with a substantially equal credential are treated as new entrants to the profession.

What I would like to see and have never said is required by any agreement is that my Manitoba license be recognized as all that I need to practice professional engineering in all jurisdictions of Canada, the USA and Mexico.

My driver’s license is recognizes as being all that is required to drive in all these jurisdictions but not my engineering license to practice engineering.

These other jurisdictions do not have any input or control over the standard that I met to obtain my driver license but somehow this is critical for my engineering license.

These jurisdictions have different laws regarding driving that I am supposed to know and follow but it is somehow impossible for me to know the different laws regarding engineering unless the jurisdiction issues me a license.

These jurisdictions have different environmental conditions affecting driving that I am responsible for compensating for but somehow it is impossible for me to compensate for different conditions in engineering activity unless the jurisdiction issues me a license.

If I break the traffic laws in another jurisdiction I am fined and disciplined by that jurisdiction and the record of that penalty goes on my Manitoba driving record and follows me home. Somehow that is a major issue in engineering that the other jurisdiction feels that  it can only discipline me if it gives me a license there.

Actually if I have to be treated as a new entrant to the profession to get a license in a US state all I have to do is fail to mention that I have a P.Eng and I could simply walk away from discipline in a US state and most likely be untouchable. By practicing on the strength of my Manitoba license I could be tracked home and disciplined where I live and work. I feel that that would strengthen the discipline process for engineers working outside their home jurisdiction.

If I had several licenses which were not linked to each other I could easily throw one away.

Many more people are killed by bad driving than by bad engineering.


The spirit of the NAFTA agreement is that we remove all barriers to trade. A system that requires over a year to obtain a license to practice engineering is a barrier to my selling my professional services in the US. (two exams required and they are only scheduled April and October with several months required to obtain marks)

I see no justification in these barriers other than protectionism of markets which is what NAFTA is supposed to eliminate.

Unfortunately the vast majority of the people supporting the protectionist stance fail to see that they are being harmed by their inability to work in other jurisdictions.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


Many more people are killed by bad driving than by bad engineering.

That's because:

A) There are many more drivers than engineers
B) Engineers are not the last link in the chain (whereas drivers are)
C) It's far too easy to get a driver's license

Care to continue on with this logic?

Let's also not forget - engineering defects can, and often do, cause more casualties in one fell swoop than automobile accidents.  Engineering also carries the stigma of product liability, (as well as criminal liability, in some cases) which is not the case in automobile accidents caused by bad drivers.  There are a whole myriad of legal issues associated with engineering, that are not involved in getting a driver's license.

In short, your drivers license analogy keeps coming up short on a number of fronts.  You really should drop that one.


Quote (RDK):


The spirit of the NAFTA agreement is that we remove all barriers to trade

When you can't settle a matter on fact alone, the classic tactic is to invoke intent.

As long as nobody is breaking the letter, it doesn't make 2 ounces of difference what the "spirit" is.  Law is set in stone, and not based on the warm feelings that one might get when thinking of how much good they're advancing in the world.  If the latter were true, and not the former, there would be no need to state it in writing, with signatures.

Besides that, it's all legalese, and there's no point in talking intent once a lawyer gets it.  There's what you want, and then, there's what you get.




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Check out CATBlog!

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

RDK,

You have accused the US government of fraud:

Therefore the US national government should never have entered into an agreement that they had no power or standing to enforce.

It would be like me selling your house. The sale would be fraudulent because I have no right to sell your house. The US national government had no standing to negotiate areas under US state jurisdiction.


Violating the spirit of an agreement, which I do not even believe the US has done, is not fraud.

You have a distinct modus operandi. You argue that the US has violated specific provisions. When I point out that they have not, you switch to arguing that the US has violated the spirit of the agreement. A few posts later, you revert to your earlier arguments.

Actually if I have to be treated as a new entrant to the profession to get a license in a US state

You are not treated as a new entrant. Your education, your experience, and your references are recognized by the local authorities for the purpose of becoming licensed. You need only fill out the application and take the test. You are in the same boat as a domestic engineer who hasn't taken either test, which is not unusual in the US.

The spirit of the NAFTA agreement is that we remove all barriers to trade. A system that requires over a year to obtain a license to practice engineering is a barrier to my selling my professional services in the US. (two exams required and they are only scheduled April and October with several months required to obtain marks)

I see no justification in these barriers other than protectionism of markets which is what NAFTA is supposed to eliminate.


NAFTA is supposed to do what NAFTA says. What you think about the spirit of the agreement is irrelevant. Again, as shown in my previous post, these requirements are legitimate. They apply equally to domestic and foreign engineers, are based on objective and transparent criteria (taking tests in one's area of expertise), and do not have citizenship or residency requirements.

Perhaps you think they are "more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of a service" or "constitute a disguised restriction on the cross-border provision of a service." That's a very narrow argument and tough to argue, considering US engineers are subject to the same restrictions.

We're talking about business. Business requires planning and, yes, even some expense. If you had wanted to, I'm sure you could have been licensed in all the states you please by now.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

When I Googled "NAFTA engineering licensure", our thread was the fourth hit. I think this will become one of those Eng-Tips topics that consistently ranks high on Google.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I wrote:

Perhaps you think they are "more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of a service" or "constitute a disguised restriction on the cross-border provision of a service." That's a very narrow argument and tough to argue, considering US engineers are subject to the same restrictions.

And always have been.

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I’m finished in this thread.

There ahs been no new ground covered for the past dozen or so posts. So why bother?

Restraint of trade is restraint of trade.

Barriers to entry to the market are barriers to the entry to the market.

These are what free trade agreements are supposed to remove.

If you want the last word the go ahead.

If you ant to consider that you “won” the debate then go ahead.

There is no free trade in engineering services between the US and the other countries of NAFTA. There is free trade between Canada and Mexico in this area.

The irony is that this is costing the US consumer more and they are too blind to see that protectionism costs more than it benefits.


Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I don't think that its unreasonable for RDK to qualify for licensure in the USA via free trade. Canada has a Licensing process that results in qualified professionals much like in the USA. Its true that the educational and licensure processes are different between the 2 nations, but the end result is no different. The way that someone in the USA licensed in one state obtains a license in another via comity (without taking another exam) should be extended to Canadien engineers. If other countries produce equally qualified engineering professionals (at least the UK and Germany if not others), then the comity process (without exam) should be extended to them also.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I agree.

I also don't think that its unreasonable for RDK to qualify for licensure in the USA.

I don't think NAFTA should (and it doesn't) addresses this issue. Canadian engineers can currently enter via a NAFTA enabled visa to work in the US. They, in some states, just can not call themselves an engineer without a PE.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Quote (RDK):


If you ant to consider that you “won” the debate then go ahead.

I think that's fair.  Judging by your responses, you believe that you lost, also.  Let's see what we have here:

A) No new facts
B) Restatement of the original position - as if you say the same things over and over enough times, people will start to believe it
C) Incessant references to the "spirit" and "intent" of "this and that"
D) Inability to address Rob's well thought out answers, in the same way you expect yours to be addressed

RDK - You're a proud Canadian man, and there's nothing wrong with that.  The problem for me, in particular, is that I expect you to follow the laws of my state and locality, to the same degree that I, myself have to. (I know I've said it before, but it's my theme)  I expect no less when I am in Canada.  And yes, I have been to Canada, on business, many times.  My last employer, other than myself, was a Canadian company, so I know a bit about Canadian culture and law.  We do not have the same rules and regulations, and again, that's OK.  We are sovereign nations.

What really needs to happen here, is that some time needs to pass, more people need to get involved, and the process needs to be negotiated through various boards and committees - not dragged through the mud on a forum.  Things relating to free trade will get better. (they have to)  But these are just birthing pains.  Don't be discouraged at this point.  Many trade agreements in times past never really fluorished for decades.




**************
Check out CATBlog!

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

For those of you that beleive that the state PE laws are some sort of protectionist ploy, those rules existed long before NAFTA was ever discussed.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Mr Kitson,
I understood the "social PEng" thing.  What would concern me would be the salesman or military officer that obtained a PEng and then expected to obtain a PE on the basis of a PEng.  Kinda scary to think that there could be an administrative path for a non-practicing engineer to obtain a PE.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Mr Mojito,
The comity process between states is based on both states having essentially equal requirements.  Nearly every state that I know of requires wrttien exams.  Most give an identical exam too.  Comity is extended for PEs licensed by the same process.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Steve,

Yes, I agree with you. But in the case of RDK, who is a Canadien PEng, he took his exam in Canada. I don't feel that he should have to take another exam in the USA to get his PE, since Canadien PEngs and US PEs are similar. The same would apply to other nations that produce similarly qualified engineers. Some feel otherwise, but I think that reexamination should be waived.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I was not aware that the PEng took two eight hours exams like the PEs.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Steve

The vast majority of Canadian Armed Forces military engineers in the officer level are degreed engineers. They work in traditional engineering professions such as construction, operation and maintenance of facilities and infrastructure.

They design and erect temporary facilities such as military operational camps complete with sewage and water treatment systems, they design and build bridges, they design controlled demolition of structures etc.

The best demolition engineer I have ever worked with got started as a military engineer. He designed a demolition charge that split a 200 mm thick concrete wall into a 100 mm wall and a pile of rubble.

Make no mistake they are engineers in every sense of the word and you would deny them professional status simply because they are not legally required to be registered?

Professional engineers as salesmen also still have to be engineers first. They incorporate their products into the final design. They are no different professionally than a senior consultant who spends his time on business development. To even use the term sales engineer in Canada they FIRST have to earn the P.Eng designation. Most of them do it is the same way that everyone else does it, working in a traditional engineering work place before moving into sales.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Mr Kitson,

Good to see that you decided to come back.

I would deny no engineer the priviledge of becoming a PE.  We have a few rules to follow.  The rules require a certian level of education and experience.  Those being met, the engineer is invited to write an exam.  It's not exclusive, protectionist or discriminatory.  All are invited.  I did it as have lots of others.

While in Australia, I applied for chartered status.  The only problem I encountered was that I could not produce the original of my college diploma for my BSE degree.  It was buried deep in storage back in the US and was unobtainable at that time.  I didn't feel bad toward that fine group of Australain engineers in any way that I was unable to complete the process.  I would have followed thru on it had I stayed there for a longer period.

Point is, it's just a process to go thru.  An engineer that meets the basic requirements can make it thru the system.  I know several engineers that had to go to Chicago from other states for a interview (for an IL PE).  The did it.  It was the rule in effect at that time.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but it does not seem unreasonable to meet the minimum requirements of an organization in order to be admitted.  Some in this forum have mentioned an analogy to a driver's license.  That's so far off the mark, I'm not sure I could even respond.

Regarding the fine Canadian military engineers, I would be proud to have them granted a PE under the same rules that I followed.  With regards to the Canadian sales engineer, he too is invited to submit himself to the same process that I have.  My club is not exclusive.  All qualified candidates are invited to apply.

By the way, I encounter a bunch of Canadian NDE technicians that routinely travel to the Gulf Coast region to work at refineries and chem plants during outages.  No problem, just come on down.  Yet when I have tried to send inspectors to Canada for similar work they are prevented from doing so unless HUGE amounts of paperwork are provided.  Applications are often turned down too.  Looks like it goes both ways.  I have concluded that we are essentially shut out of the Canadian market, unless there is some other compelling reason.

Whenever I travel to Canada for work purposes, I have to pay $150CD.  I'm allowed in, but there is an admission fee.  I just pay it every time. It's apparently one of the rules.  

Wow, this NAFTA thing really has created some hard feelings.  That's too bad.  I wish it wasn't so.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I’m not addressing the main issue and NAFTA since there is no new information or positions placed here.

I simply came back to this thread to clarify the comments about the ‘social’ registration not being true professional engineers.

They are simply people who are not legally obliged to be professionally registered and have chosen to do so for a wide variety of reasons that I called ‘social’.

There are no doubt many PE’s in jobs that do not require registration and they have chosen to be registered due to ‘social’ reasons. These reasons are to participate in the profession, future job prospects, social status as a professional etc.

This includes any registered engineer working for either federal government or a member of either country’s military.

I spent the first 15 years of my career working for the federal government and was registered for these social reasons. The only thing I did with my stamp during this time was act as a guarantor of passport applications. I was still doing engineering work.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Let me ask a basic question here about how a PEng becomes a PE.  How is the process the same or different?

Recently, a PE applied for a PEng.  He submitted an application, took an exam (nature and scope unknown to me) and is now a PEng too.  

How does it work in the other direction?

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The exam is the professional practice exam.

It differs significantly from the FE/PE exams in that it is available any time and simply consists of a series of questions on the profession in general. It only requires you to read the local provincial act and code of ethics and answer questions based on that act which you have in front of you. In many associations it is a take home exam.

The purpose of the exam is to force you to read the provincial act and code of ethics and nothing else. The pass rate is virtually 100% on the first try.

When I took it the questions were also in the same order as the applicable sections of the act. Question 1 dealt with clause 1 question 2 dealt with clause 2 etc and they were simple factual questions. (i,e, What month is the annual general meeting held?)


Many states have similar additional requirements designed to make you familiar with the local act and regulations.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

I took the Ontario professional practice exam in the 80's.

It was a come to this building exam (not take home), and consisted of 2 tests - one on law, and one on ethics (hence we call it the law and ethics exam). It was not technical.

The exam is timed (if memory serves, 2 hours).

They mailed you your pass/fail notice about 2 months later even though it was a computer card (multiple choice).

I realise this is now a new millenia - Rick probably has more up to date information.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Thank you for the concise info about PEng exams Mr Kitson and Ashereng.That does not seem much different from the Chartered status used in Australia, if memory serves me after 20+ years. At this point I would guess that most PEngs would be faced with writting the state PE exams in order to be licensed in their state.  Do you think that PEngs do not feel that they should have to write the state-based PE exam because of the NAFTA agreement provisions or because they are already PEngs in Canada?

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Steve Braune wrote, "Do you think that PEngs do not feel that they should have to write the state-based PE exam because of the NAFTA agreement provisions or because they are already PEngs in Canada?"

Given the subject, it's important to note that the basic PE exam for each discipline is the same in every US state. It's administered by the same organization, on the same dates. Some states require additional testing. For example, I believe the California strcutrual engineering exam includes supplemental questions related to seismic activity.

Rob

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Steve,

I did not state an opinion on whether a P.Eng should or should not have to write the state PE exams because of "put reason here".

I shared my personal expereinces on the matters of:
- NAFTA doesn't really address licensing of PE/P.Eng
- I don't have an Illinois PE, yet was able to to obtain a work visa to work as an engineer in Illinois
- there are 2 ways to obtain a P.Eng. in Canada

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

you are completely wrong. i work in canada and i see
work from engineers and designers offshore and it is hopelessly useless. Local idiosyncracies Ways and means , corporately , natinoally, even locally by whats understood and available are
huge issues everywhere and represent enormous waste and rework if not understood.

I work globally also and its the sme everywhere. Every compnay i work for, even 50 miles away , wants you right there, in their hands.

communication breakdown is costly and remote working is not realistic in the engineering business , except for a few things.Specialty FEA is a common one but even then the output is generally accepted with blind faith, something not likely to continue and already isnt. Even those guys want you in their "shop"

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Mr kitson wrote
"if you are a professional engineer in Canada (with sufficient experience) all you should have to do is apply to any US state and you should be issued a license."

wrong.. it doesnt happen except in states with the most lax rules , and those licenses are essentially worthless

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

alcap,

Have you identified any states that would issue a PE to a PEng on the basis of comity?  Thanks.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

alcap,

Can you clarify who is completely wrong?

Secondly, I would also be interested too in knowing the name of the state that issues a PE to a P.Eng on the basis of comity? To my knowledge, only Texas used to, and I have been told by a posting above that that has since ended.

Thanks,

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The NCEES records program is about the closest thing to uniform licensure in the US. Check it out if you think you'd be interested in becoming licensed in multiple states:

http://www.ncees.org/records/establishing_a_record/

Most states will allow you to practice within their borders for a brief period of time each year, on the basis of another state's license. The rules in each state are differnt, however. This is the place to start learning about them:

http://ppi2pass.com/ppi/PPIInfo_pg_allboards.html

Rob Campbell, PE
Finite Monkeys - www.livejournal.com/users/robcampbell

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

This is great!  Best most amusing thread I have ever read.

Context for me I am a Canadian EIT.  All is said and done basically just waiting for my papers to finalise my PEng.  I reside in Texas working on a NAFTA TN visa.  I went for my PEng via route 2 mentioned above.  It was because Canada does not have any form of basic Degree other than BS (acronym for a reason).  I have 3 years of specialized college courses and I wrote 12 3 hour academic exams, not multiple choice, I would not waste my time with the PE/FE exams.  My Professional Practice exam was not take home, apparently unlike Manitoba.  I also work under industry exemptions in Canada and the US.

Anyway while I was writing my Professional Practice exam at the Texas Board office, I inquired about comity.  Even with my Canadian PEng I will not be allowed to write the PE/FE exam in Texas because I do not have a BS.  Now that's BS period.

I was writing at the Texas Board since there was no PE that I could find willing to invigilate.  No one gets one because they don't need it.  There's enhanced Professionalism if I have ever seen it.

As I said in my other post.  I feel the system is a mess on both sides, and this does not enhance public safety in any way.  Nor does it advance our Profession.  I have always supported licensure for everyone practicing Engineering or Technology.  Yet I continually see petty squabling about why "this system or license" is better.

If I can prove my background in an equivalent jurisdiction and am cognizent of code or design requirements locally, note not acedemic but code(!), then why is your PE better than mine?

That's all from me.

Thanks for the venue.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

planedr,
I haven't read all of the numerous posts here, but I don't think anyone claimed the PE was better than a PEng.  The systems are just different, so the comity issue is not resolved.  As far as the requirement for a BS, that's pretty uniform among most if not all of the PE Boards.  I'm not very familiar with the Canadian engineering education system, but is it possible to obtain a PEng without having first obtained a BS?

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Yes Steve, it is possible. There are 2 ways to get a PEng/ing in Canada:

The traditional way:
- graduate from an accredited university with a BACHELOR's degree in engineering (it HAS to be a bachelors, a masters or phd doesn't count)
- work the required number of years to get experience (I believe it is now 4 years)
- write and pass the "law and ethics" (some people call it the "professional practice exam")

The second way is for people who do not meet the above way.
- write and pass all the technical exams for your discipline.

I know of foreign educated engineers, as well as non engineering undergrad degree people (they have a masters in engineering, but undergrad in something else, like applied math), who have written and passed these exams. They are not hard, but are challenging.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

The exams were nasty but I am a far better Engineer than a BS Grad who hasn't opened a book since the day he walked out the door of the Hallowed halls.  For what I do I was probably better than a BS grad, better than any i have had to train to date anyway.  That is because I had a specialized course in what I do.  No I would not go to University to save myself the trouble of the exams.  It did not then nor would it now get me the education I wanted.  Unfortunately the course I took was discontinued after 60+ years, so today I don't know what I'd do.

I always felt that to get a PE anywhere in North America it would be respected by other jurisdictions.  Over the years of my career I am seeing, cynical it may be, that the Societies are more interested in protecting their turf or their club than in advancing Engineering.  I saw that between the Engineering and Technologist Societies in Canada, and I see it among the various State bodies.

To me it is a shame that no one gets a PE unless it is necesary, and that the Societies don't seem to care about leveling the field amongst themselves.  It seems a shame that no one, okay very few, has a PE in the US.  Not that I blame them given the lack of transportability.  There is no common voice to us as a group and there is no enhancement of the Profession.  Granted the Canucks can be a little overboard, especially in some Provinces.  It just seems to be a disservice to the profession is all.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

palnedr,
To what Societies are you referring in your last post?  NSPE is the only society for PEs in the US.  Also, there are a bunch of PEs out there, not just a few.  Regarding transportability of the PE, I have been able to obtain a PE in any state to which I applied on the basis of comity.  NCEES works hard at this issue.  Perhaps I misunderstood your last post?

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Steve,
Terminology hang up here sorry.  I mean "Society" as the official licensing group.  In Canada it is the "Association" in the US I guess it is the "Board".

I work in Aerospace, in Canada a very large number of Engineers in Aerospace carry a PEng all for various reasons.  In the Aerospace in the US I have met 1 PE that was not military.  I know a huge number of FAA DER, AR's not 1 I know carries a PE.  They all have Degrees and all from "good" Universities.  The people in Canada I know with exception of 3 or 4 in Canada all carry PEng.
  
My perspective may be narrow, by no means have I been exposed to the entire industry.  But I just do not see the visibility of the PE here.  Several gents I know outside Aerospace have not bothered with their PE because there is no need or no benefit.

Obviously in your particular speciality a PE is necesary.  I see your company lists 7 PE's one is an SE as well.  There are 35 "Engineers" in the company I work at, 10 of them, not counting me cause I'm not right, are eligible for a PE with out me even asking any of the rest.  I'm the only who will have one, and Texas won't recognize it.

It's just relative.  Based on your experience Steve everyone, or the majority, has a PE and comity is not an issue.  My experience has been different.

I would just like to see better transportability for everyone amongst all jurisdictions.  I would also like to see more people licensed, I feel it improves us as a Profession and allows for input back up the Legaslative chain.

Al CET, EIT

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

planedr,
Thanks for additional comments.  Here in US, most consulting engineers have a PE as it's required if one offers services to public.  Prior to entering private practice I was employed by a steel tank fabrication firm.  Perhaps only about about 20% of the engineers on staff were licensed, but that was back in 1970s thru mid 1980s.  Today I think it would be much higher.
Regarding Societies (or whatever we call them) working together for some cosmic good of us engineers, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to get all cozy with each other. I doubt that the PE Board in Virginia will work very hard to establish comity with Canadian Associations as there is hardly a ground swell of need for that to happen.  And vice-versa.  Afterall, the Societies are us and if we aren't pushing for it who will?  Don't expect a bureaucrat to do anything original.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Most engineers in the USA are not consultants and therefore aren't required to have a PE. And, many of the PEs in the USA have licenses only as a credential. From a purely legal perspective, probable only 10% of USA engineers need to be licensed, rather than the 22% who are.

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

MrMojito,
Unfortunately you are probably right about the low % of US engineers that are PE.  I wish it was higher.  Those that have consider it far more than just a credential.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

(OP)
SteveBraune,

When you say offer services to the "public" do you mean the punter in the street or offer services publicly to any thrid party? Thus if you operate a consultancy to a registered company or corporation you wouldnt need to be a PE?

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Offering services to the public generally means any entity at arm’s length. Thus if you are selling engineering services to any party in any manner other than an employer/employee relationship then you are selling engineering services to the public,.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

Mr Kitson said it best.

Steve Braune
Tank Industry Consultants
www.tankindustry.com

RE: Practising Engineering in USA States

It strikes me as odd that a couple of individuals that hold such a dim view of all things American, would be so incredibly
determined to do business with us.

Americans haven't yet, and probably (hopefully) never will allow other nations to define it.



JTMcC.

www.firstratefabricators.com

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Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

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