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Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

Is there any value in joining NSPE or ASME for myself when starting a consulting business, such as better rates on various insurances, seminars, etc.?

Business would be mechanical engineering and machinery design field. I am already a PE.

RE: Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

I would think that membership should get you discounts to various seminars and insurance and all that. The better question is whether NSPE or ASME better than another organisation?

What kind of insurance are you looking for? If it is auto (personal), medical and that type, maybe take a look around (AARP anyone?). If it is professional, liability or negligence, maybe take a look at your state engineering association?

In any case, ASME membership gives you discounts to ASME publications, which may be a good thing since you are in the mechanical engineering field.

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RE: Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

I was a member of SME & ASME during my freelance period.  What I found:

(1)  Insurance costs weren't really any better through the professional Socieities than anywhere else.  It's been a few years, but I doubt that situation has changed much.

(2)  Attending meetings (and being in leadership positions) for networking didn't really help much either.  I discovered that there was a core group of burnouts and hangers-on in each Society that attended all the meetings and/or did all the work.  The Societies were stale, had little of substance to offer, and did not attract a high caliber of attendee.  All of the potential clients that I was seeking for my consulting businesss were out making money and never attended any meetings.


RE: Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

I have to say I agree with everything you said.  The core of the societies are truly a bunch of folks whose companies felt they could do without but didn't want to fire.

Having said that, I belong to ASME, SPE, NACE, and NSPE and am in a leadership position at SPE.  Why, you might ask?  I'm active in all these organizations for two reasons:  (1)  the meetings satisfy my PDH hours; and (2) I work by myself and the meetings allow me human interactions with other engineers.  I looked into the insurance and it just wasn't as good as I could shop on my own.


RE: Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

What do you mean by their "companies felt they could do without"? Are you talking about general members who attend meetings? Or are you referring to those on the societies' payrolls? I'm not quite following you there.


RE: Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

Every big company I know has people who attend society meetings regularly, participate in committees, and recruit internal involvement.  These people usually don't present papers for the societies.  They all have jobs that can tollerate their extended and frequent absences at industry meetings.  In other words they usually have make-work jobs that just don't matter if the incumbent is there or not and usually when the person retires they don't refill the slot.

There are exceptions.  I had a boss once that spent a lot of time involved with the SPE.  She was definatly not a place holder in the organization, she made a real contribution when she was there.  Eventually she had to decide if she wanted to stay active with the SPE or keep her job; she decided to move into a different job that didn't have the time pressures of line supervision.  After moving she had all the time she needed to do SPE stuff and her day job didn't mind if she spent weeks on end organizing meetings for the SPE.

The paid staffs of the various societies tend to be pretty effective individuals just doing a job.


RE: Any value in NSPE or ASME for new business

Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

Most of the guys I see involved in the LES (Louisiana Engineering Society, the LA chapter of NSPE) are young and presumably contributors to their day jobs.

There may be one or two of the type you describe (although I don't really know anything about their day jobs, just speculation), but I see a good mix.


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