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BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)
8

BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

(OP)
What does everyone think about the upcoming requirement to have a BS Eng degree + 30 credit hours in order to sit for the PE exam?  As a new PE (passed last April), I don't have a strong opinion on the subject.  It seems like a pretty big change.
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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

What state?

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I heard that the model law has changed by NCEES, but that no states have followed it yet by passing statutes requiring additional schooling beyond a BS + 4yrs experience.

I'm with TheTick, what state requires this?  And what does that mean for commity?

--Scott

http://wertel.eng.pro

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

30 credit hours is only about 1 additional year in grad school at 9 to 10 hours per quarter.  Interesting as I took two extra years but never received my masters in engineering due to military commitments.  

For me, this requirement would be no problem, but the ramifications for many others are interesting to say the least. Seems like extra "time in grade" so to speak above the four years experience would, or should suffice for the older ones of us.  But, who am I to say.  

Extra information on the particulars would be nice.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

(OP)
No state requires it yet.  But this was in the recent meeting minutes of the local(WV) PE board:

"The 2007 NCEES Annual Meeting was held August 21-26, 2007 in Philadelphia, PA. The Bachelor of Science plus 30 additional semester hours (BS + 30) requirement for licensure was discussed extensively. A motion to rescind the requirement failed to pass by a larger margin than it passed by at the 2006 NCEES Meeting. This indicates growing support for the measure. Details of what will be required in the additional 30 hours are still being developed."

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

2
Sounds like to me this is some groups way of stroking their egos. This is why I disassociated myself with NSPE a long time ago. They are not trying to better the profession but really hurting it by turning it into an exclusive country club type of mentality.

Why is my handle 65Roses?
Please visit http://www.cff.org/aboutCFFoundation/About65Roses/ to learn why!

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The requirement was added to the model law in 2006 and as it is currently worded will go into effect in 2015.  The new language for the model law can be found on page 13 of the NCEES Newsletter  http://www.ncees.org/licensure/licensure_exchange/le_2006_04.pdf

Quote:

Licensure by Examination (Effective January 1, 2015)
The following individuals shall be admitted to an 8-hour
written examination in the principles and practice of
engineering:
(1) An engineer intern with a bachelor’s degree, with an
additional 30 credits of acceptable upper-level undergraduate
or graduate-level coursework from approved
course providers, and with a specific record of an
additional 4 years or more of progressive experience
on engineering projects of a grade and a character
which indicate to the board that the applicant may be
competent to practice engineering.
(2) An engineer intern with a master’s degree in engineering
from an institution that offers EAC/ABETaccredited
programs, or the equivalent, and with a
specific record of an additional 3 years or more of
progressive experience on engineering projects of
a grade and a character which indicate to the board
that the applicant may be competent to practice
engineering.
(3) An engineer intern with a doctorate in engineering
acceptable to the board and with a specific record of
an additional 2 years or more of progressive experience
on engineering projects of a grade and a character
which indicate to the board that the applicant may be
competent to practice engineering.
(4) An individual with a doctorate in engineering acceptable
to the board and with a specific record of an
additional 4 years or more of progressive experience
on engineering projects of a grade and a character
which indicate to the board that the applicant may be
competent to practice engineering.

The April, 2007 newsletter has some clarification language http://www.ncees.org/licensure/licensure_exchange/le_2007_04.pdf

Quote:

A. The term “acceptable upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level coursework” used
in Section 130.10 C.1.c of the Model Law is interpreted to mean the following:
1. In technical topic areas, acceptable coursework shall be
a. A combination of upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level courses or
all graduate-level courses in engineering, sciences, or mathematics at institutions
that have a program or programs accredited by EAC/ABET; and/or
b. Such courses that are equivalent in intellectual rigor and learning assessment
to upper-level undergraduate and/or graduate-level courses offered at institutions
that have a program or programs accredited by EAC/ABET.
2. In professional practice topic areas, acceptable coursework shall be courses
related to skills directly relevant to the individual’s practice, including but not
limited to the following: communications, contract law, economics, engineering
management, ethics, finance, institutional management, physical asset management,
project management, public policy, and quality management. Such courses
shall be equivalent in intellectual rigor and learning assessment to upper-level
undergraduate and/or graduate courses offered at institutions that have a
program or programs accredited by EAC/ABET.
B. At least 20 of the 30 credits shall consist of coursework as defined in 230.15 A.1
above. At least 10 credits of the coursework in the technical topic area shall be
graduate-level coursework.
C. The term “approved course provider” used in Section 130.10 C.1.c in the Model Law
is interpreted to mean an institution or organization that offers courses meeting the
definitions of acceptable coursework in Section 230.15 A.1 and/or Section 230.15
A.2 as defined above. Such institutions shall offer EAC/ABET-accredited programs.
Such organizations shall offer courses accredited by an alternative NCEES-approved
accrediting body.
D. The term “credit” as used above is defined as 1 semester hour or its equivalent.

On page 6 of the December, 2007 NCEES Newsletter http://www.ncees.org/licensure/licensure_exchange/le_2007_12.pdf there is some information about the Bachelors +30 Task Force.

A couple of the other newsletters talk about the declining performance of engineering schools (both decreasing the number of hours required for a BS and increasing the non-technical courses required), and instead of a campaign to fix the system they want to make post-BS education mandatory.  It is kind of like PDH on steroids.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I thinking passing the FE exam to become a registered EIT (Engineer In Training) and getting engineering experience under supervision of a PE is enough to sit for the PE exam.

Maybe you could add a continuing education requirement to the EIT license, where you could get your hours lots of different ways.

It doesn't matter to me personally, because I have a master's degree.  But I don't think a candidate needs graduate level classes to be a PE.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Wouldn't the gap between what one should ideally know and what one had time for in a 4-year program (presumably what this requirement is supposed to make up for) vary quite a bit from discipline to discipline (or subdiscipline)?

And if they're going to go this route, why not go (back) to 5-year undergrad programs?

Hg

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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Some people like to equate book learning with actual work experience and learning in the field. They seem to think that those with Masters and PHD's are better engineers than us old guys.

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.
WWW.amlinereast.com

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

If you read through the NCEES newsletters, the people who are active in NCEES feel that an Engineering undergraduate degree has become inadequate and rather than pushing ABET to start setting standards that require a "return to adequacy" they are proposing that the tiny subset of the population that gets PE's get more education to compensate.

What scares me is that the vast majority of engineers never take the PE exam so is NCEES really just accepting that most engineers will be inadequately educated according to what NCEES considers to be objective standards?  This is a very scary direction for the industry to take.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

(OP)
Could this be their thinking?

"What would raise my pay as a PE? I've got it...  decrease supply of PEs to increase demand.  We could make it harder, more time consuming and more expensive if we require 30 extra credit hrs to sit for the exam.  That should deter some folk from even considering taking the test."

I work in an industrial factory, so having a PE didn't help me out much.  However, since I qualified to take the exam, I took it anyway(passed on 1st attempt).  If I would have beeen required to have 30 more credit hrs, I don't think I would have even considered it.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

That sounds like the "conspiracy theory of engineering policies".  You really should go to the NCESS web site and search on this topic.  The articles are so self-important and self-serving that you get a good insight into a really sick process.  

One guy filled two pages with his reminiscences of starting engineering school (I think he said in the '50s) and the dean doing the old chestnut of "look at the guy on your right ... only one of you will be here at the end".  Then he went on to say that "in his day" you needed 145 hours to get a BS and no more than 20 of the hours could be from outside of engineering (I guess math, Chemistry, and Physics were in the engineering departments back then) and now it is less than 120 total hours and 45 of those must be outside of engineering.  His conclusion was that new graduates today are simply unprepared to assume the prestigious mantel of "PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER".  It was truly garbage, but he sure sounded sincere.

Anyone who is outraged over this (I have both my PE and MS so it doesn't affect my life) should get involved with NCEES.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

2
I don't know any undergrad engineering degree that reuires less than 120.  Mine was 132 and most are right in that range.  That is only 4 classes different than 145.
As zdas points out, some of what is considered outside of engineering today was apparently not back then (or else there is no way to have only 15 credits outside of engineering.  Just calc I & II, matrices, diff. eq. would suck up that 15 and leave no space for chem, physics (and let's not forget the dreaded humanities and english classes.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Pretty bizarre.  What does it say about ABET that an ABET-accredited engineering degree doesn't satisfy the educational requirements for a PE?

=====================================
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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I think it's the wrong approach.  If "they" feel the extra education is necessary, it should be included in the BS programs, not required beyond that.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

A P.E means you are competent to practice engineering. I think a masters is great, as well as a PhD. But neither are needed to be a competent engineer. Most of the problems that surface in design are really boneheaded mistakes. It is rarely if ever beccuase of some small technical mistake. The biggest problem is that engineers are more and more dependent on codes and software because the billing system does not allow them to spend time reflecting on their work or getting involved in the construction. More education will not fix the problem. I propose that an apprentice program be developed for the 4 yearsthat allows the canidate a little variety of exposure to different aspects of the work

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Preaching to the choir DRC1.  Make those points to NCEES.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

ASCE made a big push for this, they say because undergraduate degree’s have less engineering hours then they use too.  Reality is that Grad school enrollment has dropped this will require students to go to Grad School ($$$’s for Colleges) and do research for a thesis paper ($$$’s for Colleges).  ASCE pushed for this since Civil Engineering graduates have the highest percentage PE’s.  As we all know the majority of higher ranked and active ASCE members are Professors.  Great time to get a PhD and start teaching, enrollment will soon spike in grad school.  

If the goal is to require more engineering classes then have ABET increase their required amount of hours.  Or have schools reduce general education hours that only exist to fund programs that do not have enough students to survive on their own.  

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

So, this came out about 5 years ago. I admit, I didn't like it but didn't think much of it, assuming this would kick around for a little bit and die an unnoticed death. Guess I was wrong. So - How and where do we voice an opinion ain an effective and meaniful way?

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I have been following this issue for several years and find it unsettling.  It smacks of favoritism to those with additional education as opposed to those with experience.  Did you know that embedded in the new model law (but hushed up) is an exemption for engineering PhDs from the FE exam!  Why do PhDs need an exemption from an exam covering the basics of engineering?!

Also, what will become of the bachelor in engineering?   Will this be phased out in the long run and become a "pre-engineering" degree like the "pre-med" degree.   NCEES appears to have washed their hands of ABET.  Clearly, the NCEES does not believe that the undergraduate degree is sufficient to practice engineering.   Maybe this is a good thing in the long run.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

(OP)
Does anyone know how switchovers will take place?  If it's all at once, seems like there would be a period of time(2yrs) when no one is taking the PE exam.  Also seems that there would be a rush of folks trying to pass before the change goes into effect.  Will current PEs be grandfathered in?

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The "grandfathering" is also worrisome.   I am confident that the PEs will be grandfathered in the states where they are already registered.  Getting a PE in a different state may be difficult if that state adopts the new education requirements.
So it might be a good idea to go ahead a get registered in all the states you expect to practice.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I don't doubt that today's engineers need more knowledge than ever before. But it should be the responsibility of the schools to provide proper curriculums and the employers to provide proper mentoring. The NCEES position puts the entire burden upon the "little guy". The NCEES position will be a failure in the end since approximately 90% of engineering jobs do not require someone to have a PE.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I'm going to go in a different direction here. I agree that some people sitting for the PE are not really prepared to practice as professional engineers. But rather than forcing more formal education maybe we should have a more formal EIT period. I've seen folks come out of school and do cad work for their first few years. Then they buy a bunch of study books and start working problems right before the test. The PEs are too busy to take the time to teach the EITs. Maybe ASCE should put their effort into developing a program that would help employers train EITs in a more standard and methodical way. Perhaps a standard guide would help PEs realize what they need to pass on, and it would give EITs something to request from their PEs.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I have learnt probably 10 times as much on the job than I have at university.

I have met a number of masters degree people who had no common sense at all and were actually poor engineers.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Great point csd72! At one of my previous jobs, my boss had over half of the company's patents (30+ alone)and he was just a BSEE. That company had many MSEE and PhDs also. My boss was the one they went to ask questions of - so a MSEE or PhD doesn't necessarily make you a professional engineer.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

NCEES is pushing all the states to implement this requirement at the same time, that is why it is 1/1/2015 to give NCEES 8 years to lobby the change.  No state is obligated to implement all or even part of the NCEES Model Law, but an increasing number have implemented it, some intact and some with local mods.

The people at NCEES perceive a failure in the education provided by ABET-accredited engineering schools.  They also think that adding 30 hours of post BS will "fix" this.  I disagree, but I didn't participate in the committee work that led to the change in the Model Law.  Reading through the NCEES newsletters (that any of us could have looked at over the last few years), the opinions in this thread might have been influential, but they weren't heard.

I think rbcoulter has the "grandfathering" issue right--existing registrations will almost certainly be grandfathered (possibly with some changes in the PDH rules), but it might be really hard for a grandfathered PE to get reciprocity into another state.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

This may cause some hardship for relocating engineers who are not at a point in life to go back to school for another year.
There will even be cases of engineers who were "model law" under the old standard who may not be able to register in the state they are relocating.  For example, Florida tends to adopt the model law so I would expect them to be one of the first to implement it.  Now, let's say you are a practicing engineer in New York and retiring to Florida.   Even with an ABET accredited engineering degree, passing both FE and PE exams, and experience out the ying yang you would not be allowed to practice in Florida (if they adopt the new model law).   It seems to me that they ought to "grandfather" model law status to prevent this.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I am starting to wonder why I am going after my PE....if there are so many political forces behind it.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Fortunately my states of licensure have not adopted the model law and the boards has not recommended that the model law be adopted.  If your state is contemplating this new rule, write to the board and the state legislature members telling them your opinion and the fact that this will cause you to practice elsewhere and rescind your local license.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I can see a class action suit coming on if they dont adequately allow for grandfathering.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Yike I took neither the EIT or PE exams for my PE.  I had to have 136 hours to graduate from a school where the free electives were astrophysics or a 300 level course in an engineering department different than yours (I'm a ChemE with surveying experience towards a PS?).  I'll join any class action to have them take away my PE.

I think most here will agree that balancing a molarity equation doesn't make an competant engineer, its the ability to understand when and where you need to balance the equation.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Somewhere on these forums is a thread about working engineers not involved in management of engineering associations.  This is a fine example.  The main purpose of the new model law was to make it easier for existing engineering PhDs to get their PE licenses and thwarting licensure of others.  Again, I ask the question, why does an engineering PhD need an exemption from the Fundamentals of Engineering exam?  I took both the FE and PE exams at age 41 and passed both on the first try with no problem.  I have always worked in industry and never worked in academia, and this was 20 years after college.   

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Seems pretty ridiculous to me.  With the number of articles I keep seeing about the lack of engineering graduates - and then an institution that sets the standards for qualifiying to take the P.E. ups the requirements?  

What is the incentive for college students to enroll in engineering?

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The incentive?  They like it.  Most architecture programs are 5-year programs; if you get a 4-year "pre-professional" degree instead, you have to supplement it with a master's if you want to be licensed as an architect.  Sounds familiar.

Hg

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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Yep, without the credential you don't get to drive the train.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

You know, a lot of the perceived deficiencies could be addressed if you weren't required to take classes from 4 disciplines for a CE degree.  If you could take all of the technical classes from your are of interest, you would have close to an additional 30 credit hours in that particular area.  
There is no need for a structural guy to take waste water management

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

My son is a senior studying geomatics and when he graduates, he will have like 20 hours less credits than I did (same school).  I am in favor of professional degrees (like architects) or master's.  The kids today are just not getting enough classroom work.

Don Phillips
http://worthingtonengineering.com

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Don--have you checked the number of hours he would have if he'd chosen the same major you did?

Hg

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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

HgTX, Even so, you can't compare engineering credits with other less intense majors.
For example, I took fluids as at 3 credit hrs with a 4 hr long lab season and was very happy with my C+

Then I took intro to architecture for 4 credit hrs, 3 other engineering friends of mine sat in the back and did our homework for heat transfer or read the newspaper… and ace’d the class.

The quality of education is very relative, and my hardest professor always said... their are people that make it through the system, but you can only fool so many people, especially when there is money involved. If you’re honest and work hard, the cream always rises to the top.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The intent here was to do something about the falling standards in engineering education which I agree has happened particularly in regards to fewer technical courses mandated.

The problem is the proposed solution.  By stating that minimum education requirements is ABET BS + 30 implies that ALL those who have only ABET BS may not be eligible to get an engineering license regardless of what tests they have passed & experience they already have.   If the problem is the ABET engineering program going deficient at some point (say between 1950 and 2012), why not define that as the cutoff point?  For example, say that all engineering ABET degrees after 2010 will need the additional 30 to apply for an engineering license.  Or why not correct this through ABET?   Also, graduate engineering school, historically, emphasizes engineering research as opposed to engineering practice so it doesn't seem like the appropriate remedy to me.

It seems as those the bulk of potential engineering license applicants are getting punished because of weakening ABET standards (which practicing engineers do not control) in recent years.  Is that fair?

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

It is really the ABET's fault? Or is it the market pressing the engineering programs to incorporate more non-engineering related class work?  Obviously if there is a greater demand for people with a generic engineering back ground, then there is a need for the strong mathematical/computational engineering ability, the Universities are going to produce more generic engineers.  As annoying as the saying is, this is capitalism.

I had to take a class on the sociology of small groups as it pertained to engineering, because the feed back from “the field and big companies” was that too many engineers where not good in social situations.  The professor complained how stupid the course was because it was obviously taking away from “engineering”.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I agree with the professor.   

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Hg,

The incentive of "liking it" has not been working if you look at the number of graduates coming out versus the number firms looking to hire.  

So now we are going to tell a prospective engineering student that in order to sit for your P.E. exam a B.S. degree isn't worth a thing?  Only a stepping stone?  Give me a break.

By forcing people to basically have a masters degree to get a Stamp you will drain the pool of prospective engineers even further.

The board is absolutely wrong on this one.  A B.S. degree from an ABET acredited school plus the 4 years of experience is fine.  A degree is only a learning permit - it's the experience you get on the job that makes you an engineer.

I guess I'm a bit biased on this as I "ONLY" have a B.S. degree but seem to be doing just fine after over 13 years of experience.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

If there's already a shortage, then there's already a problem that has nothing to do with too many academic requirements.  If you pay enough, no shortage.  (Coincidentally, I just read an article this afternoon about how Hyundai (I think it was Hyundai) has no problems finding welders despite the welder shortage because "we pay a lot".)  If pay isn't the problem, then find that problem and address it.  If the problem is addressed well enough, an extra year of school won't be that much of a deterrent.

Not that I'm saying the extra year of school is the best solution, just that it's not all that bad.

Hg

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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

HgTX-

I think you say that "an extra year of school won't be that much of a deterrent" as if only kids going to college right out of high school should be afforded the opportunity.
There are plenty of engineers (myself included) who had to work their way through college while supporting a family.
I can say very confidently that an extra year (2-3 years when going part time) would have been a huge deterrent.
Maybe to the profession as a whole (for kids coming right out of high school) it wouldn't be much of a deterrent, but you would be alienating a huge pool of potential candidates.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

My son's geomatics engineering degree is not exactly the same as my civil, but he took many of the same classes.  He is taking surverying and geography classes instead of dynamics, concrete, steel, etc.  I think the difference was the extra classes beyond the basic list is no longer required.  I'll have to look up the structrual curriculum to do a comparision.

Don Phillips
http://worthingtonengineering.com

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I applied to the licensing board in New York State to sit for the FE and PE exams in 2004 at the age of 40. I was informed that my Physics and Mathematics BS degrees were only worth 1 credit toward the 12 credits that I needed to have in order to qualify for the PE exam. The board representative made it clear that my MS degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Sciences, which was earned from an ABET accredited engineering college at a major US University, was worth nothing toward qualifying me to sit for these exams, but a BS degree from the same program was worth 8 credits. They also informed me that my Ph.D. in Materials Science, which was earned in the same engineering college, was worth nothing. My work experience is what qualified me to sit for these exams.

The new NCEES rules that have been discussed here are inconsistent with the perspective expressed by the state agency I had to deal with. It appears that if these new rules are adopted by the states then engineers will have to take steps toward earning an advanced degree such as a Master's degree in the future if they expect to be allowed to earn their PE. My own experience in going through this process makes it very clear to me that the state board in New York considers advanced education in engineering to be essentially worthless.

Maui

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Maui--that situation comes down to ABET accreditation pure and simple, not so much how good they think your education is.  For reasons I will never comprehend, ABET allows accreditation of either undergraduate or graduate program but not both, and most schools choose to have their undergrad program accredited.  Since accreditation is the be-all and end-all of what counts toward your license, they will value the accredited undergraduate program but not the unaccredited graduate program.  

If this MS requirement catches on, it will be interesting to see if there are any changes to how accreditation is handled with regard to graduate programs.

On the subject of deterrents and number of years of school--if number of years of school were the only factor, we would have no doctors, no lawyers, no architects.

Hg

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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Well, to be completely honest, there is quite a bit more financial incentive in those fields, isn't there?  

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

That is a large part of my point.  There isn't a shortage of engineers, there's a shortage of engineers willing to work at today's engineering salaries (as wiser others have already noted).

Hg

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RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Hg,

Your example of the welders at Hyundai is great - except for the issue that companies set wages and don't have a say in the standards the NCEES sets. Eventually salaries may come around if the shortage of engineers continued, but maybe not.  

The example of doctors and lawyers isn't fair as coming out of school, both of those professions can expect to make twice to three times the salary of an engineer.

If NCEES doesn't think the B.S. degree is sufficient anymore they should address the ABET accrededation process and start putting institutions on probation and/or recommending changes to the programs to bring them back in line with expectations.  Don't make the student suck up the extra cost and time to join the work force - that's not fixing the problem simply shifting the blame.

If an ABET acredited B.S. degree was fine 10, 15, 20+ years ago, why should it not be ok now?  Hold the Colleges and Universities accountable.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Perception is a funny thing.  NALP reports (http://www.nalp.org/content/index.php?pid=520) that average starting salaries for lawyers going into firms with 25 or fewer attorney's (i.e., most new grads) is $62k.

The Colorado School of Mines reports that 100% of 2007 Petroleum Engineering grads got job offers with an average BSPE Starting salary $70k (http://www.mines.edu/Academic/petroleum/).

Makes you wonder about the statement

Quote (garrettk):

The example of doctors and lawyers isn't fair as coming out of school, both of those professions can expect to make twice to three times the salary of an engineer.


David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I think petroleum engineers are an exception.  They tend to make pretty good money.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Starting salaries

UK: http://www.onrec.com/content2/news.asp?ID=12540

"Engineering again proves the most highly paid graduate profession, with an average starting salary of £21,681 - 7% above average graduate pay. "

USA: http://www.northwestern.edu/careers/surveyoutcomes/pdfs/Salaries_by_Job_Function_compared_to_NACE.pdf

Engineers median 55, legal, 40 (by eyeball)

Australia: http://www.graduatecareers.com.au/content/download/2643/10595/file/Grad%20Files%202005.pdf

Engineers 40-63 law 41 medicine 48

So, two or three times?

Cheers

Greg Locock

SIG:Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

zdas-
That very same link also has the average STARTING salary for all lawyers (in all firms) at 95K.  That is right around double what an engineer starts at.  

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The top Oil & Gas companies are starting the top Pet Eng and Chem Eng grads at over $100k.  There are markets in the US where ME's are starting at over $85k.  

The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm) shows a table of the 2007 average starting salary for various flavors of engineer--Agricultural, Architectural. and Environmental were under $50k,  Petroleum was over $60k.  I guess you can call that half what the average attorney makes, and I'm pretty sure that the top 5% of lawyers start higher than the top 5% of engineers.

My point is that a high-quality Engineer willing to move to a crappy location can make about the same as a lawyer willing to go where the work is (which tends to be high-cost metro areas).  Most ABET engineering schools brag about getting offers for all of their graduates, Law Schools don't make that claim.  

I've never felt underpaid, nor have I envied lawyers for their compensation.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

zdas-
You don't have to be a certain kind of lawyer willing to move to a crappy location to make the 95k.  That is the average starting slaary for ALL lawyers.  That is well above the average starting salary for all engineers.  I was making 65k/year in manufacturing before I finished school to be an engineer.  That doesn't mean that manufacturing is a lucrative as engineering.  

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

OK, I give.  One other anecdote--I know a partner in a small law firm in Northwest New Mexico who was bragging the other day about hiring a new associate at $45k.  Engineers in this area start at nearly than twice that.  Who should envy whom

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

You're killing me here!

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

doin' my best.  I started down this road to show that it really isn't terribly cut and dried and no one is paid an "average" salary.  You get what you negotiate and a smart engineer who chooses his industry and local carefully can do very well.  Engineers who lock themselves into dying industries and/or blighted regions will not do so well.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Well,
I am in the structural field (not a dying industry) and live/work in a suburb of one of the 7 largest cities and I started out at a little better than half of that 95k.  I work for a very well-known and respected firm on the east coast so I am not with a lower-paying small firm.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Nebraska is trying right now to be the first State to implement the licensure changes.  They currently have a bill (LB 742) being discussed in the legislature which would implement the NCEES Model Law and then be pushed to the other States.  ASCE has been lobbying heavily for this legislation change.  The State NSPE, ACEC and PEC boards have not fully backed it and are staying neutral.

The timing has stretched to 2020 because they know there are still issues to be worked out.  I'm not sure it will be implemented this year.  The engineering community is divided mainly because of the lack of clarity.  What constitutes the additional 30 hours? (would an MBA be acceptable?)  How would commity be handled?  

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The comity issue is a big deal.   They run the risk of severely hampering the mobility of a high percentage of licensed practicing engineers.  Engineering is a highly mobile professions (one must go where the jobs are at times).  One of the impediments to mobility is that every state engineering licensing board requires one to be licensed in their state (it's not like driver's licenses).  If a significant number of states adopt this new NCEES model law then mobility will be restricted severely except for those few that happen to have the specified education requirements.  It just doesn't seem fair to me.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

The driver's license analogy is interesting.  Article IV Section 1 of the US Constitution says

Quote:

Article IV
Section 1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Doesn't that say that if you are licensed in any of the 50 states that the other states have to give "full faith and credit" to the license?  If I live in New Mexico, then I need to have a New Mexico drivers licence and I have a New Mexico PE.  If I establish residence in Texas, then it makes sense that I should apply for a Texas PE, but as long as I live in New Mexico shouldn't my license be good in all 50 states?

I wonder if this has ever been tested in the courts.  Have I been wasting time and money on that pesky NCEES Council Record?

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Now there is an idea worthy of support.  They're talking about something much bigger than our profession, but that is a good thing too.

For the medical professions I can see it working well (a human body in California is much like one in Florida).  For engineers (especially Civil and Structural), I can see the states standing behind their "we have different needs" argument (snow loading in Montana, earthquakes in California, hurricanes on the gulf coast).  I don't know how you get around that.

David

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering
www.muleshoe-eng.com
Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

The harder I work, the luckier I seem

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Excellent find Don.

Zdas, What you are saying about the different requirements between states, such as earthquakes and floods, is more of an ethics issue then Licensing issue.  Regardless of the location if a person is not qualified to work on a project, they are not qualified.

Isn't the professional obligated to know his limitations and what projects they are qualified to work on?
For example, a Mechanical engineer in New Orleans LA. is (probably) not qualified for flood control/ prevention and environmental engineering within the same city.

So why not have a country wide, PE?

 

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I like the idea, now if they can then make it common with the UK it will make my path to PE much simpler/cheaper winky smile.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

Don't misunderstand me, I really like the idea of national registration for any profession that needs licensing.  My point was that the pushback from the states will be "but we are special".  I know there must be a way around that, but I don't know what it is.

David

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

zdas, Ahh yes!.... we are special (and want all the money for registering/exams/courses/books...)

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

A national license would require a national test, and we still don't have that, as far as I know.

I don't see in the proposed NCEES rules where it says you can't take the FE test after earning a BS, be working, and take classes toward the 30-hr requirement?  To me the worst of this would be the postponing of the FE exam.  I believe the Pass rate for the FE drops dramatically with the number of yrs out of school.

 

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

NCEES is out of touch.  Very little of the general public has any interest in seeking the services of a PE to begin with, and now they are going to make it more difficult to obtain?

I also have a problem with CEU's. I have learned much more from real world circumstances than from any contrived CEU class, thankfully my State does not require them.  

Put NCEES out to pasture.

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

As a sole practitioner, I doubt I would attend 15 hours a year if it were not for my state requirement.
 

Don Phillips
http://worthingtonengineering.com

RE: BS + 30hrs (a new PE requirement)

I'm also a sole practictioner and since I get credit for preparing and teaching classes I don't have much problem reaching the 15 hours/year.  If I didn't have that part of my business I'd have a really hard time coming up with enough hours (I tend to prepare and teach a short course at a conference, then stay for the papers).

David

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