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Engineers and technicians

Engineers and technicians

Engineers and technicians

(OP)
thread1426-271658: Should NICET Level III Designers be allowed to stamp drawings

I think there is a need for NICET organization to teach the NICET testers the difference between an engineer and a technician. I have met many NICET technicians, lot of them were NICET IV in fire alarm system. Many of them think they can do Fire Protection Engineer's job (Not just fire alarm system). However, this is far from the truth. Some of these technicians think that Fire Protection Engineering work is just fire alarm system or just sprinkler system because that is what they are use to doing. They don't understand that engineering, from the planning to completion, requires lot more broad knowledge. In my opinion, in a typical building, fire alarm work/knowledge required is about 25%, sprinkler 25%, and 50% for life safety requirements. Life safety features are like strutual fire protection requirements, egress analysis, hazard analysis, cost/benefit analysis, site requirements, water source study, hazardous protection requirements, general building requirements etc... I believe NICET IV technician in fire alarm system are very well knowledged in fire alarm system, but that does not make them a Engineer. Fire alarm system knowlege makes up about 25% of required knowledge of an Fire Protection Engineer, so 75% of required knowlege is still missing.

RE: Engineers and technicians

Engineering as a whole is so much more vast today than it was even 50 years ago (I'm 22 years old so I'm not talking from experience, but I can realize this from reading old books). The simple truth is that almost no one can learn even half of what they really should know on their first year of the job in order to be a broad engineer in my estimation, which is why specialists are needed more and more.

I think what we are witnessing is a growing demand for specialists in the plan review arena. As each field becomes more complex, we can't expect new engineers/technicians to learn it all at once. In my opinion, there needs to be NICET tests and schooling or training for plan reviewers specifically. That way they are trained to do what they end up doing, and it isn't based on some consensus of what engineers and technicians feel is a satisfactory level of real world experience or unrelated engineering achievements in order to officially approve X in Y field.

Even if there are NICET III's and IV's who are more than able to review plans as any other person/engineer, or there are engineers who are more than able to jump in and review fire plans just from their broad amount of knowledge, when you are getting into legal territory of official documents and the checks and balances of life safety, you need to Prove you can do what you claim, for each and every individual. Make a NICET test for it that isn't a cakewalk. Just my 2 cents.

RE: Engineers and technicians

Like everything there needs to be balance.

Certified NICET people need to know their limitations and I can say the same thing for some engineers most of us have run across over the years.

Laying out sprinklers is not practicing engineering but sometimes a line that shouldn't be blurred gets that way and people do things they shouldn't not do.


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