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Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

(OP)
I just passed my FE exam, and am now an EIT. I work at a small consulting company.

I wanted to ask advice/clarify a few things:

1. "EIT" title on business card? What are the reasons for/against doing this? What is most common?

2. Same question, but for email signature.

3. I'm not a PE, so I'm definitely not an engineer who signs drawings and calculations. But in conversation, either with people related to my field of work, or outside of my field, what is the best way to explain my "EIT" status? In other words, how do I accurately/ethically describe my responsibilities between doing engineering work but not actually being a licensed professional engineer yet? How do I not misrepresent myself?

Thanks!

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I'm all for using EIT on your business cards, email sig, the bottom of reports your write. Be proud that you've come this far and are so close to the end.

When people ask for an explanation tell them exactly why you are an EIT at this time and not a PE. It's easy to describe that you've got your eng degree, and are working towards obtaining your seal and that's why you're noted as an Engineer-In-Training.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I see nothing wrong with EIT on your business card. I echo Jayrod's comments. And when you pass the PE exam, you get new cards!

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

A few caveats, I'd include which state you have your EIT in. Probably not a huge risk but worth doing. Also, make sure your state wants it to be EIT and not EI (some states are picky about this).

Regarding actual titles and representation; as far as I know you're allowed to title yourself a "engineer" or "[blank] engineer" (traffic engineer, field engineer, civil engineer, etc.) on business cards/email/etc if you're working under a PE. Just be 100% sure nobody could confuse your title for any protected term such as "PE" or "professional engineer" (and "SE"/"structural engineer" if that applies in any states you work in).

Most EIT's I know did similar on emails and cards and I've never heard of any issues. Definitely be proud of it. Whenever I described the EI on my card I explained is was functionally the same as a medical intern. You know your stuff but need to get experience under a licensed engineer prior to being certified to go out on your own.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
www.americanconcrete.com

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Just make sure someone is watching your back so that the abbreviation won't stand for "Engineer In Trouble".

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Check with your state rules for any restrictions. I believe Maryland does not allow you to put EIT at the end of your name.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

(OP)
Hey everyone, thank you for your posts so far.

Just had a thought occur: suppose I had a business card that went "John Doe - Civil Engineer @ XYZ Company". Is that potentially misrepresenting myself? Like someone could potentially read "civil engineer" as meaning a fully licensed PE?

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Look at your state's laws online - most have specific rules about the language used. Some refer to only "Professional" engineers...some include the term "engineer".

Asking here at E-T is fine but you might get multiple replies that all are based on the various regions in which the respondents are licensed and not your own jurisdiction.

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RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Echoing what was said above, check your state's laws, and if allowed, definitely put it on your business card.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

When I was an EIT I included it on my card and email signature. My official title was "Civil Engineer" so I used the additional EIT suffix to muddy-up any possible legal issues. I am not a lawyer, so I do not know if this would have actually saved me.

On a different note, I was told by several mid-level coworkers to not label myself as an EIT. I thought this was misleading, and did not follow their advice. Their reasoning was that people would not "respect" my opinion if they knew I was just a lowly apprentice.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

"John Doe - Civil Engineer @ XYZ Company"

Were you in California and you were not covered by the industrial exemption nor licensed as a PE, you would be in violation of PE act.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Quote (appot)

Their reasoning was that people would not "respect" my opinion if they knew I was just a lowly apprentice.

I'm glad you didn't listen to their advice. If I see someone title themselves a "[blank] engineer" (especially something dubious such as "sales engineer" or "field engineer" or whatnot) I will have much more first-impression respect for them if I see that they actually went to school for engineering and/or they are working towards their PE.

Plus, I've seen people not on the engineering path who were very smart people and who had their EIT. Our company VP went to school for civil engineering and got his EIT but is on the management track now and likely wont get a PE. I have tons of respect for his skills and can talk engineering shop with him because of it. So, yes, while the EIT doesn't convey as much respect as a PE might; it does establish ones qualifications and sets a benchmark. Overall I've found most EITs to be smart people who either had their career go another direction or who have bright ideas but don't always have the experience to back it up.

If you're an incompetent engineer then the only thing more letters after your name will do is impress people who are also incompetent engineers.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
www.americanconcrete.com

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Quote (Quote (appot))

Their reasoning was that people would not "respect" my opinion if they knew I was just a lowly apprentice.

This is a real shame. "Engineer in Training" and "Engineer Intern" does not get the respect it deserves because so many people use "engineer" coupled with a prestigious modifier as TehMightyEngineer said. The ones that really bug me are when Project Engineers introduce themselves as a "PE" and Field Engineers introduce themselves as an "FE."

When I was looking for a job out of school, I had moved to a region where companies had not heard of my school, as good of an education as it was. I would tell them I had my EIT which should have been a recognized objective standard of competency, but all the HR people ever heard was "in training" or "intern." To the layman, the terms "in training" and "intern" sound like the EIT is still in school or kept busy all day scanning documents or making copies. Of course, this couldn't be further from the truth. While I wouldn't want to upset the rich and established history of the profession, I'd rather see it termed Resident, Fellow, or Associate.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I don't think the EIT is really held in enough esteem for it to matter if it is there or not. I have seen managers and supervisors have their EIT certificate framed and hung in their offices. I chuckle a little bit whenever I see that. I chuckle even more when I see certificates for silly one day company internal trainings framed and hung. The only thing I would think an employer would see with the EIT is that this person probably will be able to pass the PE exam when that time comes.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I don't think leaving "EIT" off your business card or email signature is about being deceptive as much as it is about trying to not participate in alphabet soup. Sure, you can put EIT, MS, BS and your grade point average, but none of that really means much to the people you interact with. PE is different because that has an actual legal meaning.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

Agreed with IRstuff, the EI title in Maine is also protected under the PE act (32 M.R.S. 1351(2)) and you can't call yourself a EI without having obtained this certification. To me the 4 years of school and the not-inconsequential FE exam is definitely something to be proud of.

Interestingly enough I also found that (in Maine at least) the board has advised that titling oneself as "[blank] engineer" without a PE license is considered holding oneself out to be a licensed engineer. Not sure if this is a new position by the board but back in my EIT days I put "civil engineer" on my cards. Whoops!

Definitely agree with the above advice that contacting your state board is the real deciding factor to your original question.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
www.americanconcrete.com

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

(OP)
Hey all - thanks for the thorough responses! To clarify, I'm in Pennsylvania. I'll certainly look this issue up in context of my state laws.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I would not (and did not) put "Engineer" in my title, but I would (and did) put EIT. No need to say "engineer" if you say EIT.

Though ymmv with personal acquaintances, an EIT will generally get less respect in the industry than a PE in a professional sense. This is proper, in my opinion.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I graduated in Kentucky where being an EIT is a legal standing with the Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors. You have to register with the board upon graduating to start the four year timer. I promptly moved to Michigan for my first job where this is not the case, but I still have EIT on my business cards and email sig. I have discussed it with other people in my firm and they say its pretty much your call.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

From the UK: never be ashamed of what you have achieved. Be proud.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

I'd only include if your title is engineer to avoid confusion and possible legal issues. If 'engineer' isn't in your title, then I don't think it's deceptive to omit it. If I don't see PE/SE after someone's name, I assume they're not a licensed engineer. Including the EIT instead isn't going to change that.

Probably an unpopular opinion but at least for me EIT doesn't lend much (if any) extra credibility. I would assume if you're doing engineering work that you're already an EIT (or just haven't taken it yet for whatever reason). It should be in your resume but I wouldn't list EIT on a business card or in an email any more than I'd advertise that I have a bachelor's degree. At least in my eyes, it's a prerequisite to work in this field rather than something that sets you apart.

RE: Using the EIT title: Business cards, email, etc.

From the PA board law:

A person shall be construed to practice or offer to practice
engineering, land surveying or geology who practices any branch
of the profession of engineering, land surveying or geology; or
who, by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or
in any other way represents himself to be an engineer, land
surveyor or geologist, or through the use of some other title
implies that he is an engineer, land surveyor or geologist or
that he is registered under this act; or who holds himself out
as able to perform, or who does perform any engineering, land
surveying or geological service or work or any other service
designated by the practitioner or recognized as engineering,
land surveying or geology.


Section 6. Practice by Firms and Corporations.
The practice of engineering, of land surveying and of geology being
the function of an individual or of individuals working in concerted
effort
, it shall be unlawful for any firm or corporation to engage in such
practice, or to offer to practice, or to assume use or advertise any title
or description, including the use of the term “engineer” or “engineering”
in its firm or corporate name, conveying the impression that such firm
or corporation is engaged in or is offering to practice such profession,
unless the directing heads and employes of such firm or corporation in
responsible charge of its activities in the practice of such profession are
licensed and registered in conformity with the requirements of this act,
and whose name, seal and signature, along with the date of signature,
shall be stamped on all plans, specifications, plats and reports issued by
such firm or corporation.


So in PA it appears that they prohibit the term "engineer". Some states in the US only govern the term "Professional Engineer".
In this case PA probably uses the context of the offer, advertisement, card, etc. to determine if the use of engineer would be confusing to the public and applicable to actual engineering practice.

So for an EIT, to just put the term "Engineer" on your card or letter signature would be against the PA law.

Use of "Engineer-in-Training", "EIT", "Engineer Intern", though, would not.

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