Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Related Articles


PLS after PE

PLS after PE

PLS after PE

I know it is different from state to state, but would like to know the difficulty/aggravation of pursuing a Professional Land Surveyor license after practicing as a licensed Civil PE for 20 years?

Robert Billings, PE, PH, CFM

RE: PLS after PE

I think most states would require a degree in surveying if you don't have one already. To me, going back to school to get such a degree would be the biggest obstacle, not so much taking the PLS exam. I have known a few old timers that are PLS's and PE's. What inspired your pursuit of a PLS and what type of work you intend to engage in?

RE: PLS after PE

not all states require a degree. the two that I am licensed in do not. in fact one of them allows licensed civil engineers to practice land surveying without additional requirements

RE: PLS after PE

Check with your state board or the licensing requirements at your State Department of Licensing for the answers to your questions.

As for the utility, the two integrate very well for design and construction phases of site development. I have a colleague who has both and they serve him well, opening up all sorts of doors for work.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: PLS after PE

@MotorCity It seems like the PLS board in NC has been very active. I'm not complaining just making an observation. There are now several small surveying tasks that require a PLS signature. Any surveying underwater and surveying of cross-sections for monitoring. I do not want to do surveying work I just want to be able to support my own projects.

Robert Billings, PE, PH, CFM

RE: PLS after PE


I believe most states would allow a PE to perform basic surveying tasks (topo, staking, ...) in support of their own projects, just not any legal boundary work. Speaking from Illinois, this would be the case, however even with the obvious legal boundary restriction they further define that a PE could not hold ones self out to do just a pure topo survey if that is all the contract was for. You'll find similar restrictions with the overlap between SE vs PE work.

That being said, a FEMA Base Flood Elevation form requires either a PE or PLS certification. I've always passed that over to a PLS even when working on flood control projects that were clearly PE lead by construction and design costs. I can physically and technically do the level loop (3 wire for higher order control) to bring in a reference mark, but it seems to be a small savings for a tremendous amount of liability. I did routinely QC/QA of my office surveyor's work, closure errors, etc., and even helped run a total station topo crew in pinch but from a day to day perspective I'd leave that in their domain.

Sounds like you are out on your own? I'd try pairing up with a one-man shop PLS and you'd probably find good synergy with them passing on PE work back to you. Even if just by referral.


Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close