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    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by michaelpryor, Jul 26, 2012.

    1. michaelpryor

      michaelpryor Member

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      Question for engineers with a degree in mechanical engineering:

      I have a degree in mechanical engineering and work as a design engineer with mostly mechanical systems. I passed my FE/EI exam. My question is does having your PE certification open a lot of doors for mechanical engineers? I know having your PE is critical for civil/structural engineers. I'm trying to decide if I want to pursue my PE certification. What could I really do with it? I would love some input from engineers with his or her PE. Thanks!
       
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    3. swertel

      swertel Active Member

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      Do it, so you later don't regret not doing it.

      I have my PE. I've never stamped a drawing in my career. Everything I do is industry exempt. But, the PE allows me to have my own consulting business. Most states require at least one of the principals within a company that supplies engineering services to be a licensed PE. If you ever think that sometime in your future you may want to be independent, you will need those little initials after your name.

      As far as opening doors, I can't say specifically. But, when I drop my business card and it says "PE" after my name, people take me more seriously than the guy standing next to me.
       
    4. D. Naukam

      D. Naukam Member

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      Get your PE. You will be glad you did.
      As stated above by swertel, you can perform consulting and win arguments easier.
      The real advantage is in distinguishing yourself from other engineers. You will find that most employers give your salary a little boost after getting licensed. Recruiters come out of the woodwork. More licensed engineers are retiring and there are not enough new licensed engineers to replace them. The pool of professional engineers is getting smaller all the time. If you want greater job security and higher pay, get licensed.
      Be sure to get a PE or 3 to review your work as you will need 3-5 existing licensed engineers familiar with your work to recommend you as an engineer before you can take the PE test. And do it as soon as you are eligible while you still remember something from school.

      Good Luck!
       
    5. MDR

      MDR Active Member

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      I agree with this 100%. I have my PE and it allows me to be independent and also pursue forensic engineering work. It also, as was stated in the last post, gives you a boost in a very competitive employment market.
      A PE allows you to run projects at larger consulting firms as well.
       
    6. michaelpryor

      michaelpryor Member

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      Thanks for the feedback!
       
    7. nguyen

      nguyen New Member

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      I've heard about the P.E. certificate but not much. Is it difficult to get P.E. Certificate? would you please to explain to me? Which country do licence the P.E certificate?
       
    8. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      Only one principal needs a license

      You mentioned that "only one principal needs a license" in your message. So, that means any company, even a consulting or an engineering services company can hire mostly non-licensed engineers and have at least one engineer with a P.E. license to handle any legal requirements to operate and certify their work. So, maybe the need for new P.E.'s, especially as older P.E.'s retire and move on in life might not be all that critical. It's also possible for an engineering services company to contract in a licensed P.E. for only a particular project where certification of the work completed is needed.

      A lot of engineering effort today is still what you call "grunt work". In the old days, that would have been called 2D paper drafting work where today it is 2D CAD drafting work or 3D MCAD modeling work. For that type of effort, hiring a high priced P.E. to do the work tends to be not profitable. In fact, as long as there is someone accessible with a P.E. in the organization to satisfy legal and certification requirements for work completed, the remaining engineering work can go the lowest non-licensed bidder for the engineering "grunt work". In today's global economy, that usually means sending the work off shore to find the lowest cost of obtaining engineering services.
       
    9. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

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      covered work, that is work not covered by an exemption, must be done under the "responsible charge" of a PE. but for mechanical engineering non-exempt work is really only stuff like boiler, pressure vessel, commercial HVAC, elevators and overhead lifting... I can't think of anything else.
      BUT
      EVERYONE who uses the titles "Mechanical Engineer" MUST be a PE. In practice, many who use the title aren't, but legally they are required to have it.
       
    10. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      I agree that for the most part, any engineering work that can affect public safety such as a boiler blowing up, an elevator falling to the ground or an overhead crane dropping its load on some poor soul, those projects need someone with a P.E. to sign off and certify the work (that it is done competently and safely). Recently, I have been approached with some ASME code type boiler work and it's kind of amusing the way my fellow engineers, even those with P.E.'s will avoid this kind of work like it's some kind of "hot potato". The work gets thrown back and forth between engineers until someone finally sticks out his/her neck and takes on the work. For the most part, just about all of my work in my career did not have much impact on public safety and hence not much need for P.E. certification. Still, I've been a licensed P.E. for most of my career and can certify work in the legal sense if the price it right (usually the price is way too low and I throw the "hot potato" to someone else).
       
    11. Archimedes

      Archimedes Active Member

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      Is PE only applicable in the USA? I'm in the UK and have never been asked to produce any of my qualifications /accreditations for any of the projects I have worked on regardless of the risk of injury in the case of failure.
       

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