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  • Mechanical Engineers with a PE

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

    1. andysuth

      andysuth Member

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      So there is no restriction on who can use the title "Engineer" just who can sign off the designs?

      That's a completely different picture to how many overseas commentators describe the US system when we are discussing preventing people calling themselves "Engineers" if they are not.

      -AS
       
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    3. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

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      Many companies (mistakenly) use the title "mechanical engineer" for staff engineers who are not registered. It isn't really a problem if it is so listed on an org chart. But it is technically illegal to put it on your business card. Some companies (General atomic) uses "Engineer I" thru "Engineer VI" to denote different levels of responsibility and experience. Since they don't specify a discipline, this passes muster. Rockwell used "MTS I" thru "MTS V"; MTS stands for Member Technical Staff. This also passes muster.

      It is illegal for anyone, at least in California, to use any of the restricted titles: "mechanical engineer", "Professional engineer", "registered engineer", "consulting engineer", "PE", or any title that would imply licensure, unless they are licensed.

      When I worked at Lockheed my titles were "associate engineer" "engineering designer" and "mechanical design specialist" or some such as I progressed up the salary grades. I was never a "mechanical engineer", even though on the org chart I was an engineer in the mechanical group.

      this:
      "6732. Use of seal, stamp or title by unregistered person
      It is unlawful for anyone other than a professional engineer licensed under this chapter to stamp or seal any plans, specifications, plats, reports, or other documents with the seal or stamp of a professional engineer, or in any manner, use the title “professional engineer,†“licensed engineer,†“registered engineer,†or “consulting engineer,†or any of the following branch titles: “agricultural engineer,†“chemical engineer,†“civil engineer,†“control system engineer,â€
      “electrical engineer,†“fire protection engineer,†“industrial engineer,†“mechanical engineer,†“metallurgical engineer,†“nuclear engineer,†“petroleum engineer,†or “traffic engineer,†or any combination of these words and phrases or abbreviations thereof unless licensed under this chapter."

      comes from here:
      http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/licensees/pe_act_unannotated.pdf

      it is regulated state by state, but most US states are similar. Comity allows someone licensed in one state to use the title in another, and to practice in another with some paperwork (and fees of course)
       
    4. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

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      as a side note, I thought the PE exam was easier than the EIT exam, so the incremental cost/ effort to get the PE is actually minimal once you have the EIT, and so I think it is definitely worth it. I actually left an hour early when I took the PE, not so with the EIT.
       
    5. andysuth

      andysuth Member

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      Sorry, What is an EIT?

      -AS
       
    6. swertel

      swertel Active Member

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      Engineer In Training.

      During your final years of university, you take the FE/EIT exam. After passing that exam, you are an EIT while you gain the necessary years of experience to qualify for licensure and sitting for the PE exam.
       
    7. andysuth

      andysuth Member

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      Accredited Degrees


      Do you not have accredited degree courses? (those approved by a governing body such as Engineering Council via one of the Institutions for engineering).

      Or is the EIT in suppliment to the final year exams of an accredited course? (e.g. Could you study Egyptology and then sit an EIT exam and then train to be an engineer)

      -AS
       
    8. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      Per the comments I saw a few posts back in this discussion, the vast majority of engineering professionals without a formal P.E. certification would be considered "illegal" if they called themselves a "mechanical engineer". However, our society and industry functions with hundreds of thousands if not millions of engineering and technical professionals some with certifications but most without with no problems and most engineers and technical professionals are valuable resources to society. Even though I have a P.E. license, I am rarely called upon to give a formal certification, stamp or signature for the engineering work I perform and I mentioned in several posts back in this discussion, most P.E.'s like myself tend to avoid projects requiring you to sign off and certify the work due to the liability risk created. The P.E. license and certification laws in most states are kind of like a lot of other laws on the books in other areas. It might be technically "illegal" to call yourself an "engineer" and engage in engineering work without a P.E. license, but especially with most states and the federal government facing a fiscal crisis (thank you Obama and our gridlocked Congress), government has more important things to do with funding that becomes more limited with each passing day. The current laws may even be open to abuse where someone who is not liked for some reason could be selectively targeted by the laws where for most individuals, the laws go unenforced. It's not just engineering and certification laws. With a gazillion laws and regulations on the books at all levels of government, sometimes I feel I can't go to the bathroom without some law or regulation covering my business. Before you laugh about that last comment, I think there is a federal law in the books now where you can't produce a toilet that uses I think more than 1.8 gallons of water to flush. Since 1.8 gallons might not be enough if you left behind a larger than average "load" for the toilet, you end up flushing it twice and consume 3.6 gallons of water. Isn't government regulation wonderful. Most of the time, I think a lot of government laws and regulations are intended to serve some special interest at the expense of others rather than be a sane solution to promote a better society.
       
    9. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

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      The FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam certifies one as an EIT (Engineer In Training) and is a prerequisite for the PE exam. You must apply to take the FE exam, (pay a fee of course) and become eligible to take the exam after a) 2 or 3 years of university, or b) something like 10 years of experience. The PE requires a BS degree (or relevant experience), an EIT, and 2 years of additional experience, one of which may come from an advanced degree.

      I took the EIT after working for a couple of years, not when I was in school. And then I took the PE the next year, when I was three years out of school. The EIT can be taken at any point once you are qualified, and in CA it is offered twice a year. The PE is offered once a year in each discipline. (afaik)


      Except that if you are found to be in violation they can fine you, so it becomes a revenue source. I try to avoid being viewed as a target revenue source by a government if I can avoid it - instinctively much the same as swatting mosquitoes. Much like a city will put in red light cameras, not for public safety, but to enhance revenue. Plus what do you do if someone DOES have a grudge against you, and you are using the titles without registration?
       
      Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
    10. swertel

      swertel Active Member

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      Amazing how true that is. We used to have speeding cameras on the local freeways. Traffic slowed down, there were fewer accidents. Then, the cities/state decided to abandon the concept. Why? Because they weren't making the amount of revenue they had projected. Apparently, no one bothered to consider the fact that drivers would actually slow down in order to avoid a ticket.

      The good news is, I can get around town much quicker again. That is, until I come across that accident that could have been avoided.
       
    11. swertel

      swertel Active Member

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      The U.S. does have accredited degree courses. That is yet another prerequisite to become licensed.

      In the US, each of the 50 states maintains their own requirements for professional licensure, but they all follow the same principal guidelines:
      graduation from a 4-year ABET accredited university,
      pass the FE/EIT exam,
      have a minimum number of years experience,
      & pass the PE exam.
       

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