Be proud to be a Professional Engineer.
Today marks the third annual celebration of Professional Engineers. Sustained Quality Group celebrates licensure and the profession with Professional Engineers around the world.
On August 8, 1907, the first professional engineering license was issued to Charles Bellamy in Wyoming. Since that time, licensure has expanded and professional engineers across the U.S. have made the commitment to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Prior to 1907, anyone could work as an engineer without proof of competency.
Professional Engineer (PE) licensure is a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality. Licensing authority and requirements for PEs falls under the jurisdiction of the licensing board for the state, district, or country in which an engineer practices. The national organization that represents the state boards is the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
The debate over the role of government in regulating occupations and professions has recently come to the forefront. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational licensing directly affects nearly 30% of U.S. workers.
While the work of professional engineers clearly affects the public health, safety, and welfare, it is not uncommon for state legislatures to categorize highly educated and trained PEs with other industries in the debate over eliminating occupational licenses, such as florists, barbers and interior designers.
For example, model legislation championed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an association of state lawmakers that supports private-sector interests, led to a recommendation that would have eliminated the PE license in Indiana.
On August 20, 2015, as the result of extensive advocacy efforts by the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers and NSPE, the Indiana Job Creation Commission, inspired by ALEC’s model law, rescinded its troubling recommendation to eliminate licensure of the professional engineer. (Nearly identical versions of this model legislation were quickly introduced in several state legislatures, including Arkansas, Iowa, and Minnesota.)
Although ALEC’s model legislation does not specifically target PEs, in opposing occupational licensure in general, this broad attack undermines the value of the PE and unintentionally impacts engineering licensure.
Inspire youth to become licensed and get started with these examples of "Why I Became a Professional Engineer...", click here.