In 1907, Wyoming passed a bill that required registration for those who would represent themselves to the public as an engineer and founded a board of examiners for the profession. For a century since then, professional engineering (PE) licenses have been protecting the public’s health and safety.
Today, it is the responsibility of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, their members, and other New Jersey engineers to help protect the PE license. Throughout its existence, PE licensure has symbolized prestige, authority, and flexibility. Much like membership to professional engineering associations such as NJSPE, PE licensure provides a variety of career advancement opportunities. Still not convinced you should care about protecting the PE license? NJSPE put together a list of the top benefits of PE licensure:
Career development opportunities. Engineers with a PE license who are active in professional engineering associations get selected first for jobs. Licensure shows dedication to the profession, leadership, and management skills. To take on more responsibility in engineering, such as being able to submit engineering plans to public authorities for approval, being licensed is necessary.
Enhanced flexibility to take control of your career. Many doors open for professional engineers with a PE license. It offers protection during industry downsizing or outsourcing and enables you to go out on your own. Engineers interested in opening their own firm or becoming a specialist can only do so if they are licensed.
Increased skillset and education. With the advent of new technology, the engineering field is constantly evolving. Maintaining a PE license ensures that New Jersey engineers stay in-the-know with the most updated information, techniques, and processes. With environmental issues in the forefront of the countries consciousness, staying informed about regulations has become particularly important.
Be among the best in your industry. A PE licensure proves to your clients and prospective employers that you are serious about your career and are among the most qualified for any engineering position. Licensure solidifies your place in an elite group of your peers.
Protecting the PE license might not seem important for New Jersey engineers on the surface, but it will have a lasting effect on a young engineer’s career. Becoming a licensed professional in your field shows dedication to hard work, honor, and competency. Licensure has proven to offer career advancement opportunities, increased flexibility, education, and shows to clients and employers you are at the top of the industry. Of course, obtaining a PE license is not the only thing you can do to grow professionally. Check out our article “Advancing Your Career as an Engineer: How Professional Engineering Associations Can Help” for more.
Why Get the Professional Engineering License?
There are innumerable benefits to pursuing a professional engineering (PE) license. It helps signify professional status, dedication, and competency in the field of engineering. Yet, many engineers do not find it a priority to protect the PE license’s power, though it has been protecting their careers for a century.
In addition to the flashy benefits of PE licensure, such as career advancement opportunities, enhanced career flexibility, and more, there are a host of practical considerations for New Jersey engineers to be aware of when considering not becoming licensed. NJSPE put together a list of the top five practical reasons to protect the PE license:
Licensure ensures adaptability in an ever-changing employment landscape. The engineering industry is constantly evolving in ways that help and hurt employment opportunities. Many corporations have begun to outsource for engineering projects, and engineers should be prepared to pivot to consulting relationships with these organizations. By pursuing a PE license, engineers will have the competency to perform a broader scope of engineering services.
Licensure for engineers in the governmental, environmental, and public sectors has become increasingly important. There are a host of regulations dictating that many governmental engineering positions are filled by licensed professional engineers for the safety of the public. Additionally, with the current level of public attention concerning environmental safety, employers prefer to hire a PE licensed engineer to illustrate the heightened competency of their employees.
For engineers considering a career in education, many states require teachers to be PE licensed. In more and more states, it is becoming a requirement for teachers and professors to gain a PE license to practice. It is also beneficial for students to be taught by a PE licensed engineer to help them prepare for their future.
For those interested in consulting or opening their own business, licensure is required. It is a legal requirement for private practitioners to have proof of a PE license. Only licensed engineers can submit plans and drawings to public authorities for approval, or approve engineering work for public and private clients.
State engineering boards are gaining the power to fine practicing unlicensed engineers. Becoming a PE licensed engineer is a way to avoid the possibility of receiving civil penalties from state engineering boards.
Despite the practicality and benefits of the PE license, many people do not fully understand how this licensure protects their freedom as an engineer. To help spread the word about PE licenses to other New Jersey engineers, join NJSPE today and see how you join the movement to protect the PE license.