Governor Murphy Unveils Multi-Stage Approach to Execute a Responsible and Strategic Restart of New Jersey’s Economy

At his press briefing this afternoon, Governor Murphy announced that he will sign an Executive Order allowing some outdoor businesses to restart, including batting cages and golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs, and community gardens, and golfers may now play in foursomes.

The Governor also discussed his three-phase plan for reopening New Jersey’s economy. Phase One, the phase we are currently in, relaxed restriction on low-risk activities if properly safeguarded. This phase loosened restrictions on many outdoor activities and permitted the resumption of elective surgeries.  Phase Two will loosen safeguards on a number of additional activities that can be easily safeguarded including expanded retail, outdoor dining, indoor dining at significantly reduced capacity, limited personal care, and the potential opening of libraries and museums. Phase Three allows for most activities to resume with significant safeguarding including expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, expanded personal care, and bars with limited capacity.

The Governor made clear that social distancing, use of masks, and work from home orders continue to remain in place. The Governor did not provide a timetable for entering into Stages Two and Three but in answer to a question indicated that Phase Two is likely “a few weeks away assuming we continue to make meaningful progress.”

Attached is an outline of the Governor’s reopening plan.

Click here to download the press release.

COVID-19: New Guidelines Issued for Construction

The Department of Community Affairs has issued new guidelines as it pertains to the construction industry’s concerns about the interruption of plan review and inspection responsibilities, State and local, due to COVID 19.
Pursuant to Executive Orders 107 and 108, at this time, local enforcing agencies cannot restrict code officials from performing their obligations under the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23.
The memo below provides information on:
Guidance for construction offices:
  • Pertaining to prioritizing necessary inspections for the health and welfare of the public.
  • The Department of Consumer Affairs offers advisement on required inspections, rough inspections and final inspections.
  
Guidance for construction offices that had to close:
  • Dealing with permits that were issues prior to closure.
  • Certificate of Continued Occupancy inspections
  
Please click here for the full document from the NJ Department of Community Affairs

Click here for information on an emergency adoption of a temporary rule relaxation of the regulatory provisions concerning Minor work (N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A), Inspections (N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.18), and Certificate requirements (N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.23).

COVID-19 PE License Updates

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, updates have been made to this year’s professional engineering license renewal process. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, renewal applications and CEU’s have been extended until June 30, 2020.

The following is updated information for renewal:

  • Renewals were mailed to your address of record in February, 2020 and are not available online.
  • Licenses will remain active beginning April 1, 2020 for a two year period.
  • Renewal fee  –  $80.00
  • July 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020 Renewal Grace (Late) Period
  • Renewal fee  –  $80.00 + $50.00 late fee   =  $130.00
  • August 1, 2020  –  August 31, 2020  –  Reinstatement Period
  • Renewal fee  –  $80.00 + $125.00 Reinstatement Fee  =  $205.00

Application Deadlines

The date to submit the PE Application has changed from April 19, 2020 to May 11, 2020.
PE documentation has also changed from June 14,  2020 to July 6, 2020.

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, we encourage you to communicate with the Department of Law and Public Safety via telephone, email, and other forms of remote communication should you have any questions about these renewal updates. 

Earning PDHs at home

All of NJSPE’s upcoming continuing education events have been postponed until further notice. We know that many of you were planning on attending these events to fulfill your remaining credits. While this COVID-19 process is changing day-to-day, you can still be proactive and earn CE credits from home! 

Professional Engineering Ethics 101
$35 for members / $50 for nonmembers
Learn more and purchase course >>

Free CE Courses from NSPE
See a list of free courses courtesy of NSPE
Learn more >>

Available Online Courses from NSPE
See all that NSPE has to offer from their selection of on-demand courses
Learn more >>

A reminder to PEs

Regulations on digital signatures as well as practice “social distancing”
N.J. Admin. Code § 13:27-6.5
Section 13:27-6.5 – Digital signatures and seals

(a) A digital signature and seal shall possess the same weight, authority, and effect as a handwritten signature and pressure seal when the following criteria are met:

The digital signing and sealing process satisfies the requirements of the Digital Signature Standard (DSS) established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, FIPS PUB 186-4 (2013), which is incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented.

. The digital signature and seal must be:

i. Unique to the licensee;

ii. Verifiable by a trusted third party or some other approved process as belonging to the licensee;

iii. Under the licensee’s direct and exclusive control;

iv. Linked to a document in such a manner that the digital signature and seal is invalidated if any data in the document is changed. Once the digital signature and seal are applied to the document, the document shall be available in read-only format if the document is to be digitally transmitted.

(b) A licensee who digitally signs and seals a document shall maintain a digital copy of the electronically transmitted document that has also been digitally signed and sealed for future verification purposes.

(c) The pictorial representation of the digital signature and seal shall be readily available to the Board upon request and shall be produced in a manner acceptable to the Board. It shall contain the same words and shall have substantially the same graphic appearance and size as when the image of the digitally transmitted document is viewed at the same size as the document in its original form.

(d) Licensees are responsible for the use of their private digital keys. A lost or compromised key shall not be used and the licensee shall cause a new key pair to be generated in accordance with the criteria set forth in (a) above. A licensee shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a compromised key is invalidated, and shall inform all affected clients that the digital key has been compromised.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for more information regarding any changes due to COVID-19. 

Important Facts About Renewing Your License in 2020

2020 is a renewal year for professional engineering licenses! This year, the deadline to renew your PE license in New Jersey is April 30, 2020. Make sure you’re up to date on this year’s important facts for renewing: 

1. Renewal applications were mailed out mid-February

Renewal applications are NOT available online. Make sure you’ve received your application in the mail! If not, please contact the New Jersey state board here.

2. The renewal fee is $80

Your renewal fee must be paid when you send in your application. 

3. The renewal grace period is May 1 – May 30, 2020

If you submit your application in the grace period, you will be required to pay a late fee of $50, bringing the total cost to renew to $130.

4. You must complete all requirements to renew your license

To be eligible to renew your PE license, you must complete a minimum of 24 professional development hours. Of those hours, you must have a minimum of two hours or a maximum of eight hours completed in ethics. You can complete as many credits as you want online and some excess professional development hours may carry over to the following renewal period. For complete details on meeting the minimum requirements, click here.

5. New Jersey allows extra PDHs to be carried over to the next renewal period

If you’ve completed more than 24 PDHs in the last two years, you’re eligible to roll over up to 12 PDHs to the next renewal period! You can be proactive and continue to go to continuing education events and purchase courses to get ahead in the next renewal period. See upcoming CE events and PDH opportunities here

Once you’ve submitted your PE license renewal application, you can check the status of your license here

For more helpful resources on maintaining your professional engineering license, PE license renewal, and opportunities for continuing education, check out our blog.

Becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer in Another State

As a professional engineer, there are certain situations where you may need to obtain a license in another state. Unfortunately, earning a professional engineering license in one state does not automatically make you eligible to obtain a license in another state. 

Why transfer PE licenses between states?

In order to do work in another state as a professional engineer, you must be licensed. If you’re relocating to a new state or your firm services many states, you might be required to obtain multiple state licenses. 

Some states vary in their requirements for professional engineering licensure, but these requirements are typically the same across the board:

  • Proof of passing the PE exam
  • Completion of state-specific paperwork
  • School transcripts/supplementary experience records and references
  • Completion of state-specific PE license application

Obtaining your PE license in another state

Since you’re already licensed in one state, you’re one huge step closer to obtaining your PE license in a different state. Keep in mind, if your previous professional engineering license expired prior to filling out a license application for another state, you may be considered an unlicensed applicant and might have to take the PE licensure exam again – this varies state by state.

The common thought many engineers have is they can achieve multi-state licensure by reciprocity, meaning that another state will automatically recognize a license held in another state. This is not the case. Those trying to obtain their license in another state must meet the same requirements as those that initially apply in the state.

If your current PE license is in good standing, typically obtaining a new license in another state is as simple as filling out some paperwork and an application. This is considered licensure by comity. This just means that most states allow a licensed professional engineer in one state to become licensed in another by meeting all of their application requirements. If you received your license on different standards, it may be more difficult for you to become licensed by comity in another state.

NCEES making your life easier

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying has made getting a PE license in a different state a little bit easier with their Council Records Program. This program compiles all of your license credentials in one place. Your record will include most – if not all – of the records and paperwork you’ll need to apply for licensure in another state. The process of getting started with this program is as simple as applying for an NCEES Record. Once your record is established, they’ll even electronically submit it to the licensing board on your behalf.

For more topics on professional engineering licensure, check out our blog.

Everything you need to know about Renewing your PE License

It’s almost that time of year again – time to begin the process of renewing your PE license. By preparing early, you can check off all your minimum requirements and complete the renewal process without having the stress of waiting until the last minute. To help you get started, we put together links to helpful resources you need to renew your license. 

When do I need to renew my PE license?

Renewal years are all even numbered years. The deadline to renew is always the end of April. That means professional engineers must renew their licenses prior to April 30, 2020. If you’re not sure whether you need to renew your license, you can check your license status via the NSPE website

What minimum requirements do I need to meet?

To be eligible to renew your PE license, you must complete a minimum of 24 professional development hours. Of those hours, you must have a minimum of two hours or a maximum of eight hours completed in ethics. You can complete as many credits as you want online and some excess professional development hours may carry over to the following renewal period. For complete details on meeting the minimum requirements, click here

How do I renew my PE license?

Once you’ve met all your minimum requirements, you can renew your license via the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website. Paper renewals are not accepted. For complete information on renewing your PE license, here are step-by-step instructions

By preparing early, you’ll take the stress out of the renewal process! If you still need to complete your continuing education credits, make sure you complete them before you try renewing your PE license! NJSPE will be offering several continuing education opportunities prior to the deadline. Sign up to receive information on upcoming continuing education opportunities here

What You Need to Do to Maintain Your New Jersey Professional Engineering License

Becoming an engineer is a long and difficult process. Getting your New Jersey professional engineering license was just one more step in your career as an engineer. Once you have your license though, the work is not over. You must maintain your license with continuing education courses to provide you with the Professional Development Hours (PDHs) you need to maintain and renew your license.

Here is exactly what you need to know about maintaining your New Jersey professional engineering license in order to renew it as maintain PE status.

How many PDHs do I need?

New Jersey professional engineers need 24 hours of continuing education over a two-year period in order to maintain and renew their license.

Can I do more PDHs than required?

Professional engineers can do as many hours of PDHs as they desire.

If I do more than the required PDHs, can those hours carry over into the next renewal period?

Yes, but 12 hours of continuing education is the maximum amount you can carry over.

How long is the renewal period?

Biennial – every two years.

How much does it cost to renew?

There is a renewal fee of $80.

When can I renew my license?

On April 30 in even numbered years.

Are certain PDHs required each period?

Two ethics PDH credits are required each period. No more than eight hours of ethics PDHs can count toward the 24 hours needed to maintain your license.

Can I complete my PDHs online?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of PDHs you complete online.

Where can I find upcoming PDHs?

All information about continuing education courses and professional engineering education can be found here on our wesbite.

 

If you are a NJSPE member and have any other questions about maintaining your New jersey professional engineer license you can contact us here: https://njspe.org/contact-us/

How to Obtain a PE License Without an Engineering Degree

If you received a bachelor’s degree in a non-engineering field, it may still be possible for you receive your PE license! Follow the steps below to learn how to make it all the way to the PE exam without having an ABET-accredited engineering degree.

Steps to receiving a PE license without an engineering degree

  1. Check to see if the program you were enrolled in is ABET-accredited

Before we get further into the steps, make sure your degree isn’t already ABET-accredited! Search by your program or your school here. If your program is accredited, you may follow steps three through five.

  1. Evaluation of a non‐ABET accredited engineering degree

If your program is not ABET-accredited, you may inquire about an evaluation to see if your educational background matches the standards for engineers. Obtaining your evaluation isn’t necessarily cheap, so it’s best to contact your state board to ensure you are eligible for evaluation. The New Jersey State Licensing Board information can be found here. If you are eligible for evaluation, you must complete an evaluation with The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. As mentioned before, during an evaluation your college-level education will be compared with the NCEES Engineering Education Standard.

  • TL;DR: The NCEES Engineering Education Standard specifies a total of 96 required semester hours: 32 higher mathematics/basic sciences + 16 general education + 48 engineering science/design.

To complete an evaluation, follow the steps on the NCEES website here.

Unfortunately, if you are deemed ineligible or your degree is not accepted, the next step for receiving a PE license would be to earn a four-year degree in an ABET-accredited engineering program.

  1. Pass the fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam

Once step two is complete, you are on the same track as those who received engineering degrees! Passing the FE exam is the first step to becoming a professional engineer. It is a computer-based exam that is administered all year round. Each exam is different based on your discipline. Learn more about the FE exam details and specifications here.

  1. Complete four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE

In order to obtain your PE license, you must have at least four years of experience working under a professional engineer. States differ in how they qualify engineering experience, but in general:

  • Experience should come from a major branch of engineering
  • Experience must be supervised
  • Experience must be of a high quality
  • Experience must be broad enough in scope to provide well-rounded exposure to many facets of professional engineering
  • Experience must progress from simple tasks with less responsibility to those with greater complexity and higher levels of responsibility

If you’re not sure about your experience, it is best to contact your state licensing board.

  1. Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam

If you’ve made it to this step, congratulations! The only thing standing between you and a professional engineering license is this exam. The PE exam is undoubtedly difficult, but with enough preparation and support, you can crush it! See the different types of PE exams and their specifications here. If you’re ready to take this next step, follow our PE exam checklist to ensure you are prepared.

It may not be a short and simple process, but it is possible to receive a PE license without an engineering degree! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us using the ‘Ask NJSPE!’ form in the sidebar of this page.

2020 UPDATE: How to Renew Your Professional Engineer License

 

UPDATED: JUNE 3, 2020

The deadline to renew your New Jersey Professional Engineer (PE) license is approaching! Due to COVID-19, the deadline has been extended to June 30, 2020. The procedure this year is a little different from years past, so renew your license by following the steps below. Maintaining your PE status means you have opportunities to advance professionally and personally. Through free web seminars, continuing education courses, and a large community of engineers, you can continually improve upon your skills and build your personal network. Don’t let these opportunities slip by!

To renew your license, carefully follow these steps:

1. Renewal applications were mailed out mid-February

Renewal applications are NOT available online. Make sure you’ve received your application in the mail! If not, please contact the New Jersey state board here.

2. The renewal fee is $80

Your renewal fee must be paid when you send in your application. 

3. The renewal grace period is July 1 – July 31, 2020

If you submit your application in the grace period, you will be required to pay a late fee of $50, bringing the total cost to renew to $130.

4. You must complete all requirements to renew your license

To be eligible to renew your PE license, you must complete a minimum of 24 professional development hours. Of those hours, you must have a minimum of two hours or a maximum of eight hours completed in ethics. You can complete as many credits as you want online and some excess professional development hours may carry over to the following renewal period. For complete details on meeting the minimum requirements, click here.

5. New Jersey allows extra PDHs to be carried over to the next renewal period

If you’ve completed more than 24 PDHs in the last two years, you’re eligible to roll over up to 12 PDHs to the next renewal period! You can be proactive and continue to go to continuing education events and purchase courses to get ahead in the next renewal period. See upcoming CE events and PDH opportunities here

Additionally, if you’re not sure if your license needs to be renewed, you can check the renewal status by logging into the NSPE website. Click on the “My Account” link located at the top right of the webpage. 

The deadline to renew NJ PE licenses is June 30, 2020. Once you have renewed your New Jersey engineering society license, it’s important to maintain it by meeting your requirements. In the State of New Jersey, professional engineers are required to complete 24 professional development hours (PDH). At least two must be in professional practice ethics. For continuing education, there are many options for meeting your requirements. Options include, but are not limited to: web seminars, independent studies, and conferences and events. For more information on PDH opportunities, check out our blog.  

How NJSPE and You Can Help Protect PE Licenses

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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