In episode 42 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I will talk about the power and responsibility that comes with having your P.E. license (professional engineering license).
Quotes to think about:
In the architecture, engineering and construction industry, your level of expertise and credibility is critical to your success, and a P.E. license gives you instant credibility. People want to hire experts and credible technical professionals, and a P.E. certainly gives you that credibility.
Your reputation consists of the beliefs or thoughts that people have about you. Obtaining a P.E. license, especially at a young age, tells people that you are a motivated civil engineer looking to move up in your career.
- Design capabilities
The P.E. license gives you the legal ability to be the responsible individual on design plans and specifications, meaning that you can sign and seal these documents. This may be a huge benefit to your firm, especially if you work for a small firm or desire to start your own. That being said, this can also open you up to liabilities, which I will discuss in a follow-up post.
- Career value
If you want to succeed as a civil engineer, you must provide value to people. Your P.E. license allows you to do that, for the reasons I have already spoken about.
By investing the time and energy to obtain your P.E. license, you are investing in your future. You are showing your employer that you want to succeed. You are showing your clients that you are an expert. But most importantly you have added a valuable credential to your resume that can boost your engineering career over and over.
Here are some responsibilities you should be aware of as a Civil Engineer possessing a PE License.
If you are signing off on a design, you own it with respect to liability. If you plan to sign and seal drawings anytime soon, make sure you have a professional liability policy that covers you.
In most states, you will have to pay registration and renewal fees to maintain a current P.E. license, and if you are licensed in multiple states, then those fees can add up. Be aware of what the fees are and whether or not your employer will cover them for you.
- Continuing education
You should understand the costs associated with continuing education. Be aware of these cossts, but don’t let them prevent you from obtaining one.
- Ethical component
This is another critical aspect of licensure. As a licensed engineer, you are ethically responsible for practicing only in the fields of engineering that you are knowledgeable about. Failure to do so could cause engineering failures that could harm people. It is critical that you understand this point.
- Contract awareness
The more you can learn about contracts as a licensed P.E., the better off you will be, especially if you will be signing and sealing documents that are affected or associated with these contracts.
TCEP 040: 10 Tips Every Civil Engineer should Know about Managing Engineering and Architectural Design Services Contracts
TECC 100: Engineering Career and Life Lessons to Live By
TECC 120: A 10 Step Plan for Obtaining Your Professional Engineering License
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code CIVIL for 20% discount at PPI2Pass.com/coach.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on obtaining your PE license.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success