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License To Build: Optional Yet Fundamental Requirement For Civil Engineers

1299 words - 5 pages

Personal moralities oftentimes become mistaken with professional ethics. On one hand, morality deals with the personal beliefs of virtuous conduct regardless of community custom or the governing society. On the other hand, ethics consisted of a system of principles of rightness and goodness. Civil engineers main obligation and responsibility to the society is to exercise the engineering ethics. One system to guarantee this responsibility is to form a professional group of engineers with regulations and exams to assure quality. Since professional engineer license is not required to practice general engineering services, many upcoming engineers does not seed the immediate pressure to pursuit the license. This decreasing trend of licensed Professional Engineers due to the lack of encouragement to current upcoming engineers will led to an unsustainable civil engineering profession; engineers must be licensed before they can be responsible for the public’s safety as stated in the civil engineering code of ethics.
The title “Engineer” has always been used with much ambiguity. Legally however, individuals are required many steps including several years of experience and the passing of an examination issued by the National Council of Examiners for Surveying and Engineering. Graduation from an accredited institution, passing of a Fundamental Engineering examination, satisfaction of work experiences, and finally the passing of Professional Engineer examination are steps required to legally be a Licensed Professional Engineer. In May of 2009, there was approximately 2500 engineers in training attempted to achieve the Professional Engineer license with only about 900 passed. Many upcoming engineering graduates are not well informed about the optional process to become a licensed engineer. Civil Engineering students mostly make up the majority of the engineer in training population since civil engineers work are directly related to the public safety without the manufacturing or production phase as with the electrical and mechanical engineers. As a clarification to popular misconception, any individual can not be title “engineer” unless that individual obtains certification from the state as a licensed engineer or “professional engineer (PE).” A professional engineer is more effective, ethical engineer due to the background education, training and experience required by the law to become licensed.
Although there have been an increase in the professional engineers this past year, the overall trend of the Professional Engineers examiners have not have any significant increase in the past decade. Unlike doctors and lawyers, not all engineers need to be licensed in order to perform work in their field for clients. An unlicensed individual can still design and construct structures such as a single family housing within the state codes and laws. In the civil engineering field in California, only the “Civil Engineer” title may design building of any type except...

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