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Structural Engineer License in California

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Dear Abby,

I have a question for the group, more like a request for opinions.

I have recently been offered a position with an engineering firm that is 
extremely promising. One problem is that they have no structural dept and I 
would be heading up a new division in structural design. I have a Civil 
License in CA but my ultimate goal is to obtain the SE license. My concern in 
accepting the position is the experience references that get submitted to the 
State Board to get approved to sit for the exam. In CA, you need 3 years 
experience beyond passing the PE exam and 4 references from licensed SE's. 
Obviously, if I take a job where I am the structural dept, I have no SE to 
supervise me and act as a reference to say, "Yes, this guy is qualified to 
take the SE exam" You need at least 1 reference for each job you count as 
qualifying experience. Does anyone have any experience in this or been in a 
similar situation? Would plan checkers who are SE's be open to acting as 

All of your opinions are thanked in advance.

Annonymous in CA