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RE: P.E. vs certified civil engineer

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Well documented clear-cut definition! Nicely done!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Drew A. Norman, SE [mailto:DNorman(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 4:36 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Re: P.E. vs certified civil engineer
> Mr. Kilgore,
> With apologies to Bill Pohemus (maybe we are the State Bar Association), I
> may, in attempting to steer the original inquirer towards a
> cautious course,
> have ignited an inappropriate debate.  As the, "someone," who posted the
> California statute which, as you point out, "decidedly implied
> that I cannot
> use the title "P.E." after my name in CA unless I am specifically
> registered
> in CA,"  I feel obliged to clarify so that Fountain Conner will not be
> afraid to attend seminars and/or corporate boondoggles in sunny
> California.
> There are in fact several exceptions to the applicable prohibition against
> the use of the "protected" titles (e.g., P.E.) by unregistered persons.
> Feeling guilty, I went back to the State Board's web site (interested
> parties may want to visit it, at --
> the complete
> text of the relevant law as well as the current board rules and
> regulations
> governing the practice of engineering in California is available
> on line in
> .pdf form), and found the following:
> In re the basic prohibition, the passage I originally quoted:
> 6732. Use of seal, stamp or title by unregistered person.  It is unlawful
> for anyone other than a professional engineer licensed under this
> chapter to
> ... in any manner, use the title "professional engineer," "licensed
> engineer," "registered engineer," or "consulting engineer," or any of the
> ... [various protected branch titles]."
> Plus a companion passage defining a crime in the section on enforcement:
> 6787. Acts constituting misdemeanor.  Every person is guilty of a
> misdemeanor:  ... (f ) Who represents himself or herself as, or uses the
> title of, registered civil, electrical, or mechanical engineer,
> or any other
> title whereby that person could be considered as practicing or offering to
> practice civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering in any of its
> branches, unless he or she is correspondingly qualified by
> registration as a
> civil, electrical, or mechanical engineer under this chapter. ... [or] ...
> (h) Who uses the title, or any combination of that title, of "professional
> engineer," "licensed engineer," "registered engineer," or the
> branch titles
> specified in Section 6732, or the authority titles specified in Section
> 6763, or "engineer-in-training," or who makes use of any abbreviation of
> such title that might lead to the belief that he or she is a registered
> engineer, or holds a certificate as an engineer-in-training, without being
> registered or certified as required by this chapter.
> And this on structural engineers in particular (remember that
> California has
> two tier licensing):
> 6736. Title of structural engineer.  No person shall use the title,
> "structural engineer," unless he is a registered civil engineer in this
> State and, furthermore, unless he has been found qualified as a structural
> engineer according to the rules and regulations established
> therefor by the
> board.
> In re your speaking on this list server or Fountain's coming to a
> convention
> and handing out his card, or introducing himself via resume as a
> P.E. (e.g.,
> arguably making an "offer to practice") however:
> 6741. Exemption of nonresidents.  Any person, firm, partnership, or
> corporation is exempt from registration under the provisions of
> this chapter
> who meets all of the following:  (a) Is a nonresident of the State of
> California.  (b) Is legally qualified in another state to practice as a
> civil, electrical, or mechanical engineer.  (c) Does not maintain
> a regular
> place of business in this state.  (d) Offers to but does not
> practice civil,
> electrical, or mechanical engineering in this state.
> (You may want to note however that item (b) requires licensure in "...
> another state ...." -- which I think means another of the fifty, not a
> FOREIGN "state."  This exemption might NOT therefore protect a member of a
> say, Pakistani, institute, licensed to practice in say, Turkmenistan, who
> attempted to solicit engineering commissions (studies, reports, etc.) in
> California using the title, "P.E."  I think the Board might take
> issue with
> such an engineer's activities.)
> In re somebody doing work that another (California licensed) P.E.
> would sign
> for, I think the Board here would in such instance treat the person doing
> the work as a "subordinate":
> 6705. Subordinate defined. A subordinate is any person who assists a
> registered professional engineer in the practice of professional
> engineering
> without assuming responsible charge of work.
> And that person would then be exempt under the following provision:
> 6740. Exemption of subordinates. A subordinate to a civil, electrical or
> mechanical engineer registered under this chapter, or a subordinate to a
> civil, electrical or mechanical engineer exempted from registration under
> this chapter, insofar as he acts solely in such capacity, is exempt from
> registration under the provisions of this chapter. This
> exemption, however,
> does not permit any such subordinate to practice civil, electrical or
> mechanical engineering in his own right or to use the title, "civil
>  engineer" or "structural engineer" or "electrical engineer" or
> "mechanical
> engineer" or "soil engineer.
> But the person signing this subordinate's work could get in trouble if he
> were not actually in "responsible charge" of its production:
> 6703. Responsible charge of work defined.  The phrase
> "responsible charge of
> work" means the independent control and direction, by the use of
> initiative,
> skill, and independent judgment, of the investigation or design of
> professional engineering work or the direct engineering control of such
> projects. The phrase does not refer to the concept of financial
> liability."
> So it sounds like the real world requirements here in California
> are pretty
> much what you said you thought they ought to be (a P.E. is a P.E., but you
> shouldn't go doing work in areas where you're not registered).
> Drew Norman, S.E.
> Drew A. Norman and Associates
> Pasadena, Californria