To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: PE Vs certified civil engineer [plan checker license requirem ent]
From: "Haan, Scott M." <HaanSM(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 17:06:02 -0900
Alaskan plan checking license requirements for comparison:
Plan checking is not just structural, it is architectural and the other
disciplines too. I am a licensed civil with a structural background but I
am also am an ICBO certified plans examiner and review architectural plans
for fire-life-safety and accessibility requirements.
I do not know how other states handle plan checking. Alaska is a remote
sparsely populated state, and it is physically impossible to hire licensed
plan checkers in some locations. The Anchorage building department has a
staff of 6 licensed engineers and some EIT's however. The Alaska statutes
specifically exempt plan checkers from the practice of engineering,
considering the review to be "code checking", but if the jurisdiction is
doing a more thorough review of structural designs than the Alaska statutes
allow plan checking to be counted as good time towards a license [if under a
licensed engineer]. Please do not lambast me if this does make sense, I did
not write the law.
What I have seen in other Alaskan jurisdictions that cannot afford to hire
licensed engineers is if there is a stamp on the plans then the plans are
good to go.
Scott M Haan P.E.
Plan Review Engineer
Building Safety Division http://www.muni.org/building,
Development Services Department,
Municipality of Anchorage
phone: 907-343-8183 fax: 907-249-7399
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sid Danandeh [SMTP:sdanandeh(--nospam--at)cityofpalmdale.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 4:27 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: RE: PE Vs certified civil engineer
> The state may be getting tough or acting tough with the PE's etc. but they
> definitely turn a blind eye to the illegal use of the title of plan check
> engineer as it relates to the position of plan check engineer.
> Many cities in California knowingly hire non degreed non licensed
> individuals to work as the plan check engineer. One southern CA city even
> has hired a senior plan check engineer position , when the individual did
> not even had the 4 year engineering college degree yet alone be a PE.
> For the past 10 years I have written called and e mailed the enforcement
> division of the engineers board regarding the various city and governments
> agencies hiring these individual ie the senior plan check engineers or
> check engineers.
> Apparently there are no hard and fast rules and the practice goes on until
> this very day.
> I do not think that we are even close to the Bar association's lobby as
> mentioned. No attorney will allow some one who is not bar certified to
> as attorneys but the engineering community is faced with non licensed
> individuals that use the tile plan check engineer or senior plan check
> Funny thing is that it all happens in CA with its seismic zone 4?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Drew A. Norman, SE [mailto:DNorman(--nospam--at)dnormanse.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 4:36 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> 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
> have ignited an inappropriate debate. As the, "someone," who posted the
> California statute which, as you point out, "decidedly implied that I
> use the title "P.E." after my name in CA unless I am specifically
> in CA," I feel obliged to clarify so that Fountain Conner will not be
> afraid to attend seminars and/or corporate boondoggles in sunny
> 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 http://www.dca.ca.gov/pels/ -- the
> text of the relevant law as well as the current board rules and
> governing the practice of engineering in California is available on line
> .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
> ... 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> In re your speaking on this list server or Fountain's coming to a
> and handing out his card, or introducing himself via resume as a P.E.
> 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
> 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
> place of business in this state. (d) Offers to but does not practice
> 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
> such an engineer's activities.)
> In re somebody doing work that another (California licensed) P.E. would
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> work" means the independent control and direction, by the use of
> 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
> So it sounds like the real world requirements here in California are
> 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