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SE Licensing in Washington State, Recent Changes

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Here?s information on recent and planned changes in SE licensing in Washington State. Send any comments to:
Edwin Huston, Chairman of the SEAW Exam Committee at:
George Twiss, Director of the Washington State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors at:

From an Seattle Chapter President Charlie Griffes letter to the membership
in the September 2001 Newsletter:
?Licensing and the need for a ?Practice Act? in Washington is of critical interest. We have an SE license in Washington but it is only minimally required to practice structural engineering. Oregon recently enacted a practice a practice act that required an SE licensed design for certain classes of structures. Now is a good time to purse this in Washington. It seems like a better direction for our efforts than the recent and ongoing efforts at a national certification for structural engineers. Your haircutter and all the drivers on the road are required to be licensed to practice, but the designers of many buildings and other structures are not required to be SE?s!?

From the minutes of the June 27, 2001 meeting of the Board of Registration
Exam Qualification Committee

3.1.1 Structural III ? Washington

The exam is being graded in three sessions. The results will be available in July.

Staff requests pre-approval of Structural III cut-score. The cut-score setting team will consist of a minimum of one Board member, possibly two. Mr. Ed Huston reported that 11 of the 66 examinees were bridge engineers. The four building problems (1, 2, 3A, 4A) have been graded. He feels the overall responses to questions are not as good as in the past.

Mr. Huston has been requested to speak at the NW Conference of Structural Engineers the first week of August regarding the structural exam process in Washington. Areas of discussion will include history, passing rates, and make-up of the structural exam committee. All topics covered are public information.

Mr. Huston suggests that it would be beneficial for the Structural Board members to attend the September 28th SEAW meeting in Seattle.

Mr. Huston stated the structural committee would like to go back to the structural exam administered once a year in October. The 16 hour structural exam was given yearly from 1963 until 1997. Mr. Huston reported that there are a limited number engineers willing to work on the exam and also it is difficult writing the exam twice a year. He reported that Hawaii, Oregon and Utah give the SE National exam in October only. Structural Exam Transition

The discussion continued from the last meeting regarding the format of the Structural III exam.

The structural committee recommends that the Structural I exam no longer be given and make the Structural III an eight hour exam given yearly in October.

They also recommend the new SE III exam be offered October 2002, and that no SE III exam be administered in April 2002.

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