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Re: Florida PE-Bureacracy

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Rajendran was essentially correct.  In most states, once you have obtained
you PE in one state (i.e. gotten your degree, passed the FE, gotten your 4
years of work experience, and passed the PE exam), you only need to
fillout the forms which includes verifying your work experience (again)
and pay the fee to get your PE license by reciprosity.

There are of course exceptions to this.  And California leads the list of
exceptions right at the top.  Those who have a PE elsewhere in the country
who desire a PE in California must fillout the paperwork, pay the fee, and
THEN take the seismic and surveying exams specific.  Also, California may
make life difficult engineers licensed in California with their PE to get
reciprosity in other states since you only need 2 years of experience to
get your California PE license, but everyone else essentially requires 4
years of experience.

The other major exception is when you start talking about which PE exam
you took.  Some states don't offer the NCEES Structural I exam for the PE
so you must take the NCEES Civil exam.  Thus, you may encounter some
states where you took one of the two exams, but they require the other so
you would end up having to take that other exam.

Then, there is the issue of complications in SE licenses.  This is where
there is very little in the way of true reciprosity (i.e. fillout the
paperwork and pay the fee to get your license in the other state).  This
is due to the fact that the SE license requirements vary SO widely from
state to state in the few states that have SE licenses.

The point is that as a PE in Michigan, I only had to fillout the paperwork
and submit the fee to get my PE license in Washington.  To my knowledge,
it would be similar if I needed my PE license in Ohio or Pennsylvania or
most other states.  Getting my SE license in Illinois was essentially like
getting my first license as I had to take the tests in addition to filling
out the paperwork and paying the fee.  The process of getting my SE in
Washington (not yet complete...waiting on exam results), however, was
somewhat more of reciprosity since I had taken several of the required
exams for my Illinois SE license...I only had to take one of the required
exams (since I had taken the others already) in addition to the paperwork
and paying the fee.  And when I do get around to getting my PE license in
California, then I will have to fillout the paperwork, pay the fee, and
take those two California specific exams.  So, at this point with licenses
I have obatined and resulting tests that I have taken and passed, I am to
the point that I can essentially get a license by true reciprosity in
every state except California.

Where I will disagree with Rajendran a little is that a national PE (or
SE) license system does not exist due more to $$$ than power struggles.
The various states don't really want to give up the revenue from the
license renewal fees.  That is not to say that there is some power
struggle/protection of turf involved as well.  There have been some
arguements put forward of restraint-of-trade created by some licensing
provisions, especially when you talk about the California SE license (the
requirement of having 3 California SEs as references has bent some the
wrong way).  There are also those that would argue that it is not within
the providence of the federal government to create and administer a
national PE license, that such licensing is a power only allowed to the

The end result is that there will not be a national PE or SE license
anytime soon as the only current way to have it happen would be to have
every state legislature pass the exact same PE law with the exact same
requirements.  And frankly, I have a better chance of some rich,
beautiful, extremely intelligent woman ringing my doorbell right now and
wanting to marry me!


Ypsilanti, MI

On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Stanley E Scholl wrote:

> Two comments about this. First my experience is that one has to take a
> test to obtain registration in another state, not just submit experience,
> etc.

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