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I appreciate everyone's opinions and insights on licenses, it has always been a muddy subject to me, and I think I have a much better understanding of how it works around the country now. And I certainly know certain people's opinions on the issue :)

Paul- thanks for your posts on VE (so true),  and becoming an engineer in CA or out west. If I ever can convince myself to  move from a 4/2 house with a big lot to a 1BR condo that costs more, I may send you my resume! :)  Ahhh, but the weather, mountains, and ocean of CA are alluring... (And I have never even been there.)

Gail-  "We know Linda Tripp, and you, my friend, are no Linda Tripp."  (And that is a good thing.)

I agree with Scott and Bill's comments. First, why not offer a SE License in every state? Most states I have researched offer the NCEES SE I Exam, but then issue a PE, like here in FL. Again, no separation between me and the guy doing retention ponds. I would never try to design a pond, and I don't want them designing a building, but what is stopping either one of us? ETHICS. This is part of our licensing requirements, and people are brought up on charges all of the time. But how many go unnoticed? I would think a SE license would be a good first step from weeding out riffraff who pretend to do structural. I think structural is enough of a specialty, and has enough of a life safety issue that it deserves its own test and license. If architects need a 9 part exam, can't us SE do the same??  (Ironically, like others said, there is nothing keeping an SE from designing a system he is unfamiliar with either, and there never can be.)

Quick case in point- An acquaintance with a MS in Environmental (PE) asks me if we have the FBC and how to determine wind loads and such. I ask why, and he says he has a friend who builds boat docks with roofs, like little houses, and needs someone to sign and seal plans. He says he is confident in the builder's ability, since he has built X amount with no problem, but for permit he is now required to show some wind calcs. I tell the guy I cannot help him out, because what he is talking about is unethical. I explain there is a lot more to structural design then picking Simpson straps from a catalog. If he wants to get into that, he should go back and get some structural theory background, a timber class, etc., i.e., more school time. After some discussion he knew he was barking up the wrong tree, I have no idea if he pursued this further. I was pretty P'Od at his audacity, lack of even understanding why what he wanted to do was wrong, and lack of respect for our discipline.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Andrew Kester, EI 
 Longwood, FL 

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