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Rand Holtham wrote:

"Texas does not allow anyone to use Engineer in their title (except graduate engineer for an EIT) or offer any kind of engineering explicit or implied (save some rights by Architects) nor can the word Architect be used by someone not licensed i.e. an engineer can do what would commonly be referred to as architecture but he can't call it architecture."


I sincerely wish that you are correct, but you are not.  The 78th Texas Legislature, under pressure from Corporate America, significantly relaxed the use of the term "Engineer" last year.  What follows is an excerpt from my legislative summary on the SEAoT website.  To read more on this and other changes to your professional life, simply go to the website at 

With respect to your conclusion that "an engineer can do what would commonly be referred to as architecture but he can't call it architecture", this has yet to be resolved between TBPE and TBAE.  The debate has been raging for nearly 15 years.  TBAE currently has two enforcement actions pending against engineers for doing "full building design" of public buildings.  I have recently been appointed to the new TBPE/TBAE Joint Advisory Committee on the Practice of Engineering and Architecture.  Our first meeting will be in Austin tomorrow, and we will earnestly try to find some common ground on this issue.  


Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas


SB 277:  Signed into Law 06/20/03, Effective 09/01/03
This is the 800# gorilla that was vigorously opposed by SEAoT, TSPE, ASCE, and (less vigorously) CEC-T.  The primary purposes of this legislation were to re-authorize the PE Board for another 12 years, revise a host of PE Board administrative procedures, and relax the use of the term "Engineer".  
With respect to the latter, the legislation extends the previous industrial exemption to permit activities of private corporation employees under direct control of the entity to make reasonable modifications of existing buildings and facilities not accessible to the general public and to design, fabricate, and produce services or products.  Furthermore, a person working in an exempt organization may now use the term "Engineer" on business cards and correspondence.  However, they may not offer services to the public nor use the term outside the exemption.  A separate provision of the legislation specifically exempts aerospace companies working for NASA from regulation and permits the title of "Engineer" in job classifications and on business cards, as long as the wording does not imply licensing and services are not offered to the public without being licensed. 
Of course, what's good for the goose is also good for the gander!  If new graduates can now go to work for Corporate America and immediately call themselves engineers, why not apply the same latitude for new graduates going to work for engineering consulting firms?  Sure enough, to quote the PE Board,   "a graduate engineer in a licensed firm working under a PE may use the term "Engineer" on business cards and stationary."  [This is wonderful news, the derogatory stigma associated with the Engineer-In-Training title will now become a thing of the past!]

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