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Re: what does a Principle make

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Rand,

I kind of thought that might be what you were thinking when you said
"Principal Engineer".  It is a term that I have heard at one point or
another.  But, what I am usually more used to is that a "Principal" is an
owner (i.e. stock holder in a privately held company, partner, etc) in a
professional firm.  The term "Principal" from my experience then does not
really relate to what they do on a day to day basis for the company.  In
companies that I have worked for, a Principal could the just a "project
engineer", a product manager, department manager, or "business leader" of
the company.  The term "Principal" just meant that they were a part owner
of the company.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Fri, 11 Jun 2004, Rand Holtham, P.E. wrote:

> Well, I always see Principal listed in the salary surveys and I've worked
> with engineers whose title was Principal, and I think it's unlikely that
> they are owners or part owners i.e. branch offices of national firms. Are
> some Principals what might otherwise be termed lead engineer. I was getting
> the thought that maybe larger firms may have lead engineers who are
> principally in responsible charge of many jobs delegated to subordinates
> working under they're direct supervision. But what both of you are
> indicating is that a Principal is a "business man/Engineer".
>
> Rand
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Scott Maxwell" <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 7:37 PM
> Subject: Re: what does a Principle make
>
>
> > Paul,
> >
> > I would agree that is the common definition and the one that I think of
> > when I here someone say "Principle" (not necessarily "Principle
> > Engineer"...that could be construed as something else).  I believe Rand
> > may have be asking because of my reference to how it is defined in the
> > Michigan PE Act.  Here is the definition that Michigan uses in the PE Act
> > (in case you are interested):
> >
> > (h) Principal means a sole proprietor, partner, the president,
> > vice-president, secretary, treasurer, or director of a corporation, or a
> > member or manager of a limited liability company.
> >
> > In essence, they also define officers of companies who may or may not be
> > part owners as principles as well (which is consistant with your second
> > sentance, but not the first sentance/comment).
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Scott
> > Adrian, MI
> >
> >
> > On Thu, 10 Jun 2004, Paul Feather wrote:
> >
> > > Ownership.  The ability to make decisions that affect the direction of
> the
> > > company, with ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of the
> > > firm.
> > >
> > >
> > > Paul Feather PE, SE
> > > pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
> > > www.SE-Solutions.net
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Rand Holtham, P.E." <rand(--nospam--at)sigmaengineers.com>
> > > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > > Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 7:41 AM
> > > Subject: what does a Principle make
> > >
> > >
> > > > How do others define "Principal Engineer" ?
> > > >
> > > > Rand
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > From: "Scott Maxwell" <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
> > > > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > > > Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 7:55 PM
> > > > Subject: Re: Legal and liability - using my stamp
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > Mark:
> > > > >
> > > > > Others have offered good things to think about...both those from
> smaller
> > > > > firms (i.e. sole practitioners) and larger firms (see Stan's
> comments).
> > > > >
> > > > > I would say that Stan and Jason offered some good comments from a
> larger
> > > > > firm perspective.
> > > > >
> > > > > Some other things to keep in mind...
> > > > >
> > > > > 1) E&O insurance does absolutely NOTHING for your license.  As some
> have
> > > > > hinted at, it will only protect your financial "tushie".  There is
> > > NOTHING
> > > > > to protect your license except doing good engineering.  And, if you
> lose
> > > > > your license, then you have problems with ALL states, as they are
> DARN
> > > > > good about transmitting and "trusting" board enforcement actions,
> but
> > > have
> > > > > trouble transmitting and/or "trusting" reference/job/school
> verification
> > > > > for the purposes of getting a license by reciprosity (i.e. you
> fillout
> > > the
> > > > > same forms 50 times if you want to be licensed in every
> state...unless
> > > you
> > > > > do the NCEES records program).
> > > > >
> > > > > 2) I think think that Stan overstated the issue of who seals
> drawings
> > > > > (i.e. responsible charge) just a hair.  While he is basically on
> point,
> > > it
> > > > > is important to realize that each state can have slightly different
> > > > > requirement/rules in this area.  I think Bill Sherman is a little
> closer
> > > > > on target.  You need to be aware of what each state that you are
> > > licensed
> > > > > in requires.  Some are rather lax (or non-specific), while others
> are
> > > very
> > > > > strict and specific.
> > > > >
> > > > > 3) If you are officially sealing on behalf of the company (i.e. the
> > > > > company offers professional services that you are providing as a
> company
> > > > > employee), then many states have additional rules about how the
> company
> > > > > needs to be setup (i.e. ownership).  I believe a couple people have
> > > > > mentioned this.  This has two main impacts...first, more fees (for
> the
> > > > > company)...but also, many states require a certain number of the
> > > > > owners/principles be licensed.  To my understanding, New York
> require
> > > ALL
> > > > > owners of the company to be licensed.  Michigan requires 2/3 of the
> > > > > principles to be licensed (but carefully review how they define
> > > > > principles...not necessarily owners, but could be non-owning company
> > > > > officers).  To me, the intent of this provision is that engineering
> > > > > decisions cannot (should not) be overridden by non-licensed
> individuals
> > > > > due to financial reason rather than engineering reasons.
> > > > >
> > > > > HTH,
> > > > >
> > > > > Scott
> > > > > Adrian, MI
> > > > >
> > > > > On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 Markajohn(--nospam--at)cs.com wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Thanks to all who responded.  Very educational.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > So far, several people have said that insurance is of questionable
> use
> > > > and
> > > > > > may even be a bad idea.  There is also the discussion about who
> should
> > > > stamp
> > > > > > what. Also, there is risk, including lifetime liability and "prior
> > > acts"
> > > > > > liability.  If the risk is not dealt with by insurance, or even if
> it
> > > > is, it should be
> > > > > > compensated for with a decent salary, partial ownership, etc.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Now I have some things to talk to my firm about.  What a great
> list.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Thanks All,
> > > > > > Mark Johnson
> > > > > >
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