The Framework for Increased Requirements; Related Articles

Solar Power EngineersProfessional Engineers (PEs) are licensed by the states to protect the public’s health and safety. The PE license grants an individual the authority to perform engineering services and direct engineering projects that affect the public health, safety, and welfare.


The members of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) are the engineering and surveying licensure boards from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In 2006, NCEES changed its model state licensure law to require additional education beyond the bachelor’s degree for newly licensed professional engineers. In 2014, NCEES called for this framework to be reflected in an NCEES position statement in lieu of the model law to address comity issues. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of NCEES delegates voted to approve the framework as reflected in NCEES Position Statement 35, Future Education Requirements for Engineering Licensure. Such a framework requires  the following for obtaining an engineering license in the future:

  1. An accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering;
  2. A master’s degree or an equivalent 30 credits of graduate or upper level undergraduate courses in engineering, science, mathematics, and/or professional practice topics (this is known as the “MOE” [master’s or equivalent] provision);
  3. Approximately four years of progressive engineering experience (three years with an engineering master’s degree); and
  4. Successful completion of the appropriate NCEES-sponsored written examinations.

Under this framework, the additional 30 credits should be at least 50% engineering in nature, with the remaining open to courses in areas such as business, communications, contract law, management, ethics, public policy, and quality control, as well as math and science. The additional 30 credits might be taken in a university environment or through an agency, an organization, a professional society, or a formal employer training program.

The intent is that such changes be implemented no earlier than 8 years after a law’s enactment, providing ample time for engineering students to plan their future and ensuring that students already enrolled at the university level are not impacted.

The additional education requirements would not apply to engineers already licensed before the effective date.