License to Build: Optional Yet Fundamental Requirement for Civil Engineers

License to Build: Optional Yet Fundamental Requirement for Civil Engineers

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Personal moralities oftentimes become mistaken with professional ethics. On one hand, morality deals with the personal beliefs of virtuous conduct regardless of community custom or the governing society. On the other hand, ethics consisted of a system of principles of rightness and goodness. Civil engineers main obligation and responsibility to the society is to exercise the engineering ethics. One system to guarantee this responsibility is to form a professional group of engineers with regulations and exams to assure quality. Since professional engineer license is not required to practice general engineering services, many upcoming engineers does not seed the immediate pressure to pursuit the license. This decreasing trend of licensed Professional Engineers due to the lack of encouragement to current upcoming engineers will led to an unsustainable civil engineering profession; engineers must be licensed before they can be responsible for the public’s safety as stated in the civil engineering code of ethics.
The title “Engineer” has always been used with much ambiguity. Legally however, individuals are required many steps including several years of experience and the passing of an examination issued by the National Council of Examiners for Surveying and Engineering. Graduation from an accredited institution, passing of a Fundamental Engineering examination, satisfaction of work experiences, and finally the passing of Professional Engineer examination are steps required to legally be a Licensed Professional Engineer. In May of 2009, there was approximately 2500 engineers in training attempted to achieve the Professional Engineer license with only about 900 passed. Many upcoming engineering graduates are not well informed about th...


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...and welfare of the society. Although every engineer are capable of making ethical decisions, licensed engineers are ultimately more educated, responsible, and judgmental to make decisions that are both ethical and productive. Licensed engineers have always been an prestige group of individuals and without this thrive. When licensed engineers become insufficient, the engineering society will be unsustainable leaving the public’s safety and code of ethics at risk. Current engineers in training and engineering students must pursuit the path to become a licensed professional engineer. Even though the road to become professional engineer is filled with almost half-decade of education, experiences, and examinations, it is a necessity, responsibility, and obligation of each engineer faced with the rapid technology advancement, global competition, and new ethical dilemmas.

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