If You Are Not a Licensed Engineer, You Are Still An Engineer

What’s the purpose of having an engineering license anyway?


In the field of engineering, there seems to be a perennial issue between engineers having licenses and those having none. It has created some unnecessary barriers at work because of the pride that licensed engineers hold. But that shouldn’t be the case.

What’s the purpose of having an engineering license anyway?

An engineering license allows one engineer to work having the credit of an engineer. Regulations about licensing in engineering vary from different countries but a license has one humanitarian purpose: it is to encourage safety and well-being of the general public by being accountable as an engineer. It is the stronghold of the law for engineers to take legal responsibility for any engineering work or projects, through the registered engineers’ signatures, seals and stamps.

If You Are Not a Licensed Engineer

It’s more than just having an “engineer” tagged in a name. An engineering license is considered the highest standard of competence, which dignifies an engineering graduate who really is capable to practice his or her profession. It is the title that represents an authority and responsibility.

Moreover, registered engineers get immediate respect from peers and an innate sense of achievement. They are also the ones who are first noticed by employers upon hiring, even when licenses are not necessarily required to be in the workforce.

If You Are Not a Licensed Engineer

There is so much power that is paired with an engineering license; however, there’s a huge “but” to all these merits: if one is not a licensed engineer, it doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t have the right to work as an engineer. He or she also has a valid engineering opinion that may even be better than those who have licenses. The title is not strictly exclusive to those who passed professional exams, but also to those who uphold the values and ideas of an engineer, which is to design and innovate.

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It may be that the law doesn’t allow non-licensed engineers to be called engineers in everything they do, but it doesn’t mean they are not also allowed to act like engineers. They can still become engineers of their own right.

We need to stop thinking highly if we are one of those registered engineers. We need to stop thinking lowly if we are one of those non-registered engineers. Either way, this is a kind of thinking lying at the back of our heads which breeds the discrimination. We are all engineers if we do engineering. Period.

If You Are Not a Licensed Engineer

Engineers are better off not classified with their licenses at work, because what’s important is that an engineer delivers for the benefit of mankind. It also starts among ourselves as engineers to treat our co-engineers fairly, regardless of license.

What are your thoughts on this?

Patricia Eldridge
Patricia took her MBA in London, UK. She's a model, actress, blogger and a copywriter. Her boyfriend is an overworked and underpaid engineer.

Comments 7

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  1. Thanks so much for that inspirational information. I may not be a licensed engineer but I comply the safety & quality regulations as a human being.

  2. What if you don’t have a driver’s license, are you capable of driving in the National roads & highways? Or can you drive internationally?

  3. They can be allowed to ACT LIKE engineers but not to PRACTICE engineering. What do they know about standards if they didn’t passed the exams? If they failed to a basic bunch of questions in engineering, they might also fail in giving safety & engineering standards. When I was a kid, I wonder if I want to be a doctor or to be an engineer. I chose engineering because I am afraid of the idea of being responsible for ones life. I was wrong. In engineering, we are responsible for thousands & million lives. Think of this – are you going to trust your life to someone who is ACTING LIKE a doctor?

  4. Indeed, it is same with Chef who studied culinary and Chef who studied on their own. A qualification does not prove better than those who has none.
    I cook better than our head-chef who has qualification. therefore, non-license engineers may also have better ideas than those with license.

  5. Unlicensed Engineers can still be called Engineer in their own right. But they may encounter limitations like when you will be involved on multi-million dollar project and you will be designated as one of the key person. You may also encounter limitation when dealing with Government project and you are one of the key decision makers. In other country license don’t have any merit, They are result oriented, Give your best they pay you well. If they are not satisgied they sent you home.

If You Are Not a Licensed Engineer, You Are Still An Engineer

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