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Benefits of becoming a Professional Engineer

After writing the previous post, somebody asked me at Facebook this question: What are the benefits of becoming a PE (professional engineer)?

Well, there are many benefits if we look at it. I will provide my version of the benefits.

A PE will be respected for its ethics, skills and professionalism. Many will look up to them for solutions etc. Some will prefer those having PE status to assist them or work together. They are trusted engineers to handle/manage projects/contracts because a PE is well known for his/her credibility. A PE have the respect from its peers and community.

In my country, if we are a PE, we have some level of advantage compared to the others who are not a PE. A PE can have the authority to certify/approve drawings etc. While this is true for mechanical, civil and electrical engineers, it is scarcely heard that a chemical engineer PE have such similar authority. This is because for example, a vessel's drawing will be designed/certified normally by a mechanical engineer PE. An electrical circuit drawing or wiring in a plant or building will be designed/certified by an electrical engineer PE. A road/bridge construction drawing will be designed/certified by a civil engineer PE. A chemical engineer PE will design/draw/approve certain chemical process. This is very much related to the rules and regulation in a country.

Being a PE, we can also associate with other PE and engineers, thus increasing our networking and connections. On top of that, most engineering organizations have their own publication and this is an area which we can contribute it either as editor or contributor. Well, of course this apply if you love to write. We can also get involved in the activities, courses, trainings, talks etc that are organized for our own continues learning process. This will enable us to get properly informed of any new technologies, knowledge or policy updates. There are also subject group that we can involve in such as available in IChemE. You can choose to participate in any subject group(s) related to your expertise/field.

The benefit and importance of being a PE can be seen from the statement of Craig Durham, CEng MIMMM. He is a Senior Completion Engineer working in the UK upstream oil industry. What he had highlighted (UK context) is interesting...

Unlike most doctors, solicitors, civil and mining engineers, petroleum engineers are not required to be Chartered, in the UK at least. Historically, competence has been checked by reliance on a CV, interview and annual appraisal, although it is increasingly common to have company-specific competency assessment schemes in place. While these are welcome developments, only CEng status indicates that your competence has been assessed by other engineering professionals and is comparable with internationally recognised standards.

So why bother, particularly as, like me, I am sure that you work with many good engineers who are not Chartered, and being Chartered is not a guarantee of competence or ability? Perhaps the best reason is that it demonstrates a desire to take responsibility for your professional development, of taking pride in your professional achievements, of going the extra mile. Faced with a choice between similar candidates, one Chartered, one not, which one would you choose? (source)

What Craig Durham attempted to highlight in the last sentence is very clear. If you are a PE, chances of you getting hired are more compared to those without PE status. The market value for a PE is also higher and very much in demand.

Well, those are some points that can be highlighted. For academician, with PE status, it is a huge plus point to his/her career development. An academician with a PE status can normally cruise the career ladder faster than those who aren't. This is a scenario that I observed in universities in my country. On top of that, an engineering faculty requires a fix number of PE in order to be accredited by engineering accreditation council.

Well, those are some advantages that I can think of for now. If you have anything to add, feel free to mentioned it in the comment section. I'll add up some more when something struck my mind.

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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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