AIChE Leaders Oppose
Change in Requirements
Revision seen as unnecessary and onerous burden on
candidates for licensure and their employers.
If you and your employer feel that being a licensed Professional
Engineer (PE) can be an important component of an engineer's career, you
need to know about an important change that is being implemented. The
rules regarding eligibility for the PE exam change in 2012. AIChE's leaders oppose this change.
The change in the Model Law of the National Council of
Examiners for Engineering and Surveying requires a master’s of
science degree or its equivalent beginning in 2020. That would be on top
of the current requirements that you have graduated from a four year,
ABET-accredited engineering program; have four years of work experience;
and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering examination. State legislatures
and governing boards are being urged to adopt this change by 2012 so it
can be implemented in 2020.
Proponents claim that additional credit hours beyond the
bachelor's degree are needed to fully prepare tomorrow's engineers for
practice. They argue that, as universities reduce the hours required for
the BS degree, additional credit hours are needed to properly prepare
What are the adverse effects of this change?
The change will likely reduce interest in engineers becoming
licensed and possibly drive students into other disciplines. It will
increase costs to engineers and their firms and the time that it takes to
get licensed. While strongly encouraging chemical engineers to become
licensed, AIChE leaders believe that the change
is unwarranted, expensive, and won’t provide any increased benefit
or protection to the public. For chemical engineers, the BS degree, four
years of practice, and passage of the PE exam are sufficient to assure a
reasonable level of competence and protect the public.
Several other engineering societies share AIChE's view. In fact AIChE,
along with seven other societies, endorsed an American Society of
Mechanical Engineers' position paper opposing the change. The Academy of Engineering Companies is also
against it. The major proponent of the change is the American Society of
What you can do:
Learn the position being taken on the revised model law by
your state's licensing board. Make your opinion known to the licensing
board and appropriate committees of your state legislature. Also, make
your management aware of the change. Finally, if you are a member of
other engineering societies, for example, the National Society of
Professional Engineers, discuss the issue at local meetings. All PEs need to be aware of the change.
A website has been established for engineers to share
information and work together toward maintaining the current educational
requirements. To see the position
paper and learn more about the model law, go to: www.licensingthatworks.org.
Future issues of AIChExchange and CEP will provide more information on the background,
complications, and ramifications of this proposal.
Contact: Felicia Guglielmi (646-495 1330)