ASHRAE Supports Change to PE-License Requirement

ASHRAE is voicing its support of a move to remove a requirement for an additional 30 credit hours to obtain licensure as a professional engineer.

ASHRAE is voicing its support of a move by U.S. engineering and surveying licensing boards to remove a requirement for an additional 30 credit hours to obtain licensure as a professional engineer (PE).

In 2006, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) approved language in its model law requiring the additional 30 hours—roughly the equivalent of a master’s degree—to obtain a PE license. The requirement was slated to take effect in 2020.

During its 2014 annual meeting Aug. 20-23, the NCEES voted to modify that approach and instead develop an official NCEES position statement supporting additional engineering education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

“ASHRAE supports this move by the NCEES,” ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix, PE, FASHRAE, BEMP, BEAP, said. “We saw this as a hurdle to becoming an engineer when engineers are already in short supply. We felt that committing an additional year to obtain 30 credit hours would be a very significant deterrent for many engineers who might otherwise pursue an engineering degree. The current system of examinations and supervision in practice are workable, effective, and adaptable, resulting in highly competent professional engineers.”

Under the change from NCEES, beginning in 2020, the group’s model law and model rules will continue to require an engineering bachelor’s degree from an EAC/ABET-accredited program to fulfill the education requirement for engineering licensure.

“ASHRAE will continue to develop educational programs that ensure its members remain at the forefront of engineering practice and technologies,” Phoenix said.

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