Who is This Person?

Posted by in Tips on Preparing for an Engineering Evaluation | May 27, 2013

So, you’ve filed a claim and the claims representative said that they are “sending an engineer out to evaluate the damage to the structure.”  You might be thinking, “Who is this guy (or gal)?  What are their qualifications?”

That is a good question.  One that we have been asked more than a few times.  The following is a brief, and thus simplified, discussion of this issue.

First of all, what constitutes an engineer (in Ohio)?

According to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 4733.01 Professional engineer and professional surveyor definitions of Chapter 4733: PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND PROFESSIONAL SURVEYORS an engineer “means a graduate of an accredited engineering curriculum or a person registered as a professional engineer under this chapter, or both.”  Thus, to qualify as an “engineer” one must have obtained an engineering degree from a school with an accredited engineering curriculum.  No one should call himself (or herself) an “engineer” unless he or she has graduated from a school with an accredited engineering curriculum.  Furthermore, Section 4733.021 states that no individual shall convey the impression that he or she is a graduate of an accredited engineering curriculum unless the he or she IS a graduate of an accredited engineering curriculum.  In summary, if one does not have an engineering degree, one is not an engineer.  But further…..

What constitutes a Professional Engineer (in Ohio)?

The same section of the Ohio Revised Code states, “’Professional engineer’ means a person registered as a professional engineer under this chapter.”  Calling and representing oneself as a “Professional Engineer” in Ohio is more restrictive and requires that one meet certain qualifications established by the State of Ohio.  These qualifications were established for the safety of the public.  According to Section 4733.11, the following qualifications are necessary to be licensed as a “Professional Engineer” by the State of Ohio:

1.   To be a Professional Engineer one must
a.  graduate from an accredited engineering curriculum of four years or more;
b.  pass the fundamentals examination and the principles and practice examination, which gives the applicant   a status as an engineer intern;
c.  have a specific record of four years or more of practical experience in engineering work completed (under the supervision of a registered Professional Engineer);
d.  and then, pass the prescribed written or written and oral examinations (a day long test of engineering abilities).

1.  (Or alternately), one must
a.  graduate from a non-accredited college curriculum in engineering of four years or graduate from a college curriculum in engineering technology of four years or more that is accredited by the technical accreditation commission of the accreditation board for engineering and technology;
b.  pass the fundamentals examination and the principles and practice examination, which gives the applicant a status as an engineer intern;
c.  have eight years or more of practical experience in engineering work completed (under the supervision of a registered Professional Engineer);
d.  and pass the prescribed written or written and oral examination (a day long test of engineering abilities).

2.   And must be of good character and reputation.

To renew the Professional Engineering registration (Section 4733.15 and 4733.151), one must meet continuing education requirements (30 hours per two year period) and submit the biennial fee.

In order to protect the public, the State of Ohio requires that persons, who offer or engage in the “practice of engineering” directly to the public or who convey the impression that he or she is a Professional Engineer, have a Professional Engineering license or an exemption from the state.  Engineering services “include any professional service, such as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design, or inspection of construction or operation for the purpose of assuring compliance with drawings or specifications in connection with any public or privately owned public utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works, or projects.  Thus, one may say he or she is an engineer in conversation and writing (assuming he or she meets the requirements of the definition above), but may not offer engineering services to or perform engineering services for the public unless he or she is a licensed Professional Engineer.

In summary, an “engineer” is similar to a “doctor” who graduated from medical school, but has never met the licensing requirements of the state.  A Professional Engineer, is similar to a “doctor” who graduated from medical school, and has also met the licensing requirements of the state.

“Is the person inspecting my home an engineer, or, a Professional Engineer?”

A list of licensed Professional Engineers in Ohio can be searched online at http://peps.ohio.gov/LicenseLookup.aspx.

Don’t be fooled by someone who claims or conveys the impression that he or she is a Professional Engineer or by someone who claims that the person being sent out is a Professional Engineer.  Ask questions.  Check it out.

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