To become a Licensed Professional Engineer, an individual must be a graduate of an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. This typically requires at least four years of college study. After four years of study, the engineer is qualified to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. In addition to passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, the engineer must have four years of experience working under a Licensed Professional Engineer. Finally, the engineer must pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. Only when all requirements have been met can an individual be considered a Licensed Professional Engineer.
The Professional Engineer (P.E.) designation is a New York State regulated license, which assures your Inspector has the proper education, training, and experience to serve the public. To obtain this license, an individual must satisfy the following "minimum" requirements:
Fours years of college level Engineering education at an accredited institution.
Fours years of qualifying professional Engineering experience.
Successful completion of two rigorous examinations administered by the State Board.
Every Professional Engineer is issued an official State seal, an impression of which is affixed on every engineers report. By law in most states, a registered Professional Engineer or Architect is the only one who can legally render an opinion on the structural stability of an existing building. When shopping for an Inspector, always be sure to ask if the final report will be stamped with a P.E.'s seal.
You may call the New York State Department of Education in Albany, New York, to verify the license of your engineer. The phone number for the Division of Professional Licensing Services is: (518) 474-3817. You may also verify the license of your engineer online, using the New York State Office of Professions licensing verification page.
Licensing helps assure that a professional is competent, trained, and working in your interest. Be sure to choose a Licensed Professional Engineer for your pre-purchase inspection, and make sure that you verify that the engineer is actually licensed. The purchase of a home, building, condominium unit, or cooperative unit is a major investment. Selecting an unlicensed inspector may save some money in the short-term, but it can also lead to unexpected and even major expenses later on.