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NCEES Testing Nomenclature
Structural Engineering (SE) Exam
SE – Abbreviation for a licensed Structural Engineer
Tests the ability to practice structural engineering and is designed for engineers who practice in jurisdictions that may license structural engineers separately from other professional engineers. It is a 16-hour exam that uses a separate vertical and lateral component to test your ability to safely design buildings or bridges, especially in areas of high seismicity and high wind.
Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam
PE – Abbreviation for a licensed Professional Engineer
Tests the ability to practice in a particular engineering discipline competently. It is designed for engineers who have gained at minimum four years’ post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline. Each PE exam lasts 8 hours and is split into a morning and an afternoon session.
The NCSEA Structural Licensure Committee works with SEAs to influence the adoption of consistent licensing laws and rules in the interest of public safety, especially relating to licensure of structural engineers. This committee is focused on:
- Recognizing the unique responsibility structural engineers have to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the public over that borne by all disciplines of engineering.
- Promoting structural licensure by educating and supporting SEAs pursuing licensure.
- Ensuring state licensing laws and regulations are divided and labeled by the procedures the state board uses to recognize and license individuals as professional engineers or structural engineers.
- The goal to recognize the additional SE credential based on the NCEES 16 hour structural exam and support transitioning currently practicing structural engineers to a higher standard of practice.
A provision in a jurisdiction’s statutes, rules, or licensing board procedures that recognizes every licensee’s discipline, usually based on the specific NCEES examination passed by the licensee. Currently, there are 23 states that practice "Roster Designation"; these states publicly recognize engineers by disciplines either through self-declaration or through testing. In general, these states keep a public database of all the licensed engineers and their associated disciplines and do not regulate the practice of engineering, a licensed PE or SE can seal all structures.
Title Restriction, Partial Practice Restriction, Full Practice Restriction
A provision in a jurisdiction’s statutes or rules that specifically recognizes structural engineering as a distinct discipline with certain special qualifications beyond, or in place of, those required for professional engineering licensure, typically based on NCEES testing nomenclature.
Title Restriction states: 6 states
Partial Practice Restriction states: 5 states
Full Practice Restriction states: 2 states