The Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (PELS) started in response to a gas explosion in New London, Texas, in 1937. To protect the public by licensing engineers’ and surveyors’ practices and regulating the statewide design and construction of public infrastructure. By 2022, all states (and U.S. Territories) had licensure for engineers.
One of the Texas Board of PELS’s roles is to advocate for the profession. They administer the initial licensing exam, the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE). Engineering students take the FE test at the end of their undergraduate education from an accredited engineering school (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. “ABET”). Passing the FE precedes an apprenticeship period as an Engineer-in-Training. This phase requires four years of design experience under the supervision of a registered professional engineer.
What are the benefits of being a licensed engineer or land surveyor?
Awareness of the public’s health, safety, and welfare is essential. Licensing establishes a trusting boundary for professionally licensed engineers and land surveyors.
What does this do for the number of engineers and land surveyors in this industry?
The number of engineers by discipline and the number of engineers currently in practice varies by source. Individual state boards provide aggregate registered engineers by jurisdiction. Some are retired, and some are in related fields but not actively sealing documents.
Rough estimates by the NCEES indicate about 800,000 licensed engineers in the United States.