Engineering is a very broad field with hundreds of specific disciplines; some are so different from others that they hardly seem like the same type of job. Though it was once the case that anybody could do engineering work without certification, there are now very strict standards one must meet to become an engineer. Above even this is the professional engineer, whose hard work and exhaustive understanding of engineering entitles him/her to a particular level of recognition as a master of the craft.
The professional engineer achieves this hallmark first by completing a standard Bachelor's engineering program, followed by a minimum four-year apprenticeship under a licensed professional engineer. Then, there are two exams to pass: "Fundamentals of Engineering" and "Principles and Practice of Engineering." Upon completing these, a state licensure board may award the professional engineer license. However, this is not the end; engineering is a cutting-edge field that is constantly evolving, and this requires professional engineers to continue learning and refining their skills throughout their careers in order to maintain this license.
Professional engineers must be ethical, highly-skilled, and dedicated to producing the highest-quality work. In recognition of possessing these traits, only licensed professional engineers are trusted with constructing and finalizing engineering plans for major projects, both public and private; contractors may only want professionals even in consulting roles, In many states, one must have this license in order to teach engineering courses, as well.
Professional Engineer Tasks
Conduct site surveys, document requirements and work with clients to determine needs.
Know, utilize and enforce standards, including material tolerances and local codes.
Identify, resolve and document problems and coordinate solutions.
Utilize software to create engineering drawings, specifications and documentation.
Work with other teams and clients to deliver quality designs and products.