Georgia House Bill 166 – Up for a Vote

Georgia House Bill 166 is up for a vote on Wednesday. This bill would remove the “experience path” for Professional Engineers to achieve licensure. I do not approve of this measure, for egalitarian reasons. There are no firm arguments to my knowledge, based on fact, that people who did not go to college cannot be good engineers. Every argument that can be made in that sense is anecdotal and involves individual people. For each bad case of someone with experience who should not be a professional engineer, I will serve up an anecdote of someone who has an four-year degree, who should not be trusted with a sandcastle, much less the public safety.

Many states are going to this model, that only a college degree is acceptable for professional engineers. I think this is wrong, and I hope you do to. Feel free to copy the below text that I sent to my representative and send it to yours, suitably modified of course.

Mr. Parsons,

I see that HB 166 is coming up for a vote on Wednesday. I am writing to
express my concern that this bill is over reaching the intent that it
was drafted for. I would like you, as my representative, to vote against it.

HB 166 removes the “experience path” for Professional Land Surveyors and
Professional Engineers to achieve licensure. It requires a 4-year ABET
accredited degree for anyone who wishes to be licensed as a PLS or a PE.
No longer will experience and dedication be a method of achieving
licensure in GA.

The argument for the bill is that it helps broaden the professionalism
of the Surveying industry. It is the surveyors who have been pushing
this. I have no argument with them wanting to achieve a higher level of
professional dedication or skill with their licensees. However, they’ve
included Professional Engineers in this bill, and I think it will *not*
serve to increase the professionalism of our industry, merely to exclude
some people who have chosen and alternate path.

Currently, someone who has demonstrated knowledge of their profession by
working under a PE for 15 years and passing the Fundamentals of
Engineering Examination and the Professional Engineering Examination can
be licensed as a PE in GA. If the bill passes, that person will have to
stop working and go back to school for a 4-year degree before they can
take the next step in their career. I feel this is burdensome beyond the
intention of the bill.

Please vote against this bill and encourage other members of the house
to do likewise.

Bill Ruhsam, P.E., PTOE
2241 Blenheim Ct.
Marietta, GA 30066

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