[SBE] defining broadcast engineering education
wilsonbrown46 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 18 16:00:07 EDT 2008
While it is possible to get PE registration without an engineering degree, it's much more difficult if you don't have one. In effect, you have to prove that your combination of experience and formal education are the equivalent of a degree from an accredited engineering school (and convince other enginners to sign affidavits to that effect). It's simpler to just get the degree in the first place.
I am registered in California, which is my state of "original jurisdiction". That is, I took the exam there. I am also registered in Massachusetts by "comity" which means that Massachusetts reviewed the exam I took in California and decided it was the equivalent of their exam and granted registration there as well. ("Comity " means equivalency, "Reciprocity" implies a quid-pro-quo between two parties and party B has to do something because party A did. It's a legal fine point that only lawyers and state registration boards worry about).
The whole point of professional registration is to protect public safety. Electrical PEs are found primarily in the electric power field for that reason. The issue is are you qualified to accept the legal liability for your work?
The whole issue of documenting one's qualifications is a thorny one. All of us know individuals with strings of initials after their names and enough sheep skins to paper their office walls who are totally useless in the real world. Likewise, we also know people who have little formal education at all beyond high school who combine the stamina of Moses and the wisdom of Solomon, have forgotten more about broadcast engineering than we'll ever know, and have saved our posteriors more times than we wish to count in our chosen field. (My father was one such. I may have gotten my engineering education at university, be he taught me how to Engineer).
The old First Class license was supposed to indicate that one was qualified to service broadcast transmitters and the RF plant in general. The license mills turned out tons of people with First Phones that we wouldn't let in the transmitter building, much less touch the actual transmitter. After the FCC gave up, the SBE certification exams were an attempt to fill the gap, and I'd say we've succeeded more often than not. In the future, I suspect our employers are going to be looking for Cisco Certification about as often as then look for SBE certification. The coming generation may not know what we know, but in large part they won't have to. Each generation of engineers learns the things they need for the state of technology at their time. The new guys may not be able to neutralize a triode RF amp, but they sure do know their way around a Linux server!
Louis Brown, PE, CPBE
----- Original Message ----
From: "Benedict, Raymond C" <rcbenedict at cbs.com>
To: sbe member discussion mail list <sbe at sbe.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 3:04:41 PM
Subject: Re: [SBE] defining broadcast engineering education
Many states do not require a degree, only passing the test and meeting the
experience requirements. One of the FCC PE's has a degree in Physics. I know
of many PE's that do not have degrees.
On 3/18/08 2:45 PM, "Brian Urban" <burban at kut.org> wrote:
> ASEET 1996, BSEET 2000, MSEET 2006
> I have worked as a broadcast engineer since 1975, including 10 years with a
> consulting firm, prior to having any degree.
> As for the Electrical PE, you must have a BSEE or BSEET (ET from an TAC-ABET
> accredited program) to even sit for the FE exam, serve an up to 4 year
> apprenticeship (ET 8 year) to sit for the PE exam. While the exams are
> controlled by the NCEES, a national organization, you are only licensed in
> the state for whose exam you sit. There is some reciprocal licensing
> between states, but it is not uniform across the nation.
>> Is it more common to have a Bachelor's or even a Master's in
>> Engineering in other markets/regions than it is in my market?
>> Expressed as a percentage, how many SBE members have a BS or MS in
>> *any* discipline? Are there any stories out there about how it would
>> have helped to have had a Bachelor's?
>> Thanks in advance,
>> SBE mailing list
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>> SBE at sbe.org
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