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Thread: Work Experience No Longer Counting Towards Professional Engineering Experience

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Work Experience No Longer Counting Towards Professional Engineering Experience

    I was looking for some advice from fellow mechanical engineers.

    I have been working at a valve manufacturing company as a junior engineer for 1 year and 5 months. The other day, the Operations Manager called me into his office for a meeting. I was informed that I would not be able to use the experience I had obtained during my first 17 months at the company as experience towards becoming a registered engineer. The work I had been doing was creating 3D solidworks models of the company's products based on old 2D drawings. I was informed that this work was essentially drafting and not engineering and for that reason, I could not use this as experience towards becoming an engineer. In addition, I was informed that if I kept this job, I would not be able to become an engineer.

    I was wondering if anyone with more experience had any advice for me concerning this situation. Should I try looking for another job where I know the experience would count? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer Cake of Doom's Avatar
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    What country are you working in? Personally, I'd make the local authority/institution my first port of call with professional registration matters. Your current experience may not directly count but could still be useful in a broader sense.

  3. #3
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    creating 3D solidworks models of the company's products based on old 2D drawings.
    3D CAD modeling is often a responsibility of design engineers however this task alone does not require engineer skill and knowledge. It is not uncommon for companies to utilized non-engineers for CAD design.

    If you took this job with the understanding that you would be working towards being an engineer while under their employ - you have been mislead however if not the company can designate you as they see best for the company.


    If your expectations are to become an engineer - you need to review your options, education requirements or other employment opportunities.
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

  4. #4
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    Your experience, while useful and valuable for the engineering function, does not in my opinion constitute true engineering. You were gaining invaluable experience that will serve you well in the future, but you were not creating new designs to solve new problems using engineering principles. I agree that the final judgment on this should come from your registration board. They might have some way of accounting for engineering-related work that is not direct hands-on "engineering" but frankly I doubt it. I would not look at the time you spent there as wasted. It most certainly was not! It was a part of the most valuable education you can get - real life!

  5. #5
    Associate Engineer
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    Thanks for the advice! Good idea!
    I am working in Quebec, Canada. You're probably right, the exact requirements for experience probably vary from country to country.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the information and advice!
    I was told when I took the job that my role in the company would be Junior Engineer. I guess it's better that they let me know now rather than later or never.
    I have obtained a Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering Degree in Canada, so in terms of education, I am okay. It is just the experience that I need.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the information and advice! I agree, I'm sure everything I learned will be very useful and serve me well in the future!
    The thing is though, since I am currently an Junior Engineer, I would not be allowed to create new designs at this point since those duties are reserved for Professional Engineers where I'm located. In order to gain experience, I would have to be closely supervised by a Professional Engineer and act as a kind of mentee. Unfortunately, it is not always possible or easy to find a job where the company is looking for a Junior Engineer and not a full engineer. That being said, it is of course possible and I'm sure there are many opportunities.
    Thank you again for the advice, very appreciated!

  8. #8
    No worries good thing your employer doesn't award the licences. To be a registered PE you will need to register with administrative agency.

    You jump through their hoops, and after many years you get the nod and a nice piece of paper comes out of the process allowing you to put some letters behind your name usually.

    Sometime people get caught in the trap of not registering with them, and usually you get no credit for time served. Your time starts when you apply basically and are accepted into the institution. There are provisions to get Registered in another country by affidavit, then using that license to submit in your home country, if they recognize like here in New Zealand, IPENZ. You can become a student member if you are studying, or perhaps an associate of some sort, but in any case you will need many year of higher education minimum of BS degree or diploma. If you don't have the qualifications, then you will have to make the effort to obtain them. I hope that was of some help, good luck to you in your endeavors. ASME also can help, best thing to do is make an appointment with someone at the licensing board and let them tell you what it will take to become a member.

  9. #9
    Associate Engineer
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    Yes, that does help! Thank you very much!

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