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  • Writer's pictureTerry McMillen, Sr.

Why You Should Hire A Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor

The societal value of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

January 20, 2023

Two professionals leaning over a table while reviewing engineering plans

Why Hire a Professional.

Many in our society hire services based upon the price of that service only. Unfortunately, that often leads to disappointing results at best and often legal problems. Services are often offered by nonprofessionals or professionals of one discipline practicing outside of their licensed expertise. Sometimes these nonprofessionals get by doing routine things, but when problems arise, they are not properly trained to address them. If the problem results in a court action, they are not found acceptable to the court as an expert in the subject field. This leads to the original client paying an additional cost to hire a professional that is qualified. A professional has documented skills and experience that give confidence that a project will be completed properly. Many new projects begin with an idea that changes considerably as that idea is processed.

The experience of the professional will give a wider variety of solutions and creativity in the process of developing a project.

What is a Professional.

A professional is an individual who works by performing a specialized task or activity. Professionals undertake significant education and training to build professional skills. To be a professional requires competence and extensive industry knowledge. They prove their skills through a series of professional examinations, adherence to codes of conduct and the ability to maintain standards of ethics.

What Value does a Professional Engineer or Professional Land Surveyor bring.

Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors make a positive difference in our world. They “build a better world in real and concrete ways” by combining specialized skills with high standards for ethics and quality assurance.

The public has confidence that engineering and land surveying decisions affecting their lives are made by qualified and ethically accountable professionals. This is accomplished by the requirement of licensure of professionals. The intent of licensure is to “safeguard life, health or property and to promote the general welfare.” Licensure ensures the public that those engaged in professional activities impacting their lives are competent to do so.

Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors must continuously demonstrate their competency and maintain and improve their skills by annually fulfilling continuing education requirements to maintain their license.

Licensure gives the public a chance to review credentials before receiving services.

What is a Professional (Licensed) Engineer or Professional (Licensed) Land Surveyor.

The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists states that “Professional Engineer means an individual licensed and registered under the laws of this Commonwealth to engage in the practice of engineering.” It also states that “Professional Land Surveyor means an individual licensed and registered under the laws of this Commonwealth to engage in the practice of land surveying.

To become licensed, engineers and land surveyors must complete a four-year college degree at an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited university, work under a Professional Engineer/ Land Surveyor for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state's licensure board.

By combining their specialized skills with their high standards for ethics and quality assurance, they help make society healthier, keep it safer and allow for opportunities to enhance quality of living.

To retain their licenses, engineers and land surveyors must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers.

Engineering is the application of mathematical and physical sciences for the design of public or private buildings, structures, machines, equipment, processes, works or engineering systems. Land surveying is the art and science of establishing or reestablishing corners, lines, boundaries, and monuments of real property based upon recorded documents, historical evidence, and present standards of practice.

Land development and infrastructure projects of all types need to be safe and fit the land they are built upon. The civil engineer needs accurate land surveys upon which to base their work. The land surveyor provides the data necessary to be sure that the project doesn’t negatively affect the surrounding properties or environments.

There is some overlap between the tasks that an engineer and land surveyor can perform depending upon the expertise of the individuals. Firms that employ both engineers and land surveyors enjoy an advantage that allows them to proceed seamlessly from initial property and land survey through final project design.

The Registration Requirements for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists regulates the practice, licensure and registration of engineers, land surveyors and geologists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to safeguard life, health, and property from fraudulent and unethical practitioners.

A candidate for licensure as a professional engineer or land surveyor shall submit proof of graduation from an undergraduate curriculum in the United States accredited by ABET. This assures that the undergraduate program meets all guidelines necessary to prepare the engineer or surveyor for professional licensure.

Examination Requirements for Registration.

A candidate for licensure as a Professional Engineer shall be certified as an engineer-in-training (EIT) and achieve a passing score on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination and the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

A candidate for licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor shall be certified as a land Surveyor-in-Training (SIT) and achieve a passing score on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying principles and the fundamentals of land surveying examination.

Continuing Education Requirements to Maintain Registration:

Each licensee shall be required to obtain twenty-four professional development hours during the biennial renewal period.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics for Engineers

Preamble “Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.”

McMillen Engineering, Inc. has multiple Professional Engineers and several Professional Land Surveyors to seamlessly complete a wide array of civil engineering, land development, and surveying projects. Our team includes many long-time employees with vast experience that bring confidence and creativity to the projects entrusted to us.

For additional information about our civil engineering and land surveying services, visit or give us a call at 724.439.8110.

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