PECG Board of Registration Liaison Committee
Professional Licensure Benefits and License Application Tips

The following general information was developed by PECG’s Board of Registration Liaison Committee to help PECG members understand the importance of professional licensure and navigate the process of attaining a license.   PECG does not have the expertise or resources to provide specific guidance or individual licensure counseling.  For specific information and guidance, please consult the appropriate licensing board.

 Benefits of Professional Licensure: 

The work required to obtain a professional license is considerable. Look at it as an investment in yourself for your own professional growth and development. Licensure leads to enhanced career opportunities and considerable financial gain over the life of your career. 

While licensure is desirable in academics, it is even more crucial in industry. It opens doors wherever you go and improves your marketability. It demonstrates desirable traits such as initiative, discipline and competence. 

A license is almost a requirement for career advancement in State Government. Responsibility, prestige and creditability come with the license. With the added responsibility also comes the ability to make your own engineering decisions! One cannot even legally call themselves an engineer without a license, but a license can open the door to promotions, consultation work or even to running your own firm. 

Finally, the sense of accomplishment to complete all the necessary work to qualify and pass the exam cannot be bought, it is earned! 

License Application Tips: 

  • Starting on day one document and keep a journal of your work experience. Don’t delay documenting your experience and be very specific in the nature of your work experience. The Board has stated that simply stating that you are “overseeing construction” does not qualify as civil engineering. An applicant must provide detailed information about the specific civil engineering tasks and decisions they were involved in while overseeing/supervising the construction of a fixed work. Specifically, HOW did you use your engineering judgment and WHAT decisions did you make in the field during construction that required a Civil Engineer to be in responsible charge of those decisions? Providing this level of detail will separate the tasks that are construction management from those that are civil engineering. 
  • Develop a written plan regarding how to apply and pass the exams needed for your professional licensure. Your plan should include a schedule with interim milestones goals, exam requirements, and available resources.
  • Identify potential coworkers and supervisors as future mentors/advisors and application references. 
  • Tell others, especially your supervisor, that you are planning on applying for professional licensure. 
  • Compare your duty statements with your actual work experience and with qualifying work as described in the PE and LS acts. 
  • Be flexible to the possibility of temporarily transferring to jobs that will allow you to work under the direct supervision of a licensed professional and accrue qualifying work experience 
  • Review BPELSG website http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov in detail to ensure you meet the requirements for licensure and sign up for notices. 

Professional Licensure Benefits and License Application Tips 

  • Become familiar with the sections that define civil engineering and describe qualifying work experience in the PE Act section 6731 and section 8726 of the LS Act that defines land surveying. As much as feasible cut and paste descriptions of qualifying work experience contained in the PE and LS acts, inserting your own qualifying experience as appropriate. The key is to use as much as the PE or LS act wordings as possible in your application. 
  • Geologists and Geophysics can refer to definitions located in California Code of Regulations Title 16, Sections 3000-3067 in referencing their work experience for their license applications. 
  • PECG Sections should poll their members to see what assistance their members need in preparing their applications and in preparing for the actual exams. Once the applicants needs are identified, section leaders could also work with their respective Departments in formulating a plan to assist applicants. 
  • River City Section also has provided application guidance with reference links as a flowchart on their section website: https://pecg.org/wp-content/uploads/Professional-Engineering-and-Geologist-Licensing-Flow-Chart-and-FAQs.pdf 
  • Work with your section leaders in scheduling a virtual guest speaker from the Board’s Senior Registrars and ask that they addresses tips on preparing applications. PECG has posted Golden Gate Sections one hour application tips presentation on their YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jkz7ribBnQ&t=7s 

PECG MOU Article 3.3, provides that, upon successful completion of any portion of the exam, the State will reimburse Unit 9 employees for all fees and charges required to apply for and participate in the exam (though not exam prep materials), the following professional licenses and certificates: Engineer, Architect, Landscape Architect, Land Surveyor, Engineer-in-Training, LSIT, Geologist-in-Training, Engineering Geologist, Geologist, and Geophysicist. License renewal fees are also reimbursable. In addition, Unit 9 employees accrue 8 hours of CTO upon successful completion of the exam needed to obtain one of those licenses/certificates. Lastly, if an employee is scheduled to take an exam during their work day, the State will grant paid release time to take it upon showing proof that you are scheduled for the exam. That time is limited to the time required for the exam and includes reasonable travel time, not to exceed the normal work shift on the exam day.