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Policy Statement 535 - Defining the Civil Engineering Team

Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 31, 2011

Approved by Public Policy Committee on May 13, 2011

Adopted by the Board of Direction July 30, 2011

 

 

Policy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognizes the Civil Engineering Professional, the Civil Engineering Technologist, and the Civil Engineering Technician as important members of the civil engineering project team.  ASCE defines each as follows:

  • Civil Engineering Professional (CE Professional) – A person who holds a professional engineering license. A person initially obtains status as a CE Professional by professional engineering (PE) licensure obtained through the completion of requisite formal education, experience, examination, and other requirements as specified by an appropriate Board of Licensure. A person working as a CE Professional is qualified to be professionally responsible for engineering work through the exercise of direct control and personal supervision of engineering activities and can comprehend and apply an advanced knowledge of widely applied engineering principles in the solution of complex problems.
  • Civil Engineering Technologist (CE Technologist) – A person who exerts a high level of judgment in the performance of engineering work, while working under the direct control and personal supervision of a CE Professional. A person initially obtains status as a CE Technologist through the completion of requisite formal education and experience and may include examination and other requirements as specified by a credentialing body. A person working as a CE Technologist can comprehend and apply knowledge of engineering principles in the solution of broadly defined problems.
  • Civil Engineering Technician (CE Technician) – A person typically performing task-oriented scientific or engineering related activities and exercising technical judgments commensurate with those specific tasks. A person working as a CE Technician works under the direct control and personal supervision of a CE Professional or direction of a CE Technologist. A person initially obtains status as a CE Technician through the completion of requisite formal education, experience, examination(s), and/or other requirements as specified by an appropriate credentialing body. A person working as a CE Technician is expected to comprehend and apply knowledge of engineering principles toward the solution of well-defined problems.

 

Issue

Civil engineering, like other learned professions, consists of a work continuum with varying complexities that is most effectively accomplished by individuals with different ranges of responsibilities, qualifications, and work experience. The civil engineering continuum of work can be segmented into three broad categories: engineering work; technology work; and technician work. However, the roles and titles for CE Professional, CE Technologist, and CE Technician are not well defined in the civil engineering community, making proper assignment of work difficult.  Currently CE firms use individuals performing work in these three categories, but assign them many different titles and roles.  A lack of definition for roles and titles of the team members also makes their support and recognition more difficult.

Additionally it is recognized that not all members of the civil engineering workforce can be characterized as civil engineering professionals, civil engineering technologists, or civil engineer technicians.  These include engineering interns (Fes), engineering-in-training (EITs), individuals in the developmental stages of becoming technologists or technicians, and specialists who are critical to the success of the civil engineering enterprise, but who do not necessarily have an engineering education.  This latter group may include individuals such as contract specialists, resource managers, marketing, and other business related specialties. 

  

Rationale

To effectively provide civil engineering services, the proper use of the entire civil engineering project team will become increasingly important in the future. ASCE believes it is essential to improve the utilization, recognition and support of technologists and technicians within the civil engineering project team.  Advances in software continue to change how engineering work is accomplished, but more importantly, who within the team is doing the work.  Therefore, it is critical that the roles of each team member be properly defined and that appropriate requirements for entry into the CE workforce, continuing education, career advancement, licensure and/or certification are defined and implemented.  The health, safety, and welfare of the public is best assured by assigning the segments of civil engineering work to the members of the CE workforce most qualified to complete them.

 

ASCE Policy Statement 535 

First Approved 2011