Professional Licensure/Certification

Gadomski School ofEngineering

Professional Licensure/Certification

Professional licensure or certification is a way to ensure a professional meets certain industry requirements in terms of knowledge, experience, and currency. It is a way to acknowledge the expertise of a professional and to recognize his/her abilities in a particular field. Licensure is also related to public safety.

Engineers typically get their professional licensure known as Professional Engineer (PE). Packaging professionals are often recognized as Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) and/or Certified Packaging Laboratory Professional (CPLP). There are several other certifications for engineers and technical professionals, including Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE), Certified Quality Engineer (CQE), etc.

At CBU we encourage our engineering students to become a registered professional engineering or a certified professional by:

Here is a list of what engineers and packaging professionals say about the benefits of professional licensure or professional certification:

  • R. Michael Williams, PE, LEED AP-BD&C, ATD, Vice President, Sr. Electrical Engineer, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc., Nashville, TN -- “In today’s competitive world, we all look for differentiators that can help each of us ‘WIN’ and excel. Not only do we need to differentiate ourselves, but in practice, each of us also look for products, service providers, employees, equipment, software,… that stand out. The engineering industry is under much pressure as many people do not value engineering as a profession, but treat it as a commodity. Professional licensure is a primary differentiator for Engineers and is one of the primary tools to limit the commoditization of engineering work. It is what the bar is to an attorney; what the board certification is to a doctor; what the CPA is to accounting. Licensure is what separates the professional from the technician. In fact, a literal interpretation of Tennessee state law and many others states prohibit the use of the Title ‘Engineer’ without licensure in that state. I believe it is short-selling your education, and your future profession, and your future earning power to not pursue licensure. Even if you change careers, you can retire the license and still have the credibility of having been an ‘Engineer’. While it is fresh in your mind during college, take the Fundamentals exam. This is the easiest step of becoming a professional if done while still in school, and the hardest step if you wait! Then, as you look for a job, look for one that is supervised by a Professional Engineer to set you up for acceptance to take the Principals and Practice Exam. I am now licensed in over half of the states in the US as business opportunities have emerged. When interviewing and recruiting new hires, a ‘deal-maker/breaker’ is the student’s attitude and actions toward licensure and professional societies and activities.”
  • Michael Tune, CPP, Vice President, Product Development, Bayer Consumer Care, Memphis, TN -- “Achieving the designation of a Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) was an outstanding honor that I am very proud of. It is a public recognition of significant industry expertise and experience, and is a well-known and respected designation in the packaging community. The CPP designation provides me with instant credibility when interfacing with internal and external packaging colleagues, and it helps to open doors that otherwise would be difficult.”
  • Richard C. Bursi, PE, President/CEO of OGCB, Inc., Memphis, TN -- "In my profession as a consulting engineer for construction projects, a PE license is a requirement for being in responsible charge of a design. A consulting engineering firm must have PEs on staff to operate. Besides consulting engineering, some large institutions such as government, industry, or education organizations strongly recommend that graduate engineers obtain their PE license as a qualification for advancement. Even if a graduate engineer takes a job in industry where licensure is not required, it is not uncommon that at some future point this same graduate engineer may have to make a career change and desire a PE license in order to be considered for a different job. The best advice I can give is to take the FE Exam while in college, then take the PE Exam as soon as possible and obtain your PE license. Professional licensure will provide an engineer with options and flexibility regarding career paths. Also, the ‘PE’ that an engineer will list after their name is a sign to the world that they meet the qualifications to be a registered professional, and that they observe a code of ethics and a duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”
  • Timothy J. Herndon, PE, Utilities Engineer, City of Bartlett, Bartlett, TN -- “A licensed Professional Engineer is at the top of the profession. It is a standard recognized by employers and their clients, governments and the public as an assurance of your dedication, skill and quality. Only professional engineers may prepare, sign and seal engineering documents for delivery to a public authority for approval. Just as the CPA defines the accountant, the PE license announces to all that you have mastered the critical elements of your profession. It demonstrates your commitment to the highest standard of engineering practice. Only a licensed Professional Engineer can offer engineering services directly to the public. Employers outside of the engineering profession are choosing to hire the professional engineer over others. Your education has prepared you to take the next step toward the goal to become a Professional Engineer. Your next step would be for you to prepare for the Engineering Intern (EI) or Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination. The immediate benefit to completing this task is you may add the appellation EI to your name on your resume. This will set you ahead of the pack in the eyes of your prospective employer. Instantly, they will know you are prepared for success.”

Resources

Congratulations to our newest engineering interns and professionals: