Over the past few months, Vermont became the first state licensing board to consider increasing educational requirements specifically for civil engineers seeking professional licensure in the future. The Vermont Board of Professional Engineering’s assessment came in response to a request from Vermont state legislator and civil engineer Bob Krebs, P.E., L.S., F.ASCE, who had prepared draft language for proposed legislation that would require those seeking licensure in the civil, environmental or structural engineering disciplines, and who obtain their bachelor’s degree after Jan. 1, 2025, to complete an accredited master’s degree in engineering or an acceptable amount of additional coursework, to meet the educational requirements for licensure.
The Vermont Section of ASCE and the Vermont Society of Professional Engineers stood together in support of the push to expand the educational requirements for civil engineers and expressed appreciation for the board’s consideration of the matter. Both organizations have actively supported the update, and they worked diligently to inform the Board and other stakeholders about the need for the proposal.
A joint message from VT-ASCE and VSPE issued following the state’s PE Board vote May 7 stated: “Although we are disappointed that the Board did not vote to endorse this proposal at this time, we believe that this is an important matter of public interest that affects the continued health, safety and welfare of Vermont residents, and therefore look forward to the opportunity for future consideration.
“We, as civil engineers, believe we have well-informed insights on how our profession can best protect the public. Over the past 15 years, ASCE and NSPE have engaged broad segments of the profession to define the necessary Body of Knowledge for civil engineers and professional engineers, respectively. Each concluded that this Body of Knowledge cannot be attained without advanced education.”
The societies said that they will continue to work for expansion of future requirements and to continue to speak out in favor of increased educational requirements for future licensed civil engineers in Vermont (those already licensed would not be affected).
This joint effort is part of the Raise the Bar initiative, one of ASCE’s three strategic initiatives to advance the profession and the public welfare, actively supporting the national movement to raise the educational requirements for licensure of future professional engineers. This initiative promotes change in state licensure laws so that professional engineers of the future continue to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.