1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Engineering Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degree?

  1. Feb 21, 2013 #1
    If I were to engineer specific high-performance product and establish an engineering firm would this be legal in US without a degree for engineering?

    This product would be somewhat benign, for example an intake.

    Also any suggestions or side thoughts are welcome.

    Thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre

    That would be a legal question - you should consult a lawyer.

    In general, and not to constitute legal advise, the word "engineer" is protected in the USA - like "doctor" and "lawyer". The exact protection depends on the state - there is usually a regulatory body.

    [edit]update: you do usually need to get a degree as a first step.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_engineering#United_States

    caveat: wikipedia is not a substitute for consulting a lawyer or the appropriate regulatory body.
     
  4. Feb 21, 2013 #3
    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre

    Sure, anyone with enough money to hire engineers can start an "engineering firm".

    Also, to "engineer" (design and develop) a high-performance product does not require an engineering degree. If you can do it and prove it works then a degree is generally not necessary. The exceptions are areas in which a PE certification is required but generally these fall under civil engineering fields.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  5. Feb 21, 2013 #4
    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre

    There was a time when you could get a PE registration without taking the EIT or getting a degree as long as you could document something like 12 years of work experience under the tutelage of a registered PE. From what I've seen, the NCEES is attempting to close that option across the United States.

    Personally, I think that's a bad idea. Formal education is nice, but there are some damned smart auto-didactic people out there. We should remember that this is a field where experience counts at least as much, if not more so, as formal learning and knowledge.

    That said, if you are not a registered PE or employ a registered PE, it is usually illegal to have the protected term "Engineering" in the company name.
     
  6. Feb 21, 2013 #5
    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre


    I've never heard of a law that requires anyone to have degrees to start a company. There are regulations that such a business would need to follow, but that would apply regardless of whether or not you had an engineering degree.
     
  7. Feb 21, 2013 #6
    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre

    I believe, in Canada, one needs to be Professional Engineer in order to start an engineering firm. The P.Eng gives the o.k. to society saying they can be responsible for the safety of the public.

    To become a P.Eng, it is pretty much mandatory to have a degree in engineering, as far as I know.
     
  8. Feb 21, 2013 #7

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre

    You don't need a degree to start a company - just like you don't have to be an MD to start a medical practice or an LLB to start a law firm - but that's not really the question is it?

    You can start "a firm that does engineering" but there are restrictions on how you can market yourself and the firm. In the US, this varies from state to state so OP is best advised to seek out the appropriate authority and/or a lawyer. The next question is "why bother with being an engineering firm?" Why not just be a design and manufacturing firm? You know - people wot build stuff ... if your stuff is in demand, then people will buy it. Big deal. Engineering firms usually hire out engineering expertise as their core business but OP want to "engineer" in the sense of "manufacture" something.

    But I think that's pretty much what everyone is saying - time to hear from OP: does that answer the question?
     
  9. Feb 22, 2013 #8
    Re: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degre

    Thank you all very much for your information and thought.

    It is a slow process in the beginning, I'm using engineers assess design process. I'm getting that it doesn't really set too many limitations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is it possible to start engineering firm without engineering degree?
Loading...