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General Guidelines for Comity Applicants

1 Overview and Applications

1.1 Overview.

(A) Education, examinations and experience are required for licensure as a professional engineer or professional surveyor. There are two avenues for licensure as a professional engineer or professional surveyor in Ohio:

(1) by examination, or

(2) by applying for registration by comity based on an active registration in good standing in another state or U.S. territory. 

(B) These guidelines are for those individuals applying for Ohio professional registration by comity.

1.2 Applications. 

(A) Applicants for registration in Ohio by comity must complete a comity application or an NCEES comity application.

(1) For standard PE comity application, complete form PES 2011-PE.

(2) For NCEES PE application, complete form PES 2011-NPE.

(3) For standard and NCEES PS application, complete form PES 2011-PS.

(B) Pursuant to Ohio law, an applicant who is registered and in good standing in another state may be registered in Ohio without written examination providing the applicant secured registration elsewhere by meeting requirements equal to those specified in Ohio law at the time the applicant was registered in the state where the applicant now holds a valid registration/license. Applicants for registration in Ohio by means of comity must meet Ohio’s laws and rules based on the applicants first year of registration. This is generally determined by the year the applicant has met all the requirements for licensure in their home state and passed the eight-hour principles and practice examination.

(C) Applicants who apply for registration in Ohio by comity must be currently registered in another state and in good standing. The applicant must not have current or pending disciplinary action.

Applications are not considered complete unless the following items are completed.

(1) Application fee must be included.

(2) Application form must be completely filled out.

(3) Application must be notarized.

(4) Applicant photograph must be affixed in the space provided.

(5) Official transcripts for all coursework must be received showing date of graduation and degree earned. A foreign-degree applicant must provide an official transcript accompanied by a certified English translation.

(6) A National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Credentials Evaluation must be included where required by section 3.3 of these guidelines.

(7) Fundamentals of engineering and surveying (FE, FS) and principles and practice of engineering and surveying (PE, PS) examination scores must be verified by the respective state boards or NCEES.

(8) Applications must contain not less than five references, of whom three or more shall be professional engineers or professional surveyors having personal knowledge of the applicant’s engineering or surveying experience.

(9) Sufficient description of work experience, including employer’s name and address and supervisors’ signatures and contact information, are required for PE and PS exam applicants.

(D) Experience must be listed consecutively and in chronological order starting with the earliest experience and proceeding to the most recent employment. Failure to provide adequate detail may result in denial. All engineering and non-engineering experience must be listed. Non-engineering experience will not require verification unless requested by the Board. All engineering experience must be verified by including the supervisor’s signature and contact information on the application. If verification is impossible, the applicant shall provide a notarized letter to the Board explaining the reason verification could not be secured. 

(E) The engineering and surveying experience section must also include the percentage of time the applicant spent in the practice of engineering and/or surveying. Experience credit will be granted based on the percentage listed by the applicant.

(F) For those applicants applying for dual registration, both as a professional engineer and professional surveyor, engineering and surveying experience may not overlap.

2 Education Requirements

2.1 Education requirements for Professional Engineers. 

(A) Applicants for registration as a professional engineer who obtained licensure after 1975 are required to have a four-year engineering degree. Acceptable engineering degrees include: 

(1) Four-year Engineering Accreditation Commission/Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET) accredited engineering degree.

(2) Four-year engineering degree granted from outside of the United States that is evaluated by NCEES Credentials Evaluations as meeting the NCEES Engineering Education Standard. See section 3.3 for instructions on degree evaluations.

(3) Four-year Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission/Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ETAC/ABET) accredited engineering technology degree.

(4) An engineering master’s program accredited by EAC/ABET.

2.2 Education requirements for Professional Surveyors.

(A) Applicants for registration as a professional surveyor who obtained licensure after December 31, 1992 are required to have a four-year surveying degree or a degree in civil engineering and 16 semester hours of Board-approved surveying coursework. Acceptable surveying degrees include:

(1) Graduates of an ASAC/EAC/ETAC ABET accredited surveying curriculum of four years or more or currently enrolled and in your final two semesters (or equivalent) of an ASAC/EAC/ETAC ABET accredited surveying curriculum;

(2) Graduates of an EAC/ABET accredited civil engineering curriculum with 16 semester hours or (or quarter/trimester equivalent)of Board-approved surveying coursework — at least six semester hours (or quarter/trimester equivalent) in surveying of land boundaries. The 16 hours must be completed from the list of Board-approved surveying courses; or

(3) Graduates of a Board approved surveying program at Cincinnati State/Northern Kentucky and Glenville State College (West Virginia).

2.3 Degree Evaluation.

(A) Applicants for registration in Ohio who have graduated from an engineering program from outside of the United States that is not ABET-accredited must have their education evaluated by NCEES Credentials Evaluations and a copy sent to the Board.

(B) Degrees from Canadian schools accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) will be considered the same as ABET degrees. Non-CEAB degrees from Canadian schools are treated the same as foreign degrees and must be evaluated by NCEES.

(C) In order to meet the educational requirement of R.C. section 4733.11 (A)(2), the degree must be evaluated by NCEES as meeting the NCEES Engineering Education Standard. The applicant is responsible for filing the necessary paperwork and fees in order to complete the evaluation of the curriculum. 

(1) If an applicant has had their transcripts evaluated by NCEES and the report indicates that there are deficiencies in the curriculum, the deficiencies must be made up before the application will be approved. Coursework must be made up at a college or university that has an ABET-accredited engineering or surveying program. Coursework must be completed in accordance with ABET’s Criteria for Accrediting Programs in Engineering in the United States.

(2) Applicants may make up deficient coursework by passing College Level Examination Programs (CLEP) tests. In order to receive credit for CLEP tests the course must be shown on an official college or university transcript indicating a passing score and full credit awarded.

(3) If an applicant has had their transcripts evaluated by NCEES and the report indicates that there are deficiencies in humanities, social sciences or general education, and the comity applicant has been licensed as a professional engineer in the United State for five years or longer, then additional coursework may not be required. Deficiencies identified in areas other than humanities, social sciences, or general education, must be remediated by taking additional coursework.

3 Experience

3.1 Engineering experience. 

(A) Acceptable engineering or surveying experience must be completed before passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination. 

(B) Graduates of an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering curriculum of four years or more must have completed four years of acceptable engineering experience BEFORE passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination and obtaining registration. 

(C) Graduates of an ETAC/ABET-accredited engineering technology curriculum of four years or more must have completed eight years of acceptable engineering experience BEFORE passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination and obtain registration.

(D) Applications that do not demonstrate completion of the requisite engineering experience after graduation and prior to taking and passing the PE examination will be denied.

3.2 Surveying experience.

(A) Acceptable engineering or surveying experience must be completed before passing the Principles and Practice of Surveying examination.

(B) Graduates of an approved curriculum in surveying of four years or more must have completed four years of acceptable surveying experience before passing the Principles and Practice of Surveying examination and obtaining registration.

(C) Applications that do not demonstrate completion of the requisite engineering experience after graduation and prior to taking and passing the PE examination will be denied.

3.3 Experience Prior to Graduation. 

(A) Experience credit cannot overlap with education credit. In order to obtain experience credit before graduation, the applicant must have been in college for more than four calendar years.

(B) Experience credit before graduation should be listed on the official transcript as co-op experience and must be based on a 40 hour per week full-time basis. No credit will be granted for overtime work, or part-time work experience obtained while pursuing engineering education on a full-time basis, or for the part-time pursuit of a masters or doctorate degree while obtaining full-time work experience. 

(C) Engineering experience obtained prior to the completion of an engineering degree usually does not count for professional experience.

(D) Applicants requesting engineering experience credit prior to graduation that was not earned through a co-op program will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

(E) No more than two years of experience can be obtained before graduation. Pre-graduation experience must be earned after completion of the second year of school and not overlapping in time with any coursework counted toward the education requirement.

(F) A specific record of four years or more of surveying office and field experience completed in addition to, and not overlapping in time, any school work completed that is of a character acceptable to the board, at least two years of which shall be after college graduation, with at least two of the four years of work in surveying of land boundaries under the direct supervision of a professional surveyor, who may indicate in writing that the applicant is competent to be placed in responsible charge of the work.

3.4 General Experience Requirements. 

(A) Experience is based on a 40 hour per week full-time basis. No credit will be granted for overtime work, or part-time work experience obtained while pursuing engineering or surveying education on a full-time basis, or for the part-time pursuit of a masters or doctorate degree while obtaining full-time work experience. 

(B) Engineering experience should be gained under the direct supervision of a professional engineer registered in the United States or its territories working on projects requiring knowledge and use of codes and practices commonly used in the United States. Surveying experience should be gained under the direction of a professional surveyor registered in the United States or its territories working on projects requiring knowledge and use of standards and practices commonly used in the United States.

(C) Experience must not be obtained in violation of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4733, the professional engineers and surveyors licensure act.

(D) Experience may not be anticipated. The experience must have been gained by the time of the application and at least 120 days prior to the scheduled examination.

3.5 Professional Engineer. 

(A) In order to become registered as a professional engineer the applicant shall have a specific record of four years or more of practical experience in engineering work completed in addition to, and not overlapping in time, any school work completed under R.C. section 4733.11 (A)(1)(a); not more than two years of which may be before graduation but after the completion of the second year of college; indicating that the applicant is competent to be placed in responsible charge of engineering work.

(B) In evaluating experience which indicates to the Board that the applicant may be competent to practice engineering, the following will be considered:

(1) Satisfactory engineering work shall be of a nature such that its adequate performance requires engineering education, training, or experience and must be demonstrated through the application of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences. Satisfactory engineering experience shall include but not be limited to, an acceptable combination of the following types of engineering activities:

(a) Design or conceptual design of engineering works, products, or systems;

(b) Development or optimization of plans and specifications for engineering works, products, or systems;

(c) Analysis, consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning or other related services for engineering works, products, or systems;

(d) Planning the use or alteration of land, water, or other resources;

(e) Engineering for development of operating and maintenance manuals;

(f) Engineering for construction, or inspection of construction for the purpose of assuring compliance with drawings or specifications;

(g) Engineering for materials testing and evaluation;

(h) Any other work of a mechanical, electrical, chemical, hydraulic, pneumatic, geotechnical, or thermal nature that requires engineering education, training or experience for its adequate performance;

(i) Teaching experience to be creditable must be in engineering or engineering-related subjects at an advanced level in a college or university offering an engineering program of four years or more that is approved by the Board. A teaching experience applicant must have one year of experience in the practice of engineering beyond classroom teaching.

(j) Experience gained in engineering research and design projects by members of an engineering faculty where the program is approved by the Board is creditable. 

(2) Experience shall not be obtained in violation of the licensure act.

(3) Experience gained in the armed services, to be creditable, must be of a character equivalent to that which would have been gained in the civilian sector doing similar work. Normally, it would be expected that the applicant while in the armed services served in an engineering or engineering-related group.

(4) Experience shall be gained under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer or, for individuals working in engineering exempted from the registration act (for example, design of manufactured products), an explanation should be made showing why the experience should be considered acceptable. Experience gained under the technical supervision of an unlicensed individual may be considered by the Board if the appropriate credentials (education and experience) of the unlicensed supervisor are submitted to the Board.

(5) For sales experience to be creditable, it must be demonstrated that engineering principles were required and used in gaining the experience.

(6) Experience in construction, to be creditable, must demonstrate the application of engineering principles.

(7) Successful completion of graduate study leading to the master’s degree in engineering which has followed a baccalaureate degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited program may be used for credit for one year’s experience.

(a) If the Ph.D. in engineering is completed under the same conditions, two years’ total experience may be credited. The two years’ credit includes the one year for the master’s degree. If the Ph.D. is obtained without the master’s degree, the credit for experience may be two years.

(b) Credit for work experience and for undergraduate or graduate study, occurring within the same period, shall not exceed the elapsed calendar time during which this occurs.

(c) If a graduate degree is used to waive a degree evaluation, no experience credit will be granted for the graduate degree.

(8) In the review of engineering experience, the Board shall consider whether the experience was sufficiently complex and diverse, and of an increasing standard of quality and responsibility and whether the quality of the engineering work shows technical competency.

(C) No experience credit is given for the following:

(1) Maintenance and operation;

(2) Drafting without engineering related proof;

(3) Engineering technology teaching;

(4) Teaching Assistant in college;

(5) Engineering or surveying experience earned concurrent with education time credit;

(6) Construction supervision such as contractor, foreman or superintendent; or

(7) For a graduate degree, if used to waive a degree evaluation.

3.6 Professional Surveyor.

(A) In order to become registered as a professional surveyor the applicant shall have a specific record of four years or more of surveying office and field experience completed in addition to, and not overlapping in time, any school work completed under R.C. section 4733.11 (B)(1)(a) that is of a character acceptable to the Board, at least two years of which shall be after college graduation, with at least two of the four years of work in the surveying of land boundaries under the direct supervision of a professional surveyor, who may indicate in writing that the applicant is competent to be placed in responsible charge of the work. 

(B) In evaluating experience which indicates to the Board that the applicant may be competent to practice surveying, the following will be considered:

(1) Experience must be progressive on surveying projects to indicate that it is of increasing quality and requiring greater responsibility.

(2) Experience gained in the armed services, to be creditable, must be of a character equivalent to that which would have been gained in the civilian sector doing similar work. Normally it would be expected that the applicant, while in the armed services, served in a surveying group.

(3) Experience should be gained under the supervision of a licensed professional surveyor or, if not, an explanation should be made showing why the experience should be considered acceptable.

(4) Teaching experience, to be creditable, must be at an advanced level in a surveying program approved by the Board. A teaching experience applicant must have one year of experience in the practice of surveying beyond classroom teaching.

(5) A substantial portion of the experience must be spent in charge of work related to property conveyance and/or boundary line determination.

(6) Must demonstrate adequate experience in the technical field aspects of the profession.

(7) Experience shall not be obtained in violation of the licensure act.

3.7 Examinations.

(A) All applicants for registration must have taken and passed the NCEES Fundamentals examination and the NCEES Principles and Practice examination or an equivalent exam accepted by the Ohio Board.

(B) Ohio law does not permit the Board to waive either the Fundamentals or Principles and Practice examinations. 

(C) Surveyor applicants are required to take and pass the two-hour professional practice examination covering the laws and practices of surveying in the state of Ohio. Registration will not be granted until a passing score in the Ohio practice examination is obtained.

3.8 Ohio Principles and Practice of Surveying Exam (OHPS). 

All applicants for registration as a professional surveyor in Ohio must pass the two-hour professional practice examination covering the laws and practices of surveying in the State of Ohio, in addition to the six-hour NCEES Principles and Practice of Surveying examination. The passing score for the OHPS exam will be determined by the Ohio Professional Surveyor Exam Committee and approved by the Board. Applicants applying for registration via comity must schedule an appointment to take the OHPS exam during regular business hours at the Board office. An applicant who has failed the OHPS exam is permitted one re-examination per calendar year. The fee for each re-examination shall be the same as the regular examination fee.

4 Minimum Requirements

4.1 Minimum Requirements for Engineering Applicants. 

(A) 1975 to Present. Applicants registered after December 31, 1975 seeking registration by comity in Ohio must have a degree in engineering of four years or more from an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering curriculum or a degree of four years or more in engineering from an engineering curriculum evaluated by NCEES as substantially equivalent as those curricula accredited by ABET, plus four years of Board-approved experience; or a degree of four years or more from a TAC/ABET-accredited curriculum in engineering technology and eight years or more of Board-approved experience.

Prior to 2003, the Board accepted graduates of a four-year college curriculum in a related science as acceptable for registration. The related sciences were: chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology science, geodetic science, oceanography, four year bachelor of engineering technology, environmental sciences, safety and fire protection and non-EAC/ABET four year bachelor of science. All of these graduates were required to have eight years or more of Board-approved experience. 

(B) 1946 to 1975. Applicants registered between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1975 have been required to secure registration by a two-day written examination, plus eight years preparatory education and/or experience in engineering. Graduates of non-Board approved engineering curricula and related sciences require eight years or more of Board-approved experience.

(C) 1935 to 1946. Applicants registered from March 26, 1935 to December 31, 1945 were registered by:

(a) graduation from an approved curriculum in engineering from an accredited school, plus four years of Board-approved practice in engineering work; or

(b) with eight years of Board-approved experience, plus a two-day written examination.

4.2 Minimum Requirements for Surveying Applicants. 

(A) Applicants registered after December 31, 1992, and seeking registration by comity in the State of Ohio, must have a Board-approved surveying degree, plus four years of Board-approved surveying experience; or a four year surveying degree or a degree in civil engineering and 24 hours of Board-approved surveying coursework, plus four years of Board-approved surveying experience.

(B) Applicants registered in any state before January 1, 1993 are required to have eight years of education and/or Board-approved surveying experience.