What is a Licensed Engineer?
The word Engineer has a number of definitions. In the construction industry it refers to
someone that has shown competence in the particular discipline and been granted a license from the governing authority. In California it is done by the Department of Consumer Affairs. There are a number of professions regulated by the state and once approved the licensee is granted a number that is registered with the department. It is reapplied for every 2 years (at least for engineers). My number is C83929 and anyone can look me up on their site.
Also on this site is the means to fie a complaint against the licensee, find his mailing address and current status or standing within the organization.
Ethics and integrity are a vital part of the profession as poor quality work can lead to life safety issues for the public.
There are a number of sub disciplines with the field of Civil Engineering. Most common is the title Structural Engineer. To attain this grade, one must pass even more rigorous exams and have experience it more complicated structures. As a Civil Engineer I am qualified to design buildings up to 7 stories where Structural Engineers, once trained, can design high rise buildings. There license numbers will start with "S" where Civil engineer numbers start with "C". The word "engineer" is trade marked and can only be used by a licensed engineer. There are other disciplines under Civil Engineering such as Geologist, Traffic, Environmental Engineers.
Most construction plans, even smaller structural changes to a house, require design and calculations from an engineer as proof that there is no danger to the public of the building failing in an earthquake for example. This is enforced by the local building authority either the City or County if in an unincorporated area. The agency can not design but only see that the design is safe and that it is built per plan. Current building codes and basic engineering principles that are regularly reviewed and updated are applied by the engineer to create the plans.
I do my best to live up to the tradition and integrity of the profession and hope to apply my experience to service you in the future.
Mark Acciani PE
I am a local Civil Engineer with 20 years experience in residential construction in the Los Angeles area.