Work experience FAQs

Why do I have to provide a complete history of my work experience?

State licensing boards require a detailed account of an applicant’s work experience in order to make a determination on whether or not to license an individual. All Records applicants must provide a complete outline of their professional experience, including references for each entry. It is very important that each entry describes explicitly, yet concisely, the complexity of the work performed, the duties, and the exact engineering or surveying work that you personally performed.

Which job should I put first when listing my work experience?

If you entered college immediately following high school graduation, begin your list with your first job after graduating from college. Time spent obtaining a bachelor’s degree should not be listed. However, cooperative engineering or surveying work may be included. There can be no gaps in the complete chronological listing.

I delayed entering college. Do I have to account for the time between high school graduation and entering college?

Yes. If you delayed entering college, you must account for work experience beginning with graduation from high school, whether or not it’s engineering or surveying related. All time after high school must be accounted for with no time gaps.

I held some of these jobs a really long time ago. How accurate does this information have to be?

Accuracy in supplying dates and describing the type of work performed is very important. The employer for each entry must verify the information that you provide. 

When describing my work experience, is there anything specific I should include?  How much detail should I provide?

Work experience entries should describe engineering projects on which you personally worked. Each entry is broken into Tasks and Duties and Projects.

For Tasks and Duties, include your level of responsibility, degree of personal responsibility, the complexity of the work performed, and engineering decisions that you made.

For Projects, include the project name, location, dates of the project and the exact engineering or surveying work you personally performed.  You do not have to list every project you worked on, but you must cover the entire time frame of a work entry, skipping no more than 2 years time.

How is my work experience verified?

Work experience verifications are processed electronically based on information provided by the applicant. Respondents will be notified via email with instructions on how to access the secure information. NCEES recommends that you notify and follow up with your respondents to ensure they receive and respond to the verification email. To meet the requirements of most state licensing boards, select a supervisor or department manager who was licensed as an engineer or surveyor, as appropriate, at the time of your employment. Unverified work experience does not apply when calculating experience for MLE, MLS, or MLSE status. If there is not someone that is licensed that can sign off on the work experience, it is okay to have someone else who worked with you during the entire time frame sign off on the entry.  This may or may not be acceptable to all boards, but is generally preferable (versus not having it verified at all).

How long will it take to verify my work experience entries?

It typically takes NCEES about 3-7 days to get to your work entry in our queue and either provide feedback or approve the entry.  If feedback is given, you will need to adjust your entry accordingly and submit the entry for review again.  Once the entry is approved, the entry is sent to your respondent for verification.  It typically takes about five minutes for a respondent to access, review, and verify a work experience entry.

How can I check the status of my work experience verifications?

The status of each work experience entry is provided via the applicant’s MyNCEES account.  Pending NCEES means that NCEES is reviewing the entry.  Pending Supervisor means that the entry has been approved by NCEES and an email has been sent to the supervisor/respondent you listed.  Approved/Complete means the entry was approved by NCEES and signed off on by your respondent.  Edits Needed means our reviewers have provided you with feedback on needed changes to your entry.

I’ve held several different positions and/or worked on multiple projects for the same employer. Do I have to list them all as separate entries?

No. If the employment consists of numerous projects, describe the general nature of your position or describe a specific project that is representative of your work.

You should try to limit your entries to one for each employer. Each entry will generate a verification form that must be completed by a supervisor and returned to NCEES. Multiple entries are usually unnecessary and can slow the completion process.  The only reason to have multiple entries for the same employer is if there is not one person that can sign off on the entire time frame.

When identifying a supervisor, select someone who can verify all of the positions you’ve held within the company as well as your experience on all related projects.

Are there specific words or terms I should use or avoid when describing my experience?

In describing your experience, use specific terms such as “I designed,” “I reviewed,” and “I recommended.” 

When describing a group project, focus only on your specific responsibilities. Do not include the roles and responsibilities of your coworkers. Avoid using terms like: "we", "the team", "responsible for", "attended to", "oversaw", "supported", "coordinated", "managed", "led", "directed", "involved", "participated", "assisted", and/or "helped".

Do not include language similar to what you would find on a résumé or job proposal.  This is not a job application, so do not enter information as if you were applying for a job.

What types of duties and practice activities should I include?

Examples of duties and practice activities are planning, design, construction, consultation, engineering, surveying, evaluation, research and development, operations and management, teaching, and subprofessional.

What does NCEES consider “creditable engineering experience?”

Only work of an engineering nature is creditable, and this work usually follows graduation with a bachelor’s degree.  The specific work includes typical descriptive activities as described above.  Work that is not actual engineering work (like management, marketing, personnel, etc.) will not count as creditable engineering work.

Experience is not credible if it was obtained in violation of the licensure law. Experience as a contractor in the execution of a design by a professional engineer or in employment considered as that of supervising construction of such work may not be considered creditable experience.

Does my work during graduate school count?

No.  State boards will generally give you 1 year of creditable engineering experience for earning a graduate degree.  Therefore, your education section with your verified graduate degree is all that is needed to suffice for this one year of time.  Do not enter this work under your work experience section.  Reviewers will give this 0% credit (giving you full credit would then be considered "double dipping" if you got credit in our system and a board also gave you credit).

I have worked as both an engineer and surveying during the same time frame.  How do I list this?

State boards do not provide experience credit for more than a full time job, so if you are working as a surveyor and an engineer, they must be listed separately so that both types of work can be counted.  You'll list these entries as "part-time".

Can I make changes to my work experience entry after it’s submitted for review?

No. Carefully review the information provided and make any necessary changes before submitting your information for review. Changes to this information cannot be made once submitted.  Reach out to NCEES if there is something that would be required to be changed about your work entry.

Some of my employment has been outside of the engineering or surveying profession. Do I need to include it?

There can be no gaps in the complete chronological listing of your work experience. Include employment with organizations that are not engineering or surveying firms and employment not directly related to engineering or surveying work.  You will list these entries as “other” work experience.

I was unemployed for a period of time. Do I need to include it?

Periods of unemployment should be explained in the Time Gap section of the application.

Should I include part-time work?

Yes. Differentiate between part-time and full-time employment. For part-time employment, provide the amount of time devoted to work instead of the elapsed calendar time.

What if a former employer is deceased, the firm has dissolved, or the firm is now operating under a different name?

If a former employer is deceased, a firm has dissolved, or a firm is now operating under a different name, you can use a coworker or client to verify the experience. If that cannot be done, you can select to self-verify the experience and provide an explanation for why the experience cannot be verified. 

How can I verify a period of self-employment?

Verification of self-employment must be obtained from an associate or client, preferably a licensed engineer or surveyor. You cannot verify your own self employment. Periods of unverified self-employment must be explained as part of the application process and will not apply when calculating the minimum number of years of experience required for licensure.

I am about to begin a new job. Should I include the work experience I expect to gain from it?

All work experience must have been completed work, not anticipated work. If you have just started a new job, you can add it to your work experience page, but self verify the work instead of entering someone to sign off on it.  Once you have worked there for long enough to have work to discuss/describe, then you can change the entry to have someone to sign off on it.  

For Surveying Work Experience, what should I include?

It is important to include any boundary work (if applicable) and demonstrate any knowledge of Public Land Surveying Systems (if applicable) that you have experienced during the employment.  

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