I went through all of the work and experience at a previous job to get my Professional Engineer's license, however, my new firm is not licensed to provide design services. Is it still allowable to place "P.E." after my name since I am a licensed professional engineer even though I will not be providing sealing and stamping of documents? I know some engineers will get their licenses even if it is not required, but I wasn't sure how this lined up with presenting your credentials on a business card.


2 Answers 2


If you put PE on your card, it suggests that you are able to sign off documents right now. (I assume that even if you wanted to do that outside your employment, you aren't paying for professional indemnity insurance since you don't need it for your job, so that would NOT be a good idea...)

Just make sure you don't mislead somebody about what you (or your employer) can do, and they file you (or your employer) under "P" for "pretentious time-waster" when they find out it's not true :)

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    $\begingroup$ I disagree that the title implies functional capacity. I know plenty of MDs in research who don't practice medicine anymore, but their training is still highly relevant despite the fact that they can't write me a prescription. Training as a PE can still be relevant even if it's not used in a signatory capacity. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2019 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @NuclearWang It's a license, not just a title. And a license that carries implications of liability and warranty of services rendered. $\endgroup$
    – user16
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ These two responses both captured the exact two sides of this debate that I was trying to navigate. There are plenty of people who acquire their professional engineering licenses (such as government employees) who will never have cause to seal documents, yet they acquire the credentials as a mark of their training and experience. I suppose ultimately I will have to ask the boards what their opinion is on the matter. $\endgroup$
    – Secundus
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ Also, another situation where I see "PE" without the assumption of sealing drawings is at universities. Professors will sometimes list a PE to give themselves credibility to the industry. $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ @GlenH7 A PE is liable for their work whether or not they put PE on their business card, so whatever they put doesn't change the legal situation. The license shows that the person has strong credentials, which is relevant to clients/colleagues whether they need a seal or not. If I extrapolate your argument that a PE who can't provide a seal shouldn't advertise as a PE, it leads to the notion that a PE license has no value outside of providing the seal. $\endgroup$ Commented May 14, 2019 at 13:00

You worked for it, it represents a level of skill relevant to your "trade" so it belongs on your card.

If you wish to not mention it, that is your choice and you may have good reason for that.

I had a colleague who has a PhD and does not mention it... But the work does tend to give the game away....

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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, my own (high tech multinational) employer has a global rule that academic and professional qualification must NOT be shown anywhere except were they are strictly relevant to the document in question - i.e. not on email signatures, internal memos, business cards, even the label on your office door. Job titles are fine, since they signify what people actually DO, not whether or not they happened to spend a few more years in academia at some time in the past. $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ The guy I'm talking about runs his own company and consults for several so they employ him as his rep preceeds him... Saw the original of a circuit diagram he drew on A2 paper - no crossings out, no rubbing out, no changes, just done once... and no it was not for a penlight :) - controller for some serious machinery... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 19:56

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