An illustration of experience, showing a head with gears, light bulb, and wrenchBY DYLAN ALBERGO, PE, FBPE Chair (2024)

Five years ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis put out a call-to-action to the state’s professional licensing boards to review their rules and make necessary changes to “keep Florida on a trajectory toward continued prosperity.”

The Florida Board of Professional Engineers has taken this call-to-action in earnest and continues to review its rules, ensuring that “unreasonable” or outdated regulation does not impede personal or economic success, as requested by the governor in 2019.

As part of this review, the Board has revised its rule regarding experience equivalence that can be counted while earning a graduate engineering degree on a part-time basis while working full-time.

For this to apply, students must be enrolled fewer than 12 hours per semester while earning their graduate degrees.

The Board changed Rule 61G15-20.002, Florida Administrative Code, effective Jan. 30, 2024, so that applicants for licensure can now count up to 12 months experience equivalence for graduate engineering degrees (master’s or doctoral) received while working full-time.

Post-graduate education opportunities have become increasingly more accessible in ways that were not possible in the past. The Board felt that it was necessary to consider the fact that full-time work experience gained while attending graduate school on a part-time basis has become more commonplace.

Prior to this rule change, an applicant seeking licensure who worked for one year while simultaneously earning their master’s or doctorate degree would only be awarded one year of experience. Effective Jan. 30, that same applicant can now claim two years of experience (one year work experience plus one year experience equivalence).

The Board continues to regularly review its rules to ease the burden of regulation while staying “committed to protecting the interest of public health and safety by properly regulating the practice of engineering” as charged in Chapter 471, Florida Statutes.

About the Author

Dylan Albergo, PE, of Tampa, specializes in bridge design and engineering project management. He has served as FBPE chair since 2023 and was its vice chair in 2022. He chairs the special inspector rules committee and serves on the application review and the FEMC operations committees.