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#21856 - 02/12/03 03:33 AM Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
Joe Tedesco Offline
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 2749
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Do electrical engineers fully understand the purpose of the NEC?

Are they aware of the NEC installation rules and safety requirements?

Do they receive any training on the NEC?

Can they become licensed as an electrical contractor with their credentials?
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#21857 - 02/12/03 03:55 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
Jerry Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 02/25/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Fulton, NY
Joe this is a hard one to answer since today electrical engineer has such a broad meaning. In my job I have meant electrical engineers that specialize in various sections of the electrical field for example may be an expert with Programmable controllers and servo drive systems but know very little of residential, commercial or industrial electrical systems except as they pertain to their area of specialty. I have also interviewed numerous Entry level E.E. from college and in my opinion feel they do not concentrate on the core electrical field or had any training on the NEC or OSHA for that matter. This is not true in all cases but based on my experience. When I bring a new Electrical Engineer in I expect them to work at least some amount of time with the plant electricians on new installations as well as maintenance. This would include High voltage distribution systems and learn the importance of proper PPE. It can not be expressed enough no matter where electrical work is performed that one be familiar or know how to use the NEC and by the same token be familiar with OSHA regulations if they have people working for them.

Jerry E.E. Manager

[This message has been edited by Jerry (edited 02-12-2003).]
#21858 - 02/12/03 04:14 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
maintenanceguy Offline
Registered: 12/02/01
Posts: 300
Loc: Southern NJ, USA
Most electrical engineers don't work in power distribution so I'd say no, most don't know or even get involved with any NED issues.

And at elast in NJ, an EE can get his electrician's license. I think it requires an accredited EE degree plus 1 year relevent experience plus passing the state exam.
#21859 - 02/12/03 05:14 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
sparky Offline
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5303
would'nt people involved in design loose interest with a document including discalimers against design.
#21860 - 02/12/03 06:14 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
sabrown Offline
Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 302
Loc: Ogden, Utah, USA
I received no training on the NEC or OSHA while in school. Coming from designing Ultrasonic Sensors (pate4nts pending and all sorts of other garbage) into this field about 14 years ago, I barely knew who UL was though I was familiar with Fatory Mutual.

I commend you Jerry for getting your new EE's working in the field. My first week in this job was with an electrician (whom I was to oversee and had some 30 years in the field) rebuilding sewage lift stations. I learned alot from him in the 2 years before he retired.

I hope that all of us EE's take one of my professors creeds to heart that a college degree shows that one is capable of learning and that your learning should be life long.
I have been very greatful for the state and IAEI training that I have attended.

The other thing that I hope is that no one ever fears to take me to task. I may be hard headed and have to have something proved to me, but I will listen and I am teachable (ask my wife she has the system worked out so I think it is my idea).

My nephew is currently in an EE field up at school and it will be no different for him when he graduates except I am trying to give him some broader experience. After I retire in about 15 years, I am looking seriously at teaching part time and maybe will fill a gap on the side. The emeritis professor who taught our power class (note: only one class) still was hitting only the theory and design of devices (motors, etc.) not transmission or the NEC.

Shane (P.E.)
#21861 - 02/12/03 06:31 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
Ron Offline
Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 582
Loc: White Plains, NY
You have asked a very broad question. Your question is similar to asking if all electricians that install low voltage residential alarms circuits, if they aware of the NEC installation rules and safety requirements regarding commercial work? or if they receive any training on the NEC? In most situations the answer is no.

Electrical engineers that design power related installations are aware of the NEC installation rules and safety requirements, and receive training on the NEC, or they are under the direction of an engineer that does so. New engineers do not have the benifit of an engineering apprentiship programs like many electricians would for installations, and endure many years of on the job training, similar to electricians, except in more controlled conditions (in an office or pulled aside at a job site). Generally we learn by having a senior engineer instruct us on a project by project basis, or screw up (this appears to be the best way that I have learned, since I do it often, and try not to repeat the mistake!)
#21862 - 02/12/03 08:47 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
lighthouse Offline
Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 134
Loc: philadelphia pa 19125
joe...(Do they receive any training on the NEC?)

joe.i remember years ago i was working with a helper that wanted to be in the electrical field for a year before becoming an electrical engineer.the last thing i remember is i sent him down to the basement for a pipe stretcher. about .15 min later he came back up and said he could not find i told him to check by the tripod.and he then i was in tears.yea,he went on to be a engineer

[This message has been edited by lighthouse (edited 02-12-2003).]
#21863 - 02/12/03 09:01 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
Philip White Offline
Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 12
Loc: trenton, tennessee, usa
as an engineer, i know that we don't always understand the Nec and its principals.
i didn't receive any training on the nec in college.
in tennessee, we must take a state test to get your license, unless you were grandfathered in.
#21864 - 02/12/03 09:16 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
gramps Offline
Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 112
Loc: ohio
joe....this brings to mind a situation several years ago, when i was working for another employer who was helping do the electrical installations in the (then) new Honda auto plant. they had a crew of e.e.'s under contract to install the robot welders and material handlers, and all the electronics that go with them. i had the audacity to ask one of them why they were insisting on setting a particular control panel in a certain location, that it was going to be extremely difficult, and costly, to pipe it and wire it, according to "code". he just looked at me like, "who the hell are you, questioning my decisions?", then told me that it was my problem, not his. ....sorry to say, that left a really bitter taste in my mouth.

#21865 - 02/12/03 09:31 AM Re: Do All Electrical Engineers Understand the NEC?
rowdyrudy Offline
Registered: 11/02/02
Posts: 169
Loc: Mascoutah, IL USA
No, I don't believe that ALL EE's understand the code, nor do I believe that ALL electricians understand the code, nor do I believe that ALL AHJ's understand the code.
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