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Are Engineering Fees Expensive?

Are Engineering Fees Expensive?

Although many people call themselves engineers, frequently illegally, a professional engineer is someone who has demonstrated sufficient education and experience to a state licensing board through written examination.

Having gone to school in an engineering discipline, graduated from an engineering program or worked for an engineer, does not qualify an individual to use the term “engineer” in reference to themselves, or work they may perform.

In most states, a four year degree in engineering, followed by four years of working directly under a registered engineer is required, before one is eligible to take the written exams.

The written engineering examination is 16 hours for a professional engineer (PE) registration, an additional 16 hours for a structural engineer (SE) registration and 8 more hours for a geotechnical engineer (GE) registration. A four year internship is required to be eligible for PE registration. Four additional years of specific structural or geotechnical experience is required to qualify for each of the specialty examinations. Only these licensed persons are allowed to use an engineering stamp on their work. In many jurisdictions, separate registrations as a structural or geotechnical engineer are required for specialty design.

Because commercial structures often have a much greater occupancy, an engineer’s stamp is typically required in the interest of public safety. It is always required for education occupancies and for emergency facilities.

Considering many engineers have the same level of education and licensing requirements as physicians and a greater level than most attorneys, it would be logical to assume engineering fees would be similar. In general, though, the hourly rate for engineers is less than half of what is charged by either physicians or attorneys.

Engineering fees typically vary with the cost and complexity of the project. For full services and a project of average complexity, design fees often range between 5% and 10% of construction costs. Considering hiring an engineer to design a pole building which will cost $30,000 in materials and labor? Don’t be surprised to see a bill for $1500 to $3000 for the engineer’s work.

Hansen BuildingsIn the case of a Hansen Pole Building, engineering costs are generally far lower, as we utilize the same structural design program as our engineers do – this means the engineer does not have to begin from scratch on every building. The large volume of work we do with our engineers also helps to hold costs to the client to a far more reasonable charge