Do I Need a License to Consult???
Some times yes … sometimes no… sometimes maybe… Here is a quick overview:
–If you are a business consultant, you probably don’t need a license other than possible tax licenses. There are no licensing boards for business consultants.
–If you are a professional consultant, however, you may need a license before offering your services to the public. In certain professions it is mandatory – don’t even think of practicing medicine or law without a license.
In other professions like engineering or accounting, while legally mandated it is not always enforced. But don’t use the title PE (Professional Engineer) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) unless you are licensed – you will invite the wrath of licensing boards.
Nevertheless, I often encourage my engineering colleagues to pursue a PE license. The following comment expands on why I do so. This was in response to a rather heated discussion on an engineering blog on the necessity of a PE license.
Glad to hear of your success against some clearly overreaching bureaucrats.
I say that as a PE/EE. Did getting my PE license make me a smarter engineer? No, but it did provide credibility when I started a consulting engineering firm 30 years ago, just like a CPA does for an accountant. It also has opened more than a few doors.
The PE license is valuable if you work for a consulting firm. This happened to an electronics design colleague (PE/EE) some years ago. He obtained his PE as a personal goal, not needing it while working for defense contractors.
Laid off in a slump, prospects were grim. That is, until he inquired at an engineering consulting firm, where most of their PEs were in electrical power. The firm was ecstatic to hire a PE/EE with electronics experience, to handle building electronics systems. Thus began a new and satisfying career.
As such, I often recommend the PE license — you never know when it might be useful. (Says the engineer who was laid off twice before he finally wised up and started consulting.)
More details on the engineer above here. Remember, when consulting it is all about credibility and visibility. Licenses and other valid credentials enhance that credibility.
P.S. Will be slowing down for the summer. Have grandkid plans, and hope to get in some RV time too. Best wishes for your summer too!
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