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Surveying not a profession?

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Chris Bouffard
(@chris-bouffard)
500+ posts Member

@edward-reading the books always come into play, I was buying the books and studying a minimum of two or three hours a day is definitely a must, I did it for three years, at home, for the cost of the books and my time without traveling to the only college that offered the degree, which was an hour away.

That option is no longer available in NJ, I am currently mentoring a kid that I hope to be my replacement and he just finished his first year at NJIT while working full time and the company is paying for his schooling, 100% of it, as long as he maintains a C or better average. 

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Posted : May 18, 2022 2:35 pm
FairbanksLS
(@fairbanksls)
500+ posts Member

@chris-bouffard 

Wow, I’m impressed that anyone would spend over 1500 hours studying for the exam after 7 years of mentoring. 👍 

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Posted : May 18, 2022 3:59 pm
JPH liked
Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

The central question presented in the case is does the 2 year statute of limitations for professionals apply or 4 years for non-professional licensed occupations. The legislature didn’t define profession so the court said it requires a 4 year degree and a license. The legislature could’ve overruled the court by defining profession for purposes of the professional malpractice statute.

This case is specific to Florida and even in Florida non degreed occupations could be considered professionals for every other purpose.

Excerpts from the opinion:

Land surveyor J. Sherman Frier allegedly performed a negligent land survey for his clients, Richard and Dorothy Garden. The Gardens sued for malpractice slightly more than two years after discovering the error. In response, Frier raised as an affirmative defense the two-year statute of limitation for "professional" malpractice. § 95.11(4), Fla. Stat. (1989). The trial court agreed that the two-year statute applied. Expressing some reservations, the district court affirmed.”

The question presented here is not new. When we last addressed this question in Pierce v. AALL Insurance Co., 531 So. 2d 84 *1275 (Fla. 1988), we noted that the legislature with express knowledge of its membership had neglected to define the term "professional" for purposes of the professional malpractice statute. Indeed, one legislator told other members that the question was being left for the judiciary to decide because a precise definition might hurt some people's feelings. Id. at 86. We then urged the legislature to reconsider this matter and adopt a precise definition. Unfortunately, the legislature has declined to provide the necessary definition.”

Accordingly, in harmony with the central thrust of Pierce, we hold that a "profession" is any vocation requiring at a minimum a four-year college degree before licensing is possible in Florida. There can be no equivalency exception. There also is no requirement that the four-year degree itself be in a field of study specifically related to the vocation in question, and we recede from Pierce to the extent it suggested the contrary.[3] As a corollary, a vocation is a profession if any graduate degree is required as a condition of state licensure, without regard to the nature of the undergraduate education.”

We do not believe that the *1276 definition of "profession" and "professional" should hinge on the licensing provisions of jurisdictions outside Florida, even if Florida recognizes some form of reciprocal licensing.”

In the same vein, a vocation is not a profession if there is any alternative method of admission that omits a required four-year undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. Likewise, a vocation is not a profession if a state license is not required at all. Nor are persons rendered "professionals" merely because they hold a four-year college degree if they are not absolutely required to hold the degree as a condition of licensing.”

We limit the definition of "professional" set forth above to the context of the professional malpractice statute. It is not our intent that this definition be applied to any other reference to "professionals" or "professions" elsewhere in the Florida statutes, regulations, or rules, or in court cases that deal with issues other than the statute of limitations at issue here. We recognize that there may be occasions when courts, legislators, rulemaking authorities, and others may use the terms "profession" and "professional" more broadly or more narrowly than we do here today.[9]

Because it is clear that at the times in question some land surveyors could be admitted to practice their occupation without at least a four-year college degree, see § 472.013(2)(e), Fla. Stat. (1989), we conclude that Frier was not a "professional" for purposes of the relevant statute of limitations at the times in question.[10] Accordingly, we answer the certified question in the negative. The opinion under review is quashed and this cause is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the views expressed above.

It is so ordered.”

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Posted : May 18, 2022 8:31 pm
Murphy liked

holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Jerks in the workplace come in all sizes, shapes, genders, colors and levels of formal education accomplished.  One former co-worker was a complete ass at work, but had a degree in chemistry from a noted technical university.  Listening to stories he related about his years prior to going to college, it became clear that he was born a jerk.  Another former co-worker was great to work with on all but three or four days each 28 days.  Then, her head would spin on her neck, ala Linda Blair in The Excorcist, with vile words spewing forth.  I worked with her husband for a year.  He confirmed the source of the timing.  In fact, he would tell me to stay away from her office as he arrived for work when her head had started spinning while at home.  Two other co-workers were constant liars.  They would much rather tell you a lie, that was easily proven to be a lie, than tell the truth on a regular basis.

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Posted : May 18, 2022 8:47 pm
ncsudirtman
(@ncsudirtman)
200+ posts Member
Posted by: @t-ford

@chris-bouffard 

If your son or daughter came to you and said they wanted to be a PLS like you how would you advise them to become licensed? Would you suggest going to a four year program or would you suggest for them to go the experience route like you did?

If I were to answer this question honestly towards my own boys in order to obtain their PE & PLS, I'd tell them they'd need a couple things:

  1. You will work every summer of highschool - preferably 5 days a week like an adult & you will either work for a PE or PLS (or dual licensed individual) besides myself. This opens their eyes to how other businesses & individuals do things plus it's the real world & it makes them a more resilient, employable person later on in life. Kids need more of that these days. people say this is heartless but it teaches kids to value their money vs effort spent earning it plus it keeps them out of trouble (boys especially - I wasn't an athlete in highschool so dad insisted on this to keep me well-rounded)
  2. You welcome to school for a 4 year degree if you'd like (pretty sure it's required for the PE these days to the best of my knowledge & potentially the PLS too now in NC). You will also work a part time job while at school to keep yourself focused on what matters vs having too much idle time - this helped me while in school
  3. If you intended to do anything in infrastructure design, land development design or anything heavy construction related for surveying, then you need to work a summer internship with a reputable contractor who is in that field to better understand their needs & why they call you, the PE or PLS up, screaming about issues with the design or the staking provided. I see WAY too many plan profiles drawn by other PE's for sewer & storm structures that can't be built the way it's depicted, deflections in water mains that are unreasonable or construction staking by a PLS' crew where the cut to the invert of the pipe is almost 2x as deep as the offset for the construction staking or there's only a single offset. Same with curb staking in parking lots where there's never enough spot elevations to determine the designer's intent or where ADA parking spaces won't work with the grading as shown on the plans. And with detention basins or temporary sediment control measures where the designer hasn't fully thought out the grading aspects of the basin, but just shows a single polyline shape on a plan to denote the basin's approximate location, when it has to tie into a steep native slope at a 3:1, which in actuality daylights into the native topo well outside of the staked LOC. Lack of enough area denoted for the stockpile of any excess material is another issue I see frequently with mass-graded sites (sometimes that's an aspect that's best to coordinate with the contractor on before making an assumption on the logistics of their workflow)

*sorry for the rant, but we really need more well-rounded individuals in this particular section of the profession. spreadsheets, software programs & additional degrees or annual continuing ed hours won't make you a better licensed professional in those areas 

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Posted : May 19, 2022 7:35 am
Sergeant Schultz
(@sergeant-schultz)
500+ posts Member

If I got paid the same as my carpenter, plumber, mason and electrician friends, you could call me anything except late-for-supper.

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Posted : May 19, 2022 12:30 pm
Jon Payne liked

jacavell
(@jacavell)
50+ posts Member

What a load of horse hooey! This is an excellent example of the opposite argument. There must have been some highly degreed, non-professional attorneys making the arguments in that case.

One notion of professional achievement is by advanced study AND experience practice. ONLY when diploma mills get involved in the definitions does "advanced study" = "university degree". If that were a valid argument, then the required degree would be the Master's degree, the professional level degree.

The actual meaning of "professional" is overlooked in these "modern" times. It means a promise was made, a profession. Initially, a profession of religious vows. It has nothing to do with making money or paying tuition.

Athletics have it even more wrong. Amateur means one who loves. If one is a professional it should be a given that they love what they do and are therefore amateur. We can blame the early Olympic officers for trying to prohibit gentlemen from having to compete with those who worked with their muscles for a living, so they were labeled "professional" since they earned a wage.

When we allow our language to be corrupted to the point of confusion, all is lost; we can no longer tell the truth without being accused of lying.

Surveying was a profession before any of the others came into existence.

This post was modified 2 months ago by jacavell
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Posted : May 19, 2022 2:45 pm
RADAR, Andy J, half bubble and 1 people liked
thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Member

The answer depends on context. Are we talking local custom, webster, blacks, or statute?

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Posted : May 19, 2022 2:56 pm
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

What the vast majority of onlookers witness appears to be a trade.  What is involved in doing that "trade" work correctly on the first try is what makes us a profession.

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Posted : May 19, 2022 4:10 pm

jacavell
(@jacavell)
50+ posts Member

@holy-cow 

What the majority of medical patients witness is phlebotomists, x-ray technicians, and insurance clerks, all of whom appear to be in a trade. What is involved in doing the medicine is analysis, and prescription (much like in a proper survey).

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Posted : May 19, 2022 5:44 pm
FairbanksLS
(@fairbanksls)
500+ posts Member

In the end it’s not what I choose to call myself.  It’s how the public sees me.  I’m waiting for R. Leonard to give his opinion.

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Posted : May 19, 2022 10:34 pm
Andy J
(@andy-j)
1,000+ posts Member

@jacavell   as always, Tony has the right words!

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Posted : May 20, 2022 5:40 am

aliquot
(@aliquot)
1,000+ posts Member

There are surveyors that are proffesionals like, but just being a surveyor doesn't make you a proffesional. 

The difference between a proffesional and and a tradesmen is that a proffesional uses the kind of educational background that most get from a four year degree. A tradesmen may have great skill, and may deserve respect, but we all know there are many surveyors that don't deserve the title proffesional. 

Extrapolating from personal experiences with a few people with degrees to a policy stance against degrees is unprofessional.  

 

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Posted : May 21, 2022 11:45 am
jacavell
(@jacavell)
50+ posts Member

@aliquot A good observation. Theory and practice often don't agree.

One stubborn flaw in the licensing laws in the USA is that there is one license for people who perform surveys. Had the writers of the laws been better informed about surveying, we would have had two licenses 1) Professional Surveyor & 2) Licensed Surveyor's Assistant.

The sad fact is both groups of people have the same stamps issued by bureaucrats; some are professionals, and some are technicians with a professional stamps.

This was true long before college degrees came into the picture and bringing them into the picture didn't change this. It did, however, reduce the breadth of experience that used to feed the profession limiting it to those who "know" at 18 they want to go to college to be a surveyor.

 

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Posted : May 21, 2022 12:31 pm
Edward Reading
(@edward-reading)
500+ posts Member
Posted by: @jacavell

It did, however, reduce the breadth of experience that used to feed the profession limiting it to those who "know" at 18 they want to go to college to be a surveyor.

 

This is not true. I went to college at 34 after 10 years in the field and got a degree in surveying. Most of the other students were also "non-traditional" students. There are many paths that people take.

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Posted : May 21, 2022 4:19 pm

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