Seeking licensure advice
I'm hoping this community can help me figure out a best course of action for my current situation. Background info: I'm an LSI (aka SIT) in Colorado with 7+ years of experience. I have a bachelors in geology, which was my previous career for 10 years before becoming a surveyor. I don't have any surveying specific coursework from my degree other than probably calc I and physics I.
Colorado changed their education requirements effective last year to requiring a 4 year surveying degree, or eng. with surveying coursework. I was aware that changes were effective but I thought they got rid of their "10 year experience and no college" path only. When I looked a couple weeks ago, the website still makes me believe this. The state also now requires that a qualified applicant for licensure take the NCEES Principles and Practicals exam BEFORE applying to the state, instead of requiring that all test takers be pre-approved. When I applied for the FS exam in 2019 and submitted my education and experience via application, I made the assumption that my experience and education were "good to go". I received approval to take the FS with no detail other than I met the requirements. Turns out that I ONLY met the 4 years of experience required to take the FS, and none of my college education was considered good enough for credit toward licensure.
Fast forward to this past year, I sign up, pay, and study for the PS exam thinking my 4 year bachelor's degree is on the books along with my passed FS exam. I pass the PS exam and beaming with pride. Pay moneys to the NCEES and the state to have my record looked over, and voila, denied because I don't have a surveying degree. This is when I find out I don't have any education counting towards licensure.
I'm heart broken, frustrated, and depressed that my hard work was, in my eyes, for nothing. I really don't want to go back to college, and I don't really have the time and financial means to do so. Not only that, but Colorado has one survey program in the whole state located 4 hours from denver with no online teaching. So if I must go back to college, I'll be paying out of state tuition. Surveying is my second career and I absolutely love it. If the NCEES exams are meant to test what an applicant knows, why must I have to go through the rigors of college once again, just because. The most valuable things I ever learned in my careers, I learned on the job, not in the classroom.
I'm seeking a more viable path than spending time and money on college, again.
Thanks for reading if you made it.
Well, you could leave Colorado. There are still states that have non-surveying degree paths to licensure. Massachusetts is one. The mountains aren't as tall as in Colorado, but we have the ocean and lots of big fish to catch.
Another possibility would be to investigate whether you have the option to "fight it" with your board. Read the enabling legislation that created the licensing system, read the Board's regulations, and see if the Board has exceeded their authority somehow. It's a long shot, but you never know. It always amazes me to find how few professionals have actually read the enabling statutes, and fail to keep up with changes to the regulations that they are licensed under.
There are several programs that are completely on-line. Some allow challenge exams or work portfolio credit. In the current environment it's not hard to find an employer thst will help with costs.
Every obstacle you describe has a solution. Check with Idaho Stste, Great Basin and any others you can find. The path is there.
I'm always amazed at this, telling someone they weren't qualified to take an exam that they've already passed.
Passing the test is prima facie evidence that the person is qualified to take said test.
Education requirements created by a mostly uneducated group is absurd.
I still want to see the evidence that shows that surveyors who have a surveying education are better, more professional, and have fewer complaints lodged against them, than those without a surveying education.
It's legislation that isn't based on facts but rather on feelings.