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 Post subject: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard analysis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:35 pm
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Is there any specific qualification requirement for conducting Arc Flash analysis( PE license etc)?Does it change from state to state for US?
Where can I find the requirement for particular state?


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:13 pm 
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No state or federal requirement.

There is vague language in IEEE 1584 that suggests a professional engineer license but its just a standard and it is not very restrictive even in the wording. Professional engineers are a licensed occupation. Even then thats kind of a union shop thing, so you can still do engineering work without having a professional engineers union card. They just sue you if you use the title. But you could still be a power systems analysis consultant. For what its worth, some of the poorest workmanship in terms of engineering that I have encountered comes from engineering firms that make sure every last drawing has a PE stamp on it. So any PE's that are insulted should consider the fact that everything a license board does looks exactly like how a union protects its members, right down to protecting incompetence. As a result of cleaning up after PE's time and time again, I place zero value on the stamp and someone who displays that as their most valuable credential is usually incompetent. I view both PE's and unions as necessary evils because at an incredibly low level, they serve a purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:45 am 
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I agree with some of this. I have known a few PE's that I'm not sure I would even want to change a light bulb and there are some very good Non-PE's that are quite smart and talented. The opposite is also true.

From the view of a "PE" it comes down to state licensing requirements and how they define engineering services. Many states require being licensed to provide engineering services. The IEEE 1584.1 standard suggests checking individual states regarding licensing requirements in order to perform arc flash studies.

The requirements for PE licensing are a minimum 4 year engineering degree from an accredited university, passing an 8 hour exam on engineering fundamentals, 4 years of experience and then passing another 8 hour exam for licensing.

The problem as previously pointed out, you can have an academic genius that is good at taking exams but has poor practical/real world abilities. You can also have a person with great experience and practical ability that does not have the academic background and/or is terrible at taking exams.

Years ago the pass rate for the electrical PE exam was around 30 to 35 percent - i.e. most people fail it at least once or twice (or more). I'm not sure what the pass rate is today. Bottom line, it is a threshold that needs crossed and a legal requirement in many circumstances but it is not always a good indicator of a person's true ability.


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:02 pm 
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1. The pass rate has improved. The exam is now specialty specific instead of generic. Electrical test does not have beam loading questions for instance and is more in depth. But pass rate is still poor.
2. Arc flash study where I work at now is extremely poor. Every time I touch any part of the plant I find myself redoing it and adding huge amounts of missing material, fixing incorrect breaker settings and fuses, etc. It was done by a PE at a major engineering firm.
3. It reminds me of drivers licenses...having a license does not show anything about skill. Having a PE shows you passed a test. There are test beating guides out there for a couple hundred bucks.
4. Mostly its only the consulting engineers that are hung up on PE's. The only reason to use a major engineering firm is if the skill and/or labor resources in house don't exist, or because its a bad project and doomed to failure anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Jim Phillips (brainfiller) wrote:
I agree with some of this. I have known a few PE's that I'm not sure I would even want to change a light bulb and there are some very good Non-PE's that are quite smart and talented. The opposite is also true.

From the view of a "PE" it comes down to state licensing requirements and how they define engineering services. Many states require being licensed to provide engineering services. The IEEE 1584.1 standard suggests checking individual states regarding licensing requirements in order to perform arc flash studies.

The requirements for PE licensing are a minimum 4 year engineering degree from an accredited university, passing an 8 hour exam on engineering fundamentals, 4 years of experience and then passing another 8 hour exam for licensing.

The problem as previously pointed out, you can have an academic genius that is good at taking exams but has poor practical/real world abilities. You can also have a person with great experience and practical ability that does not have the academic background and/or is terrible at taking exams.

Years ago the pass rate for the electrical PE exam was around 30 to 35 percent - i.e. most people fail it at least once or twice (or more). I'm not sure what the pass rate is today. Bottom line, it is a threshold that needs crossed and a legal requirement in many circumstances but it is not always a good indicator of a person's true ability.


I have the four year degree and 16 years of experience since graduating, but I have not taken the tests. Mainly because my past employers haven't been supportive of getting a PE, and when I tried to take the EIT exam once it was derailed because my employer failed to fill out paperwork the state required of them.

I feel perfectly comfortable performing the arc flash study for the company I work for. I don't think O would do it for another company though, without becoming a PE first.


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:50 am 
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Location: Swanton, Vermont
In 2003 I was encouraged to investigate the opportunity to learn to conduct arc flash analysis by an engineer/client for a large international manufacturing company. As I had been doing electrical installation and design for this company for a number of years this person was familiar with my work. I did look into it, purchased the software and documents, attended the classes offered by NFPA Professional Development and other safety related organization and studied subjects I may have been lean in knowledge. I then conducted studies and supplied the labeling, training and assistance with electrical safety program documentation for a number of manufacturing plants in the US. I have since stopped offering this service for my clients (my service is 90% electrical infrared inspections) for a few reasons. The costs for me to keep up to date with training was not financially feasible as I am now semi-retired and I'm not looking for new clients. Secondly, I must be an ineffectual instructor. When I have had to opportunity to see my students in action I'm very disappointed. A lot of this is the attitude of the facility management. Electrical safety programs were only to CYA and there was no enforcement of the rules especially for live work or selection of the appropriate PPE. About the only consistent benefit of it all was that fire rated work clothing was made available, eventually.
I look for arc flash labeling from other companies or from analysis done in-house at some of the plants I visit. A lot of them are less than useful, down right awful in the accuracy of the calculations and the confusion of the labeling (example; small 30kva 480v/208v transformers with two labels on them, a 208v label shows category 3 and a 480v category 2???) The employees don't really care what is on the labels and most of the time claim that they don't understand any of it. It's a rare and joyous day when I see a facility with equipment labeled effectively, employees knowledgeable of electrical safety and a management committed to this culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:11 am 
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" Even then thats kind of a union shop thing, so you can still do engineering work without having a professional engineers union card."
In some cases you can even do so legally.

"They just sue you if you use the title."
Not really, or not only, they can generally pursue criminal charges too.

"But you could still be a power systems analysis consultant. "
Notreally, or possibly not. If you are offering what a state board considered to be "engineering services" regardless of what YOU called it they could still pursue it.

"For what its worth, some of the poorest workmanship in terms of engineering that I have encountered comes from engineering firms that make sure every last drawing has a PE stamp on it."
Unfortunately I can't really disagree, except for "poorest". But definitely I have seen some poor engineering.

"So any PE's that are insulted should consider the fact that everything a license board does looks exactly like how a union protects its members, right down to protecting incompetence. "

I disagree, but i suspect it variies a lot from state to state.

"As a result of cleaning up after PE's time and time again,"
But did you follow this up with a complaint with the appropriate state board?
If you didn't, then are you not part of the problem, at a low level?

[OTOH it bothers me some times that almost all ofthe enforcement actions in one of the states
I am a PE in, (CA) are either against Civil, or Surveyors.
Are they somehow more incopetent or dishonest than all others?]


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 Post subject: Re: Qualifications required for conducting flash hazard anal
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:26 am 
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"The exam is now specialty specific instead of generic."
It never was, as far as I know.
I think you are mixing up the PE and the EIT exams.

I know there are some more specific parts of the EIT, especially in the afternoon session,
but the EIT test,in general, is intended to test the breadth of your knoweledge.

My PE exam, 20+ years ago, was ALL electrical. And fairly broad at that.

" Having a PE shows you passed a test. "
True enough, and that you have real working experience. They require that BEFORE you can take the exam.

"There are test beating guides out there for a couple hundred bucks."
You mean the exam STUDY guides?


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