Home » Addicted Professionals » Engineering & Architecture Professionals

Engineering & Architecture Professionals

Boards governing Engineering & Architecture Professionals in various states have substance abuse guidelines to ensure the safety and integrity of projects.
ASCE logo

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a professional body representing civil engineers in the U.S. and internationally. While ASCE sets standards, provides resources, and offers guidance for the professional development of civil engineers, it needs to have the regulatory powers that state licensing boards possess. In terms of professional licensure, this is generally under the jurisdiction of each state’s engineering licensing board.

That said, professional societies like the ASCE play a role in shaping the ethical and professional standards of the profession. Here’s how ASCE may engage with issues of substance abuse and alcoholism:

Code of Ethics
ASCE’s Code of Ethics emphasizes the duty of civil engineers to uphold the safety, health, and welfare of the public in their professional activities. While the code might not specifically mention substance abuse or alcoholism, any behavior compromising an engineer’s ability to safely and competently perform their duties, including substance impairment, would violate these ethical principles.
Education and Awareness
ASCE might provide resources, seminars, webinars, or publications addressing issues relevant to engineers’ well-being, including the dangers and implications of substance abuse in the professional context.
Support and Referral
While ASCE may not have dedicated programs for substance abuse, it could refer members to relevant external resources, counseling services, or assistance programs.
Policy and Recommendations
ASCE might issue position statements or guidelines on various issues, potentially including substance abuse, emphasizing the importance of professional competency and well-being.
Peer Support and Community
Through its vast network of local sections, branches, and institutes, ASCE fosters a community among civil engineers. These local entities might offer peer support or resources for members facing personal or professional challenges.
Continuing Education
ASCE is a primary provider of continuing education opportunities for civil engineers. They might incorporate topics related to ethics, professional responsibility, and well-being, which could indirectly address substance abuse issues.
Conferences and Meetings
At ASCE conferences or annual meetings, there might be sessions, panels, or discussions focusing on the well-being and mental health of engineers, including challenges related to substance abuse.
While ASCE can advocate for the welfare of its members and promote professional standards, direct regulation of engineers, especially in matters of licensure or discipline related to substance abuse, is typically the domain of state licensing boards. Each state’s board would have its mechanisms for handling complaints, conducting investigations, and taking disciplinary actions related to professional conduct, including issues arising from substance abuse.

State Licensing Boards

In the United States, the licensure and regulation of professional engineers fall under individual state licensing boards. Each state, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories have its board responsible for experienced engineers’ licensure, oversight, and discipline.

Regarding substance abuse and alcoholism:

State boards set forth professional conduct or ethics codes. While these might not detail substance abuse explicitly, any conduct, including substance abuse, that jeopardizes the safety or well-being of the public or affects the engineer’s ability to practice competently could be considered a breach.
If there’s a concern or allegation that an engineer’s substance use affects their professional responsibilities, state boards can initiate investigations. This can result from complaints filed by colleagues, employers, or the public.
Depending on the findings, disciplinary actions can range from a formal reprimand to license suspension or revocation. Some boards might mandate substance abuse counseling or treatment as a condition for maintaining or reinstating licensure.
Several states offer Professional Assistance or Intervention Programs tailored explicitly for engineers (and other licensed professionals) facing substance abuse challenges. These programs aim to identify, intervene, and assist in the recovery while ensuring public safety. They provide confidential assessment, treatment referrals, peer support, and monitoring.
Some state boards, in collaboration with local engineering societies or organizations, might promote awareness and education on issues of substance abuse and mental health, highlighting their implications in the professional setting.
Depending on state regulations, engineers might be required to report known substance abuse issues during license renewal or if it affects their or their peers’ ability to practice safely.

Engineers who lose their licenses due to substance abuse issues can often undergo a reinstatement process, which may involve demonstrating sustained sobriety, undergoing evaluations, or completing designated treatment programs.

It’s crucial to note that specific procedures, resources, and interventions will vary from one state to another. Those interested in particular state guidelines should consult that state’s engineering licensing board or the relevant regulatory authority. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is a valuable resource as it connects to all state boards and provides general guidelines and standards.
Ieee logo

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association, not a regulatory or licensing body. It’s a global organization that primarily focuses on advancing technology and innovation. The IEEE sets professional standards, publishes research, conducts conferences, and provides educational resources for its members in the electrical and electronics engineering fields.

Given this role, here’s what to understand about the IEEE and issues of drug and alcohol addiction:

Code of Ethics
The IEEE has a Code of Ethics that all members are expected to adhere to. While it might not address substance abuse directly, it emphasizes maintaining and improving members’ competence and acting in the public interest.
Education and Awareness
The IEEE may provide resources, seminars, and articles on various topics to support its members’ well-being and professional development. Though not a primary focus, these resources could indirectly help members deal with personal challenges, including substance abuse.
Support and Referral
While the IEEE might not have dedicated programs for substance abuse, it might refer members to external resources, counseling services, or assistance programs if such an issue arises.
Advocacy and Recommendations
The IEEE can advocate for its members’ well-being and professional development. While substance abuse might not be a central issue, the organization might take positions on broader health and well-being topics affecting the engineering community.
Local Sections and Societies
IEEE is organized into chapters, chapters, and societies. These local entities might have resources, events, or support mechanisms for members dealing with personal challenges.
It’s important to note that regulation of professional conduct, including issues related to substance abuse, is typically the domain of state licensing boards or similar entities in the countries where engineers practice. The IEEE does not have the authority to license or discipline engineers. Any direct regulations or interventions concerning substance abuse among engineers would be addressed by the respective licensing bodies in their jurisdictions.


LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

"who is a burning tree client?"

Beth Legacki, Burning Tree Ranch Alumni