Editor's Points-Comma, credentials.

May 1, 2007
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For every editorial piece published in POB, I enquire about any possible credentials of those mentioned in stories. I believe it’s important-mandatory-to include those Ps, Ls and Ss after names. They mean something-they mean a lot.

My first real understanding of this was when my proud mother graduated with a master’s degree. She immediately changed her E-mail address to include her new hard-earned credentials, and makes sure they are applied on all of her business materials and any speaker and program announcements. They tell of her dedication to her profession.

When I entered into this position as editor serving the surveying profession, this understanding was solidified as I learned all that is expected of a potential licensee. Although many may view those suffixes as mere letters, they really represent so much more: long nights and weekends studying trigonometry problems, data adjustments, geodesy, computer operations, boundary law principles and data collection procedures; intense field experience; application to your boards (and awaiting their approval); and, for some of you, continuing education credits.

All that work will hopefully help you to obtain your state’s chosen credentials, and hopefully more money as well (most are compensated for their efforts to become licensed; see page 27 of our biennial salary and benefits survey). So in my mind those “simple letters” should be included after your name wherever it is used-as if they are part of your name.

Professional credentials reflect a commitment to one’s profession (and further commitment for those completing mandatory continuing education to maintain licensure). Additionally, your professional surveyor credentials prove your dedication to serving the public; they announce an allegiance to the community you serve that you persevered through years of education and experience to earn those credentials and that you have met particular professional and ethical standards.

Professional surveyor credentials (and the course to attaining them) vary by state, which will bother me as long as I serve this profession. I personally prefer the inclusion of the “P” for “professional” that some states choose to apply to their licensed surveyors. The work and effort put into the designation earns it the term professional in my book.

When I edit material on surveying history, I don’t have to research the credentials to be applied to those mentioned in the stories. The days of yesteryear didn’t include mandatory education and continuing education to practice as a surveyor. So when you take your personal time and drive to obtain licensure, you should make sure those credentials come after your name.

Some may see “simple letters,” but we know they mean so much more. Be proud!

“The profession regulates itself by setting high standards for surveyors… These requirements and high standards help protect the public’s safety and welfare. Licensure is the mark of a professional. It demonstrates accomplishment of the high standards of professionalism to which the surveying profession subscribes.” -National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying

To contact the editor, send an E-mail to or mail to 2401 W. Big Beaver Rd., Ste. 700, Troy, MI 48084.

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