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I’ve been thinking about where I’d like to take my career recently.  I’ve thought about going back to school for an advanced degree (not really thrilled with the idea), going back to school for some professional qualifications (still not really thrilled with the idea), just slogging through as I have (easiest), or possibly getting my PE license (ehhh).  But…that last option has a perk that the others don’t necessarily offer.  If I had my PE license, I could join…THE ORDER OF THE ENGINEER.

Secret societies.  They’re so interesting!

Ok, so the Order of the Engineer is not really a secret society.  They’re a…public society?  In that, they don’t have secret rituals and the like.  The Order of the Engineer is a US association for graduate and professional engineers that emphasizes responsibility in the profession.  It’s based on something Canada has done since the early 1900s in which they present graduate engineers with an Iron Ring in the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer.  The ring is functional rather than ornamental and is meant to be worn on the pinky finger of the dominant hand so that it drags when you write.  It serves as a reminder of your moral, ethical, and professional commitment as an engineer.

The US has formalized all this into a fellowship of engineers you can join as a professional engineer called the Order of the Engineer.  They have a similar ritual in which the initiate is presented with the Engineer’s Ring after taking an oath to abide by the Obligation of an Engineer.

So all of this is extremely interesting to me.  Groups of people with particular or peculiar habits/rituals/whatever are interesting to me.  But…I’m not sure if I’d be willing to put in the work to get my PE just so I could join this Order of the Engineer so I could observe them from the inside.  It probably is the wrong reason to join.


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