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Ethical Issues in Engineering: How Engineers Should Act


At your workplace, ethics is probably not something that you deal with, or even think about, on a regular basis. You may simply show up, do your assigned work, help customers and co-workers, go back home and repeat.

If you think about it, though, every task you do may come with ethical issues. For example, you may lie on an expense report or tell the customer that yes, you can accommodate the extra work, for extra money or some other kickback. As a writer, you may save time by plagiarizing someone else’s work and hoping to get paid for it as your own.

Every industry deals with ethical issues to some extent, including engineering. Engineers hold noble jobs, as they use their skills and creativity to transform nature into usable structures. With this comes an obligation to keep the safety and welfare of the public in mind when they create bridges, buildings and other structures. If they build something that is unsafe and someone is injured as a result, the engineer could be held liable. They could face fines or even lose their engineering license.

Summary of Engineering Ethics

There are many obligations that engineers must abide by in order to serve the public effectively. Engineers face many ethical issues during the course of their work, including bribes, political corruption, offshoring and environmental issues.

Besides keeping public safety in mind, engineers need to focus on honesty and integrity. Lying to a client or acting deceitfully is immoral. Approving designs and engineering documents that do not meet state or local standards is negligent in that it could put the public at risk. Designs must be safe.

Engineers have a duty to report acts of unethical behavior that they witness. By assisting others in deception, fraud and lies, they are acting unethically, which could jeopardize their career.

Professional development is also important. Engineers also have a duty to advance their careers. Technology and laws are always changing and it is important that they stay abreast of these updates.

Fairness is also expected of engineers. They must treat all clients fairly, regardless of gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, economic status and marital status. Unfair competition is also not allowed. Their reputation should be based on their service and not focused on trying to outdo the competition.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Professional Engineers Licensing Lawyer

Engineers are an important part of any construction project. They help create safe designs so that the structures can be used safely by the public. If they approve or create anything that jeopardizes the health and safety of others, they could face administrative actions that could potentially end their career.

If you are an engineer facing disciplinary action for an ethics violation, seek legal help from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. He has decades of experience helping Florida engineers keep their licenses having represented more than 120 professional engineers before the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. He can help you find an option that fits your needs. Schedule a consultation today by calling (813) 968-6633 or filling out the online form.