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State of Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects

Working with Licensees

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Working with Licensees

What is the difference between architecture and engineering?

Per the Engineers and Architects Regulation Act:

The practice of architecture means providing or offering to provide design services in connection with the construction, enlargement, or alteration of a building or group of buildings and the space within and surrounding the buildings. The services may include, but not be limited to, planning, providing studies, designs, drawings, specifications, and other technical submissions, and administering construction contracts. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3420)

The practice of engineering means any service or creative work that requires engineering education, training, and experience in the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences. The services may include, but not be limited to, planning, providing studies, designs, drawings, specifications, and other technical submissions, and administering construction contracts. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3421)

Are architects and engineers interchangeable?

While much of what architects and professional engineers produce may at times look similar (such as creating plans, designs, drawings, and technical submissions), the practices of architecture and engineering are separate and distinct. 

How do I know if my project requires and architect or professional engineer?

The Board has several resources available to determine if an architect or professional engineer is required. 

For new construction projects, use the New Construction Flow Chart. 

For remodeling projects/one-level additions, use the Renovation/Addition Flow Chart.

You can also find more information here

How can I find a licensed architect or professional engineer?

The Licensee Lookup feature is ideal for finding licensed professionals in your local area to help with building or renovation projects.

The lookup feature is updated weekly and includes all current architects, professional engineers and firms that are licensed to practice in Nebraska.

Please note, the Board and Staff cannot make recommendations for licensees or firms.

Can an organization offer both construction services and engineering/architectural services (design-build)?

An organization may offer or provide engineering and/or architectural services combined with construction (often referred to as a design-build) services following the conditions set forth in the E&A Regulation Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-3436.01) and Board Rule 7.4. The architect and/or professional engineer must participate substantially in aspects of the services that involve architectural and/or engineering services, respectively.

What is a coordinating professional?

A coordinating professional is a member of the design team who coordinates all of the disciplines needed to complete a project. The seal of the coordinating professional does not designate responsible charge for the architectural or engineering work, and also provides a contact for the project for building officials. The Coordinating Professional’s seal must appear on the cover sheet of all documents along with specific identifying language. Review Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3437.02 and Chapter 6 in the Board’s rules and regulations for more guidance.

Can professional engineers practice in a discipline other than the discipline on their seal?

Yes, professional engineers may practice in disciplines of engineering other than the discipline noted on their seal if they have the education, training and experience to do so. If a licensee’s practice is called into question, the individual may be required to provide the Board with evidence that they are competent to practice other disciplines. If the Board has deemed a licensee not competent in an engineering discipline, they are not allowed to practice engineering in that discipline.

Review Board Rule 5.1 for more information. 

How do I know what discipline of practice a professional engineer is?

You may check discipline of practice for a professional engineer with the Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects office, or check the Licensee Lookup section of the Board’s website.

Do I need an electrical engineer for the design of electrical work?

It depends on the project. The E&A Regulation Act requires professional engineers to design electrical installations on all non-exempt projects. Master electricians licensed by the State Electrical Board are authorized to “plan, layout or supervise” the installation of wiring, apparatus, or equipment for projects they are installing.

When is a structural engineer needed on a project?

The Board does not specifically determine the guidelines when a structural engineer is required. It is up to the licensees to practice within their education, training and experience. However, a building code official or client may be more stringent than state law and require work to be performed by a professional structural engineer. In that case, the licensee must have a professional structural engineer license.

To confirm a license's discipline, please visit the Licensee Lookup.


If you have any questions or FAQs suggestions to add, please contact us.