I have, on occasion, discussed with our customers who have been the victims of overconfident salespeople that have nothing to show for their experience except what they have learned on the job… some for a very short time.
Licensed Professional Engineers receive at least 4 years of specific education regarding structures, soils, reactions of loads, load paths, and dynamics. They must first pass a Fundamentals of Engineering test, after which they will need to serve three years under direct supervision of an existing licensed engineer as an EIT. At the conclusion of that time they must pass a final PE exam. Only engineers are held accountable to the board of technical registration for their competence and their ethics.
One particular customer let’s call her “Jane” got started with us in analyzing her foundation. Our people are very careful to not oversell their credentials so as to not overstep their boundaries with our Engineer. Before our engineering assistants could give their observations to the engineer, she was visited by our competition, who had no problem in overselling his credentials as an “Expert”. As a matter of fact Jane was under Impression that he was a licensed Professional Engineer.
Sales People are trained to act confident. That is their job. Engineers and their EIT assistants on the other hand, by nature typically don’t project that type of confidence in the way that they communicate. As a result, homeowners tend to get hornswoggled by overconfident sales people who have about 1/100th of the knowledge of an engineer.
The truth of the matter is that in order to complete a level B investigation (according to the FPA and ASCE), it must be supervised by a licensed professional engineer. There are too many nuanced engineering principles that need to be understood and applied to avoid mis-diagnoses in foundation investigations and in order to apply the right recommended solutions for each unique situation.