The Association of Professional Engineers Australia welcomed the introduction of legislation to establish a registration system for professional engineers in Victoria, Australia.
CEO Chris Walton said until now, too many non-engineers have taken the place of professional engineers in engineering project management and delivery.
"The overreliance on non-engineers in decision-making leads to poor project conception, development & delivery, which is de-valuing the profession and affecting delivery of engineering projects, including public infrastructure," said Mr Walton.
"Our power systems, water systems, road, rail and bridges all rely on engineers because mistakes in how we build and maintain public infrastructure can have a catastrophic effect on public safety.
"Yet, until now, there has been no regulation on who can call themselves an engineer. We license plumbers and architects but not engineers."
Victoria becomes the second Australian state after Queensland to adopt a registration system for professional engineers, and Mr Walton said other states looked set to follow.
"All states and territories seem to be moving in this direction because they can see the benefit in improving project outcomes and guaranteeing community safety."
Mr Walton said engineers should be as well respected and recognised for their role as doctors or nurses and that means not allowing non-engineers to do engineering work.
"With a huge amount of engineering work in Victoria's pipeline, we need to make sure these investments are protected by placing engineers at the centre of decision making and project management.
"More broadly, we need to build our engineering capacity by investing in our men and women through engineering workforce planning, and high-quality graduate programs and training."