Each year, ASPE holds five Region Meetings around the United States and Canada. These meetings are always informative for both the Society as a whole and our Chapter Officers and members alike. At these weekend meetings, we address important changes that took place over the past year and issues that arose within the plumbing engineering industry, and, let’s not forget, we have some good old-fashioned networking among friends and colleagues.
One important topic discussed at these Region Meetings every year is “the value of ASPE” relative to being a member: how ASPE can assist in advancing your career by helping you stay abreast of the newest technologies, applications, and design trends, thus increasing your value to your employer. In seeing this value proposition, hopefully your employer will see the benefit of encouraging other company employees, regardless of age or position, to get involved with ASPE. It’s a must, so don’t delay in taking the steps to become or remain an ASPE member. Like the title of a similar column I wrote a couple years back, “It’s Your Membership—Make the Most of It.” This column is intended to help you see the benefits and opportunities of being an ASPE member.
Speaking of our annual Region Meetings, the weekend of June 3–4, 2022, was the “hot” time to discuss and hopefully increase our members’ knowledge of every tool and benefit ASPE brings to the table. I would like to thank all of our Host Chapters for doing a wonderful job in planning and providing for these five meetings:
- Region 1: Philadelphia Chapter
- Region 2: Pittsburgh and Johnstown Chapters
- Region 3: New Orleans Chapter
- Region 4: Orange County Chapter
- Region 5: Minnesota Chapter
Well done, and thank you for your willingness to serve.
Personally, being an ASPE member has always been important to me and I’m sure to you as well. Yes, I am still an ASPE member, and I also pay my own dues—always have and always will, as supporting ASPE in this small way grows in importance with each passing year. Next April, I will have been an ASPE member for 30 years. My career has branched out into several areas of our industry, and I’ve found it important to have a place where I am assured of receiving assistance with anything that may arise from day to day in making the correct decisions relative to protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public in everything we do.
Knowing that ASPE is the international organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification, and inspection of plumbing systems is an important reason to join ASPE and continue to maintain your membership, as ASPE also is dedicated to the professional growth and advancement of our members.
Your ASPE membership provides you with technical data and information, activities that facilitate interaction with fellow professionals, and advanced continuing education to help you expand your base of knowledge. Through these benefits, ASPE members have proven to be leaders in innovative plumbing design, effective materials and energy use, and the application of advanced techniques around the world.
In sharing this bit of information, I feel the need to provide a list that I typically share annually to expound on some additional benefits, 10 to be exact, that ASPE provides to our members, which will also show the importance of remaining a Society member.
Making the Most of Your Membership
Member Benefit Tip #1: Build a Killer Network
One of ASPE’s greatest benefits is its members. Everyone is busy at home and at work, but members who attend Chapter meetings, Conventions & Expos, and Tech Symposiums are more likely to build a killer contact list. Our members are eager to help you in your next plumbing engineering problem, which undoubtedly will make you more competitive in the workforce.
Whether you are in sales or engineering, you sell yourself every day. ASPE has many networking opportunities for you to meet professionals who possess the skills and training necessary to help you out of a tight spot or put you in touch with someone who can help you. If you are outside your comfort zone, ask your Chapter Board to make the introductions. Exchange business cards and remember to follow up with a brief conversation or email thanking them for their time. Before you know it, you will be a pro at engaging other members, which will lead to career growth and prosperity. If you are not able to attend a Chapter meeting, ASPE Connect offers you a way to build your network online.
Member Benefit Tip #2: Ask a Member for Help
Being a member in ASPE enables you to call upon a friend for help. Your Chapter Officers know who does what. Call your Chapter leaders when you are stumped on the job and ask for help. More times than not, you will find a fellow member who is more than willing and able to assist you with your problem. If they can’t help, kick it up to the Region Director, and they will find you the help you need. ASPE members treat other members just like family; it’s our single most valuable membership benefit.
Member Benefit Tip #3: Boost Your Industry Visibility
Demonstrate your abilities to lead and boost your industry visibility by volunteering to join your Chapter Board of Directors or apply to join the National Board of Directors. Employers, clients, and coworkers respect and look up to ASPE Chapter and National Officers. Without our leaders, we would not have a Society; it’s worth the work.
Member Benefit Tip #4: Expand Your Knowledge and Earn CEUs
ASPE produces webinars for members to expand their knowledge of plumbing systems and design. Members pay about half the price as nonmembers and if the webinar is sponsored, members can participate for free, so this is a great member benefit. You can access current webinars as well as every webinar ASPE has ever held on ASPE Education. Don’t forget to recommend these to your colleagues and clients.
Through our special Read, Learn, Earn series, ASPE also can help you accumulate the CEUs required to maintain your CPD or CPDT credential or Professional Engineer license. This benefit is free to members. Download one of the articles, and then read, learn, and earn your CEUs. The system guides you through the quiz questions, and if you get 90 percent correct, you will receive 0.1 CEU.
Member Benefit Tip #5 : Track Your CEUs
We’ve seen some extraordinary new things come out of ASPE in the past couple of years, but this benefit is as good as it gets. Did you know that you can track your CEUs on ASPE Education? Well, you can, and here is how:
- In the menu, click on My Education. (You must be signed in to see My Education.) This takes you to your dashboard.
- Under My Dashboard, click on Transcript/Achievements. All of your ASPE-sponsored CEUs will already be populated in this table, but you can also add other CEUs from other sources.
This member benefit is invaluable in keeping your CEUs current, and it’s only offered to members. Don’t get caught empty-handed when the eventual audit for your credential comes around.
Member Benefit Tip #6: Meet Potential Clients/Members
If you are an Affiliate member, in sales, who steps up and takes on a membership role, you are in a unique position to promote ASPE and your company. Your leadership role is a valuable way to place yourself in front of prospective clients and members. Talk to your Chapter Board of Directors and see what you can do to promote yourself and ASPE.
Member Benefit Tip #7: Learn How to Mentor Others
ASPE has mentor opportunities so you can help foster the career of another member. Opportunities are available for all members. Just click on Mentoring in the menu on ASPE Connect for more information. Leave your mark on our Society.
Member Benefit Tip #8: Add Letters to Your Name
We all market ourselves every day with everything we do, and ASPE can help with programs that can add letters to your name: our Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD), Certified Plumbing Design Technician (CPDT), and Green Plumbing Design (GPD) programs. These programs will help others instantly recognize your leadership and expertise in the plumbing design industry.
Member Benefit Tip #9: Join Special-Interest Groups
ASPE Young Professionals (AYP) is designed for young industry professionals looking to meet with peers to share experiences, exchange ideas about the plumbing design industry, and network with other Chapter members. The focus of AYP is to help young plumbing engineers and design professionals establish contacts and further the mission of the Society. ASPE members 35 years old and younger are all included in this special-interest group.
The core mission of the Women of ASPE (WOA) is to engage, retain, and advance women in the plumbing design industry, through education, leadership development, and networking opportunities. WOA is committed to bringing together women and assisting them to achieve their professional and personal goals.
Member Benefit Tip #10: Browse the Career Center
ASPE’s Career Center is a valuable tool for ASPE members seeking new jobs or those looking for experienced plumbing engineers to join their team. Just hover over Membership & Global Community in the aspe.org main menu and click on Career Center to get started.
Members Are Our Benefit
I hope you’ve learned more about the value of an ASPE membership by the provision of these member benefits. Let’s all work together to move forward by continuing to focus on increasing the benefits of an ASPE membership. We can only be successful through the willingness of each ASPE member.
So, as an ASPE member, or a prospective member, I hope you will plan to continue your respective growth in the Society to the point that one day you are one of ASPE’s benefits just by your participation. A good member is a benefit, period.
Thanks for allowing me time to visit with you today through this column on ASPE Pipeline. Thanks also for your willingness to give your time and talents to our great Society.
Stay healthy and safe!