Engineers don't get the same respect as doctors or lawyers, no matter how much they contribute to society.
Engineering is a field of work where a bachelor's degree provides much of the background needed to enter the work force. You don't always need a master's degree, although people find that employment opportunities increase if you have one.
Because you can earn a decent living as an engineer with just a bachelor's degree, does that mean engineering is a profession or not? Doctors and lawyers are usually considered professionals because their fields require not only an advanced degree, but also some kind of certification. Engineers can get a "P.E." added to their name by taking an exam, but most don't unless they're consultants. Even then, you don't need certification, but it helps.
Engineers are often hired by companies on the basis of having highly specialized technical skills that are often unique or at least rare. That seems to make us professionals. What about those programmers who didn't finish college but made billions? You know who I mean. Are they professionals?
What about nurses and teachers? Many teachers need master's degrees and certifications to teach. Nurses need four-year degrees and certification. Engineers don't need certifications, and some worked their way up from technician while lacking four-year degrees. Yet engineers are often hired on the basis of having specialized technical skills. Teachers and nurses may not be hired on that basis.
Plumbers and electricians are also skilled and need certification but not a university degree. Are they professionals? There are plenty of other lines of work that require some certification but not a degree.
If you have roughly the same skills as another person in your field, such as a teacher, nurse, plumber, or carpenter, then you may belong to a union. If your line of work can be unionized, does that mean you're not a professional? Can a profession still be a profession if it's unionized?
What about airline pilots? I certainly want a skilled, certified pilot flying my plane, but pilots are unionized, and if one is unable to work on a given day, someone else can fill in quickly. If you're out sick, does someone else immediately jump in and do your job that day? Probably not.
Think of the contributions that engineers have made over the centuries. Who designed the infrastructures such as water treatment plants that give us safe water? That may do more to keep us healthy than a visit to the doctor.
What about me as editor of T&M DesignLine? I was offered that job because someone thought I had the right combination of engineering education, engineering experience, and technical writing experience. But could someone else fill in for me if I were sick or on vacation? The answer is more or less yes, so am I a professional or not?