engineer vs architect

A receptionist at a contractor's office today asked me, "What's the difference between a structural engineer and an architect?" I laughed in my head, and tried to not be too taken back.
Then I began wondering, what IS the difference. Turns out her question was extremely valid.
According to city's permit office, either an architect of professional engineer can sign and seal drawings. There is no clear designation for when an architect is required to receive a permit. So if an architect is not required for permit (which is the single document that every building requires), then when is an architect required?
It happens every day, buildings are built all around us with no architect involvement. Not just is suburbia, but in urban infill, on main streets, in long established neighborhoods. The ARC does not even require an architect be involved. They are the ARCHITECTURAL review commission.
How did we become so marginalized? Is it because most architects would not want to touch a single family tract house? Is it because of our egos? Is it because big corporations have taken over design, i.e. Target, IKEA, Home Depot, and home design software? Is it because so many contractors and engineers are ready to get dirty and get the job done, while we are worried about AIA contract documents and liability?
How do we get back in the game and truly effect a larger portion of the built environment?

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