What Happens After You Pass the PE Exam?

If you have passed the PE exam and are thinking that you will immediately attain the PE license, then hold on. As there was a procedure followed before the PE exam, there is one for after you pass the exam.

Simply put, there are still several steps you need to take to attain the PE license after you pass the PE exam.   

In this article, we will discuss all the procedures you need to follow after passing the PE exam and tips on them.

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Steps After You Pass the PE Exam

These are the steps you must take after you pass the PE exam:

  1. Submitting the PE license application to your state board
  2. Providing your state board with your NCEES® records
  3. Exhibiting your new title
  4. Asking for your wall certificate
  5. Acquiring a stamp or seal after becoming a PE

1. Submitting the PE license application to your state board

The first step that you must take after you pass the PE exam is to submit an application to your state board to obtain a professional engineering license. This is a vital step as you can secure a crucial role with many benefits if you have a professional engineering license. You can endorse, seal, and submit engineering drawings to a public body as a licensed engineer.

2. Providing your state board with your NCEES® records

After passing the PE exam, the next step is to send your PE exam results to your respective state board. The state will then process these records and verify them further.

To attain the PE certificate, you must meet specific criteria. It includes graduating from an ABET-accredited institution, passing the FE and PE exams, and gaining four years of work experience under a licensed PE. Depending on your state board, you will also have to pay a small amount of fee to earn the PE license.

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3. Exhibiting your new title

Once you earn your professional engineer certification, don’t let any possible opportunity to display your new designation (PE) slip away through your fingers. You can showcase your newly acquired PE title at the beginning of your job applications, letterheads, email signatures, business cards, etc. You must also write the state name from where you earned your license for performing pertinent engineering duties.

You can also include your license number, certificate, or registration number based on your state.

Moreover, you can even purchase the PE stamp upon qualifying as a professional engineer (PE) if it’s a requirement for your state.

4. Asking for your wall certificate

A wall certificate is a potent asset for proving to your clients that you have the expertise, competency, and experience for the position.

Each state has a different delivery date and method for acquiring the wall certificate. In most cases, the state will itself deliver the wall certificate a couple of weeks or months after you pass the exam and attain your professional engineer license. However, some states require you to request the wall certificate. Furthermore, you will have to pay a little cost for obtaining the wall certificate if it’s a requirement for your state.

Either way, if you have a cubicle or an office, the wall certificate makes an excellent impression, and in some states, you must display it.

5. Acquiring a stamp or seal after becoming a PE

The stamps and seals are both ways of locking documents and making the person’s designation known. That’s why it is an essential step to acquiring the PE stamp or seal after you pass the PE exam and become a professional engineer.

Although you won’t need to have it until you have to approve the completed designs once it becomes necessary, you can confirm with the state board and then proceed following the relevant processes.

Owning a PE stamp or seal does not require licensure proof, so you are not obliged to follow strict procedures. However, the seal should preferably be round and state “professional engineer.” Your name, license number, and the name of the state where you ate licensed should also be included.

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Challenges Faced by New PEs and How to Overcome Them

Earning your PE license is a momentous achievement, but the journey doesn’t end there. Transitioning from exam passer to licensed professional engineer (PE) brings unique challenges. Here’s a look at some common hurdles new PEs face and strategies to navigate them:

The Imposter Within: Understanding Imposter Syndrome

Many new PEs experience inadequacy or self-doubt, often called imposter syndrome. You might question your competence despite accomplishing the rigorous PE Exam. First, acknowledge these feelings as usual – many successful professionals experience imposter syndrome. Focus on your achievements – passing the PE Exam is a testament to your engineering knowledge and skills. Seek mentorship from experienced engineers in your field. These mentors can provide invaluable guidance and help you build confidence in your abilities as you transition into your new role.

Finding the Right Opportunity

The job search can be daunting, especially for new professionals. However, your PE license is a powerful asset—network with colleagues and professors who might be aware of openings. Leverage online job boards tailored to engineering fields and highlight your PE license prominently on your resume. This credential distinguishes you from unlicensed candidates and demonstrates your professional commitment.

Staying Sharp: Fulfilling Continuing Education Requirements

Most states mandate continuing education (CE) hours to maintain your PE license. This requirement ensures that licensed professionals stay informed about the latest technologies and industry standards. Think of CE as an investment in your career growth. Identify approved CE providers and schedule relevant courses that fulfill your state’s requirements while expanding your knowledge base in areas that align with your career goals.

By recognizing these challenges and implementing these strategies, new PEs can approach their careers with confidence and a clear roadmap for success. Remember, the PE license is not a finish line but a stepping stone to a fulfilling and rewarding engineering career.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1- Should I list the licensed state on my PE business cards?

No, you do not have to mention your licensed state name on your PE business cards until you are obliged by your state board. However, you should still add it to your PE stamp or seal.

2- Do I have to display my Professional Engineer wall certificate?

In general, you are not often required to showcase your wall certificate. However, states such as California require you to notify your customers of your professional engineer license. One approach to meet this requirement is to exhibit your wall certificate. But, It’s important to keep in mind that you are not required to display your wall certificate if your corporation fits the industrial exemption.

3- Where do I get my PE stamp or PE seal?

You can get your PE stamp or seal from most big office supply stores that manufacture custom stamps. One of the “stock” designs typically offered is engineering stamps, which you can also purchase online. In general, stamps cost less than $30, whereas mechanical embossing seals cost around $40. Typically, stores don’t ask for evidence of your professional engineering certification to buy a PE stamp or seal. Misusing stamps and seals is prohibited, and the acquisition is not.

4- What's the difference between a PE stamp and a PE seal?

A “rubber stamp” is commonly referred to as a PE stamp. Depending on the type, a stamp pad may be required to use it, or the PE stamp may be self-inking.

On the other hand, an embossed pattern on the paper is referred to as a PE seal. The term “seal” is often used to describe the hand press employed to accomplish the embossing.

5- Do I have to buy a stamp/seal after passing the PE exam?

Your state of licensure will determine that. When you register to become a PE, certain states demand that you receive a PE stamp or seal. Unless you want to approve completed designs, you are not required to purchase the PE stamp or seal in the rest of the states. You can contact your respective state board to find out what is applicable in your state.

6- Can passing the PE exam increase my salary?

This answer differs significantly, ranging from none to significant increases, promotions, and expansion in duties. Engineers in commercial/manufacturing businesses, where the industrial exemption renders the PE license meaningless, typically receive nil or small increments. In contrast, engineers in organizations with public exposure, where the “group’s” qualifications are crucial to earning contracts, experience the highest increases. The professional engineer license may enable you for better pay levels and more accountability in state and federal public service.

Conclusion

Even if you have managed to ace it, there are still a lot of steps you have to take after you pass the PE exam. You will be adequately prepared to attain the PE license and become a licensed professional engineer after completing these “to do” tasks.

A professional engineer license is crucial as it demonstrates your knowledge of the essential components of your employment. Additionally, the PE license raises your professional standards, acknowledged by recruiters, the government, and the general public, assuring them that you are qualified for the position.

We hope reading this article helped you clear about what you must do after you pass the PE exam.

wasim-smal

Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas (PE), Florida (PE) and Ontario (P. Eng) with consulting experience in design, commissioning and plant engineering for clients in Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.