Does a Master’s Degree Help You Take the PE Exam Quicker?

You have crossed the first barrier, taken and passed the FE exam, and become an EIT.

Now, you can’t wait any longer and want to take the final leap of taking the PE exam as quickly as possible to get the PE license and become a licensed engineer.


What if we tell you that you can achieve this dream one year before it is supposed to come true?

Indeed a relief, right?

So here’s a piece of good news for you:

In several states, obtaining a master’s degree in engineering can help you take the PE exam one year quicker by decreasing the amount of experience required, which is usually four years. But, you will have to finish your master’s degree before it adds to your engineering experience. Otherwise, you won’t be given any credit for your graduate degree while you are pursuing it.

However, as each state has its different PE exam requirements for the master’s degree credits, you must visit the official webpage of your respective licensing board just in case to be sure.

What other perks can you actually enjoy by acquiring a master’s degree in engineering? Let’s have a look at them one by one.

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Benefits of Master’s Degree in PE

Benefits of getting a masters degree in PE

Here are some advantages of earning a master’s degree in PE:

  1. Opportunities for Leadership
  2. Increase in Salary
  3. Career Change
  4. Development in Skills
  5. Relationships With Other Engineers

1. Opportunities for Leadership

Although acquiring a bachelor’s degree in PE is sufficient to climb the ladder to a managerial position, a master’s degree can accelerate the process. Engineers with master’s degrees will have most generally completed curricula that included some form of in-class guidance on leadership strategies and gain extensive experience collaborating with or supervising workgroups in extremely challenging engineering projects.

Incorporating these soft skills into a resume that already boasts solid technical expertise is an indispensable factor to consider in obtaining a master’s degree in PE.

2. Increase in Salary

Another key benefit of pursuing a master’s degree in engineering is the substantial boost it can give to your income capacity in the workplace.

In general, individuals with a master’s degree in engineering typically earn large amounts in contrast with those who merely possess a bachelor’s degree under their belts. For example, candidates recruited with a bachelor’s degree in engineering receive a median pay of approximately $87,000 per year. On the other hand, candidates with a master’s degree earn a median income of around $96,000 per year. This implies a difference of roughly $9,000 each year.

3. Career Change

Obtaining a master’s degree may also be one of your wisest moves if you wish to shift the trajectory of your career path. This is because a master’s degree can allow you to specialize in a subject other than the one you studied in your bachelor’s program.

For instance, suppose you hold a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and spent four years working in the oil and gas industry. However, you developed a greater interest in electrical engineering throughout that period and would like to switch the field. Completing a master’s in electrical engineering may assist you in accomplishing that change more readily.

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4. Development in Skills

Individuals with bachelor’s degrees will probably gain some specialized abilities if they remain with one organization or sector for the first few years of their careers. However, their selection of specialization will most likely depend on the demands of the firms they serve for.

On the flip side, candidates with master’s degrees will have established much more polished skillsets and inclinations throughout their graduate studies. This will increase their odds of landing a position that fits the type of tasks they are zealous about performing.

Therefore, individuals who hold master’s degrees receive a higher salary and are likely content with the duties they conduct.

5. Relationships With Other Engineers

Ultimately, your career advancement is frequently closely associated with the connections you establish. So, enrolling in a master’s degree program will help you interact and form ties with your instructors and fellow engineers in your industry. These links could result in better job prospects down the road or simply a relatively successful career.

Master’s in Electrical Engineering Salary

Masters in electrical engineering salary

The average salary for a person with a master’s in electrical engineering is around $101,000 per year in the United States.

An entry-level electrical engineering master’s salary starts from $67,000 per year, whereas the most experienced electrical engineering position can go up to around $116,000 per year.

If you are interested in knowing what you can do with an electrical engineering degree, we suggest you check out our separate blog.

Weighing the Costs and Benefits of a Master’s Degree for the PE Exam

Earning your PE license signifies a significant accomplishment in your engineering career. The article highlights how a master’s degree can expedite eligibility for the PE Exam, offering a tempting time advantage. However, before solely relying on graduate studies to meet PE exam requirements, consider the broader implications:

Financial Investment: Counting the Costs

A master’s degree carries a significant financial burden. Consider tuition fees, living expenses, and potentially lost wages if you pursue a full-time program. U.S. News & World Report estimates average graduate school costs between $30,000 and $70,000 annually. Carefully evaluate your financial situation and potential return on investment (ROI). Can the increased earning potential with your PE license outweigh the financial investment of the master’s program?

Time Commitment: Balancing Work and Studies

A master’s program demands a substantial time commitment, typically 1.5-2 years for a full-time program. Can you manage the rigorous coursework while balancing your work and personal obligations? Consider part-time options if necessary, but be prepared for an extended timeline to complete the degree.

Alignment with Your Goals: More Than Just a Checkbox

Does a master’s degree program align with your long-term career aspirations? While it accelerates PE exam eligibility, ensure the curriculum enhances your engineering knowledge and skills relevant to your desired specialization. A strategically chosen program can provide valuable expertise and professional connections that benefit your career beyond just obtaining your PE license.

By considering these factors, you can decide whether pursuing a master’s degree is the right step for you. Remember, the PE license is valuable, but careful planning ensures you achieve your licensure

If you’re looking for a comprehensive resource for your PE Power exam preparation, explore our PE Exam prep program for PE Power.

Our proven, on-demand content and live training have successfully helped thousands of students pass their PE exam.

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Getting a master’s in engineering has several advantages, regardless of whether it contributes to your qualifying engineering experience.

With a master’s degree, you will advance professionally more swiftly, earn higher pay, make career changes smoothly, and have a higher possibility of operating on projects you are enthusiastic about. Nevertheless, as the PE exam requirements for the master’s degree varies for each state, don’t forget to verify with your state board whether they will consider it in your experience or not.


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.