Everything You Need To Know About The PE Exam

Are you an engineer who wants to excel in his field? Do you want to get a professional license? Are you looking forward to job opportunities in the U.S or other developed states that promise rewarding careers? If the answer to all these questions is “yes,” then you are at the right place.

We are here to answer all your queries about PE. If you have passed FE and are thinking of taking the professional licensing exam (PE), this article is a complete guide. Here, we will discuss, “all about the PE exam”, “How to prepare for it?”, “Why is it important?”. So, let’s dive deep into the topic details.

What is the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam?

The PE exam is for those who want to become an engineer in the U.S. You can take this exam in the engineering discipline of your choice after gaining four years of work experience in your field. Another mandatory condition for attempting this exam is the clearance of the FE exam. The exam will test your level of competency and will declare you a professional engineer.

Clearing the PE exam opens up new vistas of career opportunities for you. Obtaining a PE license will ensure you a better job, high pay, and a promising career. PE is the short form of this exam, standing for “Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam.”

What are the Different Disciplines of PE Exam

You can take the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam in the engineering discipline of your choice. Following are the different pe exam disciplines from which the students can choose:

●   Architectural engineering

●   Civil engineering

●   Agricultural engineering

●   Chemical engineering

●   Electrical engineering

●   Mechanical engineering

●   Mining

●   Marine engineering

●   Computer engineering

●   Fire protection

●   Petroleum

●   Metallurgical operations

●   Environmental engineering

3 Types of PE Electrical and Computer Exams

There are three different types of computer-based PE Electrical and Computer exams. The questions asked in the exam are relevant to computer engineering, electronics and controls, and power. Let’s discuss all of them one by one.

1-PE Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering

This exam is basically for students having a degree in computer engineering. Like any other competitive exam, pe electrical is a single-day computer-based testing event. You will have to attempt 80 questions from your chosen discipline, and the result will come within a week.

2-PE Electrical and Computer: Electronics, Controls, and Communications

This is also a single-day exam for these specific disciplines. It is a CBT exam, and it also consists of the same 85 questions. Following topics are the part of this exam preparation:

●   Electronics

●   Digital systems

●   Communications

●   Control systems

●   Electromagnetics

●   Electrical engineering

3-PE Electrical and Computer: Power

This computer-based pe power exam mainly contains questions from the power section. It also contains 80 questions and takes 8-9 hours to complete.

Why is the PE Exam Required?

A Principles and Practice of Engineering exam gives you a license to become a professional engineer. You will see many powerful reasons behind clearing a PE exam. Let’s enlist some of them here;

●   First, the trend of hiring licensed professional engineers is increasing day by day

●   Second, a PE license is proof for the public that you are the expert in your field

●   Thirdly, a license is also a legal requirement when the employees or principals take the charge of some new project

●   Fourthly, by gaining a PE license, you can practice engineering in any state of the world

●   Moreover, only PEs can seal engineering drawings for private engineering projects

●   Lastly, the professional engineering examination enables you to either earn a highly paid job or set up your own business

How to Get Prepared for the PE Exam?

Preparing for a PE exam is not as easy as it seems. The preparation can be sometimes daunting and hectic. The PE exam is conducted by NCEES®️. Therefore, it’s better to prepare for it from their platform. Following are some tips that will help you clear the exam on the very 1st attempt:

1.  Choose the best study resources. For instance, the NCEES®️ practice book and pe test courses are the most recommended ones

2.  Make a study routine and stick to it for 3 to 4 months with all your heart

3.  Also, find a quiet place for studying and attempt as many practice tests as you can

What to Expect During the PE exam?

No matter in which discipline you are taking your exam, the PE exam format remains the same. It consists of a total of 80 questions. Out of which, 40 questions are asked in the morning session while the rest half in the evening session. The first section of the 4-hour covers breadth material, while the second 4-hour session will cover the depth material.

The questions asked in a PE exam are generally covered from the following 5 topics;

●   Structural

●   Geo-technical

●   Water and environment

●   Transportation

●   Construction

Frequently Asked Questions:

1- Is the PE exam difficult?

Yes, the PE exam is difficult. But it is not impossible to clear it in the first attempt. It requires a lot of practice, dedication, and hard work to get through this licensing test. You should have control of your nerves and deep analyzing skills to attempt all the questions correctly.

2- What does the PE exam consist of?

The professional engineering exam consists of two sections, i.e., breadth and depth. Both contain 40 questions each. The topics covered in the exam include construction, geotechnical, water, structure, and transportation.

3- Do the PE exams differ from state to state?

Professional engineers test is conducted by ncees® examination authority.

Therefore, they are the same throughout all the U.S states. However, you may require to pass an additional licensing exam to practice in some other country.


It was all about the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE). We hope that you now understand all about the PE exam. It is a great opportunity that can help you excel in your career. You will earn a license that will declare you a professional throughout the world. It may seem to you a hard nut to crack, but it is well worth it in the end.

We wish you the best of luck for your career and future in engineering!

Wasim Asghar – P.E, P.ENG, M.ENG

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.

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