How to Get a PE License?

If you want to become a licensed professional engineer in the US and want to discover how to get a PE license in your state, you landed at the right place. Your PE license is recognized and accepted by your state’s license board and opens your way to work as a professional engineer in the US. Being the engineering domain’s most prestigious and highest grade of academic proof, your PE license reflects your academic, skill, professional, and experience profile.

Now comes your primary concern of how to get a PE license. The mandatory prerequisites for a professional engineering license demand you to complete a 4-year engineering degree program recognized by ABET, followed by at least 4 years of work experience under the supervision of a PE-licensed engineer, clearing the FE exam, and a broad spectrum understanding of your engineering domain.

This blog post will discuss all the PE license requirements and help you find out how to get a PE license in the United States. Let’s discuss this in detail.

4 Steps to Get a PE License

Steps to Get a PE License

Some secondary PE license requirements by the state may differ in accordance with your state regulatory guidelines and principles but the general requirements for licensure are absolute. Below is a simple roadmap, listed on Engineering Licensure NCEES®, which explains how can get their PE license.

  1. Obtaining a 4 Years Engineering Degree From ABET-Accredited Program or Institute
  2. Passing the FE Exam
  3. At least 4 Years of Work Experience Under the Supervision of PE Licensed Engineer
  4. Passing the PE Exam

Let’s discuss each step in detail.

Step 1: Obtaining a 4 Years Engineering Degree From ABET-Accredited Program or Institute

Your ABET-accredited engineering degree is one of the most significant milestones and certainly the perfect investment you will ever commit to making your way toward a PE license in the US. The depth of knowledge and expertise you get with your ABET-accredited engineering degree gives you some exceptional exposure and skillset to become eligible for a PE license.

ABET-recognized degrees is intended to give more licensing engineers by allowing students to cover engineering course that fulfills some exceptional standards. These standards are vital to equip students with high-end theoretical and practical knowledge of the engineering discipline required globally.

If you don’t have an ABET-accredited engineering degree and just wondering how to get a PE license, start your journey with an ABET-accredited degree program or institute. Before getting enrolled in any 4 years degree, you need to check whether your degree or institute is recognized by ABET or not at ABET Accredited Programs website.

 Some of the state licensing boards in the US allow you to get a PE license without a degree. Read our detailed step-by-step guide about how to get a PE license without a degree for more details.

Step 2: Passing the FE Exam

The next most crucial step is to pass the FE exam and get an FE license to become eligible for the PE exam. FE exam is a more detailed and complex computer-based licensure exam that covers more broad and general academic areas than PE. You need to plan your study map to efficiently complete your FE exam preparation. Then choose from four examination windows opened each year at the start of the quarter.

  • Jan – Feb
  • April – May
  • July – August
  • Oct – Nov

If you failed to crack the FE exam by making 3 attempts per year, you are not eligible to appear in the fourth window and need to wait for the next year round. To maximize the chances of your success on the first attempt it is recommended to:

  • Go through the entire syllabus before starting your preparation
  • Stay relevant to the FE course outline throughout the preparation journey
  • Check the FE exam passing ratio of last year specifically for your Engineering domain

These practices will put you on the right preparation track to ace the FE exam and complete one more milestone toward your final journey to PE licensure.

Step 3: At least 4 Years of Work Experience Under the Supervision of a PE Licensed Engineer

Once you get your ABET-accredited engineering degree and pass your FE exam, the next step is to complete at least four years of working experience under the supervision of a PE-licensed engineer. This 4 years of work experience will give you an insightful experience in your engineering field.

You will get to know about the standard industry procedures, industry-accepted KPIs, QA strategies and compliances, etc. PE license requirements demand a market-ready, qualified, and experienced professional and this step is a significant building block in this regard.

Step 4: Passing the PE Exam

Here comes the final puzzle piece to get your PE license. Now you are eligible to attempt your PE exam and crack it to get your PE license. The PE exam is meant to assess your skills and evaluate if you are equipped enough to become a professional licensed engineer in the US.

With an effective and smart PE exam preparation strategy, you can easily pass your PE exam and complete all the requirements of licensure. The PE exam course outline covers core theoretical and practical areas that you covered during your entire academic period and work experience.

The PE online course is much more focused and concise than the FE exam preparation course which covers a broad academic area. But you still need to cover all the topics in detail to maximize your chances of success on the first attempt. To learn more about what to expect on the PE exam day, we suggest reading our detailed blog.

Benefits of Being a PE Licensed Engineer

Benefits of Being a PE Licensed Engineer

Getting a PE license in the US gives you an outstanding profile to start a promising engineering career with a high-paced growth rate. Below are some notable benefits and perks that you can expect after becoming a PE-licensed engineer.

  • Recognition & Value – Once you get your PE license, you enrich your profile with all the necessary parameters that fuel your career growth and success. You will be able to make more social connections and be valued more in society for having the title of a professional engineer.
  • Growth Opportunities – As a licensed professional engineer, you uplift your value in the US job market significantly. Employers always prefer a profile with a PE license over other candidates. Thus, it boosts your social and financial security to a notable extent.
  • Financial Perks – According to the report, the average annual salary of PE engineers in the US is around USD $90,000. These attractive salary figures are undoubtedly among the top convincing factors to get a PE license and start your engineering career as a professional engineer.
  • Authoritative Position in Reputable Institutions – PE license gives you the privilege to earn your place among the top decision-making hierarchy of any reputable organization or government institution. Being a PE-licensed professional, you have the authority to either reject or sign some crucial development plans or projects. You also gain an opportunity to hold a significant office or position in some government institutions or regulatory bodies.
  • Entitlement as Professional Engineer – You need a PE license to declare yourself a professional engineer in the US. Apart from that, to provide consultancy to the engineering sector, you need a PE license as a mandatory requirement for licensing engineers. If you declare yourself a professional engineer in the US without getting a PE license, you put your reputation at high risk and can be charged with hefty fines as per the state laws. The declaration can be in many forms like LinkedIn, letterhead, visiting cards, etc.
  • Freedom to Choose – PE license is a nationwide accepted and recognized document irrespective of the state board that issues you the license. Therefore, being a professional engineer, you are eligible to start your engineering career in any state of your choice or preference in the US. To learn more about the PE exam requirement by state, check out our separate blog.

Conclusion

Getting a PE license is the top benchmark that you need to match before starting to serve as a professional engineer in the US. All the perks and privileges linked with getting a PE license make it a dream for students who are going to start their academic journey in any engineering discipline.

This blog post covered the entire roadmap that answers the most heated question of ‘how to get a PE license. Completing an ABET-accredited engineering degree followed by passing the FE exam, completing 4 years of work experience, and passing the PE exam is your roadmap to becoming a professional engineer in the US.

Still, confused about anything? Connect with StudyForFE to get answers to all your questions and prepare for your FE or PE exam under the supervision of PE-licensed professionals.

wasim-smal
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.