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.
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.
- Obtaining a 4 Years Engineering Degree From ABET-Accredited Program or Institute
- Passing the FE Exam
- At least 4 Years of Work Experience Under the Supervision of PE Licensed Engineer
- Passing the PE Exam
Let’s discuss each step in detail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1 - How much does it cost to get a PE license?
Acquiring a Professional Engineering (PE) license is a significant career milestone. The PE Exam fee is around 300 to 400 USD. But this is not the standalone cost as you must consider the PE exam preparation course. So, your total cost of getting a PE license is around 1300-1500 USD.
2 - What are the different engineering disciplines that I can get licensed in?
There are different engineering disciplines recognized by NCEEs for which you can obtain a Professional Engineering (PE) license. These include:
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
- Control Systems Engineering
3 - What are some good career paths for licensed engineers?
Licensed engineers enjoy diverse career paths across various engineering domains. Below are some prominent engineering careers you must consider in 2023 and beyond.
- Aerospace Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
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.