PE Exam Requirements To Obtain Professional Engineer License
Are you aspiring to reach the pinnacle of your engineering career? If so, the Professional Engineering (PE) exam is your ticket to achieving this goal. Attaining PE licensure elevates your professional standing and opens doors to leading positions within your organization and industry.
However, before getting your PE license, it’s crucial to understand and fulfil the prerequisite PE exam requirements.
This blog will discuss the PE exam requirements and prerequisites you can’t afford to overlook. Let’s explore the path to becoming a professional engineer.
PE Exam Requirements (Eligibility Criteria)
It is mandatory to fulfill the following conditions to seamlessly apply for the PE exam that leads you to acquire a PE license in the US.
- Academic Requirements – To become a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the US, start by meeting your state’s education requirements, which typically involve obtaining a 4-year engineering degree from an ABET-accredited program or institute.
- FE Exam and Licensure Eligibility – Next, ensure you are eligible for the PE exam by completing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam. Plan your FE exam preparation, choose from four examination windows each year, and stay focused on the FE course outline to increase your chances of passing on your first attempt.
- Work Experience – Complete a minimum of 4 years of practical work experience under the guidance of a PE-licensed engineer. Apart from being a mandatory PE prerequisite, this hands-on experience will provide valuable insights into industry procedures and standards.
- PE Exam and Final Licensure – After meeting the experience requirement, take the Professional Engineering (PE) Exam, which assesses your skills and knowledge. Prepare effectively for the PE exam, covering core theoretical and practical areas you’ve learned during your academic and work experiences.
- Ethics Exam – Before obtaining your PE license, take NSPE’s true/false ethics exam to demonstrate your understanding of professional engineering ethics, as outlined in the NSPE Code of Ethics.
- Additional Requirements – Some states may require a background check as part of the licensure process. Additionally, build and submit an Experience Record (ER) your references endorse, and send the necessary application paperwork to your state’s licensing board for approval. Ensure you are familiar with your specific state’s requirements (that you can check here), as they vary.
To understand the process and requirements more thoroughly, read our dedicated guide on How to get a PE License.
How to Apply for the PE Exam?
After completing your PE Exam Requirements, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the PE Exam:
Step 1 – Check Eligibility Requirements
Start by verifying that you meet your state’s specific eligibility requirements for the PE exam. Typical prerequisites include holding a qualifying engineering degree, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, and accumulating the required years of work experience. (For more details, read the second previous section of this blog above).
If you don’t meet degree requirements, learn how to get a PE license without a degree.
Step 2 – Contact Your State Licensing Board
Reach out to your state’s engineering licensing board. They are the authority responsible for PE licensure in your state and can provide you with the necessary application forms and guidance.
Step 3 – Review Application Requirements and Deadlines
Carefully read through the application requirements and deadlines provided by your state board. Ensure you clearly understand what documents and information you must submit and when.
Step 4 – Gather Required Documentation
Collect all required documents, including transcripts, experience records, and references, per your state’s guidelines.
Step 5 – Pay Application Fee
Submit the required application fee. The fee amount varies by state, so check with your state board for the specific cost.
Step 6 – Create an NCEES Account
Visit the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website and create an account on their login portal, MyNCEES, if you don’t already have one. You will use this account for exam registration.
Step 7 – Complete Online Registration
Log in to your NCEES account and fill out the online registration form. Make sure to provide accurate information as requested.
Step 8 – Pay Exam Registration Fee
Pay the exam registration fee through the NCEES website. This fee covers the cost of taking the PE exam and the NCEES exam administration fee.
Step 9 – Select Exam Discipline and Location
During registration, you must choose your preferred exam discipline (based on your engineering field) and where you want to take the exam.
Step 10 – Confirmation
Once you’ve completed the registration process and submitted all required documents to your state board, you’ll receive confirmation of your exam registration.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1 - What is the cost of the NCEES PE exam?
On average, the cost of the NCEES PE exam ranges between $350-$375, but it can vary across different US states. The fees may be paid directly to NCEES or to your state’s licensure board.
2 - Do I need to transfer my EIT/FE certificate if I take the FE test in another state?
No, you don’t have to transfer your EIT/FE certificate, as it is accepted by every state because of the fact that the FE exam is the same in all of the states. However, you will have to transfer it if you received a waiver on your FE exam from any other state.
3 - Will I have to retake the PE test if I want to work in a new state?
No, you won’t have to retake the PE test in a new state if you already gave the PE exam in one state.
But you have to retake it in case you:
- Took a non-NCEES exam
- Took an NCEES exam in a different discipline
- Earned your PE license by some non-examination method
4 - What if I have an engineering degree from Overseas?
Some states do accept overseas engineering degrees. But, convincing your state board that your foreign degree is equivalent to an ABET-accredited degree could be a challenging task. Some overseas universities become ABET-accredited through numerous agreements with organizations across the globe, so you will have to reach out to your state board to receive an evaluation of your foreign engineering credentials.
Working hard to meet the PE exam requirements in order to obtain the PE license is well worth the effort. Though it will require a significant amount of time to prepare for the PE exam, acing it would make you feel amazing!