What Is a PE Exam?

One must know what is a PE exam to become a professional engineer.It is an examination conducted by an organization consisting of engineering and surveying licensing boards from all over the USA called NCEES®, which stands for National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

It is made for those who have a minimum of four years of post-college work that they experienced in their chosen engineering area. They can then prepare for the PE Power exam as they complete the FE Electrical exam. Upon passing this professional engineering test, one is declared as a licensed engineer and is registered to go ahead now and sign the drawings and calculations regarding engineering projects in the United States and work on public projects,

PE Licensed Vs. Non-Licensed Engineer

An engineer is an individual who, after their Bachelor’s degree and passing the fundamental examination, can work in a company but as an associate or junior engineer as they will still be working under the supervision of some licensed professional engineer. An individual is not called a Professional engineer unless he takes the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam and passes it and gets licensed.

Junior engineers tend to work under some supervision, whereas Professional Engineers are licensed. They can sign the drawings and administer the seal to reports, plans, calculations, and mappings. They can start their own business without any supervision.

They have the right to call themselves professionals. People, on the other hand, tend to trust Professional Engineers more with their work than Engineers since Professional Engineers have more experience and knowledge on their hands and command over the task that they do.

In contrast, engineers do not have as much experience and peak knowledge on their hands. Since engineers have not passed the PE exam, they lack the leading experience that professional engineers have.

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All the Aspects of The PE Exam Explained In Detail

Aspects of The PE Exam

To become a professional engineer, there are two exams that an individual needs to pass:

The fundamentals of the engineering exam, also known as FE Exam, which an individual must take during college. Moreover, after completing the four years of engineering and passing the FE exam, one can take the PE exam conducted by NCEES® to become a professional engineer.

The PE exam fee is $175. It is offered in 27 disciplines, part of 16 main categories, namely :

The PE exam is eight hours long and divided into two sessions, morning and afternoon, with four hours of administration; each candidate gets done with both sections with a lunch break in between.

Who Can Take the PE Exam?

PE is a standardized test that is held nationally in the United States. All states of the US have different eligibility criteria since the state boards set the eligibility requirement for the PE examination.

However, there are some rules and specifications that have to be met by all individuals nationally. They include:

  • A four-year Bachelor’s degree in the relevant engineering field.
  • A minimum four-year post-graduation work experience.
  • The minimum age for eligibility tends to be 25; you can reconfirm for your state.

The other mandatory rules are as follows:

  1. Some states have strict criteria for the kinds of degrees one needs to complete to be eligible for the PE exam; one should be aware of and meet the education criteria for their state and must have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering or an acceptable equivalent.
  2. The one thing that is nationally common among all the states is “passing the Fundamentals Exam (FE)” after four years of college in the chosen engineering field.
  3. The minimum experience requirement needs to be met by the individuals, which is usually four years, where they have to do qualified work in their fields under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer.
  4. After meeting the above, one should check past the background criteria as well, including completing documentation beforehand, and conducting checks from local authorities.
  5. The individual then should submit the Experience Record (ER), which has to be signed by their references.
  6. After all this, the individual should fill out the PE exam form and then submit the application to a particular state board.
  7. In the end, one should pass the state-specific ethics exam also known as the rule’s exam.

The above criteria must be met because all the US states have the same constant criterion set amongst the different state-specific rules that one should be careful of or meet before appearing in the PE examination.

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How To Get Registered for The PE Exam?

registration for the PE exam

Following are the 7 steps for registration for the PE exam:

  1. Create an account or sign in to your NCEES® account.
  2. Under the right side of the ‘common task’ section, there is a ‘Register for an exam’ button that you have to click on.
  3. After clicking the button, select whichever test you want to take, in this case, the PE exam.
  4. Choose your state and see the requirements written for your state’s exam.
  5. Agree to the rules and policies that appear on your screen by the NCEES®.
  6. If you want, you can also purchase the practice exam guides.
  7. Add billing information, agree to the fee policies, and submit the fee.

What Is the Deadline for The PE Test Application?

NCEES® determines the deadline for your PE Exam. The exam registration is open 4-5 months before the exam. However, the PE exam application deadline is two months prior to the exam date.

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Not that you are well aware of what is a PE Exam and what other important information and criteria it entails, it is important that you also start working towards its preparation too. For that, we recommend the PE Exam Preparation Course.

And if you still wondering why you should give the PE exam, then know that the PE Exam is necessary for engineers to get licensed and to start working without the supervision of others and get more professional, lucrative, and learning career opportunities.

In this article, we have provided you with all the essential details that you have to keep in mind while preparing for the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam.

This guide will help you for the years to come. If you find this write-up informative and knowledgeable, feel free to share it with your peers, and stay in touch for more informative articles like this.


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.