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What is an Engineer-In-Training (EIT) License and Certification?

By: PPI
February 22, 2022
What is an Engineer-In-Training (EIT) License and Certification

The EIT License and Certification is a professional designation you receive after passing the NCEES FE exam (Fundamentals of Engineering exam) and completing a degree from an ABET-accredited school. “EIT” is an acronym that stands for Engineer-in-Training. This designation is often referred to as “EIT certification,” but it can be used interchangeably with “EIT license” or “EIT FE certification.”

The EIT certification authority is each individual state’s engineering board. While an EIT certification doesn’t give you license to practice as a PE (professional engineer), holding this certificate signifies that you have successfully completed the FE exam. This is the first exam you’ll need to pass in order to become a PE.

What's the difference between the EIT and EI designations?

There is no difference between the EIT and EI (Engineering Intern) designations regarding engineers’ level of expertise. NCEES recognizes both EIT and EI certifications. The two designations are used to describe engineers who have passed the FE exam but have not earned professional licensure. The nomenclature varies depending on your state.

Benefits of earning your EIT certification

Earning an EIT certification has multiple benefits for engineers.

  • An EIT certification showcases your industry knowledge. Passing the FE exam and earning an EIT certificate are huge milestones in your career and demonstrate your competence with fundamental engineering concepts that every graduate should know.

  • An EIT certification improves your job prospects. Having EIT certification on your resume can set you apart from other candidates when you apply for jobs. It shows employers that you are committed to learning and are working toward professional licensure. 

  • An EIT certification advances your career. Getting an EIT certificate is one of the most important things you can do for your career in engineering. It demonstrates that you have mastered the fundamentals and are on the road to earning your PE license and a higher salary. 

Is becoming an EIT worth it?

Becoming an EIT is worth it for most engineers, but it’s essential for those planning to take the NCEES PE exam (Principles and Practice of Engineering exam) and become fully licensed professional engineers. You are not eligible to take the PE Exam without first passing the FE exam and thereby earning EIT status. Furthermore, having EIT certification can be required for even some entry-level engineering positions. The certification can also help set you apart from other candidates in a competitive job market.

Does having an EIT license increase your salary?

Earning an EIT license or certification may increase your salary, depending on your employer and industry. 

Civil engineers are required to pass the FE exam at the beginning of their careers. Most employers will not promote civil engineers until they have passed the FE exam and earned an EIT certificate, so if you’re eyeing a promotion with a higher salary, earning EIT status is crucial. 

For other engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, or chemical, passing the FE exam is not required prior to employment. In fact, some employers may value an EIT certificate more than others. However, earning an EIT certificate demonstrates your mastery of engineering fundamentals and your motivation to advance in your career, which may help you earn a promotion or higher salary.

Ultimately, passing the FE exam and earning EIT certification is necessary to become a licensed professional engineer. Once you’ve completed those steps and passed the PE exam, you will earn a higher salary as a fully licensed professional engineer. An increase in annual salary can be anywhere from $2,000 to more than $10,000 once you’ve achieved PE status. 

Studying for the FE Exam? Download the Preparing for the FE Exam eBook. 

How to Get an EIT Certification

Wondering how to get EIT certification? See below for the step-by-step process to register for the NCEES FE exam and receive EIT Certification. 

  1. Review state or local requirements. Requirements for EIT certification vary slightly depending on where you live. Be sure to check state or local requirements as you begin the process.

  2. Register with NCEES. Visit the NCEES website to create a MyNCEES account and register for the FE exam. The FE exam is computer-based and can be taken anytime during the year at a Pearson VUE test center.

  3. Study for the FE Exam. Most engineers take between 3-6 months to study for the FE exam. It is recommended that you take the exam during or just after your senior year so concepts are fresh in your mind.

  1. Pass the FE Exam. FE exam results are available 7-10 days after you take the exam. You can review current FE exam pass rates on the NCEES website. If you fail the FE exam, you can retake the test in the following 3-month time window, up to three times per year. NCEES will also provide you with a diagnostic report letting you know which study areas to focus on for next time.

  1. Apply to your state board for EIT Certification. Once you’ve passed the FE exam, contact your state board to officially receive EIT certification. You’ll have to submit an application and pay the required fee. Exact requirements will vary by state. 

How long does it take to get my EIT certification?

How long it takes for you to get EIT certification depends on the amount of time it takes you to complete an ABET-accredited engineering program and pass the 6-hour FE exam. If you pass the FE exam shortly after graduating from college, the process will take just over four years. However, if you choose to delay taking the FE exam after completing your engineering degree, the process will take longer. It is highly recommended that you take the FE exam during or just after the last year in your degree program while concepts are fresh in your mind.

How to List EIT Certification on Your Resume

Earning EIT certification is a huge accomplishment that you’ll want to list on your resume, LinkedIn, email signature, and more. Here’s how to showcase your EIT certification on your resume:

  • Add EIT after your name in the header on your resume. 

    • Example: John Smith, EIT

  • Create a “Certifications” section on your resume and list your EIT certification, including your certification number (if applicable), the state where you got your certification, and the date you received it.

    • Example: Engineer-In-Training certified #123456, New York, January 2022

  • List EIT on your job title.

    • Example: Civil Engineer-in-Training

How to Find EIT certification number

Looking for your EIT certification number? The first thing to note is that not all states issue an EIT certification number. This does not mean you have not obtained EIT status, just that your state does not issue a number along with the certification. States that do issue one may list the number somewhere on your EIT certificate. If you have misplaced your certificate, you can check your state engineering board’s website or call the phone number listed on their website to retrieve your EIT certification number.

What is the FE/EIT Exam?

The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is sometimes referred to as the EIT exam, or Engineer-in-Training exam. Colloquially, the FE exam and EIT exam are used interchangeably. Officially, the exam is referred to as the NCEES FE Exam and the certification you receive after passing the exam is called EIT (or EI, depending on your state). 

The FE exam is a 6-hour, 110-question exam. It is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) year-round at Pearson VUE Testing Centers. The computer-based exam tests your understanding of fundamental engineering concepts and is offered in seven disciplines:

  1. FE Chemical 

  2. FE Civil 

  3. FE Electrical and Computer 

  4. FE Environmental 

  5. FE Industrial

  6. FE Mechanical 

  7. FE Other Disciplines

Preparing for the FE Exam

Taking the FE exam can be intimidating, but with proper preparation, you can set yourself up for success. The perfect place to begin is the FE Learning Hub, which offers full online practice exams, a study plan to keep you on track for your exam date, and more. You can also visit PPI’s FE Exam Resource Center for more information and insights from industry experts. 

We know your time is valuable, so be sure to get the most out of your exam prep by following our six steps for successful NCEES FE exam prep. Preparing for the FE Exam is no small feat, but passing the exam elevates your career status and gets you one step closer to professional licensure.

What happens after I pass the FE exam?

Once you’ve passed the FE exam, you are officially considered either an Engineering Intern (EI) or an Engineer-in-Training (EIT). Congratulations! You may now be wondering what happens after you pass the NCEES FE Exam, including what your next steps should be. To receive an EIT certificate in the mail, you’ll need to send your transcript to the state board where you want certification. You’ll also want to gain work experience, network with colleagues, and study for the PE exam. 

Now that you’ve passed the FE Exam and earned EIT certification, you’re well on your way to becoming a fully licensed professional engineer.


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