PE Exam Resource Center
Passing the PE exam is a pivotal step in an engineer’s career. PEs also typically earn higher salaries and have greater opportunities for career growth compared to EITs or unlicensed engineers. Read on to learn more about the PE exam.
Ultimate Guide to the PE Civil Exam
What is the PE Civil exam?
The PE Civil Exam is an 8-hour, 80-question exam including multiple-choice, multiple-correct, point-and-click, drag-and-drop, and fill-in-the-blank questions. The PE Civil Exam is designed by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) to test competency in civil engineering. Passing the PE Civil Exam is a mandatory step toward becoming a licensed professional engineer. The first 40 questions are breadth questions, and the second 40 questions refer to your chosen depth area, depending on your specialty:
There are no individually timed sections on the PE Civil Exam, meaning that you are responsible for managing your time on the exam. You’ll begin the exam with a 2-minute nondisclosure agreement, and an 8-minute tutorial, and then you can begin work on the test questions. Throughout the exam you’ll encounter pretest items included to test questions for use in future exams. They’re unscored, but you won’t be able to identify which questions are pretest questions and which are legitimate exam questions.
You’re allowed one 50-minute scheduled break during which you can leave the testing center. You can take additional breaks as needed, during which you may not leave the testing center, but unlike the scheduled break these additional breaks will eat into your exam time.
PE Civil Exam Scoring
The PE Civil Exam is a pass/fail test. No points are deducted for wrong answers, meaning that your raw score is determined by adding together your correct answers. There is no partial credit awarded, no matter the question type. Your raw score is scaled to account for minor differences in difficulty between different versions of the exam. There is no published passing score and no limit on the number of passing exams per window. There is no difference in how first-time and repeat test-takers are evaluated.
Scores for the exam will be available 7-10 days after you take the exam. You’ll receive an email from NCEES about how to access your scores and how to proceed based on whether you passed or failed. If you fail the exam, you’ll get a diagnostic report that will tell you what test areas you struggled with.
PE Civil Exam Switched from Paper-and-Pencil to CBT
The PE Civil Exam switched to a CBT (Computer Based Testing) format (from a paper-and-pencil format) in 2022. The last paper-and-pencil PE Civil Exam administration took place in October of 2021. This transition to a CBT format allows for greater exam security, more uniformity in testing experience, and a greater variety of question types. In addition to multiple-choice questions, the CBT version of the exam is able to ask multiple-correct, point-and-click, drag-and-drop, and fill-in-the-blank questions.
The PE Civil Exam Computer Based Test will be offered at Pearson VUE testing centers year-round. There are four annual testing windows: January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. Eligibility requirements include four years of work experience, but specific requirements vary from state to state. Make sure you’re eligible in your state.
When you're creating a study plan, we recommend starting with one of our prep course options, which ensure that you receive comprehensive and up-to-date exam review while catering to your schedule and prep needs. Choose your depth section to view our prep course bundles and additional review materials for the PE Civil Exam.
How to Register for the PE Civil Exam
The ability to register and schedule for the CBT PE Civil Exam is available through your NCEES account. Once you register for the exam, you’ll get an authorization email from NCEES indicating that you’ve received approval to take the exam within the next 12 months. You’ll then be able to select the “SCHEDULE” option in your NCEES account and select a testing date and location. The PE Civil Exam is administered at Pearson VUE testing centers, which are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll be required to pay an exam fee of $375 at the time of registration.
As a general rule, PE Civil examinees are eligible to retake the PE Civil Exam once per testing window, and up to three times per year. Check your state board for additional state-specific retesting requirements.
Exam rescheduling and cancellation are also done through your NCEES account. Reschedule using the “Modify Appointment” button at least 24 hours before your exam appointment. Keep in mind that you may be required to pay rescheduling fees, though some examinees are eligible for refunds.
Exam cancellation requires re-applying and re-paying for the exam.
How to Study for the PE Civil CBT Exam
It’s recommended that you spend approximately 300 hours studying for the PE Civil Exam. To ensure that you’re studying the right information at an appropriate pace, consider signing up for one of PPI’s PE Civil Exam prep courses. Depending on the level and frequency of prep you require, as well as your chosen depth area, you can choose between the three following exam prep bundles:
Live Online Course Bundle: Attend virtual live lectures, problem-solving demonstrations, exam strategy sessions, and office hours facilitated by licensed engineers. You’ll receive homework assignments, class notes, and reference materials. This prep option will prepare you for the depth and breadth portions of the exam.
OnDemand Course Bundle: Get access to pre-recorded lectures, problem-solving demonstrations, and exam strategy sessions from licensed engineers, as well as homework assignments and reference materials. This is a great option for students with busy schedules, who need the option to study on the go or at inconsistent times.
Self Study - Learning Hub and Print Bundle: This study option is designed for students who need a refresher before they take the PE Civil Exam, but may not need a full review course. With this option, you’ll get access to the PE Learning Hub and printed practice materials.
If you only wish to purchase review materials to help with the breadth portion of the PE Civil Exam, consider our Breadth-Only products, including the PE Civil Reference Manual, PE Civil Practice Problems Book, and the PE Civil Quick Reference Book.
Studying with the PE Civil Reference Manual
The PE Civil Reference Manual includes all the information you need to prepare for the breadth portion of the PE Civil Exam, as well as an overview of each depth topic, study scheduling help, exam tips, and up-to-date codes.
Since the exam is now given in a CBT format, you are not permitted to bring any materials into the exam with you, including the reference manual. Instead, you will have access to an electronic NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook and the design standards for your depth section.
How to Study with the NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook
With the introduction of the NCEES Handbook, students may be relying too heavily on the Handbook while preparing for the exam. Expecting that everything needed for the exam will be supplied to them, may be doing them a disservice.
The Handbook is only a reference. The NCEES does not claim "what is on the exam will be in the Handbook." If a topic is listed in the exam specifications, it should be studied in-depth, regardless if you can find it in the Handbook or not.
It's also important to understand the material well enough that you don't need the Handbook, but know the Handbook and design standards inside and out. Meaning, don't expect to search through the provided material for an answer, but know your references so well that if you need a refresher, you know where to look. One of the biggest stressors on these tests is the time cap, especially if it's approaching, and that time can easily diminish as you search for keywords. NCEES provides the Handbook to you ahead of the test, so take advantage of that since you cannot take your own materials.
With the CBT exams, and the PE exam in general, you should already have a firm grasp on the material (it's what you do in practice almost every day except for some topics), so a large part of your studying should also be how to take the exam.
Preparing for the PE Civil exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz.
Test Day: Taking the PE Civil Exam
To take the PE Civil Exam, show up to your test location 30 minutes prior to your exam start time. Bring with you a current photo ID (government-issued, military, or an international passport), a printed copy of your appointment confirmation letter, and an NCEES-approved calculator. For more detailed information about what items are and are not allowed inside the testing room, refer to the NCEES Exam Guide.
Reasonable accommodations are available to those test-takers with a documented disability or scheduling conflict due to military service or Sabbath observance. Any accommodations required must be requested during the registration process.
Since the exam is now given in CBT format, it is no longer open book. Examinees will only have access to an electronic NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook and design standards for their depth section.
Which PE Civil Depth Section Should I Take?
Can't decide which PE Civil depth section to take? Choosing a depth section is a big decision, particularly if you're unsure of the best route to take. It could mean the difference between passing and failing depending on how well you know the material. You'll need to consider your knowledge of the tested material and what information could be most useful to you in your career. Here are some of the discovery steps you can take to find this answer:
Review what depth section topic would benefit your career, where you are working now, and what you want to do in the future.
Take what you liked in school and what you scored well in.
Proceed with caution if you’re considering the construction depth exam. Some engineers falsely perceive this depth section as being easy. This is exam is actually one of the more difficult sections and can take engineers by surprise. If you would like more information about this or other PE depth sections, we invite you to explore our PE Civil Exam resources.
Preparing for the NCEES PE Exam
Preparing for the PE exam is a formidable task. In fact, planning your preparation, developing a study plan, and sticking to it is an engineering feat in its own right! You already know the benefits of earning your PE license, but how can you ensure you are prepared for the PE exam? This article explores ways to prepare for the PE exam, as well as strategies for following through on your personal study plan.
Caution: The tips below assume that you have already applied to take the PE exam and that you have sufficient time to prepare for it. We recommend at least three months of study time.
Preparing to Study for the PE Exam
To effectively prepare for the PE exam, you should start studying as soon as possible. You may not be ready to start the exam preparation process, but becoming familiar with the exam, acquiring the review materials needed, and signing up for a prep course could help motivate you to optimize your studying.
1. Thoroughly study the PE exam format and subject outline.
2. If you have a current PE reference manual, read the introductory chapter for information about your exam and tips on how to prepare successfully for it. (If your manual isn't current, however, it may have information about a prior exam format, so it's best to check this online.)
3. Decide what you are going to study:
(A) Are you going to study all exam subjects (which I recommend) or a subset of the exam (which is what most engineers do)?
(B) Are you going to review explicitly by studying the chapter theory or review implicitly by solving problems?
4. Decide how you want to prepare:
(A) Study on your own with books and practice problems;
(B) Use audio, video, or CD-ROM products to enhance your self-study;
(C) Enroll in a "live" prep course;
(D) Take a correspondence course.
5. Seek out and accumulate practice or sample PE exams, available from PPI and other academic sources.
6. Decide on a calculator. Locate the instruction manual. Make sure you have extra batteries and know how to change them. Have another calculator available as a spare, and make sure you know how to use it.
7. Establish a secure study location in your home where you can spread out each day without having to clean up.
8. Establish an "exam-item consolidation" box or drawer, into which you can toss items that you want to take with you to the exam. It is surprising how much you will accumulate in a month or more.
9. Put your name on everything (your calculator and books) that you intend to bring with you to the exam.
What PE exam textbooks do I need?
Identify the books that are essential references to study for your PE exam. Check your local and corporate library for books you can borrow rather than purchase. Assemble college textbooks, collections of old class notes, and other collections of solved problems. These are not necessarily the same books you will take into the exam. Decide which books you want to accumulate, and get as many as you possibly can.
Examinee Advice: "Don’t bother to buy any book that doesn’t have a decent index. Lindeburg’s books have great indexes. Don’t underestimate how much a good index will help you. You’ll save time studying and during the exam."
If you have a passed-down or borrowed PE reference manual, determine if the edition is current. Changes in exam format, codes, and emphasis often make using an old edition a big mistake. If you are taking the civil or structural exam, make sure you know which codes (year or edition), if any, will be used in your exam.
Study with the editions of the codes that are specified for the exam, whether they are current or not. Frequently, what's used on the exam lags well behind current usage in the real world. Use PPI's Errata listings to correct any mistakes that have been identified in PPI books. Check with other publishers whose books you may be using to see if they have errata lists.
Getting Support When Studying for the PE Exam
The stress of studying for the PE exam when you have family responsibilities can be alleviated with commitment from your family and support from your employer. Explain to family members and friends what you are doing and why it is important to your career that you pass the PE exam. Emphasize the importance of earning your PE license, including the added respect from peers and the possibility of a higher paycheck at work.
Communicate to your family the importance of your study schedule, time dedication, and goals. Gaining the support of your family can hold you accountable for achieving your goals, as they can encourage you during periods of burnout or high stress. Explain how long the process is going to take and what changes to your behavior and lifestyle might occur.
Your employer can be another source of support and guidance as you start your journey towards licensure. Ask your employer if you can set time aside at work to study for the PE exam, or go into work early or stay late to study in a productive environment. Coordinate with your employer for time off of work right before the exam in order to relax and enter into the right frame of mind for passing the PE.
Developing Your PE Exam Study Plan
After gathering family and employer support, the next step towards earning your PE is developing a study plan. Take out a calendar, mark the date of the PE exam, and plan out your time leading up to that date. Be sure to include family trips, birthdays, and any other events that may impact your study schedule.
Then, try to find blocks of time where you can study each week for at least 2 hours. Write out the topics you will study for each session, and be sure to include time for practice exams as well. If you are unsure how to start this process, PPI has many resources, such as study schedules, online instructor-led prep courses, as well as e-Learning review materials that will help you formulate a plan.
Examinee Advice: "Sign up for email updates. That was the only way I found out about the new exam format!"
Committing to Your PE Exam Study Plan
Consistently dedicating time to your study plan will invariably become overwhelming. However, there are ways that you can manage your time throughout the day to achieve your ultimate goal. One way to begin is by deleting distracting apps or social media accounts. By eliminating the items in your life that aren’t conducive to achieving your goal, you will be more likely to stay on track. If deleting these apps is a little too extreme for you, you can install programs onto your phone that limit your time on distracting apps. Additionally, you can leave any distracting items outside of your designated study room.
Enrolling in a PE test prep course is another effective way to commit to your study plan. PPI’s prep courses keep your studies on track and ensure your time is focused on the topics needed to pass the exam. Other strategies to make the most of your study time include;
Making a review schedule, allocating time to all of the subjects you intend to study.
Assembling and organizing your work in a manner that works for you.
Taking one or more of your practice exams as you approach the PE exam date. Evaluate your readiness and work on your weaknesses.
Rereading the "What to Do Before the Exam" sections in your PE reference manual.
Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz. Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.
Alleviate PE Exam Stress By Practicing Self-Care
Passing the PE exam requires more than just engineering knowledge—you will need to be resilient and possess strong communication skills and the ability to think outside the box. Studying aggressively for the PE exam could lead to burnout, and the best way to prevent that is by setting aside time for breaks. Take the time to socialize with family and friends to alleviate the stress.
Keep in mind that building up resilience to pass the PE exam demands more than just studying. Ensure you are taking care of your body by eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and sleeping for 8 hours each night. Most importantly, relax. If you have intentionally followed the tips in this article, you will be in a great position on exam day.
Examinee Advice: "Whatever you do to relax, do it the day before the exam. A clear mind is very important."
What to Bring on PE Exam Day
Apart from studying for your PE exam, this section includes what you can expect on the day of your exam as well as what you’ll want to bring with you. Read our related blog to learn more about what to bring to the PE exam.
"Have all the logistics of exam day well planned. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you’ve already seen the exam site, know where you’re going to park, how you’re going to carry your reference books, etc."
"Check with your state board to find out whether you can bring loose papers or three-ring binders into the exam room. This apparently varies a lot among states. Having your own three-ring binder of material is very helpful."
"Don’t buy an expensive calculator if you do not have time to learn how to use it."
"Wear layers of clothing for the exam--our room was at first way too hot and then way too cold! You need to be able to take clothes off or add them easily."
"I photocopied the index to my reference manual and kept it separate. During the exam, I had both the index and the main text open in front of me. Definition problems call for a lot of use of the index. It’s great to have it available at all times."
"Bring a straight edge to help with reading graphs."
"Bring a wheeled suitcase with your books in it. My arms almost fell off trying to carry mine."
"Bring a backup calculator and extra batteries. I couldn’t believe it when the display on my calculator started losing characters during the exam."
"Bring earplugs. The exam room can be very noisy. I sat next to a guy who grunted every 30 seconds, and it drove me crazy. I will never go into the exam room without earplugs again!"
"Bring your own lunch. You never know what the food is going to be like on-site. This is the only way you can be sure you’ll have something decent to eat, in a timely manner."
"A couple of power bars are a real pick-me-up (if your proctors allow you to eat during the exam)."
"Bring a pillow or cushion to sit on. Those seats get hard."
What to Do (and Not to Do) During the PE Exam
In this section, past examinees share tips concerning what you should, and should not, do during your PE exam. To learn more, read our blog on what to expect on the day of the PE exam.
"Read each problem all the way through to the end. Then start solving. Don’t just dive in. You may be given information at the end that will change what you THINK the problem is about."
"Don’t get caught by units. In many, many problems, there were two “right” answers listed—but one was not in the units the problem was asking for! Focus on what conversion you may need to make."
"Take time to check your calculations. Calculation errors will kill you. I know—I reviewed my last exam and kicked myself for all the stupid avoidable calculation errors!"
"Don’t leave a single problem blank—there’s no penalty for guessing."
"Bubble in your answers as you go! Don’t wait until the final 10-minute warning to start bubbling in your “guess” answers. That 10 minutes will be gone before you know it."
Preparing, Studying, and Passing the NCEES PE Exam
Think you’re ready for the PE exam? Here’s a final review of what you’ll need to prepare adequately:
Get ready to study. Think about what, how, and where you’re going to study.
Gather your PE exam study materials; including textbooks, calculators, class notes, etc.
Request support at work and at home.
Develop and follow through with your study plan.
Practice self-care to alleviate stress ahead of your exam.
Know what you’re going to bring into the exam with you.
Understand the Do’s and Don’t’s of taking the PE exam.
As you near the end of your PE exam study plan, read our blog to find out what happens after you pass the PE exam.
Qualifying to Take the NCEES PE Exam
Deciding to take the NCEES Professional Engineer (PE) exam is an important step in your engineering career. You may have questions regarding PE exam requirements and what it means once you have your PE license. Below is a brief overview of the qualifications:
Meet your state’s education requirement.
Successfully complete the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam.
Meet minimum experience requirement through a licensed PE (typically four years).
Complete a background check.
Build and submit an Experience Record (ER) endorsed by your references.
Send the application paperwork to your state board.
Complete state-specific ethics exam.
PE Exam Requirements by State
Each state acts independently to set its own education experience and residency requirements. States can have widely different requirements in these areas. A few states have residency requirements for taking the FE and PE exams. Most do not, however, since it is common for consulting engineers to be registered in adjoining states.
I took the FE exam in another state, do I have to transfer my EIT/FE certificate?
In most cases, you don't have to do anything. Since the FE exam is the same in all states, it is accepted by all states. When you fill out your PE exam application, just list the state, date, and your EIT certificate number. The exception to this rule is if you received a waiver on your FE exam from another state. It may not be recognized in any other states.
NCEES PE Exam Degree Requirements
Some states require that you have a BS degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program, with no exceptions. Other states permit you to take the PE exam with a degree in engineering technology, physics, math, or chemistry, or without any degree at all, providing you meet experience requirements. These requirements are nearly always greater for applicants without an accredited engineering degree.
PE Exam Qualifications: Military Education
It depends on what is meant by "military education." A 4-year engineering degree from West Point or the Naval Academy is probably accredited. However, AIT-type "military training" that is more trade-oriented is essentially the same as no degree at all. Contact your state board. The experience requirement may be greater than for someone with an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited 4-year engineering degree.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, or ABET, periodically reviews, surveys, and visits U.S. institutions with engineering and engineering technology degree programs. If ABET's criteria are met, the degree program becomes ABET-accredited for a certain number of years.
ABET lists accredited programs on their website. Your state board is also aware of which programs are accredited and might be willing to tell you over the phone.
What if my engineering degree is from a foreign university?
Degrees from foreign universities are accepted in some states. However, it can be difficult to convince your state board that your international degree is equivalent to an ABET-accredited degree. Numerous agreements with organizations worldwide like the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), enable some foreign universities to become ABET-accredited. To learn more about receiving an evaluation of your foreign engineering credentials, contact your employer or your state board to be referred to a credentials evaluation organization.
How much does the NCEES PE exam cost?
The costs that factor into taking the Professional Engineer exam can vary in each state. For more information about registration fees and payees, find your state and exam location at NCEES.org.
Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz. Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.
How to Become a Civil Engineer Without a Degree
Although it is difficult to become a civil engineer without a degree, it is not impossible. For entry-level positions, a PE license is often not required and can be earned later on in your career. Working in the field of civil engineering requires many years of hard work and the development of specific skills.
Separate from the education requirements, notable attributes of successful civil engineers include skillsets in:
Problem-solving: Civil engineers deal with many variables in their work and need to recognize and assess intricate problems.
Decision Making: Civil engineers often make decisions based on several objectives at once using best practices from their own experience and technical knowledge.
Organizational: As with problem-solving, civil engineers need organizational skills to juggle multiple projects at once, managing their time and resources effectively.
Leadership: Leadership skills are important for civil engineers to manage teams in planning, surveying, construction, technology, and more.
Math: Of course, civil engineers use all kinds of math principles during the analysis, design, and troubleshooting phases of their projects.
Writing: Proficient writing skills are required when communicating projects to regional and urban planners, architects, and elected officials with little technical knowledge.
Speaking: Civil engineers should be comfortable with conversing and explaining reports including complex scientific information to diverse audiences.
It’s important to note, due to steep requirements and responsibilities, the quickest and simplest way to find success in this career path is to obtain a civil engineering degree.
Qualifications to Become a Civil Engineer
For the most part, a career in civil engineering requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Depending on your specialty, related occupations and degree coursework can include:
Civil engineering technologies
Engineering mechanics and systems
As with other engineering degree programs, a civil engineer degree program must be ABET-accredited to qualify for a PE license. Depending on your state, a bachelor’s in civil engineering technology can all meet the academic requirement for a PE license.
Qualifying Work Experience for the NCEES PE Exam
Only experience wherein you have made use of your engineering knowledge will count. This can include:
Graduate school/academic research
Teaching college-level engineering courses
Relevant military experience
Research in an accredited graduate school can qualify as experience. It depends on what you did. If you only did academic research in the library or on the Internet, it won't count. If you were working in the lab, it could very well count. Most states will give some credit for teaching engineering courses at the college level. But generally, the full experience requirement cannot be satisfied with just teaching.
If you have been checking the work of others, you have been doing engineering. However, this basically requires you to recalculate the design. If all you did was "check the numbers" by punching them into a calculator, then you haven't been doing engineering.
In terms of the military, all branches have engineers doing genuine engineering work. In this regard, the military is just like any other employer, and the engineering work experience counts. However, work performed by "combat engineers", electronic repair technicians, and so on is generally not true engineering work.
What if my engineering experience included some irrelevant tasks?
Most engineers spend a portion of their time doing non-engineering work. Don't try to hide or misrepresent your nontechnical work. If it is substantial, you can assign a percentage to your experience, and that will be accepted by the state. For example, if you have six years of work experience, and you spent 33% of your time drafting the designs that you developed, then you really have only four years of work experience.
PE Exam References
The purpose of getting references is primarily to verify the length of your work experience and the nature of your work experience (i.e., whether it is engineering or something else). Character, ethics, and morality are not the primary issues, if they are issues at all. You will need at least one reference from every engagement for which you are claiming as qualifying work experience. Typically, states require around four to six references. One or more of your references may fail to complete or send in the recommendation form. So, arranging for one or two extra is always a good idea.
Qualifications for Professional Engineering References
Most states require all (or a majority) of your references to be licensed, professional engineers. However, the most important issue to the board is whether the reference has specific first-hand knowledge of the length and nature of your work experience. Another important issue is whether your reference is unbiased. Usually, references that are related to you by blood or marriage are not accepted. It is not necessary for all of your references to have supervised you directly, although such a relationship is preferred.
Normally, a reference from an engineering co-worker (someone who was level with you on the organization chart) will be accepted. Most of the time, college professors won't have any direct knowledge of your work experience (duration or nature). Only engineers can judge engineering work. References from nonengineers usually have no value.
What if I can’t find enough professional engineer references?
Many applicants have this problem. Electrical and telecommunication engineers are often hard-pressed to find enough PEs references, but the problem is not restricted to these areas. Each state has had to deal with similar problems hundreds of times and has developed its own policies in this regard. The states won't give you any specifics about these policies, either in writing or verbally, but there is some flexibility.
Basically, you just have to do the best you can. Always get the required number of references. Always get references from each qualifying engagement. Beyond that, a reference from any engineer with first-hand knowledge of your work experience seems to satisfy the states. Your first alternative (which is almost always accepted), is to use your engineering supervisors, even if they are not PEs. The next best option is any staff engineer with knowledge of your work history.
How do I know my NCEES PE exam application is completed?
Some states send out a notification when your application is complete (including having received all of your references). Other states send out an "incomplete" warning telling you who has not yet sent in their references. Check with your state board in this regard.
Will I have to take the PE exam again to become licensed in a different state?
If you took an 8-hour NCEES PE exam in one state, you won't have to take the same exam in another state. You will have to take an NCEES exam if;
You got your PE license by some non-examination method (e.g., interview, eminence, grandfathering)
You took a non-NCEES exam
You took an NCEES exam in a different discipline
What about unique, state level engineering exams?
Some states have special exams covering topics unique to those states. Many states have "law and ethics" exams covering their state laws and board rules. California has special exams in seismic design and surveying for civil engineers. Exams in cold-regions engineering (Alaska) and high winds (Florida) are also used. The states contract with subject matter experts to have these exams prepared. You will take these exams on a different day from the 8-hour PE exam. Administrative procedures differ from state to state.
Do all states have the same professional engineering license?
Some states offer reciprocity, meaning that one state’s PE license is valid in another state. But this is not typical. Most states offer only a generic PE license. Other states register by discipline (e.g., "civil engineer," "mechanical engineer," etc.), or offer licenses unique to those states (e.g., "maritime engineer," "traffic engineer," etc.). With the exception of Texas, states do not currently recognize certifications from other countries.
Complete Your PE Exam Application and Start Studying
Qualifying to take the NCEES PE exam is not a simple task. But if you stay organized and reach out to all of your helpful professional engineering contacts, you’ll be prepping for your PE exam before you know it! Be sure to explore our resources section to learn more about the NCEES PE exam and find out what happens after you pass.
What Happens After You Pass the NCEES PE Exam?
If you’ve just passed your NCEES Professional Engineering Exam - congratulations! If your PE exam date is fast approaching, we wish you the best of luck! Remember to take advantage of PPI’s many resources available to you. Whether completing the NCEES PE exam is in your rearview mirror, or still ahead of you, here’s what you need to do after passing the PE exam.
Unfortunately, passing the exam doesn’t immediately make you a professional engineer. Next, you’ll need to apply for a professional engineer license. The major steps after passing the PE exam include:
Applying for the PE license with your state board.
Submitting your NCEES records to your state board.
Displaying your new designation.
Requesting your wall certificate.
Purchasing your stamp or seal.
Be sure to verify your state’s requirements to become a licensed professional engineer. In general, for a PE license application, you’ll need to verify that you have:
Passed the FE and the PE exams.
Achieved an engineering degree from an ABET-accredited school.
Completed at least four years of experience under a professional engineer.
Paid the submission fee.
It’s important to note that the submission fee amount varies from $80 to over $300 depending on your state.
Displaying Your New Professional Engineer Designation
Important places for displaying your new designation can include your business cards, job applications, email signatures, and more. But how should this information be arranged? And what information must be included, versus what can be left out? The sections below address these concerns as well as other questions that arise after passing the PE exam.
The Difference Between PE, P.E., RE, and CE
The designations "PE" and "P.E." (Professional Engineer) are synonymous. Modern style is to omit the periods, but this is not universal. The designation "RE" (Registered Engineer) and "CE" (Consulting Engineer) may also be available for use in your state, although their meanings are largely unknown by the public.
What about PE (US) vs. P.Eng. (Canada) vs. Ing. (Mexico)?
The Canadian "P.Eng.," the Mexican "Ing.," and other similar foreign designations are not recognized in the US. Technically, their use is not restricted by state laws. However, giving the appearance of a properly licensed "PE" would probably be subject to scrutiny. Foreign certification (registration, licensure, etc.) status does not convey any legal rights in the United States.
Engineering Disciplines or Specialties On Your PE Business Card
e.g., "Civil Engineering" or "Geotechnical"
No, you do not have to list your engineering discipline (e.g., “Civil Engineering”) or area of engineering specialty (e.g., “Geotechnical”) on your PE business card. However, most engineers practice in only one discipline, and it is common to include some type of clarifying phrase (e.g., Consulting civil engineer") on the business card.
Should I list the licensed state on my PE business cards?
If you represent your company or perform work in more than one state, you should avoid giving the impression that you are licensed in states where you are not. You have three options:
Obtain reciprocal licenses for all states in which you do business.
List "Licensed in the State of XXXX" (or similar) on your business cards.
Omit "PE" from your business cards.
Options (2) and (3) will not let you avoid being subject to a state's engineering laws, but they will eliminate misrepresentation. Unless required by your state, you do not have to list your license number or your state on your business cards. However, these should be shown on your stamp or seal.
Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz.
Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.
How do I get my wall certificate?
Delivery time and procedure for getting the wall certificate vary from state to state. Most states do not include the wall certificate with your notice of having passed the PE exam--the certificate comes automatically several weeks or months later. In some cases, you have to request the certificate. In rare cases, you are asked to pay a small fee for it.
Can I use my state professional engineering society certificate instead of a state-issued PE certificate?
Some professional and technical organizations can provide membership and/or recognition certificates, usually for a fee. These can be used to advertise your accomplishment, status, and membership. However, they satisfy no legal requirements nor do they convey any legal rights. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to display your state-issued PE certificate.
I received an EIT (FE, IE, EI, etc.) wall certificate. Should I display it?
You may, if you wish, display your EIT wall certificate. Passing the FE exam is an accomplishment to be proud of.
Do I have to display my Professional Engineer wall certificate?
Passing the PE exam is an accomplishment you can be proud of. Normally, you do not have to display your wall certificate. However, some states (for example, California) require you to provide notice of licensure to your clients. Displaying your wall certificate is one way of satisfying this requirement. It’s worth noting, however, that if your company is covered by the industrial exemption, you do not have to display your certificate.
Other Ways to Provide Notice of PE Licensure to Clients
If your company has multiple locations, it will not be possible to display wall certificates in all locations. Instead of displaying your wall certificate, you may also be able to post a listing of all of the licensees in your company, provide a statement of acknowledgment of licensure for your clients to sign, or include the statement in the signed contracts for services. Other options may exist in some states.
Where do I get my PE stamp or PE seal?
Most large office supply stores produce custom stamps. Engineering stamps are one of the "stock" designs usually available. Engineering stamps and seals can also be ordered online. Stamps are typically under $30, while mechanical embossing seals are under $40. Generally, stores do not require any proof of licensure to purchase a stamp/seal. Improper use of stamps/seals is regulated. However, possession is not.
What's the difference between a PE stamp and a PE seal?
A "stamp" is a "rubber stamp." It may be self-inking, or it may need to be used with a stamp pad. A "seal" is a design embossed onto the paper. The word "seal" is also used to describe the hand press used to do the embossing.
Do I have to buy a stamp/seal after passing the PE exam?
That depends on the state in which you are licensed. Some states require you to obtain a stamp or seal upon registration as a PE. In other states, it isn't necessary to buy one unless you intend to sign off on finished designs. Check with your state board for what applies in your state.
What is the required format or design of the PE stamp/seal?
The actual design is specified by your state. The design is generally round and includes:
The phrase "professional engineer”
Your state name
Your license number
Your PE stamp or seal may also list your license's expiration date or provide a place for you write in that date. You should contact your state board to obtain the exact design specifications, as generic designs do not always satisfy state law. Unless you are directed otherwise, always use black ink with your PE stamp.
How do I use my PE stamp/seal?
Although usage varies, normally you will stamp/seal a document, write in the expiration date of your license (if this information is required by your state and is not part of the stamp/seal), and affix your signature and date.
What should I use my PE stamp/seal for?
You should affix your stamp/seal only when you are taking responsibility for the design (i.e., when you are in "responsible charge"). Although you could use your stamp/seal to make a greater impact when signed letters or contracts, this is generally not done.
What is "plan stamping"?
Plan stamping is the use, either by you or by someone else, of your stamp or seal to certify designs that you did not perform, check, or supervise. Plan stamping is illegal in every state.
Can you pass an FE or PE exam and not receive a license, title, wall certificate, or professional status?
Yes. In some states, it is possible to pass the FE exam but be denied EIT status because you "only" have a BS degree in engineering technology, physics, or chemistry. In some states, it is possible to pass the PE exam before you have met all of the experience requirements. In such states, your legal rights will "kick in" only after you have met the experience requirements.
As a Professional Engineer, what am I allowed to do?
Your rights as a PE are determined by state law, and they include the right to use the title "Professional Engineer" and/or the right to practice engineering as a consultant. Your license may also permit you to design in certain areas (e.g., hospitals and schools). This is a matter best determined by a reading of your state's engineers act.
As a Professional Engineer, what am I NOT allowed to do?
This subject touches upon both state law and ethics. Generally, you gain--rather than lose--legal rights when becoming a PE. However, your practice may be limited by state law to a certain engineering discipline or certain categories of designs (i.e., buildings). Regardless, you should voluntarily refrain from working outside of your area of expertise in any case. You cannot use your stamp/seal to certify designs you haven't been involved in. Generally, you are held to higher ethical standards.
Can passing the PE exam increase my salary?
This answer varies "all over the map"--anywhere from nothing to substantial raises, promotions, and increases in responsibilities. Generally, zero or token raises are realized by engineers in commercial/manufacturing industries where the industrial exemption makes the PE license immaterial. The largest raises are realized by engineers in companies with public exposure--where the credentials of the "team" are important to winning contracts. In public service (state and federal), the PE license may qualify you for higher salary ranges and additional responsibility (i.e., higher GS ratings).
Are recertification exams or continuing education courses required to renew my PE license?
No states require you to retest in engineering principles in order to maintain your PE license. However, some states have annual continuing education requirements. Approximately half of the 50 states have continuing education requirements. Check with your state board.
How can I extend my PE license to other states?
In most cases, obtaining an engineering license in another state is largely an administrative matter. A special comity application and payment of fees are required. Unless the registration laws of the new state are significantly different (California, for example, is one state that requires testing in additional engineering subjects), you are not required to take additional exams covering engineering principles.
In some cases, you may be asked to take a short exam covering the ethics and the laws of the new state. You make your application directly to the new state. The application process may be simplified if you are a model law engineer (MLE) or NCEES Records Retention Program participant.
About the NCEES Records Retention Program
The NCEES Records Retention Program is a voluntary, centralized database program available to all licensees who wish to maintain a record of their education, examination, and experience credentials, including references, to assist them with comity applications. Licensees meeting the requirements are designed as "Model Law Engineers" in the NCEES Records Program. Most states will accept the NCEES record with little additional paperwork required when a Model Law Engineer wants to obtain a reciprocal license. In other words, keeping your NCEES record updated throughout, your career, is an easy way to get licensed in other states
Several states claim that they can process a comity application for an MLE in one or two weeks. Ohio, for example, can process an application within days or hours by obtaining electronic verification of MLE credentials from the NCEES. Contact your state board for more information.
What is a Model Law Engineer (MLE)?
In an effort to obtain better uniformity among the state licensing laws, NCEES has developed (and is continually refining) its Model Law, which is a complete set of generic sample engineering licensing laws. Some states have adopted the Model Law in its entirety; others have adopted it in part, with or without the addition of parts specific to those states. Many states have adopted the Model Law verbatim, and a few have more stringent requirements. But most still have licensing requirements that are less stringent than the Model Law requirements. If licensees meet the requirements of the Model Law, they are considered to be "Model Law Engineers" by NCEES and the states.
Differences Between "Reciprocity" and "Comity" in Professional Engineering
Although the two terms are frequently used as synonyms, there actually is a difference. "Comity" is the act of recognizing your status as a professional engineer and, as a courtesy, exempting you from some of the administrative steps and/or exams that would be required of you if you were not already a professional engineer.
"Reciprocity" is the act of recognizing you as a "professional engineer" in one state by virtue of your license in another. Most states offer registration by comity. Under comity, you won't have to retake the PE exam, but you might still have to complete an application, submit references, list your experience, take any special state-specific exams, and/or pay a fee. Under reciprocity, your status as a professional engineer in a new state would be (essentially) automatic, given your status as a professional in another.
Can I appeal my PE exam score?
In general, appeals are not allowed on multiple-choice questions. If you think there is a flawed question on the exam, you may file a comment sheet at the time of the test. In most states, you are allowed to check your answer sheet to make sure that it was correctly scanned. To do this, you need to make an appointment with your state board.
In some states, you may appeal your score on an essay-format exam, as long as your score falls within your state's cutoff. NCEES will not review an essay exam with a score below 62 points. A number of states do not allow appeals, so check first with your state board to find out whether an appeal is possible.
Celebrate Passing the PE Exam
As you’re taking the above steps to obtain your professional engineering license, don’t forget to celebrate what you’ve accomplished up to this point. This includes passing the FE exam as well as the PE exam.
About the NCEES PE Exam, or Professional Engineer Exam
Taking the NCEES PE exam is a big step in your professional career. Understanding the details of the PE exam is an important part of your preparation to sit for the exam.
What is the NCEES PE exam?
You can take the PE exam after passing your FE exam and gaining at least 4 years of relevant post-college work experience. Once you pass, you are able to put the designation “P.E.” after your name, indicating that you are a Professional Engineer.
Why become a PE?
Engineers challenge themselves with the important task of protecting public safety, and obtaining your PE license is a pledge to uphold the high standards of the profession. Professional Engineers help keep our communities healthier, safer, and more efficient. Pursuing PE licensure is an honorable and responsible path for any engineer.
What is the deadline for the PE application?
The application deadline varies significantly by state, ranging from 45 days to more than 180 days before the exam date. Check with your state board for your deadline.
Do the PE exams differ from state to state?
When do I choose the subject of my PE exam?
Regardless of which PE exam you are taking, you must choose your exam subject upon registration. This applies to all sessions of every PE exam.
What is the format of the NCEES PE exam?
The NCEES PE exam is an 8-hour exam with 80 questions, with the exception of the PE Chemical CBT exam and the PE Electrical and Computer CBT exam. See the NCEES website for more details.
What subjects are on the PE exam?
Take a look at the NCEES exam specifications to see the subjects for your discipline. Irrespective of the published exam structure, the exact number of questions that will appear in each subject area cannot be predicted reliably. There is no guarantee that any single subject will occur in any quantity. One of the reasons for this is that some of the questions span several disciplines. You might consider a pump selection question to come from the subject of fluids, while NCEES might categorize it as engineering economics.
What is the typical question format?
NCEES intends the questions to be unrelated. Questions are independent or start with new given data. A mistake on one of the questions should not cause you to get a subsequent question wrong. However, considerable time may be required to repeat previous calculations with a new set of given data.
Is the exam tricky?
Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz. Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.
What makes the questions difficult?
Some questions are difficult because they defy the imagination. Three-dimensional structural questions and some surveying curve questions fit this description. If you cannot visualize the question, you probably cannot solve it. Some questions are difficult because the computational burden is high, and they just take a long time. Pipe networking questions solved with the Hardy Cross method fall into this category. Some questions are difficult because the terminology is obscure, and you just do not know what the terms mean. This can happen in almost any subject.
What reference material is permitted in the exam?
See What to Bring to the PE Exam for details on what you should and shouldn't bring to the exam.
Are tabs permitted on my exam references?
Most states will allow you to use “permanent” (glued or taped on, not easily removable) tabs on your references. Some states even allow Post-It® notes. Check with your state board to confirm its policy on tabs.
What is the exam’s calculator policy?
The NCEES often changes their calculator policy. Click here for the current calculator policy.
What is the exam’s pencil policy?
NCEES will provide you with the mechanical pencil you must use for the exam. The supplied pencils use 0.7 mm lead. You may bring extra lead and your own eraser.
Do you need a prep course?
A course structures and paces your review. It ensures that you keep going forward without getting bogged down in one subject. A course focuses you on a limited amount of material. Without a course, you might not know which subjects to study. A course provides you with the questions you need to solve. You will not have to spend time looking for them. A course spoon-feeds you the material. The course instructor can answer your questions when you are stuck. You probably already know if any of these advantages apply to you.
How long should you study for the PE exam?
We have all heard stories of the person who did not crack a book until the week before the exam and still passed it with flying colors. Yes, these people really exist. However, I am not one of them, and you probably are not either. A thorough review takes approximately 300 hours. Most of this time is spent solving problems. Some of it may be spent in class; some is spent at home. Some examinees spread this time over a year. Others try to cram it all into two months. Most review courses last for three or four months. The best time to start studying will depend on how much time you can spend per week.
Wondering where to start?
What to Expect on the Day of the PE Exam
In this excerpt from Civil Engineering Reference Manual, author Michael R. Lindeburg, PE tells you what to expect and what to be aware of on the day of your PE exam.
What to Do the Day Before the PE Exam
What to Do the Day of the PE Exam
Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz. Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.
What to Do During the PE Exam
All of the procedures typically associated with timed, proctored, machine-graded assessment tests will be in effect when you take the PE exam. The proctors will distribute the exam booklets and answer sheets if they are not already on your tables. However, you should not open the booklets until instructed to do so. You may read the information on the front and back covers, and you should write your name in any appropriate blank spaces. Listen carefully to everything the proctors say.
What to Bring to the NCEES PE Exam
An important part of preparing to take the NCEES PE exam is knowing what to put in your PE exam kit, and what you should leave at home. In this excerpt from the Civil Engineering Reference Manual, you will learn how to put together your exam kits and what to leave behind.
For Open-Book PE Exams
Starting Your PE Exam Catchall
Preparing Your PE Exam Kits
What You Will Not Need to Bring to the PE Exam
PE Exam Pass Rates 2020/2021
|Exam||First-Time Takers (%)||Repeat Takers (%)|
|Agricultural and Biological||69%||100%|
|Chemical (Jan 2021)||67%||29%|
|Civil: Water Resources and Environmental||71%||46%|
|Electrical and Computer: Computer Eng.||71%||29%|
|Electronics, Controls, and Communications||62%||22%|
|Electrical and Computer: Power (Jan 2021)||71%||N/A|
|Environmental (Jan 2021)||71%||50%|
|Fire Protection (Jan 2021)||88%||N/A|
|Industrial and Systems (Jan 2021)||63%||N/A|
|Mechanical: HVAC and Refrigeration (Jan 2021)||75%||58%|
|Mechanical: Machine Design and Materials (Jan 2021)||68%||36%|
|Mechanical: Thermal and Fluids Systems (Jan 2021)||69%||47%|
|Metallurgical and Materials||69%||27%|
|Mining and Mineral Processing||65%||14%|
|Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering||68%||61%|
|Nuclear (Jan 2021)||58%||40%|
|Petroleum (Jan 2021)||63%||37%|
|PE Structural - Lateral Forces Bridges||38%||33%|
|PE Structural - Lateral Forces Buildings||33%||29%|
|PE Structural - Vertical Forces Bridges||51%||50%|
|PE Structural - Vertical Forces Buildings||45%||32%|
What You Need to Know about the PE Electrical CBT Exam
5 Changes to the PE Electrical and Computer Exam
Author Spotlight: Michael R. Lindeburg, PE
Q. What are the most important elements of a PPI review manual and what makes them the best?
Self Improvement Tips for Engineers During COVID-19
Self Improvement for Engineering Students
1. Learn a software skill with free resources online.
2. Clean up your resume and cover letter.
- Resume sample: Copy of a sample resume for reference.
- Resume verbs: Various action verbs to describe your experience.
- Cover letter sample: Copies of sample cover letters for reference (use promo PPICVD19).
- Job tracker: Excel file used to track contacts (use promo PPICVD19).
3. Prepare for your licensure exam.
4. Apply for scholarships.
Self Improvement for Working Professionals
- Learn a software skill with free resources online.
- Clean up your resume and cover letter.
- Prepare for your licensure exam.
Out of work?
—Josh Ogle, PE, SE
Which PE Civil Depth Section Should I Take?
Preparing for the PE Civil exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz.
What You Need to Know about the PE Mechanical CBT Exam
1. You’ll be able to choose your exam date.
2. Your exam will be given at a Pearson VUE test center.
When you register for your exam on MyNCEES, you’ll be able to choose a Pearson VUE testing center where you’ll take the exam. Make sure you review the test center rules and regulations. The only items you’ll be allowed to take into the exam room are the ID used during the admission process, the key to your test center locker, an NCEES-approved calculator, a booklet and marker supplied by Pearson VUE, eyeglasses (no case), a light sweater or jacket, and items on the Pearson VUE Comfort Aid List. You’ll also need to bring your appointment confirmation letter, but you won’t need it in the exam room. You will no longer be able to take in your own books or notes to use during the exam, as was allowed in the pencil-and-paper version. Instead, you will have access to the appropriate NCEES reference handbook as a searchable PDF on the screen alongside the exam.
3. A linear-on-the-fly (LOFT) algorithm will be used to create your exam.
4. Question formats will consist of multiple-choice and alternative item types (AITs).
5. Results will be available 7–10 days after completing your exam.
How to Study for the PE Exam as a Busy Professional and/or Parent
1. Begin studying right away.
2. Gather family and work support for your long-term goals,
3. Develop a plan.
4. Commit to your study plan.
5. Take care of yourself,
Embracing Online Learning for the PE Exam
Many students have taken at least one college course via an online platform and are familiar with the benefits of learning from home. Taking a PPI Prep Course online allows easy access to materials and content from the comfort of their own home. By setting up a designated study space or area, students can achieve the benefits of focus and productivity associated with traditional classroom learning while saving time and money from not actually transporting to a classroom. Furthermore, taking a prep course from PPI allows students to watch a recorded lecture in case a session is missed, or they would like to rewatch it.
How to Prepare for the PE Exam After a Gap Period
If that sounds like you, then you are in the same boat that multiple PEs were in before embarking on the journey towards their PE license. Through perseverance, time management, and effective studying, you can earn your PE License as well.
NCEES Exam Dates for the PE and SE Exams
Paper and pencil PE and SE exams are only offered twice a year. Help plan your long-term study and testing strategy by knowing when these exams are offered.
PE Exam Dates
|2021||April 23 & October 21 & 22|
|2022||April 22 & October 21|
|2023||April 14 & October 27|
|2024||April 12 & October 25|
|2025||April 11 & October 24|
|2026||April 10 & October 23|
We currently offer review materials for the following PE exams:
- PE Civil
- PE Chemical
- PE Electrical
- PE Environmental
- PE Mechanical
- PE Control Systems
- PE Industrial
- PE Metallurgical and Materials
- PE Nuclear
- PE California Civil: Seismic
- PE California Civil: Surveying
SE Exam Dates
|Year||SE Vertical Exam||SE Lateral Exam|
|2021||April 23 & October 21||April 24 & October 22|
|2022||April 21 & October 20||April 22 & October 21|
|2023||April 13 & October 26||April 14 & October 27|
|2024||April 12 & October 25||April 13 & October 26|
|2025||April 11 & October 24||April 12 & October 25|
|2026||April 10 & October 23||April 11 & October 24|
We offer review materials for the both the SE Buildings and Bridges exam.
About the NCEES PE Chemical CBT Exam
Alternative Item Types (AITs)
- Multiple correct—allows examinees to select multiple correct answers
- Point and click—requires examinees to click on part of a graphic
- Drag and drop—requires examinees to click on and drag items to match, sort, rank, or label
- Fill in the blank—provides a space for examinees to enter a response
PE Chemical CBT Exam Specifications
- Nondisclosure agreement (2 minutes)
- Tutorial (8 minutes)
- Exam (8 hours)
- Scheduled break (50 minutes)
PE Chemical CBT Exam Scoring
What is the best way to prepare for the exam?
Engineering Licensure Outside of the United States
Engineering licensure outside of the United States varies by location. Here is an overview of the PE licensure and reciprocity guidelines for Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, and more.
PE Exam Licensure in Canada
In 1999, the Canadian Professional Engineers achieved internal mobility with the signing of an Inter-Association Mobility Agreement. Essentially, this agreement allows members in good standing expedited admission into the other associations.
Reciprocity with the United States
The effect of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has not been significant.
Description of the Law and Ethics Exam
In Ontario, exams also include written essay questions concerning fictitious legal cases. The fictitious legal cases are based on actual case law. Additional questions cover ethical dilemmas (i.e., "what would you do" questions). These exams are three hours in length and require essay responses.
Review Materials for the Canadian Law and Ethics Exam
Relevant safety regulations, such as an Occupational Health and Safety Act.
More Information on Canadian PE Licensure
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Deborah Wolfe, P.Eng., Director, Educational Affairs, Canadian Council of Professional Engineers; John Stephenson, P.Eng., PE, Toronto, ON; and Dr. Hugh Jack, P.Eng., Assistant Professor, Padnos School of Engineering, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI.
PE Exam Licensure in Mexico
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Daniel R. Robles Alvarez, PE, Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, formerly Facultad de Ingenieria, Centro de Ensenanza Technica y Superior, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Engineering Licensure in the United Kingdom (UK)
In the afternoon, the engineer writes two 1500-word reports in three hours on two questions—one technical and one professional—in subjects set by the examiners which the engineer will not have seen before. Passing all of the elements is required before acceptance as a member of their institution.
Engineering Licensure in Europe
Information on the EUR ING professional designation can be found on the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) website. Criteria for the EUR ING designation is described here. Application is open only to individuals who are members of an engineering association represented in FEANI through a National Member (a list of which appears on this site).
PE Licensure in the Philippine Islands
The two mechanical engineering exams are similarly separated by a certain number of years of experience.
PE License Reciprocity with the United States
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Edgar S. Surla, Board Certified Civil Engineer (Philippines), Board Certified Jr. Geodetic Engineer (Philippines), EIT (US), Project Detailer, Dick Pacific Construction, Guam.
Australia | Canada | Ireland | New Zealand | United Kingdom | South Africa
NCEES PE Exam Advice From Past Examinees
Common PE Exam Surprises and Misconceptions
"I passed but I felt underprepared for the afternoon portion."
Preparing Your Materials for the PE Exam
"Don’t buy an expensive calculator if you do not have time to learn how to use it."
Preparing for the PE Exam Site
Getting Your Head in the Game
"For breakfast the day of the exam, eat protein and go light on carbohydrates. You can’t afford an energy drop-off three hours into the exam."
What to Do (and Not to Do) During the PE Exam
Advice for Repeat PE Examinees
"Judging from some of the repeat takers at work, they failed because they did not learn from their mistakes on the first time that they took the exam. They did not change their study strategies."
How Licensing Your Engineers Can Benefit Your Firm
Benefits of Licensing Your Engineers
Boost the Authority of Your Firm
Protect Your Practice
Many states now have imposing civil penalties against unlicensed individuals for violating engineering state regulations. This could mean that your firm may be held responsible for violating these regulations, too. Get ahead of these potential penalties by putting a plan into action for licensing your engineers.
Increase Your Ability to Submit Plans
Only licensed engineers may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans to public authorities for approval. The more licensed engineers you have, the more resources you have available for these submissions.
Meet State Regulations
Your firm may need to obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA). 37 states require engineering firms to obtain a COA from the state engineering board. Obtaining a COA is dependant on employing qualified licensed engineers. If a responsible, licensed engineer leaves your firm, you must notify the state engineering board within a specified time. If most of your engineers are already licensed, you will be able to appoint a replacement quickly and avoid license forfeiture.
Retain and Recruit the Best Engineers
Between 2016 and 2024, an additional 130,300 engineers will be needed across all disciplines, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. With competition growing, firms need to start looking at ways to attract and retain engineers. Retaining your best employees and recruiting new engineers will become easier when you support them with their career goals.
What steps can my firm take to license engineers?
Licensing your engineers doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. If your firm doesn’t have a lot of time or resources to devote to career development, it doesn’t mean that offering effective FE, PE, and SE exam support is out of the question. Something small that you can do right away is to pay the exam fees for engineers who are preparing for an exam or provide alternative schedules to allow for adequate study and prep time.
PPI’s Corporate Training Solution Offers Low-Cost, Comprehensive Prep
PPI offers corporate training programs to give your unlicensed engineers access to prep courses and materials to make sure they are completely prepared for their FE, PE, or SE exam. Our corporate programs offer a passing guarantee, open access for one low fee, and hundreds of time-tested and proven exam prep materials from PPI and revered author, Michael R. Lindeburg, PE.
Select Your Exam to Shop PPI PE Exam Bundles