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Testing How important is FE exam, really?

  1. Oct 17, 2007 #1
    Our school requires the students to take FE exam before you graduate. I mean, of course, it would be helpful if you become a licensed engineer, but our school puts it as if you cannot get a job without passing the FE exam, which probably isn't true.

    Having that said,

    1)How important is FE exam? How would it help getting me a job (I am a computer engineer)?

    2)I heard there are two FE exams (FE I, FE II). What are the differences?

    3)What are the disadvantages of not taking FE?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2007 #2


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    If one has the opportunity to take the FE, then do so. As one gets into a professional career, it becomes more difficult to find time to do it.

    Many jobs in engineering require a PE, and the FE is the first step.

    One can get a job without an FE, but having it opens up more opportunities.

    My department (Nuc E) encouraged students to do the PE during grad school.
  4. Oct 17, 2007 #3
    That certainly is not true. In fact, for computer engineers, a job that requires a PE license is incredibly rare.

    I took the FE, but I don't think I'll ever go for my PE because you need to work under someone who has a PE for about three years before you can take the next PE test! I've never met anyone in industry (I'm an EE) that has their PE, so I would actively have to search every company I work at to find someone with a PE and try to work under them.

    However, I should mention that grad school counts as experience towards the PE. I think an MS was one or two years out of three, but I don't remember for sure.

    If you want to go into private consulting, you need to have your PE. I don't know your career goals, but consider that. Also, I believe that your school makes all engineers take the FE exam because it looks good for them if they have a high passing rate.
  5. Oct 17, 2007 #4
    You have to work under someone who is a PE to qualify? I thought it was you just had to work for 2-3 years then you could take it, assuming you pass the FE>
  6. Oct 18, 2007 #5
    It varies from state to state. I know that in Texas you just need 4 years experience and recommendations from 3 currently licensed PEs.
  7. Oct 29, 2007 #6

    It varies by state.
  8. Oct 31, 2007 #7
    In my experience (I am the most senior engineer in my department):
    1) If you get the chance take it. If you don't, it probably doesn't matter for most engineering jobs. I work with engineers at GE, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Honeywell (jet engine manufacturers) and I don't think I know more than 2-3 licensed PEs. Our industry doesn't care. I didn't take it but I have never had much of the content on the test (BS is in Math)

    2) ?

    3) Some jobs require a PE license and you need the FE to buy an admission ticket to the test. If you don't take it now, you won't have time to study those parts you don't use so that you can pass the FE test.
  9. Nov 3, 2007 #8
    Let me get this straight... so FE by itself is completely useless, and if you want to get something out of the test you take, you should take PE as well?
  10. Nov 3, 2007 #9
    Well, it's also a pre-req for the Patent Bar Exam. :redface:
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