1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Licenses and Certs for Physics Major?

  1. Mar 19, 2013 #1
    I will graduate this spring with a B.S. in Physics. Are there any tests I can take to get a license or a certification that will make me more appealing for an engineering position? Could I take the test to become a P.E. with out actually having a degree in engineering?
    Can I take something that would be remotely comparable to the P.E. test?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2013 #2
    Unfortunately you need to have an engineering degree from an accredited institution to get a P.E. license.


    If you know how to program or have done significant electronics work you can focus that on your resume and apply for engineering jobs.
  4. Mar 19, 2013 #3
    Carlgrace, thank you for your reply. I really appreciate the input.

    I've been told that with a B.S. in physics, I am eligible for an engineering position but, that does not seem to coincide with the attitudes of employers, from what I have seen.

    Can anyone recommend any certifications for which a physics major would be eligible that would improve marketability in the work world?
  5. Mar 19, 2013 #4
    Can you get a certification that you are competent in some programming skill or language? I imagine you don't need a specific degree for that.

    Have you gone to your school's Engineering Job Fair? I can tell you that my employer is not biased against physics grads at all. In fact my office-mate has a physics degree and he is an engineer like me.
  6. Mar 19, 2013 #5
    I hadn't thought about that. Thank you. I'll look into it.
  7. Mar 19, 2013 #6
    I'm also graduating this spring with a B.S. Physics so I can relate to the OP concerns. Although it's not engineering, I'm currently working on an A+ and network certification. Based on the research I've done, these certs are viewed favorably by IT employers and will give you practical skills.

    Maybe you could get in contact with a smaller engineering firm and make your case. It's also been my experience that unless you have contacts, it can be difficult to get past HR although not impossible
  8. Mar 21, 2013 #7
    Also, don't be afraid to show some initiative and write to individuals within the various organizations you'd like to work. It isn't spam, and the worse that can happen is you'll get no response (this is what usually happens).

    I've hired two people that I became aware of through them emailing me. Initiative is so important and more rare that we'd like.

    Also, the suggestion to focus on smaller firms is excellent.
  9. Mar 23, 2013 #8


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member


    Have you considered looking at technician jobs for defense or large industries? That is how I started out with only a high school degree, eventually I just started following the engineers around and assisting when my work was done or on my off days. After a few years my job title changed to engineer and I was able to work on some cool projects.

    After I left there I was able to find a engineering position with the fed gov.

    Not sure if this helps you or not, I think experience like that is more favorable than certifications. Since you already have a bs in physics, I'm assuming that with experience it would be far easier for you than it was for me.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Licenses Certs Physics Date
Physics Unsure of my future in physics Yesterday at 11:27 AM
Physics Career Change from Religion to Physics Mar 12, 2018
Is a PE license really that difficult to obtain? Mar 30, 2015
Question about opportunities of PE license Jul 4, 2014
Advice On career path/ licensed engineer question Jun 29, 2008