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Question regarding P.E. exam

  1. Feb 10, 2016 #1
    hi, i'd like to take P.E. exam to become a professional engineer in Electrical Engineering.

    I've checked the exam schedule and some related info. One thing that's unclear to me is about the requirements or prerequisites: do I need to work under a P.E. for certain amount of time before taking the exam?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2016 #2


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    It depends on which exam you plan to take.

    The first exam on engineering fundamentals (FE exam) can be taken before you are employed. In fact, some students take it during their senior year in school, before graduation. Once you pass the FE, you become an Engineer-in-Training (EIT), and you must work under a registered PE for several years before you are eligible to take the PE exam in the principles and practice of engineering.

    The PE exam process is administered by each state in the U.S., so you should check with the state P.E. licensing board where you wish to get licensed for the details.
    The National Society of PEs website has more details:

  4. Feb 10, 2016 #3
    I've since long out of school and been working as an engineer. I just thought it's nice to become a P.E. and can help with my career.

    do I need to take FE before PE exam? my concern is that I'm not aware there's anyone I know is a P.E.
    is working under P.E. for several years a must for taking P.E. exam?
  5. Feb 10, 2016 #4


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    Please review the requirements and website that SteamKing provided. If you have taken an EIT exam and have worked under a PE for at least four years, you can apply to take the exam. If you have been out of school for 8-12 years some states will let you bypass the EIT if you have a solid work history in engineering. This has been done, but getting a reciprocity PE from another state can be difficult w/o passing the EIT exam.
    When you fill out an application, (even for the EIT) you will need five solid character references of which 3 are supposed to be PE's. This can be a difficult hurdle if you worked in a small firm.
  6. Feb 11, 2016 #5
    The prerequisites for applying to sit for the Principles and Practices exam (the second exam that you take after documenting all the prerequisites) vary from state to state in the US.

    Also note something else: The PE certificate is not necessarily a mark of competence, though it is often viewed that way by courts of law. It is a mark of responsibility for a design. You should think very carefully before stamping a design, and you should also carry professional liability insurance. That's YOUR name on the design and you are taking full responsibility for getting things right if there are any significant design flaws. You will also probably have to maintain a certain number of continuing education credit hours to maintain your certification. Some of those hours may be required to be courses on ethics.

    Note that in Electrical Engineering, the primary use for a PE certificate is for power engineering. Yes, there are PE certificates for telecommunications design as well, but those are comparatively rare and unusual.

    I am not trying to discourage you from getting the certificate; I am attempting to ensure you know what you're getting in to.
  7. Feb 13, 2016 #6
    You need to have work experience with a PE to take the PE exam. You also need to pass the FE before you can take the PE. Go to my website www.mechanicalpeacademy.com to get more advice and tips for the PE exam.
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