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Engineering Second PE without the full degree (BS or MS)

  1. Nov 2, 2016 #1
    Hello all,

    I am approved to take the EE PE and I have significant course work in EE but I do not have a full second degree. Does a second PE have dubious value to an employer if it is not also accompanied with the second degree?

    I would love to start a masters but my local university only offers the BS program. I have looked at online programs and they are EXPENSIVE!!! Like 3 grand a class expensive, of course that is from Purdue which is another top tier school.

    I just want to make sure I am not wasting effort.

    Also I went to a top tier undergraduate school for my BS in chemical engineering, Colorado School of Mines (that I also paid out the rear end for, 70 grand out of pocket with a half ride) so I am not so inclined to rack up more bills since I am out of the grocery store/retail life style scare. But I also don't want to waste free time after work or even work time on a degree that is not going to provide any real leverage either, how much leverage do top tier schools really provide. Even with my CSM degree it still took me a year after graduation to find a job. Of course I have also survived the numerous oil and gas lay offs over the past 8 years as well so I am not sure if that is due to the degree or just me. But because these lay offs seem to be ongoing I want to make sure I can jump industries without finding myself in the grocery store/retail scare again.

    Thank you
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2016 #2


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    The first requirement for a PE license is a four year degree from an accredited [ABET] engineering program. It would be insanity for that degree not to be in a relevant discipline. To quote the ABET site
    "If the candidate is not a graduate of an accredited four-year engineering program, the candidate will usually need more than four years of qualifying experience (often 8-12 years depending on the nature of the candidate's education) in order to be eligible for engineering licensure. Some states will not permit non-graduates to take the FE, no matter how much experience the candidate has. Each state engineering licensure board can provide the information on the number of years of experience, if any, that may be substituted for each year of education."
    The term 'qualifying experience' carries additional caveats. See ABET [http://www.abet.orgabet/] [Broken] for further details.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Nov 2, 2016 #3
    So, you have a PE already? in Chem E? Why would you need/want another? Seems like a waste of time to me. Most employers are more interested in what you can do for them, not more wallpaper. If you're licensed, you're licensed. Or maybe things are different in the petro business?
  5. Nov 2, 2016 #4
    So what this boils down too is the petro buisness is not doing so well and in my state the petro buisness is pretty much the only ones who hire chemE. So if things in the petro buisness keep going even further south and I eventually get caught up in one of their many lay offs I dont want to have to move out of state since all of my family and my wifes family is here.

    I have taken a significant amount of the EE BS degree but they have requirements like 5 credits of statics and dynamics as well as some classes I audited and then took the more advanced class and did well, I had a stack of waiver forms for various classes and my advisor would not sign them so that was kind of that. Fortunatly the board authorized me to take the exam because I basicly had all the weed out core courses done with a 3.5.

    In order to get into fed jobs or tel com etc its all ME/EE not so much chemE. So in my mind having a EE PE with only periphery expereince (in control systems but it was enough for the board) says hey you can make the transition from petro to govt or tel com or something else at basicly entry level that is not working at a liquor store if things go south.

    For a masters I just discovered MIT has started a new micromasters program but it does not yet include EE or an interdisaplinary but I sent an inquiry so we will see, part of that is for pure personal interest and part of it is for the potential future requirements for a masters to maintain a PE. I just discovered this micro masters after I made this post but there is no gaurentee that they will add EE or interdisplinary to ther list of online micro masters offers. ITs nice because it takes away all the hopla and boils it right down to the course work either you can do it or you cant, no GRE's, 3.5 gpa cut offs or any of that becasue you are not competing for a seat with online programs.
  6. Nov 3, 2016 #5


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    If your state will let you take the PE in EE, your state has determined that your background is sufficient for their requirements. Most states would not readily allow you to do so, but it certainly has happened in the past and you are fortunate that your state is allowing you to do so.
    I suggest that if you actually are given this opportunity, that you not waste it. If you fail, you may not get a second chance as your degree is NOT in EE. The state board can and often does move the goal posts.
  7. Nov 3, 2016 #6
    I dont plan on it, I have all the books and am going through every practice problem and managed to find the equations quick reference manual and then adding my own stuff to it. I did not have to retake my ChE PE exam and I dont want to have to sit through an all day exam more than once lol. Going to have to really go over smith charts because i kinda sucked at using those, I built out a matlab model to do it for me but I cant use that on the exam.
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