Becoming a Professional Engineer

If you are pursuing a career in Civil Engineering like me, you are probably considering becoming a licensed engineer. The process of becoming a licensed engineer, or Professional Engineer (PE), is a long and tedious one. The process begins with completing up to 3 years of engineering related work experience or engineering education (collegiate level). After or while completing this, you must take and pass the 6-hour long Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test that includes an array of subject material from Engineering Economics to Mechanics of Materials. With this, you can now become a certified Engineer-in-Training (EIT). The next step is completing four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE and then taking and passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. Only after completing this, may one become a PE.

Though I believe this process is a strenuous and necessary, I do think it has room for improvement. For one, it is important to note that passing the FE test does not guarantee EIT certification. Though the National Society of Professional Engineers website indicates that “Passing this exam [FE exam] legally certifies the candidate as an “engineer in training” (EIT)”, you are not officially certified until an application form and fee is submitted to your residing state. Your residing state also has the power to deny your certification. I find this completely misleading and suggest all applicants should be informed of this.  Another improvement I would suggest is allowing work experience under a PE prior becoming a EIT count towards work experience under a PE for PE licensure. Many students intern or CO-OP during their time in undergrad working as engineers (often under a PE) before becoming a EIT and this experience does not count towards their PE licensure unfortunately. At the end of the day, I have the up most respect to those who become Professional Engineers. This is a prestigious title that indicates someone that has accomplished stringent requirements and has the qualifications to protect the public’s health and welfare with their professional expertise.

– Marquis Mark