How To Get Your Professional Engineer License

Engineer reading a plan

Engineering degrees in engineering fields are enhanced by completing the study courses to become a license professional engineer. These course of studies to get your professional engineer license are engineering-intensive. From the moment an engineer pursues a desire to get a professional engineer license, there is the application to apply for, and study books to purchase and studying to be done before you get your professional engineer license. You will also require at least two licensed professional engineers to sponsor you for the testing. There is documentation they will need to complete that will be submitted with your application.

Testing Day

Professional engineer license tests are taken over two days for a period of up to eight hours at certified testing sites.  Originally, these exams were given on a state-by-state basis.  Over time that changed to a national arrangement that allowed for licensing reciprocity with all states except California and Florida. The first part of the test is known as the EIT, Engineer in Training. The second part is for the actual licensing. Final test scores determine whether you've received a passing grade or not.  Generally, test scores are received within a two to four week time frame.

Once You Get Your Professional Engineer License

With a passing grade on professional engineer license exams, a fully certified, board-approved professional engineer license is granted. Approval is received from the NCEE, National Committee of Engineering Examiners. Once you get your professional engineer license, the general result is that you are now free to approve various documentations and mechanical drawings with your new professional engineer license seal and stamp.  All such documentation and drawings should be thoroughly checked before "sealing" them. This assures that these instruments have been professionally certified as true and correct by a professional engineer with a license.  Very often, when legal issues arise, a licensed professional engineer may be asked to act as a professional witness or spokesperson, depending on the situation.

The Mark of a Professional Engineer

Clearly, possessing a professional engineer license can be an advantage over other engineering candidates when engineering firms are looking to hire the best and brightest.  Your PE, as they are sometimes referred to, stands out as a mark of a professional engineer and gives the candidate with a PE an edge over others.  In addition, having a professional engineer license can mean an increase in salary.  Those with a professional engineer license generally can command salaries up to 15% higher.


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