How To Become a Professional Engineer

If you are enrolled in an engineering curriculum in a college or university, you may want to start thinking about the established protocol to become a Professional Engineer.  In the engineering industry, all states require any engineering duties to be performed under the direction and guidance of a Registered Professional Engineer.  A person can become registered as a Professional Engineer only after they have satisfied all the requirements of a particular state.  In addition to the above, all engineering companies employing engineers and performing engineering tasks must have a Registered Professional Engineer as a principle of the company.

There are basically three (3) steps in how to become a Professional Engineer after you attain your Bachelor of Science in an engineering curriculum.  The first step is to acquire enough working experience while working for a reputable engineering firm.  For most states, four (4) years of experience are required before you can apply for a Professional Engineering license.  Of these four (4) years, your educational experience at the university you attended counts for two (2) years.

The next step that one needs to take in becoming a Professional Engineer is to take the Engineer-in-Training (also known as EIT) exam. This exam is a test on all facets of engineering that you studied while attending the college or university of your choice.  The EIT exam will include such subjects as math, physics, statics, dynamics, and strength of materials, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.  It is for this reason that it is recommended to start thinking about becoming a Professional Engineer while you are still in school.  It is highly recommended that the prospective engineering student take this exam when they are a senior in school.  In this way, all of this material (which were technical electives in your engineering curriculum) is still reasonably fresh in your mind.

After you have passed the Engineer-in-Training exam, the next process required is to complete your studies and graduate.  Upon graduation you may commence with your engineering career.  When you have attained the required years of experience under the direction of a Registered Professional Engineer, you can apply for the Principles and Practice (P&P) exam.  This is an exam on the specific discipline that you studied while you were in school.  For instance it could be on Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Structural Engineering or any of the other engineering disciplines.

After you have passed the Principles and Practice exam, you can apply for a license in the state in which you reside.  It is at this point that your career will start to grow, for now you will be able to provide direction as a Registered Professional Engineer.  Congratulations, you have now become a Professional Engineer.


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