In the previous article we covered the first 5 steps that you will need to take when applying for the PE exam, and in this article, I am going to take you through the final 5 steps, and show you how to complete your application.
Please note that the information in this article was taken from various sources including PE Exam Coach. There will be slight differences in the process depending on which state you are applying to. Most states provide detailed checklists indicating the process as well as application process checklists on their respective state board websites.
The Next 5 Steps when Applying for the PE Exam (in Most States) Is As Follows:
To review the first 5 steps please click here.
6. Complete the State Law and Ethics Exam
Most states have an additional exam covering ethics and the engineering laws and rules in that state. You can complete these online, or print and mail them in. These are open-book, so you can do them at your own pace.
7. Submit Application and Supporting Documentation Online or by Mail
Use a tracking delivery service for the portion(s) of the application and supporting documentation sent by mail. Your board’s website may have an application tracker. This can help you keep track of what the board has received and what they still need from you.
8. Register Online for NCEES PE Exam
Once approved by your state board, register for the PE exam on the NCEES website for states that require board approval first. Some states require board approval before sitting for the exam while some don’t.
There are 3 VERY IMPORTANT things to note here:
- Once the board and NCEES communicate, you will be able to proceed with selecting testing location on the NCEES website
- Note that registering for the exam is an additional step that you must complete on your own. If the board approves you to take the test you are not automatically registered for the next PE exam in the NCEES system.
- During this step, you will choose which discipline you will test in. Whatever you choose here will show up on your exam authorization. You will be required to test in that discipline on test day, so choose wisely.
9. Register Online With a Testing Agency (If Required in Your State)
Some states use third-party exam administration services instead of the exam administration service provided by NCEES. This step determines where you will take the exam and to reserve your seat for test day. They may ask you to provide your NCEES ID, additional documentation, and pay an additional fee. You will then choose which discipline you will test in during this step. You will be required to test in that discipline on test day.
10. Track Your Application
Most state boards will track the status of your application via their website and/or send you email notifications. Some state boards don’t provide this service due to the workload involved, but instead offer other options. For example, California allows you to send two self addressed stamped postcards or envelopes so that the board can send these out to you when your application is received or processed.
The board will notify you by mail that you are approved to be a licensed engineer or are eligible to sit for the PE exam. Their website may also offer a tracking option that will notify you of your approval. The board will give you further instructions on registering for the exam or processing your new PE license.
The board will also notify you by mail if your application was not approved. They typically retain your application for a year or two. If you file again within that period, you can use the references, transcripts, and other information submitted with the first application on the newer application. However, if you file again after that period, all information, including references and transcripts, must be submitted again and will be considered a new application. Application fees are typically not refundable. Plan on re-submitting another application fee when reapplying.
I hope you found this article on applying for the PE exam helpful. In the next article, I will be interviewing a professional engineer who has authored a book on Passing the PE exam. He will provide some great tips to help you pass your PE exam successfully. Be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss something that could make a substantial difference in your exam result.
Lastly, I encourage you to ask questions in the comments of this article, or on this page and I’ll read and respond to them in future articles. So if there’s a specific topic you want me to cover or answer, we have you covered.
I’ll see you next week… on Pass the PE Exam
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success