Where to Take the FE Exam — In this post I am going to answer the following question, “Do I need to take the FE Exam in the state where you plan to pursue my PE License?”
The answer to this question is NO, but it comes with a few warnings…
The EIT certification is the same throughout the United State, so you can go ahead and take the FE exam wherever it is convenient for you. The FE is a national exam administered by NCEES so the test will be the same wherever you take the FE exam. And unlike the PE exam, state boards don’t mandate where you physically take the exam, as long as NCEES certifies you passed. If you’ll be working in Texas you’ll probably want to apply to be certified as an EIT by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers once you have passed the FE exam, but this specific process is one you should confirm depending on the State you will be working in.
Now, here are a few other recommendations to note if you plan to take the FE exam, based on my own experience, as well as talking to hundreds of engineers that have become licensed.
Please be sure to take the FE exam as soon as you are eligible. Please understand that the longer you wait to take the FE exam, the harder it will be, because of the wide number of topics that are covered on the exam. Even if you end up not going for the PE license, then all you lost was some study time. However, if you do end up pursuing your PE license, then you will be very grateful that you already have the FE exam under your belt, because studying for this exam once you are a working engineer is extremely difficult to do.
I would also recommend that you apply to sit for the FE exam in the State you plan to take it, as soon as you know you are going to take it. The earlier the better as some states can take time to process these applications. Waiting for your application to be processed can create stress if you are cutting it close on a deadline.
Lastly, once you pass the FE Exam, yes that’s right I’m confident you can pass it, find out from the State how you can prove that you’ve passed. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Trust me, I made this mistake. You need to know what to do if you lose that proof. For example, I took the EIT exam in Pennsylvania, now granted this was a while ago, but I ended up losing the certificate they sent me and then when I applied for the PE exam, it took me a lot of time to track down the right person to get a copy of that EIT certificate. Of course, today, all of this is done online, but just make sure you know where to get that information when you need it.
I hope this post, and the video at the top, helped answer some of the questions you have about the FE Exam.
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Lastly, I encourage you to ask questions in the comments of the videos or here on this page and I’ll read and respond to them in future videos… so if there’s a specific topic you want me to cover or answer, we have you covered.
I’ll see you next week…
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success