In the previous article, I covered the requirements needed to apply for the PE exam. In this article, I will take you through the first 5 steps of a 10 step process of applying for the PE exam, and show you how to complete your application in an easy-to-follow step-by-step process.
There will be slight differences in the process depending on which US state you are applying to. Most states provide application process checklists on their respective state board websites, so be sure to check with your State Board for specific information. Please note that the information in this article was taken from various sources including PE Exam Coach.
The General Process to Apply for the PE Exam (in Most States) Is As Follows:
1. Review Application Instructions
These are available online at the state boards’ websites. Review the instructions thoroughly before diving in to ensure that you fully understand the specific process for your state. All of us have ripped open boxes for a new toy, game, or piece of furniture and attempted to assemble them without reading the instructions, and many times we don’t get it right the first time around, but applying for your PE exam is not an activity to attempt without first reading the instructions, in detail because getting it wrong the first time, means you’ll have to go through a long and difficult process at least twice.
2. Create an Account With NCEES
Once you register with NCEES, you will be issued an NCEES identity number to be used when taking the PE exam. You may be asked to provide it on your license application. You may already have this number from when you registered for the FE exam. Be sure to keep this number in a safe place where you can easily find it when needed.
3. Create an Account With Your State Board
Creating an account with your State Board is an option in some states. Doing this, if an option, will allow you to save your application process and check the status through the website, making the process easier. The biggest benefit is that it makes it easier to work on the application little by little as opposed to having to tackle it in one sitting.
4. Complete Your PE License Application
Now you have to complete your application. Use your state’s online portal if available, or print and mail the documentation to them. Some states require the original application to be mailed to them (not by email or fax). Below is the information that the state boards typically require on the application. Note that this is most states NOT ALL of them:
- Completed Application Form
- Identifying Information – such as Social Security Number or Driver License Number.
- License and or Exam Verification – your application may require notarization in some states.
- Official Sealed College Transcripts – please note, your college must send them directly to the board. There may be a fee by your college to provide this service.
- Experience Record and Reference Forms – These forms are a combination of a detailed description of your engineering experience and a personal character evaluation of you by your reference. This is how the board will verify that you have a sufficient quality and quantity of experience to be licensed. They should indicate that you are of sound moral character, competent and worthy of a license. Each state calls these forms something different, but they serve the same purpose.
- Foreign Students May Be Required to Provide the Following Additional Information:
- Proof of proficiency in English
- Translation of foreign degree – NCEES Credentials Evaluation can provide this service
- Verification of Lawful Presence form – This document shows that you are in the country legally.
- Additional Information to Be Sent in by Applicant if Applicable:
- Waiver of exam form
- Proof of last name change
- Commercial evaluation of non-accredited degree
- Certified court documentation including Statement of Explanation for any criminal issues indicated in your application.
- Your Application May Require Notarization in Some States – If so, print the application and have it notarized by signing in the presence of a Notary Public.
5. Pay Application and State Fees
Application fees range from 80 dollars (in Texas) to 377 dollars plus (in New York). The board’s website will detail the fees associated with applying for your license and taking the PE exam. The Department of Veterans Affairs through the GI Bill may allow you to be reimbursed for your PE exam fees. Contact the VA for more information.
I hope you found this article on how to apply for the PE exam helpful. In the next article, I will cover the last 5 steps that you will need to do to apply for the PE Exam. Pass the PE Exam videos publish bi-weekly, so 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