In this week’s Pass the PE Exam article (and video above), I answer a question I get often from engineering students and recent graduates that ask: “Should I take the PE or FE exam?”
If you are an engineering student and this is something you have been wondering about, then this video is for you. Remember that right now, at this very point in history, you control the direction of your career more than ever. So it’s important to make the right decisions today, and I hope this video will help you do just that!
Let’s Define the Two Different Exams:
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam
This exam is designed for recent engineering graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree from an EAC (or Engineering Accreditation Commission )/ABET (or Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)-accredited program. The FE exam is a computer-based exam administered year-round at NCEES-approved Pearson VUE test centers. It includes 110-questions and the exam appointment time is six hours long with about five hours and twenty minutes of that time being actual exam time. If you take and pass the FE exam, you have the choice after roughly four years of progressive experience as an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE exam)
The PE Exam or The Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam
This exam is the examination required for one to become a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the United States, and is the second exam required, coming after the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, created and scored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). As a general rule, a professional engineer who has number one an approved four-year engineering degree, number 2 – four years of qualifying engineering experience, and number 3 who successfully completes (3) the eight-hour Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination can take the PE exam. That being said, you should confirm these items with your local state education board as some states do vary on these experience and timeline requirements. You can register for the exam through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website at NCEES.org.