FAQ on Passing the PE Exam

Becoming a professional engineer does not happen overnight.  Most engineering students know passing the PE exam takes years of work.  People are often left with many questions about what it takes to become a PE and what the benefits are to receiving the license.

The New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers is here to answer any questions you may have about passing the PE exam. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.

How is a PE Really Different from an Engineer?

Becoming a PE shows clients and employers you have the skills, knowledge, and credentials to earn their trust. Some of the things PEs can do that non-PE engineers cannot so include:

  • Only a licensed PE can prepare, sign and approve, and submit engineering projects to clients for approval.
  • PEs are required to maintain and improve upon their skills through continuous education requirements.
  • PE licensure for a consulting engineer or private engineer is required by law. Those without a PE can’t participate in independent consulting.

What are the PE Exam Requirements?

First, you must have a four-year degree from an accredited engineering program.  Then, you must pass the Fundamentals in Engineering (FE) exam.  After passing the FE, you’re considered an engineer in training (EIT) and must complete four years of engineering experience under a PE. After you complete your four years of experience, you’re eligible to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.

How Long is the PE Exam?

The PE exam is eight hours long and is normally split into a morning and afternoon session.

When is the PE Exam Offered?

The PE exam is offered twice a year, once in April and once in October. Make sure you check for exam dates far in advanced, so you can clear your schedule.

Will My License Be Recognized in Every State?

A PE must meet the licensure requirements in each state where they wish to practice.  Almost all states offer licensure by comity to PEs who are licensed in a different state. However, the requirements of the current license must be equal or greater than the requirements in the new state.

What Do I Do After I Pass?

You need to submit your results to obtain your PE license, and then you’ll officially be a PE.  Click here to learn more about what to do after obtaining your PE license.

Passing the PE exam and getting licensed is a great way to advance your engineering career.  If you’d like more information about passing the PE, feel free to contact NJSPE. We’d be happy to give you the resources you need to help you become a professional engineer! For more information for recent PEs, download our free one-page checklist here!


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