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:

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!

PE License Next Steps: What Happens Now?

Passing your Professional Engineering exam is a huge accomplishment.  After the hours of studying and experience required to get your PE license, you may be wondering: what happens now? There are some important PE license next steps that will help you make the most of your new license:

  • Showcase Your Title: This is a vital PE license next step. Now that you have the distinction, it’s time to show it off!  You will want to update your business card to say PE or P.E. next to your name. You should also add your PE title to other professional networking channels, such as your LinkedIn profile and email signature.
  • Obtain Your Seal/Stamp: A rewarding next step is ordering your seal or stamp, which indicate your approval on design concepts. Make sure you contact your state board for specific size requirements for your stamp or seal.
  • Tell Your Employer: Every engineer’s relationship with their employer is unique. However, getting a PE license may open the door for new opportunities at your job. You could be eligible for a raise or promotion, especially at firms where team credentials matter to winning clients. Keep in mind that not every employer will reward you for your accomplishment, but it can’t hurt to let them know.
  • Control Your Career: Licensure is a necessity if you wish to become an engineering consultant or private practitioner. Many industries, like government and education, are being required to hire and contract only with licensed PE’s at a growing rate.  A PE license gives you greater control over your future, as it’s very difficult to advance in your career without one.
  • Join a PE Association: There are many associations, like NJSPE, that PEs can join to expand their professional network and enhance their knowledge. If you are a recent PE, you may want to consider joining one of these organizations. They can help you advance your career and obtain your continuing education credit requirements. Learn more about the benefits of PE societies here.

Becoming a PE is a milestone in the career of any engineer.  Knowing the immediate PE license next steps will help you hit the ground running.  For more information for recent PEs, download our free one-page checklist here!

Building Your Career as a Professional Engineer: An Infographic

Professional engineering career

Take the 2017 Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest Challenge!


All current NSPE individual members through their NSPE state societies and NSPE chapters (including student chapters) are invited to participate in the 2017 NSPE Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest. Match your wits and knowledge of engineering ethics with experienced professional engineers and engineering students throughout the country.

New this year, the winning entry will receive a certificate, recognition in PE magazine, and an award of $1,000 to the author!

How to Participate

NSPE’s Board of Ethical Review is furnishing you with four different fact situations to choose from regarding the ethics of engineers. Contestants can choose any one out of the four situations and develop an essay, video, photo essay, poster, or PowerPoint presentation which could include embedded videos/sound, etc. to demonstrate their understanding of the facts and the NSPE Code of Ethics.

Contestants are asked to read the facts of the case, then develop a discussion and conclusion to respond to the included question(s). Contestants should also provide references, citing specific sections of the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers. Contestants may also want to check the NSPE Board of Ethical Review’s Web site for additional cases decided by the BER.

All entries must be received by Friday, April 28, 2017. E-mail or mail entries to:

2017 NSPE Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest
NSPE Legal Department
1420 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2794
E-mail: legal@nspe.org

The contest is named for NSPEs former general counsel, who played a key role in the founding of the NSPE Board of Ethical Review.

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