PE Exam Prep Resources

2021 Examination Dates: October 21 -22, 2021

The exams offered in October are:

The exam administration will take place over two days—Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22. All exam site locations are currently proceeding with reduced capacity restrictions in place. Changes to state and local requirements that further reduce capacities for groups and events may impact the number of examinees that are able to test at a specific site.

View the October 2021 exam site procedures regarding COVID-19 here.

Taking the next step in your engineering career is both exciting and stressful. Preparing for the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam, like many of your engineering feats, is no walk in the park.

Need some last-minute PE exam study resources?

You’ve come to the right place. Making it to the PE exam in and of itself is a feat. Once you get past this next milestone you’ll officially be a professional engineer, as long as you pass the exam! Use these PE exam prep materials to better your chance of getting a passing grade:

NCEES exam prep

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) develop and administer the PE exam, so why not take a page out of their book to get study materials from them? NCEES offers practice exams for all of the different concentrations. These practice exams include questions from past exams and it’s the same format, style, and level of difficulty as the actual exam. 
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PPI practice materials

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) features PPI on its website for exam review and preparation. PPI is part of the Kaplan Professional family, so you can be sure you’re getting top-quality PE exam prep materials. PPI offers resources in a variety of formats as well including print, digital, eTextbook, eLearning, and video.
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School of PE prep courses

School of PE has been offering PE exam review courses since 2004 and all of their instructors are professional engineers and have experience teaching. School of PE offers a variety of ways to learn: on demand, live online, and in-person (COVID-19 permitting). Whichever avenue you sign up for, you’ll be able to access School of PE’s online Study Hub to stay organized in your preparation. 
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PE exam prep guide from Engineering Management Institute

This guide on was posted in 2014, but the information for helping you pass the PE exam is still relevant! This isn’t a study packet or a pre-test, it’s a guide for how you should be studying from someone that actually took the exam. The post explains strategies for studying efficiently and organizing your study material for success. We recommend you give it a read!
Learn more >> 

Studying for and passing the PE exam is no easy task. If you follow these tips, stay on schedule, and focus on studying, you’ll be walking away from the exam with confidence. 

Good luck on obtaining your professional engineering license! 

Why is Diversity in Engineering Important?

Has a lack of diversity in engineering limited the profession’s success thus far? Engineering and STEM fields, in general, tend to be primarily occupied by white males. As a professional engineering society, we recognize that diversity within our industry is so important. Professional engineers across the country are working to raise awareness, start a conversation, and take meaningful steps to make a difference within the engineering profession. While we can’t change our past, we can take control of the future.

The call for diversity in engineering has become more urgent. Last June, NSPE President David Martini, P.E., F.NSPE, delivered a statement on the growing protests across the country and in his own state of Minnesota. He reminded all members that basic human decency and the NSPE Code of Ethics demand that “Engineers shall treat all persons with dignity, respect, fairness and without discrimination.”

He continued: “As professional engineers and leaders in our communities, we are committed to applying our talents and knowledge to make the world a better place for all. The events we are witnessing make us all painfully aware of the work that remains to be done to address the root causes of this societal ill and heal its wounds, and underline the imperative, as a profession, of putting our own house in order.”

It’s time to start a conversation and recognize why diversity equals success for the future of engineering!

Diversity is the key to the future of engineering

Diversity means introducing and encouraging the profession of engineering to all races, genders, nationalities, and sexualities. Women and racial minorities make up a very small number in the grand scheme of the engineering industry. Currently about 13 % of Engineers are female and on average they earn 10 % less than male engineers. A problem engineering has had in the past is that from K-12 education, we’re not encouraging and presenting the opportunity of joining the STEM fields to all. The future of engineering depends on diversity for many reasons:

Innovation and talent

A lack of diversity is directly related to a deficit of talent and loss of potential innovation. The capacity for success in the field of engineering is not at all curtailed by race or gender. In the past by not encouraging diversity, the engineering industry is likely missing out on talented individuals!


Greater diversity brings a large range of perspectives to the table. With more of these brains working together, you can imagine that innovation, growth, and financial success would be increased. The Peterson Institute for International Economics’ 2016  survey , of 21,980 firms from 91 countries, found that having women at the C-Suite level significantly increases net margins.

Shifting demographics

According to the US Census, more and more infants being born today fall into the “non-white” category. The future society is going to be more diverse and the workforce will likely not be dominated by all white males. The engineering industry needs to make efforts to diversify now to move with the shifting demographics.


Every professional engineer must complete an ethics course in order to keep your professional engineering license in good standing. Additionally, the code of ethics for engineering says that engineers shall treat all persons with dignity, respect, fairness, and without discrimination. 

Diversity in engineering is so important to the overall success in the industry, not just from a financial standpoint but also because if we’re not taking diversity into consideration, we’re missing out on new perspectives and ideas that could push this industry forward!

Be a part of the conversation by joining a professional engineering society today! Learn more about joining NJSPE.

How to Obtain a PE License Without an Engineering Degree

Updated for 2021 Exams.

If you received a bachelor’s degree in a non-engineering field, it may still be possible for you receive your PE license! Follow the steps below to learn how to make it all the way to the PE exam without having an ABET-accredited engineering degree.

Steps to receiving a PE license without an engineering degree

  1. Check to see if the program you were enrolled in is ABET-accredited

Before we get further into the steps, make sure your degree isn’t already ABET-accredited! Search by your program or your school here. If your program is accredited, you may follow steps three through five.

  1. Evaluation of a non‐ABET accredited engineering degree

If your program is not ABET-accredited, you may inquire about an evaluation to see if your educational background matches the standards for engineers. Obtaining your evaluation isn’t necessarily cheap, so it’s best to contact your state board to ensure you are eligible for evaluation. The New Jersey State Licensing Board information can be found here. If you are eligible for evaluation, you must complete an evaluation with The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. As mentioned before, during an evaluation your college-level education will be compared with the NCEES Engineering Education Standard.

  • The NCEES Engineering Education Standard specifies a total of 96 required semester hours: 32 higher mathematics/basic sciences + 16 general education + 48 engineering science/design.

To complete an evaluation, follow the steps on the NCEES website here.

Unfortunately, if you are deemed ineligible or your degree is not accepted, the next step for receiving a PE license would be to earn a four-year degree in an ABET-accredited engineering program.

  1. Pass the fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam

Once step two is complete, you are on the same track as those who received engineering degrees! Passing the FE exam is the first step to becoming a professional engineer. It is a computer-based exam that is administered all year round. Each exam is different based on your discipline. Learn more about the FE exam details and specifications here.

  1. Complete four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE

In order to obtain your PE license, you must have at least four years of experience working under a professional engineer. States differ in how they qualify engineering experience, but in general:

  • Experience should come from a major branch of engineering
  • Experience must be supervised
  • Experience must be of a high quality
  • Experience must be broad enough in scope to provide well-rounded exposure to many facets of professional engineering
  • Experience must progress from simple tasks with less responsibility to those with greater complexity and higher levels of responsibility

If you’re not sure about your experience, it is best to contact your state licensing board.

  1. Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam

If you’ve made it to this step, congratulations! The only thing standing between you and a professional engineering license is this exam. The PE exam is undoubtedly difficult, but with enough preparation and support, you can crush it! See the different types of PE exams and their specifications here. If you’re ready to take this next step, follow our PE exam checklist to ensure you are prepared.

It may not be a short and simple process, but it is possible to receive a PE license without an engineering degree! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!

The History and Celebration of Professional Engineers Day!

Today, August 4th, is the sixth annual Professional Engineers Day! 

Professional Engineers Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Licensed Professional Engineers (PE) in all industries and arenas. The goal is to raise public understanding of the crucial work licensed Professional Engineers complete as well as encourage more engineers to pursue licensure.

How it Started!

Tim Austin, PE, is credited with the idea of Professional Engineers Day. Austin, a Professional Engineer from Kansas, served as President of the National Society of Professional Engineers in 2015–16. Although education and work in STEM fields is commonly encouraged within the US, Austin felt strongly that specific attention should be paid to the contributions of licensed Professional Engineers. NSPE’s core principle, a sentiment championed by Austin, states that “Being a licensed professional engineer means more than just holding a certificate and possessing technical competence. It is a commitment to hold the public health, safety, and welfare above all other considerations.” 

Austin’s idea combined with the hard work of the NSPE staff created the celebratory event known today as PE Day. PE day is primarily an interactive virtual event held across multiple social media platforms. “The success of PE Day and the efforts of NSPE staff was recognized by the Association of Media & Publishing in the category “Promotional Content: Social Media Campaign” in June 2018.”

How to Celebrate!

Whether you’re planning a big party in your office, a “beers with engineers” happy hour, or sharing your PE pride online, we want to help you make the most of your day.

Be a part of the virtual Professional Engineers Day event on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram using the hashtag #LicensedPEday! 

Make sure to download the official PE Day logos to use in your social media posts or celebrations!

  • Post photos or videos of yourself and your team of PEs
  • Educate your colleagues about the importance of the PE license
  • Share your reasons for becoming a PE 
  • Film your child’s response to the question, “What does a professional engineer do?”
  • Speak up on behalf of the profession through NSPE’s Advocacy Center

Click the links here to follow the PE hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook!

Celebrate at Virtual PECon

It is not too late to join the virtual Professional Engineers Conference held from August 3 – 5. Originally scheduled for Philadelphia, the conference shifted to a virtual format due to continued concerns for the health and safety of members, staff, and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference’s focus on leadership and innovation will include:

  • Education sessions, at various times of day, empowering attendees to take in more of the content they desire;
  • Recordings of all sessions to make them available for on-demand viewing after the conference; and Networking discussions geared to increase dialogue and attendee engagement.

Click here to register for NSPE’s Virtual Professional Engineers Conference.

Dress for the occasion! 

Celebrate by clicking “add to cart!” Now you can sport some PE Day merch to show your spirit! Check out the online store here. If you order, be sure to post photos with the hashtag #LicensedPEDay to show your professional engineer pride

Let us know how you plan to celebrate!

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