Qualifications you must meet to Become a Professional Engineer

Becoming a professional engineer means you are held to a high ethical standard and are dedicated to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public. Because of the prestige that comes with the PE title, there are many requirements you must complete. If you want to become a professional engineer, follow these steps:

Education

A four-year bachelor’s degree in an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering program must be obtained. A TAC/ABET-accredited engineering technology programs of four or more years is acceptable also if six years of full-time experience, including two years of engineering design, is completed. This degree can be obtained from any college or university with an accredited engineering program.

Professional Experience

New Jersey requires candidates to complete four years of specific full-time engineering experience. It is important to note that part-time and some intern work doesn’t count toward your eligibility. These four years of full-time experience also must be completed under the supervision of an already licensed professional engineer.

Exam Application

You cannot just sign up and show up to take and engineering exam. All first-time applicants must submit an application directly to the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors for eligibility determination. Click here for a thorough overview of what you need for the application, where to find the application, and how to ensure you complete the application correctly.

Pass Exams

You must sit for and pass the Fundamental of Engineering exam as well as the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam. Click here if you’re looking for tips to prepare for the exams or here if you want to learn everything you need to know about the PE exam. You may also retake the exam if you fail the first time. However, you will be required to pay an additional exam fee.

Want to learn more about how to become a professional engineer? Check out our blog, which is full of helpful resources for New Jersey engineers at any stage in their career.

Why YOU Should Care about Continuing Education

If you are just beginning your journey as a professional engineer, you may be surprised to learn you are required to obtain continuing education credits to maintain your license. Some people may see this as a nuisance and wonder why they need to continue educating themselves after going through the formal education system.  Why is this continuing education process necessary?

The answer is simple. The engineering industry is always changing.  Therefore, engineering professionals must adapt to new technologies, developments, skills, and regulations within their fields in real-time. Staying current on your industry is a must. You would not hire a lawyer that wasn’t up to speed on the newest legislature and laws. As an engineer, it is crucial to be aware of the ever changing landscape of your job.  That is why continuing education is mandated across the field.

NEW JERSEY REQUIREMENTS

In the State of New Jersey, licensed engineers are required to complete 24 hours of continuing professional education every two years. The renewal years are all even numbered years. For example, 2020 is a renewal year. Professional organizations and associations, such as NJSPE, understand the value and importance of earning these credits. These organizations often offer many opportunities for engineers to fulfill this requirement at their convenience.  The point of continuing education is not to be burdensome. It is meant to enhance the skills and knowledge of each engineer, which helps to advance the entire industry as a result.  This is an ideal that rests at the core of NJSPE.

HOW CAN NJSPE HELP ME OBTAIN CE CREDITS?

Luckily for New Jersey engineers, we can provide most of your CE credits in just a few sessions. We currently have a November in-person class, March in-person class, and online ethics class. NJSPE also offers its members discounts on webinars and courses we offer.  As a member, you also get access to the continuing education credits available through our national chapter.

Interested in becoming a member? Click here to get started.

NJSPE Membership Benefits

Interested in what NJSPE membership benefits are available and whether joining is worth it? Here are some of our favorite benefits for all NJSPE members.

Protect the license

Since the start of 2016, 26 states have introduced legislation and/or regulations that would erode and even destroy PE licensure as we know it today, all in the name of job creation.

  • Learn more about states that have had legislation and/or regulations introduced and NSPE’s action on those threats at nspe.org/advocacymap.
  • Qualifications-based selection is a procedure whereby service providers are retained on the basis of qualifications, rather than price factors. In 2018 two bills were introduced at the state level to challenge how the QBS process functions. NSPE and NJSPE have and will continue to work together in order to ensure QBS is maintained in New Jersey.

Promote the importance of the PE

Earn CE Credits

  • Meet your licensure continuing education requirements by taking advantage of 15 free online seminars
  • Network with PEs from all disciplines while learning latest trends in the profession and earning PDH at the NSPE Conference and State Conference. 
  • NJSPE has teamed up with leading online education provider RedVector to bring you a training experience designed just for our network.
  • Need additional hours? NSPE members receive a 50% discount for on-demand courses through the PE Institute.

Keep up-to-date on industry news

Stay informed on the latest state events and news of the profession via NSPE publications. 

  • PE MagazineBimonthly print and digital editions of NSPE’s flagship magazine
  • NSPE UpdateMonthly newsletter about the Society’s activities. View back issues of NSPE Update
  • PE ScopeBimonthly e-news for PEs on topics including licensure, education, government, and ethics
  • Daily Designs – Summaries of the latest news on engineering topics e-mailed to members daily
  • State Newsletter

Get ethical guidance

  • Track evolving ethical issues and benefit from the guidance of experienced professional engineers with Board of Ethical Review cases;
  • Do you have questions about licensure, ethics, or law? NSPE members have exclusive access to the Ethics Hotline at 888-384-4295 or e-mail legal@nspe.org

Enhance your professional knowledge

  • Reduce the potential for errors, omissions, redundancies, or conflicts in construction by using EJCDC contract documents. As an NSPE member, you save 50% on all EJCDC documents.
  • Understand the laws and regulations that define issues that affect the professional engineer. NSPE has compiled six reports on state PE laws and rules.

Connect with fellow PEs

  • Crowd source your questions and collaborate with professional engineers from all disciplines and all career stages across the county in NSPE’s online Communities.
  • Learn about the latest events in your state/local chapter at the NJSPE Event Calendar.

Get member discounts

Save money with deep discounts on a wide variety of publications, standard contract documents, and other services offered by NSPE’s benefit partners.

NSPE members receive discounts on: 

  • Office Depot
  • UPS
  • Citrix 
  • Lenovo
  • Avitru (products include MasterSpec® and SpecText®)

Support future engineers

  • Inspire and shape future engineers by participating in one of the NSPE partner programs. NSPE is a founder of both Engineers Week and MATHCOUNTS.
  • The NSPE Educational Foundation is committed to the future of the engineering profession and offers several scholarship opportunities.

There are so many NJSPE membership benefits – join today!

What you need to know about the NICET Certification

Professional engineers are often looking for ways to increase their professional knowledge within the industry. WIth technology becoming more and more integrated into the profession, there are ways to learn more and increase your status as an engineer. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), a division of the National Society of Professional Engineers, promotes excellence in engineering technologies via certification services. 

What are the certifications available?

There are currently 12 NICET certifications related to civil engineering technology and electrical and mechanical systems engineering technology:

  • Construction materials testing – asphalt
  • Construction materials testing – concrete
  • Construction materials testing – soils
  • Transportation construction testing
  • Electrical power testing
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Inspection and testing of fire alarm systems
  • Inspection and testing of water-based systems
  • Special hazards systems
  • Water-based systems layout
  • Video security systems designer
  • Video security systems technician 

What are the certification levels?

There are different requirements for different levels of the NICET certification:

  • Level 1 – minimal relevant experience or training
  • Level 2 – minimum of two years experience
  • Level 3 – minimum of five years experience and a recommendation
  • Level 4 – minimum of 10 years experience and a recommendation 

Regardless of the level of certification you are seeking, you will need to pass an exam to verify your competency in the subject matter. 

What are the testing fees?

The fees vary based on what certification and what level you are seeking. Each exam costs anywhere between $160 to $410. For complete cost information and certification ladders, click here.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Want to learn more about the NICET certification program? You can get complete details about all 12 NICET certifications as well as their levels here. Already have a NICET certification? Comment below and tell us what your experience was throughout the certification process and how it helped in your career.

It’s Never Too Early to Jump-Start Your Career

If you’re a student working toward an engineering degree, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future after school. As a student enrolled full-time in an ABET-accredited engineering program, you have the opportunity for a free NJ Society of Professional Engineers national student membership. This includes students at graduate-level engineering programs, too! Not only does this engineering membership look great on resumes, but student members can also take advantage of benefits like:

    • Scholarships – the variety of scholarships on the NSPE website offer between $2,500 and $5,000. There are even opportunities for high school students! Learn more about the scholarships being offered here.  
    • Free on-demand courses – as a student member, you’ll have access to a handful of free online courses on topics like ethics and professional development. These courses will help you navigate your future in the engineering profession. See a list of available courses here.
  • Resources for starting a career – get career advice from current members, join the NSPE mentoring program, browse the NSPE job board, and download checklists for choosing potential employers. Take a look at all of the resources here.
  • Networking opportunities – through national interest groups and local events, students can grow their professional network with engineers across the country. Additionally, there are student chapters of NSPE in many states. Learn more about networking opportunities here.
  • Discounts on FE/PE exam prep courses – one of the biggest feats after graduating with an engineering degree is obtaining your PE license. This involves years of work experience, studying, and taking exams. An NSPE student membership will get you great discounts on exam prep courses for the FE and PE exams. Learn more here.

Becoming an NSPE student member will give you a competitive edge when applying to jobs, grad school, and down the road for the FE and PE exams. As a student engineer in New Jersey, along with the NSPE student membership, you can also have an NJ engineering membership at NJSPE. See all that NJ Society of Professional Engineers has to offer here. The membership is free and offers countless benefits, so there’s nothing to lose! Learn more about becoming a member here.

Engineering Advocacy Topics you Need to Know

Like most other professions, professional engineers across the country are constantly dealing with legislative changes that may negatively affect how they operate. That is why organizations like NJSPE are so important for protecting and advancing the engineering profession throughout New Jersey. As we get further into 2019, these are the hot topics where engineering advocacy is most important for New Jersey engineers:

  • License: Unfortunately, the professional engineering license is constantly under threat. Recently, certain organizations are trying to pass legislation that would allow anyone to practice any occupation without a license as long as they disclose this information. As you know, this is dangerous and will lead to new complications in the engineering field.
  • Technology: As new technology continues to emerge, there comes new challenges and necessary legislation to maintain ethical practices. We fight to ensure that legislation protects engineers moving forward.
  • Autonomous vehicles: Every day, we get closer to fully autonomous vehicles hitting the roads. That’s why New Jersey recently created an autonomous vehicle engineering task force. NJSPE advocated to secure a spot for a professional engineer on this task force to ensure we protect drivers and pedestrians.
  • STEM education: While this topic is prevalent throughout the country, New Jersey has seen a lot of new developments in education funding. Governor Phil Murphy announced in his budget address that he plans to add $15.4 billion in K-12 aid to eventually achieve fully funded public education.

If you are a professional engineer interested in engineering advocacy and protecting your profession, it’s never been a better time to join NJSPE. We are the only New Jersey organization dedicated to promoting, serving and representing professional engineers for the public’s safety and benefit. Learn more about our membership options and join now here.

How NJSPE Helps New Jersey Engineers

One of the best ways to network with people in your industry and stay up-to-date on engineering news and events is by becoming a member of a professional association. New Jersey engineers are very lucky because there are so many great associations specifically created for engineers in our state. So why should you join the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers? Here are five of our favorite reasons:

  1. Only PE organization – NJSPE is the only organization in New Jersey dedicated to professional engineers. That means we focus on helping you stay informed about how to maintain and utilize your license. Our goal is to promote, serve, and and represent New Jersey’s engineering professionals for the public’s benefit.
  2. Continuing education opportunities – to keep your PE license, you must complete 24 professional development hours with two of them in ethics within each renewal period. We keep you informed about upcoming opportunities for continuing education and make sure you know when your professional development hours must be completed by.
  3. Free webinars – speaking of professional development hours, being a member of NJSPE gives you access to 15 free webinars! These webinars will help you put a dent in the number of courses you need to maintain licensure, all without leaving your house. They change annually, so you’re always getting the most up-to-date information on the most popular topics.
  4. Job opportunities – instead of jumping from website to website trying to find engineering jobs, you’ll have access to our engineering only careers page. You’ll also get access to NSPE’s national job board, unlocking countless career opportunities. Dozens of New Jersey engineers find jobs on our job board everyday.
  5. Advocacy and news – stay in-the-know about the engineering professional and state of engineering in New Jersey with our monthly newsletter. We feature important national news, local news, upcoming events, jobs, and much more to give you a leg up in the industry.

If you’re trying to decide whether joining NJSPE is the best option for you, let us put you in touch with New Jersey engineers who have benefited from our organization. Just email info@njspe.org and we’d be happy to connect you to one of our members or answer any questions you may have. If you’re interested in becoming a member, visit our membership page and join today!

5 Other Engineering Organizations in New Jersey

When most people look for engineering organizations in New Jersey, they usually find the first one that applies to them, and they become a member. Maybe that’s how you became a member of NJSPE or landed on this blog post. However, we aren’t the only state society that promotes, serves, and represents New Jersey’s engineering professionals. There are dozens of engineering organizations – some bigger and some smaller – that aim to advocate for engineers and provide an outlet for networking and education.

While there are many more, here are just a few of the engineering organizations in New Jersey. If you’d like to learn more about each of these organizations, click the heading associated with each one!

New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers

NJSME strives to improve the practice of municipal engineering in New Jersey via continuing education opportunities, legislative advocacy, and promoting the highest professional standards. They aim to advance the social status and welfare of members by providing them with the tools to succeed. We are very familiar with NJSME, because if you want to be a municipal engineer, you must also be licensed as a professional engineer. There is some overlap with NJSME because some of our municipal engineering members also belong to this organization.

New Jersey Professional Engineers in Construction

Another organization we work closely with, NJPEC is a nonprofit organization that supports our objectives, advances public welfare, and promotes the interests of its members. They operate under our bylaws and constitution as a practice division/interest group, but they have a more central focus on helping those who work as professional engineers in the state’s construction industry.  NJPEC aims to improve the New Jersey’s built environment, benefiting the economy, creating jobs, and ensuring a high quality of life for all citizens.

American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey

The ACECNJ advocates for consulting engineers, currently representing 115 firms employing more than 5,500 New Jersey residents. They strive to enhance the business practices of New Jersey’s engineering companies in the areas of planning, design, and construction. Benefits of membership include advocacy, networking, public outreach, media relations, resources, education, awards and scholarships, and political action committees.

American Society of Civil Engineers New Jersey

ASCENJ represents 4,100 civil engineers in New Jersey. They are dedicated to advancing the status of civil engineers as well as the science and profession of civil engineering. ASCENJ aims to help members and the public by advancing technology, developing leadership, advocating for education, and promoting the profession. They maintain chapters in South Jersey, Central Jersey, and North Jersey, but the North serves as the umbrella for all three.

New Jersey Association of Energy Engineers

A state chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers, NJAEE promotes educational interests and opportunities for engineers in the energy industry and provides an unbiased forum for energy-related resources. They focus on utilizing energy efficient technologies, encouraging energy efficient designs, and discovering new energy-related concepts throughout the State of New Jersey. NJAEE benefits engineers, businesses, government officials, and all other end users.

Why Every New Professional Engineer Should Join NJSPE

When young New Jersey engineers emerge with a degree from a university, pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Examination, it is cause for celebration. This is a very exciting, and anxiety-inducing, time in an engineer’s life. All the possibilities of their career are in front of them, which can feel a little overwhelming. That is one of the many reasons every young engineer should join the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers (NJSPE). Here are a few more benefits of joining NJSPE:

  1. Career development opportunities. Maybe you have started applying for entry-level positions in the New Jersey area, and you are not sure how to stand out on applications. Or, you want to be strategic in your application process and want to find the jobs that your classmates cannot. An NJSPE membership can help you with both.  This is because NJSPE offers members-only web classifieds. Studies also show engineers who are active in professional engineering associations typically get selected first for jobs as it shows dedication to the profession, and leadership qualities.
  1. A built-in community of peers. Post-graduation life can be lonely. Attempting to find a job, living on your own, and finding colleagues to discuss these struggles is hard without a little help. As a member of NJSPE, young professional engineers become part of a community of like-minded individuals in the New Jersey area. Make connections in-person and online, collaborate, share industry best practices, and excel in your industry.
  2. Even more educational opportunities. You might be saying to yourself, “I just graduated! Why do I need MORE education?” However, as any veteran in engineering will tell you, it is important to never stop learning. With the pain of tuition still in the back of your mind, the free online seminars and resources provided by NJSPE are great for supplemental learning. NJSPE offers monthly webinars and conferences to help young professionals learn more about topics such as business and career development. Check out the current continuing education options for NJSPE members.
  3. Keep yourself in-the-know of engineering news. When you are in college, immersed in the world of engineering, you can stay up-to-date on the newest trends in technology and the industry at large. After college, this can be a little more difficult. That is why the virtual benefits of NJSPE membership are so important. From PE magazines, forums and e-newsletters, you can stay on the cutting-edge of the engineering profession.

At the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, we know how graduation leads to a mixture of emotions. NJSPE is here to help you build your career, connect you to a community of peers, provide continuing education opportunities, stay current on industry trends, and so much more. For more information about membership, visit our website, check out the NJSPE membership categories and start your application today!

Understanding the Importance of Networking with Other Engineers

All throughout college, your professors, classmates, and professional engineers working in-the- field tell you that networking is important. But it can be harder in practice than in theory, because socializing can be awkward, and at the end the workday, many of us would rather be watching Netflix on the couch than attending networking cocktail hours. However, networking can be critical to career success in a variety of ways.

Many members of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers (NJSPE) are looking to take the next step in their careers. That step does not have to be underscored by a painful online search for new positions. A smart career move is to expand ones’ professional network because in the job market it is often less about what you know than who you know.

The relationships you make at networking events are important, but they do not require hours of preparation or in-depth knowledge about the specifics within your industry. Engaging someone in a 15-minute conversation about your interests and career goals at a mixer can help get your name noticed on an application and during the interview process. Imagine what active engagement in a community of professional engineers could mean for your career.

In addition to increasing your name recognition in the job market, networking can be a reminder that you are not alone on your career path. When you join professional associations, and take advantage of networking opportunities, you gain access to an in-crowd of like-minded individuals. There are innumerable opportunities to collaborate with your peers, learn best practices, share your concerns, and ask questions.

Professional associations such as NJSPE provide members with networking opportunities both online and in-person. For more information on events and membership, visit https://njspe.org/.

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