Maintaining Your New Jersey Professional Engineering License

Hard-working professional engineers know achieving a PE license is only the beginning. Many state licensing boards require that professional engineers maintain and improve their skills. New Jersey requires you to obtain Professional Development Hours (PDHs) by completing continuing education courses.

Here is exactly what you need to know about maintaining your New Jersey professional engineering license in order to renew and maintain PE status.

How many PDHs do I need?

New Jersey professional engineers need 24 hours of continuing education over a two-year period in order to maintain and renew their license.

Can I do more PDHs than required?

Professional engineers can do as many hours of PDHs as they desire.

If I do more than the required PDHs, can those hours carry over into the next renewal period?

Yes, but 12 hours of continuing education is the maximum amount you can carry over.

How long is the renewal period?

Biennial – every two years.

How much does it cost to renew?

There is a renewal fee of $80.

When can I renew my license?

On April 30 in even numbered years.

Are certain PDHs required each period?

Two ethics PDH credits are required each period. No more than eight hours of ethics PDHs can count toward the 24 hours needed to maintain your license.

Can I complete my PDHs online?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of PDHs you complete online.

Where can I find upcoming PDHs?

NJSPE provides multiple online continuing education courses for your benefit. Visit our continuing education page to register today! Continuing Education Page.

Do you have more questions? We would be happy to help. Reach out at

NJSPE Membership Types

Interested in learning more about the types of memberships available through NJSPE? We’ve got you covered. Read on to discover which NJSPE membership is the best fit for you!

Licensed Engineers

A Professional Engineer membership is open to anyone holding a valid license or certificate of registration as a professional engineer, engineer-in-training or engineering intern certification, issued under the laws of any state, territory, possession, or district of the US, or the equivalent as defined under the laws of any other country. For $299 a year, you’ll be making an investment in your professional future.

Become a Member Today:

Enterprise Membership

Enterprise membership allows a company to sponsor NSPE membership for multiple employee engineers and to design specialized benefits around their needs. Through the Enterprise program, NSPE will develop a package option perfectly suited to your organization.

  • NSPE membership is an employment benefit that will help you hire and keep the best engineers
  • By joining NSPE at a corporate level, your clients will recognize your company’s commitment to engineering and ethical best practices
  • Your employees will recognize your commitment to their professional growth
  • Employees will benefit from maximum access, value and convenience in everything NSPE membership has to offer
  • Your company may also be able to save on its professional liability premiums

Learn More Here:

Student Membership

You qualify for a free membership if you are a student enrolled full-time in an ABET-accredited engineering program; a student enrolled in an engineering or pre-engineering program that has a transfer agreement with one or more ABET accredited engineering programs; or, a student enrolled full-time in a graduate-level engineering program.

Join as a Student Today:


Recent graduates of an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (or international equivalent).

Rates include state and national dues in the years following graduation:

  • 1st Year: $66.00
  • 2nd Year: $132.00
  • 3rd Year: $198.00
  • 4th Year: $264.00

Become a Member Today:


Choose a practice division and gain even more membership benefits. During the first year, joining a practice division is free. Choose one or any number of the divisions!

Professional Engineers in Construction (PEC) represents engineers in the construction industry; has active projects to develop better contract documents; and helps members in such areas as design/build and construction management contracting, legislation and government affairs, building safety, arbitration, privatization, and engineering licensure.

Professional Engineers in Education (PEE) serves engineers whose goal is to satisfy the educational needs of the engineering profession.

Professional Engineers in Government (PEG) is dedicated to meeting the needs of all engineers employed in local, state, or federal government.

Professional Engineers in Industry (PEI) works to help engineers in industry faced with the needs created by more uncertain career patterns, frequent job changes, and the pressures of ever increasing worldwide competition.

Professional Engineers in Private Practice (PEPP) focuses on the professional concerns of engineers providing construction design services to the public and private sectors.

Now that you know which NJSPE Membership is the right one for you make sure to check out this blog post which breaks down all the great benefits of an NJSPE membership!

What Benefits are There to Obtaining a Professional Engineering License?

Are you considering acquiring a Professional Engineering (PE) license? This can be an incredibly important step in your career. Having a professional license can open up many new opportunities and can help you to become a more viable candidate for positions within the engineering field. In this blog, we will explore the many innumerable benefits of obtaining a PE license.

First, having a PE license demonstrates that you have a solid understanding of the principles and practices of engineering and have the necessary knowledge and experience to practice in the field. It is also a sign of professionalism and commitment to the engineering profession. This will help you stand out from the competition when applying for jobs, as employers are more likely to trust and hire someone who has taken the time and effort to acquire a professional license.

Additionally, having a PE ensures adaptability in an ever-changing employment landscape. The engineering industry is constantly evolving in ways that help and hurt employment opportunities. Many corporations have begun to outsource for engineering projects, and engineers should be prepared to pivot to consulting relationships with these organizations. By pursuing a PE license, engineers will have the competency to perform a broader scope of engineering services. It allows you to provide services in more settings and for more complex projects. This can also help boost your earning potential, as employers are more likely to reward experienced engineers with higher salaries and other incentives.

Depending on the field you decide to pursue, a license may be a necessity. Licensure for engineers in the governmental, environmental, and public sectors has become increasingly important. There are a host of regulations dictating that many governmental engineering positions are filled by licensed professional engineers for the safety of the public. For engineers considering a career in education, many states require teachers to be PE licensed. In more and more states, it is becoming a requirement for teachers and professors to gain a PE license to practice. It is also beneficial for students to be taught by a PE licensed engineer to help them prepare for their future. For those interested in consulting or opening their own business, licensure is required. It is a legal requirement for private practitioners to have proof of a PE license. Only licensed engineers can submit plans and drawings to public authorities for approval, or approve engineering work for public and private clients.

Finally, having a professional engineering license can provide you with a sense of pride in your accomplishments and can also open up a variety of networking opportunities. Whenever you meet someone in the engineering field, they will recognize your professional credentials and be more willing to share their knowledge and resources with you. It will also provide peace of mind as many State engineering boards are gaining the power to fine practicing unlicensed engineers. Becoming a PE licensed engineer is a way to avoid the possibility of receiving civil penalties from state engineering boards.

Overall, obtaining a professional engineering license is a great way to enhance your career and open up a world of opportunities. We hope this blog has provided you with some useful information about the many benefits of having a professional engineering license. Good luck and we hope to see you join NJSPE soon!

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!

What is a PE?

The highest standard of competence an engineering professional can obtain is their PE license. Your PE license informs your client that they can expect the highest quality of work from you and know that you have the professional skillset to do the job correctly. For potential and current employers, it signals that you are ready for a higher level of responsibility. The specific requirements to become licensed can differ from state to state, however licensure candidates tend to follow the same basic steps throughout the U.S. and its territories. 

In most states within the U.S., engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams, and earn a license from their state’s licensure board. Then, to retain their licenses, Professional Engineers (PEs) must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers. Depending on the state in which a PE is licensed they will need to complete continuing education requirements.

Is Getting Your PE Worth It?

Do the benefits of having your PE outweigh the long list of requirements necessary to acquire it? The short answer is, absolutely. A century ago, anyone could work as an engineer without proof of competency. In order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, the first engineering licensure law was enacted in 1907 in Wyoming. Now every state regulates the practice of engineering to ensure public safety by granting only Professional Engineers (PEs) the authority to sign and seal engineering plans and offer their services to the public.

In addition to the responsibility of signing and sealing engineering plans, having a license is  becoming increasingly more significant in regards to government and academics. Many federal, state, and municipal agencies, certain governmental engineering positions, particularly those considered higher level and responsible positions, must be filled by licensed professional engineers. Multiple states also require that any individuals teaching engineering must themselves be licensed.Have more questions about what a PE is or how to obtain yours? Visit 2021. What is a PE?. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 31 March 2021].

Governor Murphy Unveils Multi-Stage Approach to Execute a Responsible and Strategic Restart of New Jersey’s Economy

At his press briefing this afternoon, Governor Murphy announced that he will sign an Executive Order allowing some outdoor businesses to restart, including batting cages and golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs, and community gardens, and golfers may now play in foursomes.

The Governor also discussed his three-phase plan for reopening New Jersey’s economy. Phase One, the phase we are currently in, relaxed restriction on low-risk activities if properly safeguarded. This phase loosened restrictions on many outdoor activities and permitted the resumption of elective surgeries.  Phase Two will loosen safeguards on a number of additional activities that can be easily safeguarded including expanded retail, outdoor dining, indoor dining at significantly reduced capacity, limited personal care, and the potential opening of libraries and museums. Phase Three allows for most activities to resume with significant safeguarding including expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, expanded personal care, and bars with limited capacity.

The Governor made clear that social distancing, use of masks, and work from home orders continue to remain in place. The Governor did not provide a timetable for entering into Stages Two and Three but in answer to a question indicated that Phase Two is likely “a few weeks away assuming we continue to make meaningful progress.”

Attached is an outline of the Governor’s reopening plan.

Click here to download the press release.

COVID-19: New Guidelines Issued for Construction

The Department of Community Affairs has issued new guidelines as it pertains to the construction industry’s concerns about the interruption of plan review and inspection responsibilities, State and local, due to COVID 19.
Pursuant to Executive Orders 107 and 108, at this time, local enforcing agencies cannot restrict code officials from performing their obligations under the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23.
The memo below provides information on:
Guidance for construction offices:
  • Pertaining to prioritizing necessary inspections for the health and welfare of the public.
  • The Department of Consumer Affairs offers advisement on required inspections, rough inspections and final inspections.
Guidance for construction offices that had to close:
  • Dealing with permits that were issues prior to closure.
  • Certificate of Continued Occupancy inspections
Please click here for the full document from the NJ Department of Community Affairs

Click here for information on an emergency adoption of a temporary rule relaxation of the regulatory provisions concerning Minor work (N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A), Inspections (N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.18), and Certificate requirements (N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.23).

COVID-19 PE License Updates

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, updates have been made to this year’s professional engineering license renewal process. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, renewal applications and CEU’s have been extended until June 30, 2020.

The following is updated information for renewal:

  • Renewals were mailed to your address of record in February, 2020 and are not available online.
  • Licenses will remain active beginning April 1, 2020 for a two year period.
  • Renewal fee  –  $80.00
  • July 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020 Renewal Grace (Late) Period
  • Renewal fee  –  $80.00 + $50.00 late fee   =  $130.00
  • August 1, 2020  –  August 31, 2020  –  Reinstatement Period
  • Renewal fee  –  $80.00 + $125.00 Reinstatement Fee  =  $205.00

Application Deadlines

The date to submit the PE Application has changed from April 19, 2020 to May 11, 2020.
PE documentation has also changed from June 14,  2020 to July 6, 2020.

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, we encourage you to communicate with the Department of Law and Public Safety via telephone, email, and other forms of remote communication should you have any questions about these renewal updates. 

Earning PDHs at home

All of NJSPE’s upcoming continuing education events have been postponed until further notice. We know that many of you were planning on attending these events to fulfill your remaining credits. While this COVID-19 process is changing day-to-day, you can still be proactive and earn CE credits from home! 

Professional Engineering Ethics 101
$35 for members / $50 for nonmembers
Learn more and purchase course >>

Free CE Courses from NSPE
See a list of free courses courtesy of NSPE
Learn more >>

Available Online Courses from NSPE
See all that NSPE has to offer from their selection of on-demand courses
Learn more >>

A reminder to PEs

Regulations on digital signatures as well as practice “social distancing”
N.J. Admin. Code § 13:27-6.5
Section 13:27-6.5 – Digital signatures and seals

(a) A digital signature and seal shall possess the same weight, authority, and effect as a handwritten signature and pressure seal when the following criteria are met:

The digital signing and sealing process satisfies the requirements of the Digital Signature Standard (DSS) established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, FIPS PUB 186-4 (2013), which is incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented.

. The digital signature and seal must be:

i. Unique to the licensee;

ii. Verifiable by a trusted third party or some other approved process as belonging to the licensee;

iii. Under the licensee’s direct and exclusive control;

iv. Linked to a document in such a manner that the digital signature and seal is invalidated if any data in the document is changed. Once the digital signature and seal are applied to the document, the document shall be available in read-only format if the document is to be digitally transmitted.

(b) A licensee who digitally signs and seals a document shall maintain a digital copy of the electronically transmitted document that has also been digitally signed and sealed for future verification purposes.

(c) The pictorial representation of the digital signature and seal shall be readily available to the Board upon request and shall be produced in a manner acceptable to the Board. It shall contain the same words and shall have substantially the same graphic appearance and size as when the image of the digitally transmitted document is viewed at the same size as the document in its original form.

(d) Licensees are responsible for the use of their private digital keys. A lost or compromised key shall not be used and the licensee shall cause a new key pair to be generated in accordance with the criteria set forth in (a) above. A licensee shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a compromised key is invalidated, and shall inform all affected clients that the digital key has been compromised.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for more information regarding any changes due to COVID-19. 

Important Facts About Renewing Your License in 2020

2020 is a renewal year for professional engineering licenses! This year, the deadline to renew your PE license in New Jersey is April 30, 2020. Make sure you’re up to date on this year’s important facts for renewing: 

1. Renewal applications were mailed out mid-February

Renewal applications are NOT available online. Make sure you’ve received your application in the mail! If not, please contact the New Jersey state board here.

2. The renewal fee is $80

Your renewal fee must be paid when you send in your application. 

3. The renewal grace period is May 1 – May 30, 2020

If you submit your application in the grace period, you will be required to pay a late fee of $50, bringing the total cost to renew to $130.

4. You must complete all requirements to renew your license

To be eligible to renew your PE license, you must complete a minimum of 24 professional development hours. Of those hours, you must have a minimum of two hours or a maximum of eight hours completed in ethics. You can complete as many credits as you want online and some excess professional development hours may carry over to the following renewal period. For complete details on meeting the minimum requirements, click here.

5. New Jersey allows extra PDHs to be carried over to the next renewal period

If you’ve completed more than 24 PDHs in the last two years, you’re eligible to roll over up to 12 PDHs to the next renewal period! You can be proactive and continue to go to continuing education events and purchase courses to get ahead in the next renewal period. See upcoming CE events and PDH opportunities here

Once you’ve submitted your PE license renewal application, you can check the status of your license here

For more helpful resources on maintaining your professional engineering license, PE license renewal, and opportunities for continuing education, check out our blog.

Becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer in Another State

As a professional engineer, there are certain situations where you may need to obtain a license in another state. Unfortunately, earning a professional engineering license in one state does not automatically make you eligible to obtain a license in another state. 

Why transfer PE licenses between states?

In order to do work in another state as a professional engineer, you must be licensed. If you’re relocating to a new state or your firm services many states, you might be required to obtain multiple state licenses. 

Some states vary in their requirements for professional engineering licensure, but these requirements are typically the same across the board:

  • Proof of passing the PE exam
  • Completion of state-specific paperwork
  • School transcripts/supplementary experience records and references
  • Completion of state-specific PE license application

Obtaining your PE license in another state

Since you’re already licensed in one state, you’re one huge step closer to obtaining your PE license in a different state. Keep in mind, if your previous professional engineering license expired prior to filling out a license application for another state, you may be considered an unlicensed applicant and might have to take the PE licensure exam again – this varies state by state.

The common thought many engineers have is they can achieve multi-state licensure by reciprocity, meaning that another state will automatically recognize a license held in another state. This is not the case. Those trying to obtain their license in another state must meet the same requirements as those that initially apply in the state.

If your current PE license is in good standing, typically obtaining a new license in another state is as simple as filling out some paperwork and an application. This is considered licensure by comity. This just means that most states allow a licensed professional engineer in one state to become licensed in another by meeting all of their application requirements. If you received your license on different standards, it may be more difficult for you to become licensed by comity in another state.

NCEES making your life easier

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying has made getting a PE license in a different state a little bit easier with their Council Records Program. This program compiles all of your license credentials in one place. Your record will include most – if not all – of the records and paperwork you’ll need to apply for licensure in another state. The process of getting started with this program is as simple as applying for an NCEES Record. Once your record is established, they’ll even electronically submit it to the licensing board on your behalf.

For more topics on professional engineering licensure, check out our blog.

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