Everything you need to know about Renewing your PE License

It’s almost that time of year again – time to begin the process of renewing your PE license. By preparing early, you can check off all your minimum requirements and complete the renewal process without having the stress of waiting until the last minute. To help you get started, we put together links to helpful resources you need to renew your license. 

When do I need to renew my PE license?

Renewal years are all even numbered years. The deadline to renew is always the end of April. That means professional engineers must renew their licenses prior to April 30, 2020. If you’re not sure whether you need to renew your license, you can check your license status via the NSPE website

What minimum requirements do I need to meet?

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

How do I renew my PE license?

Once you’ve met all your minimum requirements, you can renew your license via the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website. Paper renewals are not accepted. For complete information on renewing your PE license, here are step-by-step instructions

By preparing early, you’ll take the stress out of the renewal process! If you still need to complete your continuing education credits, make sure you complete them before you try renewing your PE license! NJSPE will be offering several continuing education opportunities prior to the deadline. Sign up to receive information on upcoming continuing education opportunities here

What You Need to Do to Maintain Your New Jersey Professional Engineering License

Becoming an engineer is a long and difficult process. Getting your New Jersey professional engineering license was just one more step in your career as an engineer. Once you have your license though, the work is not over. You must maintain your license with continuing education courses to provide you with the Professional Development Hours (PDHs) you need to maintain and renew your license.

Here is exactly what you need to know about maintaining your New Jersey professional engineering license in order to renew it as 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?

All information about continuing education courses and professional engineering education can be found here on our wesbite.

 

If you are a NJSPE member and have any other questions about maintaining your New jersey professional engineer license you can contact us here: https://njspe.org/contact-us/

How to Obtain a PE License Without an Engineering Degree

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.

  • TL;DR: 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 to us using the ‘Ask NJSPE!’ form in the sidebar of this page.

How to Renew Your Professional Engineer License

 

The deadline to renew your New Jersey Professional Engineer (PE) license is approaching! April 30, 2018 is the deadline, so renew your license by following the steps below. Maintaining your PE status means you have opportunities to advance professionally and personally. Through free web seminars, continuing education courses, and a large community of engineers, you can continually improve upon your skills and build your personal network. Don’t let these opportunities slip by!

To renew your license, carefully follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.NJconsumeraffairs.gov/renew
  2. Click on “Renew an Existing License Online”.
  3. Find your profession and choose your license type from the list.
  4. Read the renewal information and choose the link that applies to you.
    1. If you have already registered and have a user ID and password, click “Already Registered” to begin your renewal (and disregard steps five through seven).
    2. If you have not previously created a user ID and password, click on “I Have NOT Registered” and continue to step five.
  5. Enter your license number and registration code in the “Renewal Letter Registration” section and click the “Search” button (Do not enter information into the “Other Registration” section or use codes on letters from previous renewals, as these will no longer work).
  6. Verify the data that appears and create your personal user ID and password. Click the “Register” button to complete the registration process.
  7. Log in using your newly created personal user ID and password to begin your renewal.

Keep in mind that all renewals must be completed online. Paper renewals will not be available or accepted.

Additionally, if you’re not sure if your license needs to be renewed, you can check the renewal status by logging into the NSPE website. Click on the “My Account” link located at the top right of the webpage. If it’s time for you to renew, you’ll see a “Renew Now” button on your account page.

The deadline to renew NJ PE licenses is April 30, 2018. Once you have renewed your New Jersey engineering society license, it’s important to maintain it by meeting your requirements. In the State of New Jersey, professional engineers are required to complete 24 professional development hours (PDH). At least two must be in professional practice ethics. For continuing education, there are many options for meeting your requirements. Options include, but are not limited to: web seminars, independent studies, and conferences and events. For more information on PDH opportunities, check out our blog.  

If you’re struggling to meet your PDH requirements, don’t worry! Coming up on April 23, NJSPE is offering 6.5 PDH credits for professional engineers in New Jersey, and 4.5 PDH for New York, Pennsylvania, and other states that accept New Jersey or NJSPE accredited programs. Space is limited so register early to ensure a seat! Register here: https://goo.gl/ydQFJT

How NJSPE and You Can Help Protect PE Licenses

In 1907, Wyoming passed a bill that required registration for those who would represent themselves to the public as an engineer and founded a board of examiners for the profession. For a century since then, professional engineering (PE) licenses have been protecting the public’s health and safety.

Today, it is the responsibility of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, their members, and other New Jersey engineers to help protect the PE license. Throughout its existence, PE licensure has symbolized prestige, authority, and flexibility. Much like membership to professional engineering associations such as NJSPE, PE licensure provides a variety of career advancement opportunities. Still not convinced you should care about protecting the PE license? NJSPE put together a list of the top benefits of PE licensure:

  1. Career development opportunities. Engineers with a PE license who are active in professional engineering associations get selected first for jobs. Licensure shows dedication to the profession, leadership, and management skills. To take on more responsibility in engineering, such as being able to submit engineering plans to public authorities for approval, being licensed is necessary.
  2. Enhanced flexibility to take control of your career. Many doors open for professional engineers with a PE license. It offers protection during industry downsizing or outsourcing and enables you to go out on your own. Engineers interested in opening their own firm or becoming a specialist can only do so if they are licensed.
  3. Increased skillset and education. With the advent of new technology, the engineering field is constantly evolving. Maintaining a PE license ensures that New Jersey engineers stay in-the-know with the most updated information, techniques, and processes. With environmental issues in the forefront of the countries consciousness, staying informed about regulations has become particularly important.
  4. Be among the best in your industry. A PE licensure proves to your clients and prospective employers that you are serious about your career and are among the most qualified for any engineering position. Licensure solidifies your place in an elite group of your peers.

Protecting the PE license might not seem important for New Jersey engineers on the surface, but it will have a lasting effect on a young engineer’s career. Becoming a licensed professional in your field shows dedication to hard work, honor, and competency. Licensure has proven to offer career advancement opportunities, increased flexibility, education, and shows to clients and employers you are at the top of the industry. Of course, obtaining a PE license is not the only thing you can do to grow professionally. Check out our article “Advancing Your Career as an Engineer: How Professional Engineering Associations Can Help” for more.

Why Get the Professional Engineering License?

There are innumerable benefits to pursuing a professional engineering (PE) license. It helps signify professional status, dedication, and competency in the field of engineering. Yet, many engineers do not find it a priority to protect the PE license’s power, though it has been protecting their careers for a century.

In addition to the flashy benefits of PE licensure, such as career advancement opportunities, enhanced career flexibility, and more, there are a host of practical considerations for New Jersey engineers to be aware of when considering not becoming licensed. NJSPE put together a list of the top five practical reasons to protect the PE license:

  • Licensure 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.
  • 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. Additionally, with the current level of public attention concerning environmental safety, employers prefer to hire a PE licensed engineer to illustrate the heightened competency of their employees.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Despite the practicality and benefits of the PE license, many people do not fully understand how this licensure protects their freedom as an engineer. To help spread the word about PE licenses to other New Jersey engineers, join NJSPE today and see how you join the movement to protect the PE license.

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!

5 Reasons you Should Care about the PE License

More than a century ago, there were no certifications or licenses for engineers, and anyone could draw up plans and create projects. To protect the public’s health and safety, the professional engineering license was created. But why should you care about the PE license or consider becoming a professional engineer?

We are glad you asked! Check out the top five reasons you should care about the PE license:

  1. Take on responsibility within the profession. Only professional engineers can legally create, sign, and submit engineering drawings and plans. This ensures that only the most-qualified and skilled engineers are providing their services to the public.
  2. Move up the ranks. Receiving a PE license opens the doors for many different career opportunities. In certain areas of engineering, a license is required, especially if you are responsible for a team of employees or interested in being contracted with the government. For those interested in teaching, a professional license is often necessary to teach future engineers.
  3. Clients understand that you take your job seriously. Having the initials “PE” after your name tells your clients you are a cut above the rest. It says that you can handle more responsibility because you are a high-level engineer who operates ethically and with integrity and always keeps the public’s best interest at the forefront.
  4. Be among the best in your field. Being a professional engineer is like joining an elite club of engineers. It signifies you are a leader among your peers and tells prospective employers that you are an eligible candidate for almost any position.
  5. Enhance your skills. Like most other industries, engineering is rapidly changing. Earning and maintaining your license helps you stay up-to-date with the most efficient processes and techniques. It also gives you information on public concerns, including safety and environmental protection.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many benefits to being a licensed professional engineer that it is definitely worth the time and effort. At NJSPE, we are constantly advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s professional engineers to ensure their rights and professional license are protected. If you’re interested in learning more about how NJSPE protects PEs and other benefits of membership, please click here.

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