×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Jobs

EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?
2

EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

(OP)
Hi I have a B.S. in geology. I want to go back to school for civil engineering and have surprisingly been accepted to several masters programs under the condition that I take civil engineering background courses first. However, I think after completion of any of these masters tracks I will still be ineligible to take the FE exam. So I have two questions...

(1) Do you think it is more beneficial (more advantageous for career opportunities) to have a MS in civil engineering with a non-civil engineering BS OR BS in civil Engineering with no MS in civil engineering?

(2) Is at least having an EIT certification pretty much a necessity when it come to employment, marketability, and advancement in the civil engineering career field? ** If so, then what's the point in getting an MS in civil engineering that doesn't make me eligible to take the FE exam?


Any relevant or thoughtful insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

If you attend an ABET accredited school, you will be allowed to take the FE exam.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

I am not certain how getting a MS in engineering with no BS affects your eligibility for the FE but...

To answer your question, it depends on what you want to do with your engineering degree. If you want to do design work, and later get your PE; that will require that you first pass the FE. If for some reason the MS doesn't grant you eligibility for the FE, maybe going back to getting a BS is your best option.

If you want to work in construction or project management, you do not need an EIT or an engineering degree for that matter, you could probably wiggle into a company with your geology degree already.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

It is my understanding that schools will have an ABET-accredited undergraduate program or an ABET-accredited graduate program, but not both.
Make sure that the program you select is ABET-accredited.
I worked with one person with a non-engineering BA and an engineering MS who was able to get licensed because her MS was ABET-accredited.
Most schools only are accredited for the BS.
If you are going to work in civil engineering, a PE is required to advance, but as andriver says, you don't need a PE for construction management.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

(OP)
Guys/ Gals,

Thank you so much for your input. I feel very few of my academic advisors have been completely up front with me about what my options are. No one of them seems to mention much about how I become an eligible candidate for the FE exam even though ABET certainly has set up policy that specifically determines how one must become eligible to earn the EIT certification.

It seems the Engineering Accreditation Commission, who generate the valid ABET programs, list very few MS programs being ABET accredited. It's tough because I think anyone of these MS programs I've been accepted to (Colorado State, U of Wyoming, NAU, and UC Denevr) could offer a lot, but I'll be walking into a career field with no prior engineering work experience. So in order to get those entry-level civil engineering jobs it seems like they "prefer" EIT certification.

Hmmmm decisions, decisions........

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

Just an FYI, my buddy has a masters in geology and he wakes double my salary as a exploration geologist. Although I assume that market has taken a hit recently.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

norr6125....having EIT certification is actually less important than your ability to have a career path that leads to professional licensing (PE). Some employers will hire you without the EIT certification, as long as you are eligible to take it and will work toward that. Without an ABET accredited degree, you will have little or no possibility to even take the FE exam, which in turn, will also prevent you from taking the PE exam. No progress toward PE means no interest by employers who require it.

If you want to be an engineer, get the right degree, take the right exams and work toward professional licensing.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

norr6125
Listen actually, you would be allowed to take the FE exam!! NCEES does allow people who have degrees that arenot from an ABET-accredited programs to sit for their respective exam. However, you would have to pay to have your entire educational history evaluated, which includes all coursework done at undergraduate and graduate level, set in comparison to the NCEES standard. With your B.S. in Geology and the M.S. in Civil Engineering, which includes additional background engineering courses, you would be able to demonstrate that your total educational background meets the NCEES standard!

Also, if you want early experience to help you get your foot in the door for job interviews, I suggest you join your local student chapter of ASCE and volunteer to compete in the student design competitions. The events are challenging and helps you to understand how to take a concept from theory, thru the design process to the finished product.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

My degree is in Geography, I was able to sit for (and pass) both the FE and PE. I am now licensed in 5 states in the Mid-Atlantic. Read the rules for your state carefully. Almost all (with the exception of the People's Republic of NJ) allow for some path to licensure without an ABET Accredited BSCE.

Good luck.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

I was in the exact same position as you. I chose to get the BS in Civil. It is a more well rounded education, and I'm glad I did. I had up through Calc II with the Geology degree... So I had to take Calc III, Diff Eq, Linear Algebra...Then you will also take Engineering Physics, Statics, Dynamics, and Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Solids, etc. You will be a much better engineer and problem solver having taken the core engineering curriculum. These core courses will physically change your brain to an engineer's brain from a geologist brain. You'll look at the world much differently.

There's a chance though you may wash out to, because those are the challenging "weed out" type of classes.

I passed the the EIT and then FE 4 years later both on first try. I felt very comfortable during the tests due to the education background. I own my own company, and also do civil expert deposition and trial work for construction defect cases and the PE is required for that and stamping drawings which your clients need to have done for their development project approvals..

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

Hello norr - I went through a very similar situation as you. I have a BS in Hydrology (not ABET Acredited). I took additional classes to help with passing the FE (Strengths & Materials and Statics etc... All my Math was on same track as CE). I was working for a CE firm and applied to take the FE, took it and passed. I then Applied to take the PE and had to have an additional 2-years of practical experience under a PE in order to sit for the exam. Once I obtained the work experience, I took the PE exam and passed and I am now a PE (13-Years) in Civil without obtaining a different degree in CE. It can be done without going back to school so you may have more options than you think.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

FE exam was a requirement to graduate for me. took it in my senior year prior to having any degree and passed.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

CVG you mean EIT..I assume.

You can take the EIT towards the end of the BS program..Then you are required to practice for four years under the supervision of a PE before you are able to sit for the FE.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

Ooops my bad on terminology..

FE is for EIT certification. Then four years of practice under the direct supervision of a PE to be eligible to sit for a PE exam.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

the 4-years of practice under state supervision is state specific, each state has different requirements. for instance, California is significantly different and requires a total of 6 years including a combination of education and post education work experience. See section 424

http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/laws/boardrules.pdf

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

Yes, that's good advice to check with the state board for specific requirements.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

I'm in a similar situation. Trying to find if going back to school is cost effective. Currently I hold a BS in Environmental Health & Safety from Purdue University. After supporting the Air Force Civil Engineering Center I felt I had more of a passion for Civil than Environmental. I have been accepted in two separate programs. Both are 4 year BS ABET accredited programs but one is Civil Engineering and the other is Civil Engineering Technology. Do companies frown upon the technology degree even though it is 4 years and ABET accredited? The technology degree is cheaper and I will be able to complete it quicker considering I have NON-CALC based physics already completed. Thoughts?

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

Traditionally, CET programs are oriented more toward the drafting/practical side of the spectrum, and further from the design/technical side.

So you will face a difference in perception (even if you happen to be just as capable with design tasks as a BSCE grad) when interviewing with companies that want a design engineer (what most people expect when they talk about civil engineering as a career).

Some states (I know Colorado is one) will also require additional work experience for a BSCET grad than a BSCE grad would need before being eligible for the PE exam.

Depending on what area of civil engineering interests you, you may be better served by completing an MS with a focus in your specific interest area than a BSCE. I'd say this is probably most true for people interested in structural, transportation, and geotechnical engineering. People interested in construction management, land development or water resources may benefit from the broad background that the BSCE provides.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

Thanks for the response. Currently I'm in the running for an internship with Kiewit for their infrastructure design sector in Denver. Would having this experience of practical experience and knowledge of several software systems help? I have talked with counselors concerning the Masters route but they want to see practical experience and the basic classes like thermo, statics, hydrology ect.. before they can accept someone without a BSCE degree.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

You're right in that acceptance to an MS degree will probably require some background courses before getting into the actual MS coursework. How much will depend on the school you're applying to attend (and your original BS degree). But I still think that's the right path to take in certain circumstances.

The trick with software is that universities teach the packages that A) the faculty member knows or B) they can obtain cheaply. Sometimes that lines up with what you'll use in industry. A lot of the time it doesn't. Unless you're working with an employer with job offer in hand (and know that they use EngSoftXYZ), don't be too allured by a University promising to teach you EngSoftXYZ. Of course, learning the basic concepts of drafting or finite element analysis will carry over no matter what specific software you end up using in your career.

Practical work experience is worth its weight in gold for a newly minted engineer. Get all of that you can.

RE: EIT certification nearly required for civil engineering work?

If you go the MS route, make sure the MS is ABET accredited. Otherwise you could experience problems getting a PE license.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close