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Mechanical engineering general discussion FAQ

Professional Engineer

How do I become a Professional Engineer? by DonLeffingwellPE
Posted: 23 Jul 00

How to become a Professional Engineer

The first step in becoming a Professional Engineer is to find out what is required in your State and to determine what requirements you already have, and what requirements you will need. In general, you will need a BS degree in engineering from an ABET engineering school, 4 years work experience of an acceptable from the board in your State, 5 character references, usually three who are PE's, and passing results on two (2) exams, the EIT and the PE exam. The EIT exam can usually be taken when you are still in school, the PE exam after you have the required experience. (Both of these tests are developed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveying, [NCEES] and are used by all 50 States). But each State is different and that is where you need to get the actual requirements. (Some of these conditions have exemptions, and further restrictions-see your States requirements).
So go to either one of the two (2) sites below, get the phone number for your State board, and call them as soon as possible for an application and instructions.

Site of the States PPI's Site with a map and Links to State information.

Site of the States NCEES site
Click - Bottom of Screen
Click - NCEES Members

The next step is to determine what you have to do to meet the requirements. If you need to take the EIT first and don't have the required experience, go to one of the sites below and get information on the EIT exam. At the NCEES you can down load information about the test for free. At PPI's site you can purchase reference manuals. Do this and then study and pass the test. If you fail, study more and take the test again. From the information you get from the State, determine:

1. What kind of experience you will need.
2. What kind of references you will need.

In case #1., you may find that you need to change your job. In case #2, you may find that you need to change your job, or join Professional Organizations in you field and attend meetings and meet PE's who can become familiar with you work. Consultants that you might have a chance to work with are another potential source of references.

NCEES Site for obtaining EIT information
Click-Publications at bottom of screen
Click- Publications Available

PPI's Site for obtaining EIT information

Once you completed the above, and have the required experience, you'll need to apply to the State for taking the second exam, the Principal and Practices, or PE exam. At this point you'll need the experience and references from above. You'll need to do a review of subjects you haven't used since college. The two (2) sites below can furnish you with sample exams and other review materials. Other sources of review material can be found on the WEB and at your disciplines association (ASCE, ASME, etc.)

NCEES Site for obtaining the Official Sample TEST
Click- Publications at bottom of screen
Click-Publications Available

PPI's Site for obtaining Official and other Sample TESTS and a wealth of review material.

I hope this helps some of you to push on in you careers.
Good Luck!
Don Leffingwell PE

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