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Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

I'm working to attain my PE license. However, I work in an industry in which PEs are not common, aerospace. In fact, there are no PEs at my company at all.

I'm in Ohio and I've contacted the Ohio PEPS and was told that the board "takes it into consideration" if you work in an industry in which there are few PEs. I was wondering if anyone has worked through this issue before.

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

In CA, I have heard that in situations such as that the State Chapters of the SEA, provide a review service for those who are short the appropriate amount of references.  That obviously will not help you in aerospace or Ohio, but maybe you could contact a local chapter of a professional organization in your discipline?  At least they might put you in contact with some folks who could help review your work and interview you for a reference.  

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

Try to go to an association meeting and mingle as best you can with registered aerospace, mechanical and electrial P.E.'s.  The first time you attend a meeting, just collect businees cards and maintain email relationship for months.

From time to time send them samples of your work and maybe after 6 months ask for their endorsement.

The referrals do not have to be in your company-they only need to be P.E.'s and must be familiar with your work.  Good luck & congratulations on thinking ahead!

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

flash -

I was in the same situation.  Fortunately I had one colleague with a PE, so used him as a reference, along with several other non-PE engineers whom I had worked with.  Applied to the New Mexico board and had no problems getting accepted.

Also, I was 20 years out of school and had to study a bunch of material which I hadn't thought about in that time.  Took the FE and then the PE ME exam six months later, passed both, and promptly 5 minutes after the PE exam I forgot 99% of what I studied as none of it applies to my typical work.  IMO a rather absurd and useless process.


RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

I am in the same boat as you, but when I emailed my state board (Alaska), I was told that I had to have 3 ME PE references.  They were unwilling to work with someone who doesn't fit the standard model.  Since I don't have to have it, it is just a personal goal, I will wait until later in my career (and hopefully another state) before I try again.

Use of product voids warranty.

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

Thanks for the input. I assumed that my situation wasn't unique. The letter of the law states that I must work under the direct supervision of a PE for a number of years. Apparently, there is some leniency there if you work in industries without PEs, though.

I've certainly got a lot of great references, and know a couple of people with PE licenses who would be willing to vouch for me. Schmoozing at an association meeting or two sounds like a good idea, although sharing my work with them might not be ethical.

I work with proprietary hardware that is also ITAR controlled, so my company likely wouldn't want me to take the risk of showing technical data to someone outside the company. Big fines if ITAR data makes its way to China somehow.

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

You should be fine with the references you currently have.  In CA, I had 4 references, only one was a PE.

Also, there is a good site dedicated to the PE exams... here is a link:

Professional Engineer
Pretty good with SolidWorks

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

I was in same situation. In the end, three of my five references were PEs:

(1) By a stroke of luck, I changed jobs and my new manager was a PE. He did some consulting to industry, which probably didn't require a license, but got it anyway. So don't automatically assume no one in your organization is a PE. Put out the word that you're looking.

(2) I was getting my master's in management science at U. Mass Lowell, a program that blended technology development, manufacturing, and business. One of my electives was a design project with an engineering professor who had his PE license, as do many who consult (we also got a published paper out of the arrangement).

Your alma mater or current school (if you're continuing your education) are obvious choices. But also check out the faculty of community, technical, and small local colleges. Adjunct professors of math and science are often engineers moonlighting, and some of those are also consultants with their PE.

(3) My third reference was a consultant who had worked with a manager at a later job.

In all cases, you need to develop a relationship that allows the other to honestly judge your work as an engineer.

Since getting my PE, I've only run into one other PE in the wild west of industry, and he worked for a contract product development & manufacturing company. I make it known that I'm a PE, enourage young coworkers to at least start the process (the FE is easiest to pass when it's fresh), and tell them I'd be happy to give them a reference. None have followed up.

I wouldn't let the board disuade you from applying to sit for the exam, even if you don't have the necessary PE references. They may allow it but not want to go on the record.

Good luck.


Rob Campbell, PE

RE: Obtaining a PE License When no PEs Work at my Company

You might want to think about some of your college professors as Rob stated. I didn't need to use them however it was an option and they are usually eager to help. I think most of my profs were PE's.  

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