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Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Hello everyone,

After working in the HVAC industry the last 14 years after graduating with BSME I'm am thinking of pursuing the PE. The first hurdle however will be the FE. In all honesty I am extremely nervous and intimidated since school was always a struggle for me and I haven't opened a textbook since college. Can anyone offer any tips, prep courses, books to make this process a bit easier? My most successful method of learning was always in person instruction so a course like that would be preferred. I'm located in Southern NJ about 30 minutes from Philadelphia and 45 minutes from Atlantic City. Thanks for any input!

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Go for it... and have fun in the process.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?


RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

I wrote my FE as a Senior in school, and then didn't take the PE until 13 years later.
There are great study guides out there. Get a couple and put in 1hr x5 days a week to work through them.
Make it a planned activity.
The FE isn't that bad. It will have things on it that you haven't seen since school, but it is very manageable.
The biggest issue with both exams is your test taking skill. Time management and having a structured approach.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

I once had a job teaching test prep for GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. Lots of older students in their 30s and 40s.

Most of them struggled with rusty circuits. Many had avoided all forms of math for over 20 years.

It takes daily work to refresh the circuits. It won't happen overnight or even in a week. It requires daily practice. Solve problems every day (or more). Get those synapses firing and pathways clear.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Took mine 21 years after graduation (and FE).
I found Michael R. Lindeburg's study book and practice problems to work the best for me.
Others may have a different experience, but I learn best on my own.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

I was 52 when I sat for the metallurgical engineering PE exam. It's never too late.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Way back when- I took the FE about 7-8 years out of college.
I still had (& have) most of my college textbooks.
I got sample test questions from the NCEES that let me know what kind of stuff to expect.
Some of that, I was up on, some I had to go back and review.
Ditto on the PE exam.
I don't recall any real surprises on the exams, tho, just a matter of working through everything.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Good on you. After 14 years of HVAC engineering work, and the general engineering which goes along with that, and if you’re good at what you do, the FE and PE probably won’t really make you a much better engineer. But the PE is still a feather in your cap and opens up some new doors for your future. It shows you have the gumption to want to improve yourself professionally and that’s something to be proud of. For many of us, it’s the negative thinking about not being successful which is the real killer, so think positively, not negatively. After 14 years, you should know how to approach real engineering problems, and how to weed out the extraneous b.s. in the problem presentation. It’s stepping back to the college textbook type problems and the fundamentals courses which you should work on, bone-up on, at least for the FE. And, for that, I’ll bet you will get the most out of reviewing your college textbooks (maybe newer eds.) and working lots of example problems.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

I took the PE fourteen years after the FE. I also recommend the Lindeburg book. Start six months ahead of the test and put in an hour a day, or more. The book is a nice reference, I use it frequently.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

you will do fine as long as you want to pursue the PE and age is not a matter. took FE during last semester in college at 31. took PE 6-yrs later and never looked back.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Working through practice exams helped me the best for my PE. I didn't work through them for time. I worked each question and if I had any confusion about it, I researched until I completely understood. Start studying months in advance of the test.

I took a virtual course with a live instructor and failed my first attempt at the PE. Passed the second attempt after working through practice exams.

I'm not in HVAC, but my understanding is if you work with it on a daily basis, the HVAC PE test should be relatively easy compared to the other two tests.

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

I chuckle every time I see this thread.
My specialty is metallurgy, and my first job was in Indiana.
They didn't offer that test, so I waited until I moved to OK where they offered all of them.
I thought about taking the ME test but ruled it out because I decided that I wasn't going to solve another refrigeration problem in my life.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Pursuing PE at 40 years old?

Whether taking the FE or PE you must work problems, work problems, and then work some more. I took the FE (EIT back in '78) while a senior in school and then the PE in '83. passed them both on the first try. I believe that I was successful because of the time I put in to study and continually work problems. I identified with your situation in that I also had a tough time in school. But the only way I found to get through it all was to master the subject matter and that meant working as many problems as I could before an exam. So, that said, you have to make the time to study and force yourself to do the work when you would rather do something else. It's going to be hard to study after so many years have passed but, it will be worth the effort.
Good Luck!

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