FE and PE – what are they?

Engineers love shortcuts – that’s a fact. So it’s no surprise that to answer the simple question, “How can I become a licensed engineer?”, You need to eat more than your desired proportion of alphabetical soup.

Here are the basics:

  • The FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) and PE (Principles and Practice of Engineering) tests are tests created and administered by the NCEES (National Board of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).
  • Successful completion of the FE exam gives one EIT (Engineer-in-Training) degree, sometimes known as EI (Engineering Intern).
  • In some areas, the FE test is called the EIT test.
  • Successful completion of the physical education exam will obtain the title of PE (professional engineer).
  • The FE and PE exams last eight hours and are divided into two four-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (with a lunch break between them of 60 minutes).

The FE exam, which is the first of these two, is intended for students who are close to completing their bachelor’s studies. The morning part tests the extent of knowledge about general principles and procedures of engineering; Here you will see topics from general engineering courses such as statistics, circuits, fluid dynamics, statics and chemistry (among others). The afternoon part tests the depth of knowledge about the material, which is more specific for your chosen field. So if you used your old notes and books to feed a massive fire after graduation, you’ll probably have to figure out how to reverse the entropy and turn the ashes back into notes. Not a problem.

The PE test is the second step to obtaining a PE license and is designed to test proficiency in a specific engineering field. To take it, you must pass the FE exam and work in this industry for at least four years (there are exceptions in some countries). For most engineers, the exam will essentially be an eight-hour test on a wide range of topics within their fields of study. However, civil engineers, electrical and computer engineers and mechanical engineers will have to select specific concentrations for their tests. For them, the morning sections will generally cover topics common to their unions as a whole, and the afternoon sections will focus on their selected concentration in more depth.

More information on the exams, including the different thematic areas, as well as what material each exam will cover, can be found on the NCEES website.

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