Planning on taking the FE Exam in Colorado?
Great, this guide will give you all the ins and outs.
From eligibility requirements to finding the best FE Exam program to study with, we have you covered.
Let’s get into it.
Taking the FE Exam in Colorado
It is the duty of the Colorado State Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors to license and regulate the practice of architects, professional engineers and professional land surveyors in the state of Colorado.
Due to its lengthy name, we will refer to the board as the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers from here on out.
The Board’s mission is to safeguard life, health, and property and to promote public welfare through examining and enrolling engineer interns and licensing professional engineers.
All individuals on the path to licensure as a Professional Engineer in Colorado must pass two NCEES-administered examinations, which are:
- Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE Exam)
- Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE Exam)
The FE Exam and PE Exam are standardized tests written and scored by the NCEES and adopted by the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers as a valid means of qualifying the competence of aspiring engineers.
Once licensed, the board ensures the continued safeguarding of life, health, and property by investigating complaints about each profession, and disciplining those who violate the law and/or Board’s Rules.
What is the FE Exam?
Though there may be additional state-specific exams required, the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE Exam) is one of two exams that an aspiring engineer will take in becoming a licensed Professional Engineer.
This standardized exam is administered and graded by the NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).
The exam itself is 5 hours and 20 minutes long with 110 questions spanning a wide range of foundational engineering concepts.
Each question is developed to confirm the level of competency of the individual in the fundamentals of engineering.
The FE Exam is a computer-based test (CBT) and closed book, though, each examinee is supplied with an NCEES reference handbook containing commonly used formulas and other useful information related to the material that is covered.
The FE Exam has 7 different exam specifications to choose from.
You may also hear the FE Exam referred to as the EIT Exam (Engineer In Training Exam) or the EI Exam (Engineering Intern Exam), all of which are the same exam.
Here’s a resource outlining all that you need to know about taking and passing the FE Exam now:
When can I take the FE exam?
The Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers does not require any application be submitted to the board for approval prior to taking the FE Exam.
This is great news as that means you are eligible today to take the exam – but there is a caveat here.
As it is stated in the current Colorado Laws and Rules found here, by scheduling the FE Exam:
- You attest under penalty of perjury as defined in §18-8-503, Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S), that you have obtained the prerequisite education and/or experience necessary PRIOR to taking the examination pursuant to section 12-120-211, C.R.S., and sections 1.4 (A) through (H) of the Colorado Board Rules
This includes, but is not limited to, understanding the requirements and credit awarded specific to Colorado statutes and rules for:
- Advanced Degrees
- Recent Experience
- Foreign Experience
If you are found to be falsifying information, you will be deemed in violation of section 12-120-206 (1)(a), C.R.S. found here and may result in the denial of your application for enrollment as an engineer intern or Professional Engineer in the state of Colorado.
If you are not sure whether or not you qualify to take the FE Exam, then you must hold off until you are certain after reviewing all the Colorado requirements for enrollment as an Engineer Intern.
These paths are unique to Colorado regulations as they relate to Professional Engineers, specifically 4 CCR 730-1, and can be referenced further here.
Can I take the FE exam without a degree?
Eligibility requirements are set state by state and typically have a series of eligibility scenarios that include both non-ABET accredited degrees and progressive engineering work experience.
But what if you don’t have a degree at all, can you take the FE Exam in Colorado?
As it is currently spelled out within the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers code, there is an opportunity to take the FE Exam without having an engineering degree.
However, as discussed in the previous section, in order to actually take the exam, you must attest under penalty of perjury as defined in §18-8-503 of the Colorado Revised Statutes that you have obtained the experience necessary PRIOR to taking the FE pursuant to section 12-120-211, C.R.S., and sections 1.4 (A) through (H) of the Colorado Board Rules.
Currently, the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers states that if you are a:
- Graduate from high school or its equivalent and
- Have a minimum of 6 years of progressive engineering experience of which education may be a part
Then you would be eligible to take the FE Exam as long as that experience is obtained prior to taking the exam.
More details as it relates to progressive engineering experience can be found here.
What months can you take the FE exam?
The FE Exam is offered to eligible students year-round in four different testing windows, they are:
- January – March
- April – June
- July – September
- October – December
You are allowed to take the FE Exam once per testing window, but not more than 3 times in a 12-month period starting from the date of your first attempt.
Can I take the FE exam online?
You can not.
The FE Exam will be administered at a local Pearson Vue testing center in your region.
Once you register and are approved by the NCEES to take the exam, you will receive an email giving you the next steps in scheduling your exam appointment.
Through this process, you will be given options for a number of testing centers as well as what dates and times are available at those locations.
You can reference a current list of locations approved by the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers to take the FE Exam here:
It’s important to schedule your exam as far in advance as possible for the best scheduling availability.
Each Pearson Vue testing center is limited in capacity, so seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Though it’s never ideal and highly unlikely that there are open seats, you are able to schedule an appointment with as little as one business day before taking the exam.
What is the passing score for the FE Exam?
Any individual who is about to take on a major goal in life is going to want to know where the goalpost of success lies.
I get it.
But if you find yourself floating around the interwebs trying to get some clarity on this question, then you are sure of one thing…
Confusion – and oh, a lot of wasted time.
When it comes down to knowing the passing score for the FE Exam in Colorado, there is only one right answer and it’s this –
Definitely, a letdown I know, but knowing that this is as much clarity as you will get will allow you to move on to putting in time on something that can actually make an impact come exam day.
We dive deep into this question and add a bit more context around the whole scoring process in this post:
Knowing how the exam is going to be scored can be a huge advantage and give you confidence in the areas that you can control.
What is the FE Exam pass rate in Colorado?
Colorado does not release individual statistics for how many people in Colorado are passing or failing the FE Exam in any given period of time.
However, the NCEES keeps a tally of these statistics for a single testing period for the population as a whole.
Currently, the FE Exam pass rate ranges from 35% to 83% depending on the exam discipline taken.
This is a huge range, and honestly, can’t really be relied on for a number of reasons.
These statistics account only for:
- Those who took the FE exam for the first time.
- Those who attended an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering program.
- Those who took the FE exam within 12 months of graduation.
I can tell you this much –
Of 100 students that come into our program at Prepineer, 95% fall outside one (or more) of these criteria.
The moral of the story, these stats reflect a population of individuals who meet the ideal testing characteristics of a candidate, not the mean characteristics as a whole.
Use them with a grain of salt.
How do I create an FE Exam schedule?
Getting your FE Exam study plan dialed in from the start is of the utmost importance in ensuring that you see this journey through.
But let’s be real.
We are on record for being horrible estimators of our time.
But it’s not any one of us individually, those big shot estimators who are supposedly “educated” in the realm of scheduling fall right there beside us in falling short.
Think about all those highly funded construction projects that go far past the scheduled finish date.
So with that, how can I best guide you in developing your study plan for your upcoming FE Exam in Colorado?
We have spent a lot of time developing resources in the realm of FE Exam scheduling, here are a few to start with:
- Your FE Exam Study Schedule Sucks
- Here’s how to actually get started…with confidence – The 80/20 Abbreviated Study Plan
How many hours should I study for the FE Exam?
Determining how many hours a student should be putting in each day is one of the hardest things to do for a coach.
However, after over a decade of helping engineers just like you prepare for and pass the FE Exam, I can give you a general guideline as a starting point.
So whether you are taking the FE Exam in Colorado or New Mexico, start with this.
Over the years, we have seen students spend somewhere between 150-350 hours preparing for the FE Exam.
The lower end of this spectrum is typically those that are recent graduates or within a few years of graduation.
The upper end is typically those that graduated 20+ years ago and haven’t picked up a book in just as long.
Wherever the student feels they will fall, at Prepineer, we encourage them to spread this time over a period of at least 90 days – but prefer to see them give themselves closer to 110-120 days to be prepared.
This historically has played out to be much more realistic in the context of real-life, day-to-day responsibilities.
To help you go deeper in this area, we developed the ultimate guide in determining how long you should study for the FE Exam.
Down to what it all looks like from a daily, hourly effort.
You can access the guide here:
In running through this guide, you will have a much better understanding of what the landscape ahead looks like.
It will allow you to reveal many landmines upfront so you can put in measures to avoid them.
It will help you understand the real effort and reinforce your confidence that you are doing things right when you do inevitably hit those unforeseen obstacles.
It’s the best you can do when it comes to determining how many hours you should study for the FE Exam.
Where is the best place for FE Exam practice?
As you learn more about the FE Exam in Colorado, you will realize just how much needs to get done and how important preparing for it the right way is.
I am confident in saying that you can get this done…
But truth is, most won’t pursue the FE Exam because they will tell themselves that they can’t, for one reason or another.
At Prepineer, we have put together a proven system of coaching and curriculum that has helped even the most challenged individuals pass the FE Exam in Colorado.
Learn more about how Prepineer is the best way to study for the FE Exam and get started for free.
In Prepineer you will:
- Get a real coach who knows how to get you to the finish line, despite how impossible you may think it is.
- A custom study plan that breaks down exactly where you should be spending your efforts.
- Proven curriculum that has helped even the most challenged find success.
Use Prepineer for 7 days free, with no obligations.
How much is the FE Exam in Colorado?
Some state licensing boards require that examinees file a separate application and pay an additional application fee as part of their approval process in order to be qualified for taking the FE.
If you are taking the FE Exam in Colorado, this is not required and you can register directly through the NCEES.
The current cost to take the FE Exam is $175 and can be paid directly to the NCEES at the time of registering.
The whole registration process can be started through your myNCEES account here.
It’s worth mentioning again, as it is written in the current Colorado Laws and Rules found here, you attest under penalty of perjury as defined in §18-8-503 of the Colorado Revised Statutes that you have fulfilled the prerequisite education and/or experience necessary before taking the FE Exam.
What are the FE Exam Requirements?
It’s been mentioned that eligibility is not set uniformly across the board by the NCEES, but rather, by each state’s engineering board.
With this, the eligibility requirements to sit for the exam in Tennessee may differ from when one can sit for the exam in Georgia.
To take the FE Exam in Colorado, eligibility doesn’t require that you validate any engineering education or experience at all.
To take the FE Exam in Colorado, there are a two requirements:
- You actually want to take the exam and
- Will attest that you have fulfilled the prerequisite education and/or experience necessary to become an engineer intern per the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers statutes
Once you do pass the exam, you will need to submit an application to receive your EIT Certification, and it’s at this point that your education, or experience, will be verified.
The ABET accredited degree is the creme de la creme when it comes to fulfilling Colorado’s educational requirements, but it’s not the only route.
What if you don’t have an ABET-accredited degree?
What if you don’t have a degree at all?
Or your degree is from a university outside the states?
Is there any way that you can still fulfill the requirements after passing the FE Exam?
The short answer is YES!
These requirements have been outlined in previous sections and can generally be summarized as follows:
- If you hold an ABET accredited degree in engineering or engineering technology and pass the FE Exam, you are eligible for EIT Certification.
- If you are a senior in an ABET accredited program in engineering or engineering technology and pass the FE Exam, you are eligible for EIT Certification upon graduation.
- If you hold a degree from an engineering program of 4 or more years that is not approved by the Board, you can take the FE Exam. Once you pass, you are eligible for EIT Certification once you have 6 years of progressive engineering experience, of which educational study may be a part.
- If you hold a degree from an related science program of 4 or more years and have 2 years of progressive engineering experience, you can take the FE Exam. Once you pass, you are eligible for EIT Certification once you have 6 years of progressive engineering experience, of which educational study may be a part.
- If you are a graduate from high school or its equivalent and have a minimum of 6 years of progressive engineering experience, then you can take the FE Exam. Once you pass, you are eligible for EIT Certification once you have 6 years of progressive engineering experience, of which educational study may be a part.
With all of this, instead of sifting through all the current rules and statutes, I suggest you give a call directly to the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and they will give you the most direct route to understanding the next step for you.
Who should I contact if I have more questions about the FE Exam in Colorado?
It has been said a number of times, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Eligibility requirements are constantly in flux, and what is mentioned in this resource may not answer all of your questions.
If this is the case, the Colorado Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers can provide you with the latest details concerning the FE Exam in Colorado.
They can be contacted at:
- Website: https://dpo.colorado.gov/AES
- Contact: Joyce Young
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: (303) 894-7800
- Fax: (303) 894-2310
- Address: Department of Regulatory Agencies, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, Colorado 80202
Final Thoughts on taking the FE Exam in Colorado
I hope that this resource has brought you clarity on taking the FE Exam in Colorado.
But I know, just as many answers I have given, there may have been just as many new questions in how you can get it done.
But passing the FE Exam shouldn’t be a mystery.
Sadly though, many will doubt that they can get it done, and in turn, give up on themselves and their careers.
I don’t want that to be you.
If I offered to show you a system that has worked for thousands in your same shoes pass the FE, would you take it? Click here to start your trial and learn the exact framework that will help you pass the FE Exam in Colorado.