You have graduated and passing the FE Exam is the next milestone on the path to becoming a licensed PE.
And with this being your first attempt, you want this exam date to be the one and only needed.
I respect that.
Though, with so many exam topics on the exam specification, you may be finding yourself navigating a world of overwhelm.
This is natural.
Whether you are just now finishing up college or are already working under a Civil Engineer, life at this point is in fast motion.
We are all striving to advance in our careers, sometimes working 60+ hours a week, or cramming for exams and finishing senior projects.
Either way, commitments continue to grow as each day passes.
But let’s get one thing straight –
It’s not a matter whether or not you can do this, it’s when you can find the “time” to do it.
You do have the time, we just have to figure out how to be super productive with what we have.
Continuing the journey towards becoming a licensed PE and passing the FE Exam on the first go can bring a lot of questions that can derail any substantial effort.
What is the FE Exam?
How hard is it?
Where can I find practice questions from past exams?
Whether your are coming from a Civil Engineering background or one of Construction Engineering, in this guide, we get into the most critical questions being asked about the FE Exam and specific strategies to get you moving with much more clarity and confidence that a PE license can be a reality for you.
What is the FE Exam?
The FE Exam (Fundamentals of Engineering Exam) is the first of two NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) exams that any aspiring engineer will take in route to becoming a licensed Professional Engineer.
This standardized engineering FE Exam is adopted by each state’s Professional Engineering Board as a valid means of ensuring those wanting to practice engineering are competent to practice.
This video by the national council gives a solid overview of the engineering licensure process and how the FE Exam fits into it:
The FE is given as a CBT exam (Computer Based Exam), is 5 hours and 20 minutes in length with 110 questions spanning a wide range of exam topics.
Each question is developed to confirm the level of competency of the examinees in the fundamentals of engineering.
As a CBT Exam, the FE Exam is computer-based and closed book, though, each examinee is granted the use of two tools on exam day:
- The NCEES FE reference handbook containing commonly used formulas and other useful information related to the material that is covered.
- An NCEES-approved calculator, which isn’t a graphing calculator, but can be the most powerful, yet underutilized tool used on the FE Exam.
The FE Exam has 7 different exam specifications (FE Electrical Exam, FE Mechanical Exam, FE Civil Exam, etc) that one can choose from.
At Prepineer, we encourage you to consider taking an exam specification referred to as the Other Disciplines exam for a number of reasons regardless of your undergraduate engineering degree.
You can be learned about this strategy here:
Regardless of which exam specification you take, all will lead to the same ends – becoming an Engineer Intern (or Engineering Intern) in your respective state.
Can anyone take the FE exam?
The short answer is no – but maybe, hear me out.
Eligibility requirements are not set uniformly across the board by the national council (NCEES), but rather, by each engineering state licensing Board.
With this being stated, when someone is gains eligibility to take the Mechanical Engineering exam in Tennessee may be different from when one becomes eligible to take the same exam in Texas.
You can review your specific state licensing board eligibility FE Exam requirements here, but please note, they do often change so it is best to double-check directly with your state licensing board of Professional Engineers website to confirm the latest statutes.
In most cases, however, those who are at a minimum in the final year of an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited engineering program (or graduated from) are eligible to take the FE Exam.
But what if you don’t have a degree that is stamped by the ABET engineering accreditation commission?
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 gain eligibility for PE licensure?
This is where the maybe comes into play.
Now the actual path to eligibility in these cases will be unique to the situation, which again, I will refer you to this page to hone in on the specifics for your particular state licensing board.
However, there are often multiple paths to eligibility for the FE Exam (and professional licensure) defined by each state.
The ABET-accredited degree is the creme de la creme when it comes to gaining eligibility for this NCEES exam, but it’s not the only route.
Let’s take Alabama as an example, they have established a nice flowchart outlining the various paths to eligibility:
As you can see, everything starts from an ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering degree and adds on from there.
If one has an unaccredited, TAC or unrelated science degree (plus an ABET MS in the latter scenarios), then an additional 2 years of progressive engineering experience would be required.
Jumping over to Texas as another example of how each state defines unique minimum eligibility requirements, section 133.65 [EXAMINATION ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGINEERING] in the TBPELS Acts and Rules states the following:
In Texas, all EAC/ABET, ETAC/ABET, engineering related and non-engineering related programs can lead one to eligibility, albeit, with those last two scenarios having some additional verification requirements attached (ie engineering work experience, etc).
So can anyone take the FE exam?
No and maybe.
There are states that provide eligibility scenarios for individuals without an engineering degree but a number of years of progressive engineering experience.
Again, you can reference our resource for paths to eligibility for your state here:
Do I have to get my degree evaluated by NCEES Credentials Evaluation?
To fulfill the licensure process and obtain your PE License, you must meet requirements in three areas:
- Work Experience
- NCEES Engineering Examinations (FE Exam and PE Exam)
If you earned a degree from a non-EAC/ABET engineering accreditation commission (which includes foreign and engineering technology programs) then you will likely be required to have a NCEES Credentials Evaluation on that degree to confirm that your engineering courses meet the NCEES Engineering Education Standard.
This evaluation process helps ensure that you are qualified academically for licensure.
You can learn more about the NCEES Credentials Evaluation process here.
Can I pass FE without engineering degree?
As we have discussed, each state licensing board defines eligibility requirements for professional licensure that are unique to their jurisdiction.
With this being said, some states require that you have an engineering degree (or some engineering educational background), while others provide a means to take the actual exam based solely on your “progressive engineering experience”.with study materi
To be clear on what the requirements are in your state start here:
But the question at hand is whether or not you can pass the FE without an undergraduate engineering degree and move on to becoming an engineer intern, and ultimately, a licensed Professional Engineer.
You may or may not believe that it’s possible for yourself, but let me tell you this –
We have been helping engineers for over a decade with study material to prepare for and pass the FE Exam and move to become a licensed PE.
And a subset of those individuals we have helped are those that didn’t have a formal education in engineering.
They came in with heavy doubts, but a strong desire to put in the work to get them to exam day with results that seemed so far away.
And you can do the same.
I believe that the best thing we can do when we doubt whether or not we can do something, is to seek out examples of people in our same position who went out and got the exam day result they always wanted.
If we are able to find at least 1 person that has done it, then it is possible and we can do the same.
Take a stroll through our Prepineer success stories to find the inspiration for yourself.
How much does it cost to take the FE exam?
Most states have adopted the automatic model for approval and do not require that an individual submit an application or additional fee to the board prior to taking the FE Exam.
If you are taking this computer based exam in one of the states that adopt this model, then you can register directly with the NCEES to take the FE Exam.
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 exam registration process can be started through your myNCEES account here.
Now, if you do not live in a state that adopts the automatic model for approval, then you must first submit an application to your state licensing board and gain approval prior to registering your exam date with the NCEES.
The application fees vary by state and have been noted to be anywhere from zero to upwards of $50+- you can reference the latest application fee for your state here.
So these are the baseline costs for taking the actual exam, however, there may be additional costs incurred if you:
- Are not a graduate of an ABET Accredited engineering program
- Hold a Foreign Degree
- Have a degree from a program that does not by default meet the eligibility requirements defined by your state licensing board
If you fall into one of these categories, then you may be required to get your degree evaluated through NCEES Credentials Evaluations (or other acceptable entity).
The current cost to have your degree evaluated through the NCEES is $350 and will be paid at the end of the application process.
If you decide to cancel the evaluation and request a refund, then a $50 administrative fee will be assessed.
The NCEES will not grant refunds for applications submitted more than one year prior to the refund request.
You can learn more about getting your degree evaluated by the NCEES here.
So how much the FE Exam will cost really depends on the state that you live.
To get the latest information of your state licensing Board, reference this page:
When is the FE Exam offered?
At one point in time, this NCEES exam was offered twice a year – April and October.
This is no longer the case.
Now that it is a computer based exam, it’s offered year-round at a local Pearson-Vue testing center in four different testing periods.
The testing periods are:
- January – March
- April – June
- July – September
- October – December
Though it would never be ideal, you are allowed to take the FE Exam once per testing period, but not more than 3 times in a 12-month period from the date of the first attempt.
Can I take an exam specification that’s different from my background?
This is a great question and probably the one that could make the most impact on your exam date.
With this being your first attempt, you need to know that you can take whatever exam specification you want.
I’ve already mentioned that at Prepineer, we encourage our students to consider taking an exam specification referred to as the Other Disciplines exam regardless of their undergraduate engineering degree.
There are a number of benefits to adopting this strategy, which you can learn more about here:
But let’s say that you don’t adopt this stategy and take the FE Civil Exam, or any other, and fail.
Now, we never want to future project a negative event on your path to licensure, but it’s important to at least know what you can and can’t do in this case.
If you do end up needing to take the actual exam more than once, then you need to know that you don’t need to stick to a single exam specification each time.
For example, say that Mechanical Engineering is your background and you chose to take the FE Other Disciplines exam on your first attempt and failed.
If you wanted, you could take the FE Civil Exam, or the FE Electrical for that matter, on the next attempt.
The point is, successful FE Exam date is what you are after and at the end of the day, it all leads to the same end, EIT Certification and ultimately PE Licensure.
The only point of the FE Exam is to validate that you are competent in the fundamentals of engineering exam topics, that’s it.
When you do get your EIT Certification after passing, it will say nothing about what exam specification you took, only that your FE Exam results has shown that you are competent and able to move to the next step towards PE Licensure.
How hard is the FE Exam?
Wondering how hard the FE Exam will be is one of the first thoughts that comes to most people’s minds when they first consider taking it.
However, as we would admit to anyone asking this question, we would be blowing smoke if we claimed that we could objectively answer this for you.
The difficulty of the FE Exam differs for everyone based on so many uniquely personal factors.
Some (but not all) of these factors include:
- What is your educational background?
- When did you graduate?
- What are your current responsibilities? (family, work, etc)
- Do you have good study material?
- When do you want to take the exam?
- How much time do you have for studying?
- Is the engineering work you are doing now utilize any of the NCEES fundamentals?
- How do you tyically perform on timed exams?
So how hard is the FE Exam going to be for you?
I couldn’t tell you.
But what I can tell you is this.
If you relate to any of these scenarios:
- Have been out of college for over 35+ years.
- Tried to start preparing but failed to follow through because of some obstacle.
- Have a list of doubts longer than a CVS receipt.
Then we have study material that can help you prepare for and pass the FE Exam, because these are actual stories of past students.
You can read more of these Prepineer success stories here.
But the point isn’t to applaud the study material within our program, it’s to illustrate that it doesn’t matter how “hard” you think it’s going to be, it’s establishing where your current level of commitment in getting it done is.
We have seen it time and time again, that’s it’s not a matter of knowledge, it’s a matter of will – that’s what will ultimately get you past the FE Exam.
What is the FE Exam pass rate?
Individual states do not release statistics for how many 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 specification taken.
This is obviously 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 a program stamped by the EAC/ABET engineering accreditation commission.
- Those who took the FE exam within 12 months of graduation.
I can tell you this much though –
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 and don’t allow them to scare you off from taking this exam.
Working your way towards your EIT Certificate and engineering PE Exam has to be challenging, just like our weed-out classes in college.
But knowing that, and expecting that, should give you a leg up when hitting the obstacles that you are sure to hit along the way.
Those that persevere can, and will, conquer the FE Exam and move on to become an Engineering Intern.
So recent graduate or not, it doesn’t matter how hard it will be – this is your mission.
Is the FE Exam online?
The FE Exam, though computer based, is not online.
It will be administered at a local Pearson Vue testing center in your region.
Once you complete exam registration and are approved by the NCEES to take the FE, you will receive an email giving you the next steps in scheduling your exam date.
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 your state licensing board to take the FE Exam here:
It’s important to schedule your exam date 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 your exam date with as little as one business day before taking the exam.
Is the FE Exam open book?
The FE Exam is not an open book test.
This means that you won’t be able take any of your study materials inside the facility.
However, there are a few items allowed in with you, they are:
- The ID used during the admission process
- Calculator (without the cover) that complies with the current NCEES Calculator Policy
- Key to your test center locker
- Reusable booklet and marker supplied by Pearson VUE
- Eyeglasses (without the case)
- Light sweater or jacket
- Items included in the Pearson VUE Comfort list
For everything else not on this list, you will be assigned a locker that you can use to place unapproved items in while taking your test.
Some testing facilities allow you to set your wristwatch on the table for timekeeping purposes, if they don’t, just keep it on your wrist, it is definitely a critical item to have.
Now a few items worth addressing, as they are extremly valuable in this closed book test, are the calculator and the NCEES FE Reference Handbook.
The model of your calculator is extremely important and needs to decided upon early in your FE Exam prep.
If the calculator is not an exact match to those on the approved model list, as defined by the current NCEES Calculator Policy, then you will not be able to use it, and the NCEES will show no mercy.
Though you can’t take any study material in, you will be given access to the NCEES FE Reference Handbook which includes common equations, unit conversions, and various engineering tables spanning all exam topics from Engineering Economics to Construction Engineering.
Since this will be the only means of reference that you will have come exam day, it’s critically important that you become familiar with the format and content of the NCEES FE Reference Handbook prior to sitting for the exam.
You can download the latest version of this FE review manual using the instructions found here.
Is FE exam multiple choice?
Most all of us were brought up on exams that were comprised mostly of multiple choice problems.
And if you were to take the FE before 2017, then you would had seen an exam made up completely of multiple choice problems
This is no longer the case.
With the new computer based exam format, the FE Exam is now 110 problems given in one of two formats:
- Traditional multiple choice
- Alternative Item Type
We are all familiar with traditional multiple choice problem types, but what are these Alternative Item Type problems all about?
In 2017, the NCEES introduced this newer problem type, referred to as AITs.
AIT problems are formatted in a manner that falls outside the traditional multiple-choice.
These question types include:
- Multiple Correct Answers – Allows for multiple choices to be correct.
- Drag and Drop – Requires test takers to click on and drag items to match, sort, rank, or label.
- Point & Click – Requires examinees to click on part of a graphic to answer the problem.
- Fill in the Blank – Provides a space for you to enter a response to the question.
All these AIT problem types have one thing in common – multiple variables that contribute to a correct answer.
Now, although the majority of questions will continue to be in the traditional Multiple Choice format with one correct answer, this engineering examination will have up to 10% of the questions of Alternative Item Type nature, or AIT.
With this, you can expect to see anywhere from 10-15 AIT problems on whatever exam specification you choose to tackle.
The scoring of these AIT problem types is the same as the traditional multiple choice problem types – you either get it or you don’t.
To illustrate this further, say you are given a problem with 6 answer options and it asks you to “mark all that are correct”.
If 5 have been slated as correct and should be marked, and you mark 4, or you select 5, but one of them is wrong, then…
You will get it wrong.
It’s unfortunate, but a reality on the FE Exam.
To help you learn more about this AIT format and work practice questions, we have developed a resource for you here:
Is the FE exam curved?
In short, no, the FE Exam is not curved.
But it is definitely important to understand how it is scored – let’s lay it out as it is defined for us by the NCEES.
When you take the FE Exam, whether thats the FE Mechanical or FE Electrical, you will complete 110 questions.
Of those 110 questions, you are going to get a certain number correct.
This number is going to be recorded and converted into what is called a “scaled score”.
This “scaled score” is used as an individual adjustment for any minor differences in difficulty across the infinite number of exam variants.
But what does “differences in difficulty” mean?
Before any problem is released into active rotation on the FE Exam, it is run through a control group of subject matter experts who work them in their entirety.
The results that come through this collective effort are run through a series of psychometric statistical methods that analyze the data.
This analysis defines some “minimum ability level” for the particular set of problems you end up getting on your exam.
This minimum ability level, which can be thought of as your pass line, is then compared to your “scaled score” and if you are above it, you pass, if not, you fail, so:
- Scaled Score > Minimum Ability Level = PASS
- Scaled Score < Minimum Ability Level = FAIL
And that’s that.
The FE Exam is not curved and your passing score is unique to you and the set of problems that you end up working across all exam topics on your exam day.
Where can you find FE exam problems and solutions from recent exams?
I remember in college when certain student organizations would flaunt that they had the “deepest” test banks on campus.
So now that we are all graduated, where can you find test banks with FE Exam problems and solutions from recent exams?
In short – I am not sure.
But what I can tell you is this –
If you can, it’s certainly not legal, and I would highly advise against seeking and/or using any such material no matter what these sources say.
This is a very serious offense towards the NCEES and further compromises the integrity of this engineering examination and engineering licensure process.
So whether you are seeking the latest FE Civil Exam or FE Mechanical, this NCEES fundamentals exam is copyright in full and no examinee is allowed to reproduce or disclose any information relating to a specific exam.
This includes but is not limited to discussing any exam questions, answers, solutions, or other problems on the Internet, forums, or any other related student organizations.
And they are serious about it – as they should.
To read more in regards to Intellectual Property Rights and Exam Security, you can refer to page 33 of the NCEES Examinee Guide found here.
On that note, here are a few options I would suggest you look in to rather than going down the road of seeking NCEES exam IP:
At Prepineer, we pride ourselves on our depth of detail, tailoring every one of our 1200+ practice questions we have created to ensuring that no matter where you are, you won’t feel like you’re spinning your wheels getting the understanding you need.
Whether it’s Mathematics or Engineering Economics, we prep you fast, so there’s no wasted time.
How long should I study for the FE exam?
The goal should always be to get it done on this attempt.
So how long should you study for the FE Exam?
As long as it takes.
I know it’s not an answer that does much for anyone, so let’s dive into this a bit deeper.
I will tell you, after helping students for over a decade prepare for and pass the FE Exam, determining how many hours one should be putting in each day, or overall, is one of the hardest things to do for us as coaches.
It’s dependent on so many factors, but I can give you a general guideline as a starting point.
Over the years, we have seen individuals 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.
As a first time test taker, you may fall on either end of this spectrum.
But wherever you feel, at Prepineer, we encourage you to spread this time over a period of at least 90 days – but prefer to see you give yourself 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 defining this for your specific situation, 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 for you.
How do I create an FE Exam schedule?
Getting your FE Exam study plan dialed in from the start is of the critially important to ensuring that you see this journey through.
But let’s be real, we are 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?
We have spent a lot of time developing resources in the realm of FE Exam scheduling, here are a few good places to start:
How do I study for the FE exam?
Looking over the exam specification, I am sure you realize just how much needs to get done and how important preparing for this engineering examination the right way is.
But I want you to know this –
I am confident in saying that passing the FE Exam CAN be a reality for you.
But truth is, most won’t continue pursuing the FE Exam because they will tell themselves that they can’t, for one reason or another.
And that voice gets louder and louder the longer you are out of school.
But good FE Exam prep matters – and it can BE the difference.
At Prepineer, we have put together a proven system that combines coaching and study material that has helped even the most challenged individuals study for and get the FE Exam result they are after.
If we offered to help you do the same thing, would you take it?
Click here to learn more about why 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 study material that has helped those who have failed (and been out of school for a long time) find success.
Use Prepineer for 7 days free, with no obligations.
How do I effectively use the FE Exam practice test?
A solid FE Exam practice test will be a vital part of any complete course to achieve your best exam day result and passing score.
There are many ways that you can approach this one.
In my experience, the best way to get the most out of your practice test is to use them at strategic points during your FE exam prep.
When I was studying for the engineering FE Exam, I utilized a practice exam at two strategic points.
The first practice exam came right at the onset of my studies, before I even flipped to the first page in my FE review manual or looked at a practice problem.
Using only the NCEES FE reference handbook and NCEES approved calculator, I went at the whole practice exam in one shot.
I bombed it.
I was far from prepared, but looking back, I now understand how necessary this was because it helped me establish a baseline for what I needed to focus on when I got in to my study material.
How else would I have known that I needed a heavy dose of Engineering Economics and Statics?
After making it through all my study materials and a week before sitting for the exam, I took the same exact NCEES practice exam as I had at the onset.
My exam results on this go were much better, but were still a bit sketchy and I struggled mightily on things such as time management and problem comprehension.
This should be expected though, as most all engineering courses or practice problem alone can dial you in on test taking skills.
It’s an area you need to focus on using your study material as a tool for, and not the means to, solid test taking skills.
So with that, I waited a day or two and took the final practice exam, structuring it the most realistically as I could under timed conditions.
At Prepineer, we use the utility of a practice exam and well structured practice problems at all the critical points of exam prep.
At the front end, we establish a strengths and weaknesses baseline for each one of our students by taking them through a practice exam where they use only the NCEES FE reference handbook and approved calculator.
We then develop a customized study plan that takes the FE exam results and converts it in to a visual schedule that helps them better distribute their time and focus throughout each day of their studies.
Whether you are studying for the FE Mechanical or FE Electrical, using a practice exam at strategic points of your studies will help you focus your efforts better on where you are lacking ability and comprehension – ultimately, leading to a better exam day result.
And that’s what we are all after.
Is passing the FE a big deal?
Let me put this in terms of my story, I think it will resonate.
I pursued an engineering degree because of the security I felt it would bring.
In my world view, an engineering degree was the ticket to a long, ever-evolving career that returned both personally fulfilling and monetarily.
Coming out of college, the foundation of my formula was this:
Get in at a solid engineering firm and rest as they fast-tracked me up the proverbial ladder.
But that is where I was wrong…”rest as they fast-track me up”.
Your construction engineering career does not start, nor finish, after graduation – it just continues.
There was a formula that worked to get you to the point you are right now in your life, and at the center of this formula was an investment in yourself.
Here’s a reality check –
No one will put more care or effort into developing you into what you are meant to be than yourself.
And it’s going to be you who turns to understand why passing the FE Exam is a big deal.
Listen, every single individual, and corporate executive alike, has their own personal agenda for where they want to be in the years to come.
And who are we to think that anyone will forgo their own agenda to drive ours?
This is where many of us stand at this moment, balancing on the seesaw of:
Relying on someone else or –
Realizing that doing so is just a pipe dream that does nothing but lead to endless letdowns.
And this is why passing the FE Exam is a big deal.
Whether you are taking the FE Electrical or want to become a Civil Engineer, the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE Exam) is the first step towards becoming a licensed Professional Engineer.
As a licensed PE, you become part of a group granted a number of exclusive benefits, some including:
- The ability to stamp and seal Engineering drawings
- Owning your own Engineering Firm with your name associated with it
- Performing individual consulting services to the public
- Greater demand and increases in salaries
Now, for some, you will look at this list and think to yourself, “I don’t really want to do any of that…”.
And that’s OK.
But here’s why we need to look at that list from a different perspective.
Remember, everyone has their own personal agenda for what they are after.
The agenda of every corporate executive is to maximize profits while the agenda for each of us should be to maximize our position to take advantage of those profits.
We do this by maximizing our value as the “engineering talent”.
It’s, for a lack of better terms, a game we need to play…and it all continues with pursuing the FE Exam.
We need to be the “engineer” who:
- Is pulled in on ALL those proposals going out the door at the 11th hour.
- Can justify the highest billable rate.
- Is recruited by other firms because we fulfill both the above conditions.
- Is…well, “needed” at ALL times.
That’s when our personal stock becomes the “asset” rather than the “commodity” we are conditioned to accept post-graduation.
Recent trends have shown that at this point in history, you control the direction of your career more than ever.
Engineering positions continue to be one of the toughest spots to fill with US employers struggling to find talent.
This is across the board: Civil Engineering, Construction engineering, Mechanical Engineering.
This is simple supply and demand, with studies showing that this demand will only continue to build.
Taking action to become licensed engineers is on us and we can’t wait for others to do for us which we can do for ourselves.
So when you ask is passing the FE Exam a big deal, look at it from a different perspective.
We’ve played the game all the way up and through college graduation, the time to stop is not now – or ever.
We can’t rely on others to adjust their agendas to push us up the ladder…this is a risk not worth taking.
What to do after you pass your FE exam?
After you pass the FE Exam you will generally go one of two ways.
- Apply for your EIT Certificate and become an Engineer Intern (or Engineering Intern)
- Gain the required engineering experience needed prior to applying to take the PE Exam
Now that path to becoming licensed PE is not set uniformly across the board by the national council, but rather, by each state licensing board.
With that being said, most states have an Engineer Intern (or Engineering Intern) program.
If your state is one that does, then after you pass your engineering FE exam, you will move to submit an application to receive your EIT Certificate.
Though having the EI (or EIT) designation does not give you any additional legal benefits, it does bode well for your marketability as employers are often seeking to employ individuals that show initiative in their development as professional engineers.
As an Engineer Intern, you are also able to use the initials EIT (or EI) at the end of your signature which is kind of a cool milestone for one to reach.
If you live in a state that does not have an Engineer Intern program, like Michigan, then you will move to the next step in the licensing process which is to continue gaining the progressive engineering experience as required by your state to become eligible to take the engineering PE Exam.
To get the latest information, along with your state licensing Board specific licensing process, click on your state below:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Why should I take the FE Exam?
I get it.
I could go many directions at this point, but let me give you my general thoughts.
You spent at minimum 4 years (probably more) navigating all this engineering curriculum to get your degree, why surf the world of cubicles until you retire.
Many people do, and if that’s your choice, I respect that.
But many don’t want this to be their story, you just feel stuck.
- Stuck behind doubt.
- Stuck behind excuses.
- Stuck behind fear of failing.
- Stuck behind supervisors you feel are holding you down
Whatever it is that is holding you back, just know that all it takes is one simple step in a direction you deep down want to go that can change it all.
One simple step.
And then another.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You didn’t get your Engineering degree in a week.
It took commitment to get where you are, and that’s what it will take to make this a reality in your life.
- Commitment to turn from limiting beliefs.
- Commitment to telling yourself you are more than just an employee.
- Commitment to accepting that progress in life will be uncomfortable.
It was never meant to be easy.
Becoming a Professional Engineer and getting your PE License is hard…but it is what all engineers should be aiming for.
It’s liberating both personally and professionally.
The doors it will open can’t even be projected.
Engineers that were once thinking the same thoughts you are, took that first step and are now making amazing impacts around the world every single day.
But it all starts with passing the FE Exam and becoming an Engineer Intern.
Don’t let the fact that you have been out of school for a period of time hold you back or make you question your love for Civil Engineering.
We’ve seen it play out time after time, students who have come into Prepineer after being out of college for a while, with huge doubts but were able to defy their own odds and go on to pass the exam with flying colors.
This can be your story.
I am confident in saying that.
Final Thoughts on Passing the FE Exam your first time
I hope that this resource has brought you clarity on how to take the FE Exam, what it’s all about, what it can do for you and why you need to give it a solid go.
But I know, just as many answers as I have given, there may have been just as many new questions in how you can get it done.
But whether you are taking the FE Electrical or FE Civil Engineer, 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.