State licensing requirements for Professional Engineers
A Professional Engineer (PE) license is an optional credential that signifies an engineer’s competency, expertise and continuing education and allows them to provide engineering services to the public. Many engineers do not seek PE licenses as they are able to build successful careers as members of engineering teams providing services privately to their employer or as part of a team lead by a Professional Engineer. You may consider seeking a PE license if you wish to consult on public or private projects, serve as a lead engineer, or start your own engineering firm.
The requirements for obtaining a PE license vary by state, but typically include:
- graduating from a 4-year ABET-accredited program,
- passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam,
- becoming a certified Engineer Intern or Engineer-in-Training (not required in all states),
- gaining several years of professional experience,
- passing the Principles of Engineering (PE) exam, and
- applying for a license in the state(s) in which you wish to practice. States may also have additional requirements, such as specific courses or other training, identity verification, background checks, professional references, and payment of fees.
*Certification as an Engineer-in-Training/Intern is optional in many states and may not be a required step in becoming a licensed Professional Engineer. Reach out to the licensing agency of the state in which you plan to seek licensure for more information.
**As of the time of publishing, the University has determined to the best of its ability that this state does not have a certification process for Engineers-in-Training/Interns. If you intend to practice in this state, please reach out to the appropriate state agency for more information on occupational regulations.
Reviewed: December, 2023