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Fundamentals of Engineering Examination (FE)

An informative overview of the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE) by the NCEES.

There is a big difference between the PE and FE. The FE is the Fundamentals of Engineering exam that you must pass to secure your professional engineering license (PE). The FE is much like a prerequisite for the PE. To become a PE four steps are required and those four steps are:

  • Earn a four-year degree in engineering from an accredited engineering program

  • Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam

  • Complete four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE (Professionally licensed Engineer)

  • Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam

    Note: You can choose not to become a PE but that comes with some restraints such as:

  1. Only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public and private clients.

  2. License for a consulting engineer or a private practitioner is not something that is merely desirable; it is a legal requirement for those who are in responsible charge of work, be they, principals, or employees.

  3. Many states require that individuals teaching engineering must also be licensed. Exemptions to state laws are under attack, and in the future, those in education, as well as industry and government, may need to be licensed to practice. Also, licensure helps educators prepare students for their future in engineering.

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