What are the Benefits of Becoming a Professional Engineer?

Posted in Professional Engineers by admin

Engineering drafting room, 1962

So why would anyone want to become a professional engineer (PE)? With the long list of requirements and grueling hours of studying, surely there isn’t anyone that crazy?

Being a Professional Engineer is an accomplishment, which can tremendously enhance your engineering career. A lot like obtaining a post-graduate degree or some technical skill certification, it’s a versatile tool, which can help your career both in management and technical positions. And it’s not just about being able to add the title of P.E. after your name (although face it, that’s cool too). The professional engineer license gives you a measure of competency, reliability, and professionalism.

Here are a few specific reasons why becoming a PE is in your best interest:

There Are Legal Needs

Engineers are just like any other highly skilled profession in that they are governed by specific rules and regulations. Numerous engineering jobs both in private industry and in governmental organizations legally require that a professional engineer fill them. This is because you need a PE license in order to legally practice and provide engineering services.

Think about it. You want your doctor to have the proper training and credentials right? You want your accountant to know what he’s talking about with your money right? The same can be said for the engineer designing that bridge you drive over everyday. People want to know that the person doing that public service work is fully qualified and competent.

One of the biggest requirements along these lines is that only a registered professional engineer can stamp recognized engineering documents for public and professional customers. This is a formal seal issued by the practicing engineer’s state board and can be used on things such as computer assisted drawing (CAD) designs, structural evaluation reports, equipment settings sheets, or development proposals.

A few examples of areas that normally require a PE for particular technical careers include city service firms, engineering consulting services, and public utility businesses (think the electric company for example). Another example is that if you ever plan to open your own engineering company, you will need to become licensed.

It Can Help Your Career Progression

The fact of the matter is that an engineering license might be a major boost in helping you climb the corporate ladder in any company. This is true whether your job path goes on a traditional technical route or if you aspire to join the managerial ranks. The reasoning behind all of this is that a lot of employers in the aforementioned industrial sectors require a job applicant to be a PE for senior engineering jobs. These roles usually have substantial project responsibilities and often times will need to have someone with the ability to stamp documents. This insures quality control and standard industry practices.

Another great benefit for PE’s is that some companies provide bonuses or salary increases for acquiring a license. The license can provide numerous advantages which is why someone with it can increase their value to their company.

In many cases manager roles that have engineers reporting directly to them may need a PE license to get the position. This setup is especially critical for un-licensed engineers who are looking to fulfill experience requirements so that they can one day get their own license.

It Highlights Expertise and Credibility

Finally, there is a level of prestige that comes with being a professional engineer. In such highly specialized and technical industries, professional engineers have a level of respect from colleagues in their professional circles. The PE credential is something that shows you have the knowledge and competency to be an engineer. It shows you have legitimate working experience, that you practice continual learning, and that you act in an ethical manner. Like anything else, more skins on your wall help with credibility.

10 Responses so far.

  1. NARESH PAREKH says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am intrested in pursuing this profession , with my ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING GRADUATION WITH 30 YEARS EXPWEIENCE IN INDIA.
    Please send me the full details for appearing Exams for the above , as I am in INDIA, Please send details for the geographical locations for appearing exams .

    • admin says:

      Thanks for sending in your question.

      Each state will have their own variation on the licensure process so where you take the exam and what requirements you will have to fulfill will depend on where you ultimately endup. In order to sit for the exam, you will likely have to get approval from that State’s Engineering Board to validate your electrical engineering degree and experience.

      Here is the website for the NCEES who administers the exam:


      On the right hand side is a drop down menu for each state’s details.

  2. i’m pretty much sure you are not right in this issue, it’s already known fact that learning is beond everything.

    בגרות באזרחות לימודי אנימציה

    • admin says:

      Thanks for commenting. You’re right, learning never stops. Continual education is very important for any engineer and their career. In fact, licensed Professional Engineers are required to have continuing education in order to maintain their certification. Generally they must submit proof of a certain number of education credit hours every year to renew their license. Whether by participating in training classes or seminars, attending industry conferences, etc it’s important to never stop learning.

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  4. Komal says:

    Is it mandatory for bachlor’s engineer to go for FE exam first? or one can directly go for PE exam??

    Thanks in advace.


    • admin says:

      Hi Komal, the earliest someone can take the FE Exam is generally the last year of their undergraduate engineering study. The FE Exam must be taken before the PE exam. There are sometimes exemptions where you can get a waiver from having to take the FE if you have a certain level of working experience. Generally this would be something like more than 8-10 years in the field. This varies depending on your state and level of experience, thus you would have to contact your state’s local engineering board to see if you qualify. Hope that helps.

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