My long road to becoming a licensed Professional Engineer

Becoming a Professional Engineer in the States is quite difficult for foreigners, particularly in Florida. Thanks to the state of Texas, I was able to become a PE in Florida and this is my story of how I did it.

I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Brighton having been born and bred in Brighton. As is standard in the UK I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in three years.

While I was at university I met and fell in love with an American who lived in Florida (her name is Marti by the way). Since I was a little more easy-going than her I made the trek to the US rather than the other way around so I now found myself, recently graduated, living in the States.

Work permit and green card issues aside I finally got a job working as a Civil Engineer with Black & Veatch. It wasn’t long before I started investigating what needed to be done to become a professional engineer in Florida. After all, in order to get anywhere in your career it’s somewhat expected/required (as is becoming Chartered in the UK).

As I have a foreign degree the Florida Board of Professional Engineers makes you get your education evaluated, which as I recall, cost about $250. It required getting my university and even my A-level exam boards to send transcripts of all my results directly to the evaluator (they cannot come through you). Several weeks later, I got a letter from them describing all the courses I had taken and how they compare to an ABET degree, which requires 32 credit hours in higher mathematics and basic sciences, 48 credit hours in engineering science and engineering design, and 16 hours in humanities and social sciences.

As is typical in the UK, when you go to university, you strictly study the course you enroll for. So as a civil engineer, I studied engineering. Not philosophy. Not English. Not history. And certainly not religious studies.

So my evaluation essentially noted that I had more than enough hours is mathematics and engineering but that I was slightly deficient in basic science (this is the stuff we learnt in secondary school, which doesn’t count in your accreditation) and deficient in humanities and social sciences. Apparently history is a really important aspect of becoming an engineer!

After doing some research I found out that you can take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (otherwise known as the FE exam, or EIT – a prerequisite to taking your PE exam) if your only educational deficiency is in the social sciences and humanities area.

So I bit the bullet and took the three classes in basic sciences that I needed to at least make myself eligible to take the FE and thankfully I passed first time around.

I had looked at other states, particularly Texas – and you’ll see why in a minute – to see whether they also required you to have all of these education requirements in place, but most states did. Texas did have some workarounds, but for some reason, you need to be a resident of Texas to take the FE in that state, so I just gave in and took the stupid classes.

With my EIT designation I was now hell-bent on getting my PE out of the way. With the appropriate work experience under my belt I started looking at all different states and how I could skirt the rules to take my exam in their state. Florida will not let you take the PE exam unless you fully meet their educational requirements including the humanities and social sciences which I really wanted to avoid having to do.

Then I stumbled upon Texas. For a state that most of us might see as relatively archaic they’re actually quite forward-thinking thinking when it comes to their board of Professional Engineers. The Texas rules have educational requirements just like every other state but the difference in Texas is that, if you don’t have a US degree, they abide by the Washington Accord which recognises degrees from accredited engineering programs in each signatory’s respective country – one of which is the UK (the others are Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taipei, India, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Turkey and Singapore, with more being added as standards improve). That means that any engineering course accredited by the Engineering Council in the UK is as good as a US degree in the eyes of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. Result!! Since my course was accredited (you can check your UK degree here) I was then eligible to sit for the PE in Texas having met all of the other application criteria (this was the only real hurdle – everything else is relatively standard including 4 years of work experience).

With that I immediately applied to the Board and did a little dance when the email came in telling me that my application had been approved. I set about booking flights, a hotel and a car and preparing for the exam.

While I probably didn’t study as much as I should have and I wasn’t as confident as I would have liked, after a 6 week wait I finally got the good news that I had passed. As of that moment, I was a Professional Engineer registered in the state of Texas. For me that’s kind of the end of the story: my main motive for getting the PE was advancement in my career – I couldn’t get promoted any more without getting my PE and my company didn’t care that my PE was from a different state than the state that I work in so I have no particular need to go any further at least for now.

For others they may still need to get registered in their own state so that they can actually sign and seal documents and I can tell you that as far as Florida goes they don’t care how much work experience you have, if you’re a PE in another state, or if you designed the Aswan dam: you cannot apply for a PE in Florida unless you meet their educational requirements. This is something of a joke: I had a colleague who was a Chartered Engineer in the UK for 20 years and was a respected heavy-civil engineer, but none of that mattered: he had to go to back to school to pass stupid classes like trigonometry, take the FE and then take the PE. The system really is broken and while mine could have been made worse by having to take the humanities and social sciences in order to get licensed in Florida, it still was quite an effort to get licensed at all.

I remain eternally thankful to the Lone Star state.

dave-clements-professional-engineer-seal

Update: July 18th, 2013

This article caught the eye of one of the editors at Professional Engineer magazine and he asked if he could publish it in an upcoming edition. So I was only too happy to oblige.

See the published article

Since then, I’ve had a number of emails come in from various people, but I was most intrigued to receive one directly from the executive director of the Florida Board of Professional Engineers, Zana Raybon.

She indicated that despite everything I had been told by FBPE up to this point there is in fact a way to get licensed in Florida in my situation. According to her (and I haven’t looked into this too much yet) once you have had your license in another state for two years you can apply for endorsement which is similar to reciprocity but does not include the need to have the humanities hours.

So it seems as though I will be able to apply for a Florida PE by endorsement next December. Not sure if I’ll still be in the state by then or if I even want to bother pursuing this option at this point given how much I feel messed around by FBPE but we’ll see what happens I suppose.

Update 2: June 15th, 2015

Per the update above I was eligible to apply for licensure by endorsement in Florida after holding a PE in another state for at least 2 years. With my company’s support I filed the application in February this year and about 3 months later the Board approved my application for licensure in Florida so I am now officially a Florida PE (and a Texas PE).

fl-pe-certificate

 

I will likely give up the Texas PE as it was a means to an end and doesn’t offer up any professional benefits since I don’t perform work in the state of Texas.

I graduated 9 years ago, started working as an engineer more than 8 years ago and I’m finally licensed in my state as a Professional Engineer. It’s been a long road but I have finally arrived.

Author: Dave

Dave is many things. Most importantly, he's a husband and a father to Ellie and Jack. Almost as important, he's British (though he lives in Florida). Following on from there, he's a WordPress developer and civil engineer, has an unhealthy love of hummus, is vegan, likes cider, wants to travel to Iceland and Japan, loves solving puzzles and is a realist.

311 thoughts on “My long road to becoming a licensed Professional Engineer”

  1. Dave,
    I feel myself lucky finding this blog.

    I immigrated to the US two years ago from China and before that I did my engineering degree in the UK…So I am in the same boat! Recently I passed the FE test and completed the credentials evaluations from NCEES (deficient in General Education with no surprises >.<)

    Now I am planning to take my PE exam in Texas, which can save me at least 2 years waiting! (6 years working experience is required for a forerign degree by Oklahoma State board…)

    Thanks a lot for your post!

    Best Regards,
    Chenkai

      1. Hi, Dave
        I just passed FE exam from Texas board. I need to apply for my EIT certification. I did my undergraduate degree evaluation before. So, can I used my previous credential evaluation ?

        1. Yes, I think so. I’m not sure that there’s an “expiration” on your credentials evaluation, but a quick call to the Board would confirm that.

  2. Take it from a 70-year-old mechanical engineer who knows what he is talking about. The entire engineering licensing experience in the US is nothing but an effort for state employees (bureaucrats) to keep their high paying jobs.

    By the way. Have you heard the news? We now have the Internet. Let’s license engineers at the national level and get rid of the parasitic bastards at the state level.

    1. Ed, sounds like you got burned along the way somewhere? Obviously, licensure for engineers serves a purpose and is common practice in most countries, but whether or not to license at the state level or the national level is a different issue. There’s certainly many benefits to licensing at the national level (a universal license that transcends state borders), but I imagine that the variances between each state’s needs for licensing (e.g. California’s 6 year work experience requirement and their obligatory supplemental seismic design exam for civil PEs) would prevent this from happening.

  3. Dave,

    I am in a similar situation but with a masters degree from a US university and with four years of combined work experience including two years in the USA. I couldn’t get an EIT certificate in Massachusetts after passing the FE exam in Massachusetts because of a couple of ‘deficient’ credits in arts and humanities.

    I am now registered to take the exam in California this fall and California does require Seismic and Surveying exams as well. I would like to make a correction to your California’s 6 year requirement should someone else in our situation stumble on this blog seeking information: 6 years includes 4 years bachelors + 2 years work experience. If one has a masters degree from the US, one only needs 1 year of work experience because a foreign bachelors + US masters is counted as 5 years of experience.

    Once I get licensed in California, I will try to obtain licensure in Massachusetts by reciprocity. The rules in Massachusetts were recently amended to allow candidates with foreign or engineering technology bachelor degrees and a US masters degree to sit for the exams with four years of work experience compared to seven years previously.

    Other than that, good luck for your future ventures: work permit, work visa, permanent residency, and so on and so forth!

    1. Interesting. I’d never really looked into California’s requirements, but a quick search about the seismic exam (which I knew to be a required extra) also mentioned six years of work experience, which I didn’t know could include your education. That’s actually (surprisingly for CA) very lenient. Most other states (Florida and Texas included) require at least 4 years of true work experience.

      Good luck to you too. For now, I think I’ve got everything I need (green card, PE) and things should be much easier moving forward, but it certainly was a pain for my first 6 years here!

    2. Hello sir
      I am in the same situation as yours. Masters degree in US and bachelors from India. Please send me your email so that I can get some guidance from you.
      Thanks
      Sushik

        1. Dave, I did my Bachelor of Civil engineering and Masters in Structures in India with 4 years of design experience. I am now doing PhD in South Carolina. Could you please guide me on taking the PE exam ? What I am looking for is which states will accept my credentials and where should I take the exam. Thanks in advance. Your blog is very helpful to engineers.

          1. Your existing degrees may be covered by the Washington Accord. You’ll need to review this page to see whether your particular degree is covered, and if so, that will make you eligible to take the PE exam in South Carolina and Texas (there may be more states, but these are the two that I know accept the Washington Accord).

            If they’re not accepted, you’ll either have to get your degrees evaluated and possible take extra courses, or wait until you get your PhD, which may be sufficient (without the American Bachelor’s and Master’s) to meet the board’s educational requirements.

            Good luck!

      1. Hi Sushil – I have similar back ground as yours and now in massachsuets. Just curious one year on, whate were your learning that I can reapply. This is a great site and great efforts. I have a BS in chemical Engineering from India and Masters in IE from US

        1. A good starting point would be to check whether your Indian degree is covered by the Washington Accord now that India is a signatory. If not, you’re somewhat out of luck and will need to have your degrees evaluated by the entity permitted by your state engineering board to see whether you need to take any additional classes before meeting the education requirement.

    3. Hello! I’m glad I found this article, Im from Chile and this year I finish my BS and I’m going to move to California I would love to talk to you about the things I have to do or the first thing I should start doing right now in order to be able to work in US, where can I get more information about the requirements. And are you saying that if I move there to study for 1 more year and then I work another year I would be able to take an exam?

      Thank you very much

      1. Hi Claudia,

        Fortunately, the barrier to entry to working is low. Typically, all you need is a degree. You don’t need to have your FE or your PE in order to start working as an engineer. However, your conclusions about being eligible for the FE/PE are perhaps a little misguided. In order to take the FE, you’ll need to have the equivalent of an ABET degree. This will mean getting your degree evaluated and making up the deficiencies between an ABET degree and your own. Once you’ve done that, you can sit for the FE. This will also allow you to sit for PE once you have the work experience under your belt.

    4. Hi, can you tell me if you got your California PE licence with 2 years of US experience ???
      I have foreign bachelors degree and 2.5 years of experience there + US master degree and 1.5 years of experience here – I passed both EIT and PE exams from California, should I apply for the licence yet?

  4. Dear Dave:

    Thank you very much for the great info. This is typically a long/complicated journey and I know lots of people have given up. I got my EIT in CA, and like to sit for PE early next year either in AZ or CA. I have a PhD degree from US, and have only 3 years of experience outside US (Middle East). I do not have any proof of my work experience, only maybe able to get a letter from the company. Of course the work was not under a PE’s supervision, and also was simultaneous to my MS studies. Would you think that this work experience would be even considered by the boards here? As “PursuingPE” also mentioned, In California, I need 1 years of experience to meet the requirements, but I’m not sure if my foreign work experience would be sufficient.

    My other question is that how many (%) companies accept you as a PE if your license is from another state? Is it something very common or rare? Thanks again.

    – Rob

    1. Hi Rob,

      The application usually requires that three professional engineers (not necessarily licensed in the state that you’re looking for licensure in, but probably US PEs) attest to your abilities and stated work experience.

      As for what % of companies want your PE from the state you work in, I’d say that if you’re applying for a position that requires you to hold a PE license, the employer will want it in the state that you’ll be working in, or that you can attain it fairly quickly (by a reciprocity/comity process). My company hired me when I was a new grad, and they don’t much care that my PE isn’t from FL, because we have enough of us around to sign and seal documents. I would imagine that as I become a more senior engineering manager, that a local PE would be needed, which is fine, since after 2 years, I’ll be able to apply for a license in Florida by comity.

  5. Great info Dave, thanks. Do you know if experience outside U.S. is counted towards licensing? I already have the EIT, but I don’t know how to prove/document my foreign work experience.

    Have a good day.
    Rob

    1. Hi Rob,

      I think this varies from state to state. In Florida, I don’t believe it does: I had a colleague who was a chartered engineer of 20+ years, but they didn’t recognise any of his credentials. Well, actually, now that I’m saying it, maybe they did count his work experience, but just not his degree. Best to check with the state board in question.

  6. Dave,
    This page is an excellent resource for international applicants. I would like to commend you on your efforts to document your application experience. You have given me hope that I could receive my PE next May; I have about 3+ years of work ex with a US Masters degree.

    Despite having a Masters degree in the states and three years of international work experience with ENR top ten firms, I was dejected by how difficult it would be for me to be even considered eligible to sit for the PE in any American state. However, I stumbled upon your blog and researched the TBPE regulations. TBPE regulations are very practical and sensible. For example I don’t need to send my undergraduate degree for evaluation as the TBPE accepts any ABET recognized engineering degree; hence I can submit my Masters transcripts. Also, TBPE explicitly talks about overseas experience and receiving referrals from PEs who have not served as a direct supervisor. Of course all work experience is still subject to approval from the Board’s review committee but at least these scenarios are addressed. I sent an email explaining my situation to another state board and they replied simply stating that my experience should be post graduation and under direct PE supervision, Though they also didn’t say if my experience would be completely rejected. In contrast, TBPE is far more open minded about international applicants and even has a webpage explaining the process for international applicants.

    Rob,
    TBPE does consider international work experience. However, TBPE requires you to have at least 2 years of work ex in the US or using US design codes.

    Dave,
    Any advice on reference materials? I’m looking for book that will provide me with a strategy to tackle the exam and prepare for it. I’m also looking for reference books I can take to the exam.

    Thank you very much for putting all this information together.

    Cheerio,
    Adrian

    1. Thanks Adrian,

      I’m glad that this was a good starting point for you to be able to figure where you stood with TBPE and have found a path forward to licensure. As for reference documents, the only thing that I really studied was this book, and then the NCEES sample questions book.

      All the best!

    2. Hi Adrian,

      I wanted to follow up with you regarding your experience qualifying to take the PE exam in Texas. Did you apply and get accepted to take the PE exam just based on your MS transcripts or did you eventually have to submit an approved evaluation of your foreign undergraduate degree? If the latter, did you have to take additional courses to meet eligibility requirements. I would appreciate a detail response on the application process and your journey towards being approved to take the PE exam. Did you take it already? Successful?

      Here are my credentials – BE in Civil Engineering from India, MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from Penn State – 12+ years of experience in industry working with PEs in the US. I never bothered to take the PE since I wasn’t actively designing and stamping drawings in any of my projects. I once got my degree evaluated to be eligible to sit for PE in Florida 10 years ago and they came back suggesting 24 credit hours of coursework to be eligible. I dropped the idea instantly!

      Any help you can provide with reference to TBPE would be immensely appreciated. Thanks!

  7. Dave,
    My name is Michael and i work in Saudi Arabia as Senior Mechanical Engineer but my bachelor degree is from egypt and i planing to have my PE from Saudi Arabia under agreement from NCEES is it enough to let me work in USA

    1. Michael,

      I’m not sure what NCEES agreement you’re referring to, but in my experience, generally your education and qualifications from international jurisdictions do not carry over to the US. It is likely that, like me, you’ll need to have your degree evaluated by the appointed authority by whatever state you are trying to get your PE in, and then make up any shortfalls before you’ll even be eligible to sit for your EIT or PE.

  8. Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for this wonderful information on your experience.
    I need some advice on how I should approach my situation.I have always wanted to study or work in the US as an engineer,but as fate would have it that dream has not yet come true due to so many circumstances.

    I am a British citizen;I had BEng in Electronics and Communications Engineering and a Msc in Technologies for Broadband Communications from the UK, in 2007 and 2009 respectively but unfortunately I have not had any work experince as Engineer in my field of discipline.

    Currently I work as QA Engineer which does not require my degrees nor it’s associated with Electrical Engineering.

    What is the best way to start in other to work in the US?

    If I choose to study for another MSc(even though I don’t think I can afford ),will it aid my situation ?

    Also any information on work permit will be very usefully.

    Please any information will be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Fola,

      I wouldn’t suggest getting another MSc: I don’t think it will make you any more attractive of a candidate than you already are. I’d focus on hunting down companies that could use your skillset and see whether they’re willing to sponsor work visas (look out for, or seach for, H1B sponsorships).

  9. Dave,

    Awesome article! I am a licenced enginner in canada with 10 years experience. I’m also married to a Florida girl who, believe it or not, moved to canada 8 years ago and has been here ever since. I wrote the FE and passed several years ago in North Dakota. Was hoping to get licenced as a PE in Florida but also found the state board to frustrating to deal with to say the least! Ended up applying to North Dakota to write the PE with little effort and have since been accepted to write.

    1. Wow, so they do. Thanks for the info Yon. I confirmed this by looking up their state regulations. For anyone interested, look up South Carolina Code of Regulation Chapter 49, Article 2.

  10. Hello Dave,
    your story is very encouraging.
    i am an american citizen who is actually studying my civil eng bachelors from an accredited(washington accord) uni in Australia. i chose australia due to some personal reason but i have always feared that my degree will not be accepted in the states and i will never be able to work there too.
    So is it compulsory for me to do masters in an american university to be able to work as an engineer? Or its a better option?
    Thank you so much for your help.
    Zanzi

    1. No, it’s absolutely not compulsory. Australia is a Washington Accord signatory, so as long as your Australian degree is accredited by Engineers Australia, your degree is recognised by the Washington Accord and you can at the very least get licensed in South Carolina or Texas. Once you have your license, that opens up your opportunities to get reciprocity/endorsement/comity from other states (for example, I am soon going to apply for license by endorsement from Florida, even though I don’t have the humanities and social sciences hours of an ABET degree).

  11. Hello Dave,

    You input in giving some guide to people with no ABET approved undergrad degree is great! I saw that you got licensed in Texas and that brought the question of whether Texas requires residency for PE License. Does Texas require residency status for approval? and what other states do you know that does not require residency status asides Califonia?

    Thanks,
    Mc

    1. Texas does require residency for the FE, but not for the PE. I live in Florida and have never lived in TX, so while I had to take my FE in FL, I could take my PE in TX.

  12. Hi Dave,

    This is Sergio, I got your blog doing some research for engineering seals. I enjoyed a lot your blog about the Florida nightmare, actually I had the situation like you, but I found the way to get license in Florida. I am a Cuban guy, I studied an engineering degree in Cuba, it is 5 years degree. Then I came to live in Puerto Rico, I got the transcriptions from Cuba, and it were evaluated to get a compatibility with the ABET requirements in USA, then applied for the both tests EIT and PE and was successfully licensed as PE while living in PR. Then I moved to the sunshine State, then I applied by Endorsement to get licensed as PE in Florida, but as the requirements my transcriptions had to be evaluated again, I said OK, I am a PE already so it is formalism process, what was my surprise when I received a letter that my engineering course does not satisfy the ABET requirement, I said “hello” I am PE already and my courses were satisfactory evaluated before, but the guy doing the evaluation in Florida had a different disgusting opinion. The same like you, as his opinion I need more credits in basic science, I said what else? I completed all the maths, physics, and chemicals needed, and they said me I need something else like agronomy or something similar, What? I said? I am an electrical engineer, what I need to take that? well, I did my own research on that, I got the credits requirement for the some USA universities like MIT, Georgia Tech, Ohio, etc, I discovered that those universities provide credits in physical and chemical labs, the transcriptions sent by my university did not include the labs in basic science, then I did the request to be included the labs and applied for a re-evaluation, then I finally got the “approval” letter to get license as PE by endorsement in Florida. This is my story, probably it is a winning way.

    Sergio

  13. hi Dave

    thanks alot for the valuable information

    I have my FE exam and I want to take my PE now , my bachelor is certified from ABET

    so my question now being passed the FE means that I am now certified from NCEES ABET , so I can take PE now , or I need first to evaluate my bachelor first to be able to take the PE

    thanks

    1. If your degree is not accredited by ABET, then your next best hope is that it is covered by the Washington Accord, which would allow you to take the exam in at least Texas and South Carolina. Failing that, it sounds like you would need to have your degree evaluated by NCEES (or whomever else your state’s Engineering Board allows to do degree evaluations).

  14. Hi Dave,

    Thanks a lot for information.

    I have my Bachelors and Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from India only.

    I am working here in USA since 1.5 years. I just passed my EIT exam last week.

    I have total 5.5 years of experience after my masters degree ( among 5.5 years ; 1.5 years in USA under PE)

    I request you to suggest me the further steps to apply for PE exam from the proper board because I want to give that exam early as possible if I can.

    Will any board will grant this background and allow me to give PE exam ? or I have to take some experience or education.

    Thank you
    Saurabh Shah

    1. Several things to consider here:

      • Nearly all boards require at least 4 years of work experience under the responsible charge of a PE, so I see that as your biggest barrier. You may be able to find a board that allows for foreign work experience to count, but if not, you’ll have to wait another 2.5 years to be able to apply for your PE exam.
      • Is it safe to assume that your degree is not ABET-accredited? If not, India is a signatory to the Washington Accord which could allow you to meet the educational requirements in Texas and South Carolina if your degree meets the Indian accreditation criteria.

      Good luck and let me know what you find out.

  15. Hi there

    Thank you for your kind reply.

    I have checked my degree In Indian Accreditation criteria but I can not find my College Listed there, though my college is well known and approved by Indian Government.

    So what should I do now ?

    As far as the experience thing is concern , if PE exam require min 4 years of experience under PE in USA only; I can not do anything and I have to wait just because I have only 1.5 years of experience her the rest 3.5 years are out side USA.

    I though some state boards may allow you to give PE exam but they will give you license only after completing experience or some may consider international experience, so I asked you weather you have any idea or not.

    Thank you again
    Saurabh Shah

    1. I am not aware of any state boards that will allow you to take the PE exam before you get the 4 years of experience but that isn’t to say that there aren’t any. If anyone else knows or if you find out more during your research, please come back here and respond. Good luck!

      1. Nevada will allow you to take the exam as early as 2 years after graduating with an ABET accredited BS; however, they will not issue the license until you have 4 years of full-time work experience.

      2. Illinois will let you take the PE exam at any point once you’ve passed the FE (EIT). Technically, you can pass the FE and PE test one year after graduating. However, you’ll need to wait 4 yrs (or 3 yrs with Master’s or 2 yrs with PhD) with experience before you can apply with the State Board.

        Interestingly, IL is one of seven states that has a separate structural license, SE. In IL the PE is utterly useless for the design of buildings and/or bridges (any structures) because the PE license is deemed insufficient with its 4 yrs experience / 8 hr multiple choice test. The SE exam is a NCEES administered 16 hr test over two days of which 8 hrs are long-hand solutions. Minimum working experience is 8 years (there has been talk to make it 12 years or 8 yrs with Master’s).

        I have the SE license and I’m taking the PE in Oct ’16 ironically because Texas does not have a separate Structural board. And since the PE and SE organizations are at each other throats, I cannot get the PE by reciprocity even though the SE is twice as demanding with years of experience and like 5x more difficult with the actual test.

  16. Thank you for your reply.

    I am thinking to wait to get enough experience in USA, no rush

    Do you suggest any extra certification or exam to take in between to make your resume stronger and pleasing.

    I am in Mechanical Engineering QC and Project Dept.

    1. That very much depends on your unique circumstances but unless you specialise in something very particular, I’d say that extra certifications are just a waste of time (and money).

  17. Dave – Interesting blog. Here is a real teaser for you.

    I have a Bachelor’s degree In Chemical Engineering from India dating back to the late 60’s and a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from one of the top US universities in the early 70’s. I live in the US and have over 42 years work experience. Worked in chemical process Research & Development, electric generating power plant related process and system design, engineering, plant operator training/start-up and trouble shooting. Subsequent to 3 decades of engineering and project related activities, I moved on to governmental legislative and regulatory activities and corporate strategic planning, before taking early retirement 5 years back. BTW, the three plus decades of professional work experience was in Texas. I have presented papers in domestic and international conferences and my articles have been published in trade journals.

    During my work life, I never felt a need to get licensed, because I was not signing off on civil/structural drawings, where a PE seal seemed mandatory. If my memory serves me right, in those days (going back to the 80’s), any graduate engineer in Texas with a few years of work experience in engineering and references from registered PEs, could get a PE license without undergoing EIT/PE exams. I could have but did not elect to go that route.

    Here then is the million dollar question. Now that I have re-emerged from retirement (after a few years) and am using my work experience in business consulting/advisory activities (engineering related) and serving on voluntary boards/commissions, a PE credential is appealing. What is your understanding about getting a PE certification, in say the state of Texas for one (and other states too)? Are all the exams being talked up in your blog, still a requirement for a time constrained individual or would it suffice to get the needed past work, character, experience references from any number of PEs whom I have worked with? Please share your understanding of the current certification requirements for an individual with my background. I hope to do some independent follow through too. But your comments would be welcome Dave.

    1. Hi Dharma,

      This is an unusual situation! I have heard of certain boards that can accept long periods of experience in place of the educational requirements, however several components of the application process cannot be waived, including providing references and details on your applicable work experience. You’ll have to reconnect with your peers (who must still be active PEs by the way) to get your references and work experience verified. Given the particularly unique nature of your application, there may be room for the Board to consider your extenuating circumstances.

      Let me know what you find out about getting licensed without the educational component on count of your vast experience, if you decide to go that route. There’s certainly many people who have asked about this.

      Thanks

      1. Thanks Dave. I will certainly keep you abreast of my application.. I have guys that I reported to and others that I have worked with, whose PE licenses are current and who can attest to my qualifications, work experience, character etc.

  18. Seems like you need 4 years experience in all states unless you have an ABET accredited engineering degree or a foreign degree that meets NCEES standard by evaluation. I understand most foreign degrees (80%) don’t meet the standard. That’s not to say foreign degrees are inferior, they often just follow a different path. I had a shortfall of 10 points with social sciences and basic chemistry, I understand I can fill in the gaps by taking CLEP exams at a local college. I still got to do the EIT exam through NY state as they are more relaxed, however cant do the PE exam without 6 years experience unless I fill the gaps in my education.

    1. Hi Jon,

      Yes, I think you’re about on point. I think that it is a fairly standard requirement to have at least 4 years’ experience in conjunction with your approved degree. I have heard of certain boards where you can get around the educational requirements with a wealth of experience but in general terms, it’s much less arduous and time-consuming to suck it up and complete the education component.

  19. Hi Dave,

    In my NCEES degree evaluation i still managed to outscore the NCEES standard by 12 points, just not in the areas where it needed to count. My degree is Sydney accord accredited, so I don’t think Texas would let me take the exam early. Its strange that some UK engineering degrees have been put in that bracket, because they are not non-calc based technology degrees like some of those courses out here. I hit the benchmark in all major subjects & exceeded the NCEEs standard in many areas, but was knocked back on foundation studies like basic chemistry & US History – crazy when you think about it !

    1. To Jon and all the British education system based applicants, please make sure when you apply for the NCEES credential evaluation you include your A-Level results. NCEES will give you credit for all the PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, BIOLOGY, and General Education (History, General Paper, etc) courses you took the A-Level exams in. I have been through this successfully myself. I’m not from UK but rather from one of the British Colonies in Africa that ended up fashioning our educational system after the British after independence from her “Majesty”.

        1. Also, Dave can you update your blog with FBPE’s latest rule changes to make it easy for applicants with foreign degree holders claim credit for such Advanced Level courses? Ms. Raybon has been very instrumental in making these changes as the Director or FBPE (or pushing for that at the moment as of the last few FBPE meeting minutes). It sucks a lot of applicants probably gave up in the past because of this hurdle but I’m glad FBPE and NCEES are acknowledging the mandatory rigorous nature of the British based High school systems (similar to the optional US Advanced Placement Courses) when it comes to admission to national colleges.

  20. Hi Dave,

    I was interested in this comment below:

    “After doing some research, I found out that you can take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (otherwise known as the FE exam, or EIT – a prerequisite to taking your PE exam) if your only educational deficiency is in the social sciences and humanities area.”

    I have a 4 year Bachelors engineering degree and Masters from an ABET equivalent Canadian University, and a Ph.D. in the sciences but was told by NCEES that I am deficient in social sciences and humanities. I was considering going the Texas route but would still have to sit for the FE. I live in PA and have worked for an Engineering firm for nearly 10 years. Was this loophole for the EIT only in FL?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Judd,

      In Florida, you can sit for the EIT without your social sciences and humanities credits. I’m not aware of the stance of other engineering boards, so it’s worth looking at PA rules. If they don’t allow it, you might consider checking whether Florida will let you sit for the FE without living here. I couldn’t take the FE in Texas because I wasn’t a resident, even though that wasn’t the case for the PE. If Florida (or anywhere else) does allow you to sit for the FE without the humanities and social sciences hours AND without being a resident, your best route is to take the FE there and then take the PE in Texas or South Carolina.

      Good luck!

    2. Hi Judd,
      I live in PA. My education was from India. I applied to NY Board for F.E. Exam and they readily allowed me to take the exam after I sent my transcript directly from my college. NY Board does their own evaluaiton.
      I gave my CBT FE Exam in PA and passed. When I went to NY Board to get the EIT Certificate, they denied and said they will issue P.E. Certificiate when I am eligible to take that and pass.

      So, I went to California Board for the certificate. The process was simple and got my EIT certificate in two weeks.

      Thanks.

  21. Hi there,

    I am asking this question on behalf of my friend.

    He has enough experience for PE, he has already completed his FE, degree evaluated and good to go.

    Since he is Indian student , NJ board is asking him to give TOFEL (English learning ) exam first and then he can appear for PE exam

    He is thinking to give PE from another board, say from Texas.

    Can he do that? later he wants to transfer his PE licence from Texas to NJ.

    If he ask to transfer his license in future, will the board ask for TOFEL again?
    (assume he is already having Texas license that that time )

    1. Hi Saurabh,

      Whether or not NJ will allow you to transfer your friend’s license from TX will all depend on the state’s specific rules. Upon quick review, the New Jersey PE Comtiy application indicates that the applicant must pass the TOEFL exam, as you indicate is required for the initial PE application process. Save waiting and hoping for the NJ board to relax this requirement, it seems that there is no advantage to getting a PE in another state in the hope of circumventing the TOEFL requirement.

  22. Hey Dave.
    My graduate major is hydrogeology and environmental engineering. I have my EIT certificate from CA, a PhD from an american univ, 5 years of engineering research experience as a PhD candidate at school, and zero work experience outside school in the US. Only 2-3 years experience outside US in a tiny company. My BS is not abet, and I dont feel okay doing the evaluation. Do you think I better to do that?
    Also, if I get the PE in CA (without evaluation), then:
    Can I transfer it to MA, still with no evaluation?

    Thank you
    Robert

    1. Hi Robert,

      I;m not sure of the rules in CA, but are you able to get a PE without having your degree evaluated? I’d be very surprised if you could. Regardless, if you do, it is likely that MA will require you to have the same credentials whether applying for the first time or whether applying for licensure by endorsement from another state. You’ll have to check MA’s rules and options on becoming a PE when you’re already a PE in another state.

      My guess is that you’ll need to get your degree evaluated.

  23. Sorry you had to go through all that to get a PE license. I am a licensed Florida PE ( went to UCF) and hated every minute of humanities I had to take. It has nothing to do with engineering and I don’t see why you have to waste time, effort and money on these classes. But the PE exam was much harder!! ( I did pass the first time)
    Good luck getting your Florida PE!

    Sophia

  24. Hi Dave! What a story! Definitely very very encouraging.

    I´m a spanish engineer(26 years old) got my Bachellors in barcelona and did a masters in the US. Worked in TX for three years and then went back to Spain to work for a big civil engineering firm.
    I was thinking about it and will try pass the PE exam, I have everything I need, experience, references, passed the FE exam…. the only thing that is kind of bugging me is the fact that I dont currently reside in the US. Do you know if that is a requirement?

    Thanks much!! :)

    1. I think that the residency requirement only applies for the FE exam (in Texas at least). You’ll need to take the exam in Texas (if that’s your chosen path), but I don’t see any reason you couldn’t apply for the PE. Another consideration is that the four years of work experience (to my recollection) needs to be under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer, so I think you’re a year short in terms of work experience. Good luck!

  25. Dave, thanks so much for your reply. I’m only required three years experience since I have a masters degree. It’s 4 years for a bachelors degree and 3 if you have a masters degree.
    Greetings from Barcelona!!!

  26. Hi Dave,

    I am a mechanical engineer in NY, I have a similar problem. I graduated from non abet programs, bachelor in physics and master in mechanical engineering. NYS said I need total 12 years experience to get PE, 6 years for FE, and another 6 after that for PE. They give me 3 years experience for my bachelor in physics and 1 year for my master. Now I just have 2 years work experience left to take the FE, but recently my friend told me I can take FE in CA with a combine 3 years experience from post-secondary engineering education and work experience, which I qualify and I did got a confirmation from CA people.
    So If I take FE from CA, I could save that one year off FE instead of taking in NY, after getting the FE, would it be able to “transfer” to NY? I don’t have that much hope.

    I’ve been looking around for other state to take FE early, but I think CA is my best bet. but waiting 6 years after FE just in order to take PE is a little too much to swallow.

    Wai

    1. Hi Wai,

      Yes, unless there’s some special rule in NY that I’m not aware of, the FE (and PE) exam is a national exam and once you’ve passed it, you’ve passed it, regardless of what state you took it in. Where people get tripped up is the other requirements that the state boards have, such as requiring that you take classes to make your degree equivalent to that of an ABET degree before issuing a PE. Good luck!

  27. Hi Dave,
    I am an Algerian civil engineer and have a Master degree in Hydraulics engineering.
    I won on the DV Lottery 2016 and would like to know what should I do to become eligible to pass the FE exam. And which state is better to start.

    1. Hi Tako,

      Congratulations on your visa! Your first step in becoming eligible for the FE is getting your Masters degree evaluated for equivalency. Check with your state’s engineering board to see what entity should do this (most now accept NCEES). I don’t think there’s much difference in what states require for taking the FE, so just do whatever is most convenient for you (start with where you live/work). Good luck!

  28. I wanted to take the PE exam in Civil for October 2015, but California and New Jersey which I had in mind to take the exam in have both passed their deadline for application. However, I found out that I can take the exam in Arizona through NCEES directly, without submitting anything to AZ board of Professional Engineers until hopefully the exam is passed on this October. Do you think if passing the exam on October and then applying to get registered in AZ will give me the chance of transferring my PE registration to either NJ or CA? I mean, I understand that there are other documents and requirements that either of these two states might require differently, but doesn’t it at least get the job done with the examination part of the process? Or should I take a second PE exam for NJ or CA in the future? I know however that NJ requires a law-kinda exam and CA requires a seismic and land surveying exam in addition to the PE examination, but passing the exam through NCEES-Arizona, would it be accepted by NJ or CA as for the PE morning/evening examination?

    1. I haven’t come across this situation before. I’d look at the application forms for NJ and CA and see if it asks you whether you have passed the PE exam. If it does, it will likely ask you in what state. This means that they’ll go to that state’s engineering board and ask them to verify it. If you take the exam in AZ, does the AZ board of professional engineers get notified, such that they could confirm that you have passed the PE? Another option is that NJ/CA might be able to confirm you having passed the exam directly with NCEES but you’ll have to check with them. Let us know what you find out.

  29. Hello Dave,

    To add to your inundation with questions, I have one of my own. I did my research, sent an email here and thee but couldn’t find an answer. So, I’m hoping after having danced around state boards, you’re familiar with the different licensing rules. Here is my story:

    I am from Saudi Arabia. I did my undergrad in the Lone Star State. Now I’m back in my home country with a 4-year experience in a major oil company. I took my PE exam here with the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) and I have successfully passed the exam. While pursuing licensure from the SCE Board, I came to learn that they are pretty demanding the experience filed. To be licensed as a professional engineer, you would have to garner 9 years of experience. That’s right. 9 years!! they’ll let you take the test, but you won’t get a certification number until you’ve satisfied their experience requirment. So, I started looking for other options. I’m going to grad school in California in 3 months. Is it possible that you have a PE pass in one state then you pursue your first licensure in another?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Mohammed

    1. Hi Mohammed,

      The PE exam is a national exam, so once you’ve passed it in one state, you’ve passed it in every state. It’s just that each state board will require for you to apply to them to make sure that you have met all of their criteria for licensure which varies from state to state including work experience and education requirements.

      In your situation though, you’re talking about taking the PE exam in CA for licensure in another state. I don’t think this is generally possible as you need to take the exam in the state in which you are applying for licensure in. So if you’re seeking a CA PE, you’ll take your exam in PE, but if you want to get licensed in TX for example, you’ll have to fly to TX to take the exam (as I did).

      Hope that helps.

  30. Does this mean I have to take the PE exam again? I already passed it in my “state”. Yet, I am having this problem because my international board with whom i took the PE exam only recently started administering it and they don’t have everything figured out. Now i’m left with a PE pass and no licensure hope. That’s why I’m looking for any other state board that would give me a license and accept my foreign experience. ps- My company follows US design codes and standards.

    Is there any hope for me?

    1. Oh I see. In that case, if you have passed the NCEES PE exam, you won’t have to do that again. I’m not sure of the best state to get licensed in, but I’d definitely looking at Texas

      1. Texas seems like one of the few states that accept foreign experience. So, I guess I’ll approach them in september and see where that train takes me.

        Anyway, Thanks for your help, Dave.

  31. Hi Dave,
    I did undergrad in Mechanical Engineering(4 Year) from India. The name of collage is B.V.M. Engineering Collage, Vallabh Vidyanager, Gujarat, India. I did M.S. Mechanical engineering from NewJersey Institute of Technology, NJ-USA. I would like to appear in FE and then achieve PE too. Do i need to submit Credit Evaluation for FE test in New Jesrsey state? How about for PE after I am done with FE. I did graduate from NJIT in May 2008.
    Please advise.
    -Thank you.

    1. You will still need to have your education evaluated I believe. Once you’ve had that done, applied for and achieved the FE, you should be able to sit for the PE using the same credentials evaluation as you had to do for your PE, unless you go through a different state board. If you’re doing both in NJ, then one evaluation should suffice (assuming not too much time passes between getting your evaluation done and applying for your PE)

  32. Hi Dave,

    I am a registered Professional Engineer (PEng, Civil Engineering) in the province of Ontario Canada and have my masters and phd degrees from a Canadian University. In addition, I have 4 years work experience under the supervision of a PEng, 1.5 year of which is after becoming P.Eng.

    In these circumstances, could you let me know if I still need my courses to be evaluated before appearing for FE exam? Do you need any US work experience under the supervision of an US PE to appear for the FE examination?

    Once I pass the FE examination, how many additional years of experience do I need to be a PE in California/New York/NC/SC/TX?

    Thanks very much in advance.

    1. TS,

      Generally, work experience makes no difference when it comes to your education credentials. If your degree is not ABET-accredited, you’ll need to get your degree evaluated (although, you’re probably covered under the Washington Accord, so you could be OK in Texas – see other discussions here about the Washington Accord). Some states will require that your work experience be under the supervision of a PE, while others will merely require that you have the experience.

      Once you pass the FE, there’s no time limit before taking the PE – once you have the required experience (whether before FE or after) you can apply for the PE. I’d definitely start by looking at Texas in your scenario.

      1. Hello,

        I’m actually in a very similar situation now, 8 years work experience, 2 years with P.Eng. from Ontario Canada. I received my bachelors from the University of Waterloo in 2008 (Ontario).

        I was just going to submit the “ENDORSEMENT APPLICATION FOR NON-NCEES RECORDS PARTICIPANTS” listing my Ontario Experience and see what they reply back to me.

        Does that make sense to do? I gather from reading this that Florida will request a NCEES credential evaluation. Seems crazy to spend $350 on that when I’ve been working for so many years as an Engineer, I’m definitely not a new grad.

        Thanks for the post, I appreciate you taking the time to explain this route.

  33. Dave,
    Brilliant post, thank you very much for sharing your experience

    I would like to go for a FE/PE in the US (ideally in CA / NY) and my situation is as follows:

    *) 5-year Master’s degree from an Italian University, not ABET-accredited and not covered by the Washington Accord
    *) Italian citizenship and UK residence. I do not live/work in the States
    *) 8 ½ years’ work experience in the UK (currently employed by a large firm in London). Some of my UK bosses are PE’s
    *) No US experience, not currently living in the US.

    Do you know if there is a state where a PE license can be obtained:
    *) with my credentials (see above)
    *) without working / living in the US
    *) without any US work experience

    Thanks,
    Paolo

    1. Paolo,

      To the best of my knowledge, you’ll at least need to get your education credentials evaluated to have them compared to an ABET degree, since you’re not covered under the Washington Accord. NCEES provides a service for doing this that is supported by most state engineering boards. I don’t believe that not living or working in the US is a problem and generally, I don’t think that your work experience needs to be in the US either, though some states may ask that your work experience be under the supervision of a registered PE, which it sounds like you have covered (I’m assuming that you meant that some of your bosses are PEs and not CEngs). With all that said, I don’t know that any one state is better than another – pick the one you’d most like to visit when you come to take your PE exam.

  34. You might think twice about keeping your Texas PE active. If you have to apply to another state, you will still need Texas to verify your original test scores with any other state you wish to license in. Look around online, there are many horror stories about people who let an original license lapse and had to retake the exam before being approved in another state.

  35. Hi Dave ,

    This Blog was really really useful.
    I have some questions very specific to Texas PE license.

    1) Does it help to get H1-B visas?

    A) My Backgroud:
    I completed my undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communications, from Gujarat University, India. I have 27 years of work experience in Instrumentation and Control Systems. Will this be an issue that my undergraduate major is not the same as the field of experience?

    It is a state university and is recognized by the National Board of Accreditation, India as a Tier 1 university. According to this website: http://www.nbaind.org/files/tier1_web_register.aspx , National Board of Accreditation(NBA) has been accorded permanent Signatory status of Washington Accord on 13th June 2014. As per Washington Accord agreement, Recognition of programmes by other signatories applies only to programmes accredited by NBA that are offered by education providers accepted by NBA as Tier 1 Institutions.

    I believe my university should be thus recognized by Washington Accord.
    1) Do I still require a degree evaluation process ?
    2) My course didn’t have humanities requirements. How should I take care of this before appearing for a FE exam or PE exam?

    B) Work Experience:
    I have 27 years of work experience in top Oil and Gas companies: in India – 13 years, Middle East – 14 years.
    1) Will I get a waiver for the FE exam based on this work experience? What are the steps for it?
    2) I haven’t worked under a PE supervisor so far in my career. How should I deal with that for Texas Licensure?

    C) FE exam :
    Incase I don’t qualify for a waiver:
    1) I believe one has to be a resident of Texas state to give the FE exam there. I am not a US citizen, or a resident. Can I give the FE exam at the Sharjah, UAE center and give the PE exam in Texas?
    2) If FE exam needs to be given in USA too, which states allow non-citizens and non residents to give the exam ?

    D) PE exam :
    I want to get a PE license in Texas.
    1) But can I still apply for jobs in other states ? I want to be able to apply for as many jobs in the oil and gas sector.
    2) Does a Texas license work in some of the other states? If yes, then which states?

    E) TOEFL:
    1) Do I need to give the TOEFL exam before appearing for FE or PE exam?
    2) Can I get a waiver for the TOEFL exam if I get a letter from my supervisor saying that I am competent enough in this language?
    3) Is TOEFL required for H1-B visa.

    1. Monil,

      I try to give as much help as I can, but there’s a lot of requests here, so I’m just going to answer each one briefly. You’ll do well to research the Texas Board’s rules.

      – Getting an H1B visa makes no difference to your application.
      – It sounds like you probably are covered by the Washington Accord, in which case, an evaluation of your degree would not be needed. As such, you don’t need to worry about humanities either.
      – Have you heard of such a waiver for FE? I knew a British engineer that had 20 years of heavy civil experience and still needed to take the FE.
      – I couldn’t take the FE in Texas because I live in Florida. As such, taking the exam in UAE (for the Texas board anyway) is undoubtedly out of the question. Not sure what states allow you to take the FE either as a non-resident or as an alien (non-citizen), or both.
      – Your PE license doesn’t limit you to where you can live or work. However, if you apply for a job in NY and you have a TX PE, that might be a roadblock unless your employer doesn’t care, or you can reassure them that you will get your NY PE when possible. Every state requires their own license: you cannot use a TX license anywhere but TX (and likewise for the 49 others).
      – Not sure on the TOEFL requirements as it’s a bridge I’ve never had to cross, but I do remember for one of my applications having to have my supervisor certify that I had a comprehensive understanding of the English language (since I was/am not a US citizen) and I should think so too being that I’m British!
      – I am not aware of any of the requirements surrounding H1-B, as I have a green card.

      Good luck to you!

  36. I am a licensed engineer of English Ancestry…Just wondering if we’re related.

    Brice Patrick Clements, P.E.

  37. Hi Dave,

    I will be moving to California in a couple of weeks (im from the Philippines).
    I really learned a lot from your article! 1st step, i need to do is get my transcript evaluated, and then take the EIT exam if needed. Thanks!

  38. I am a Structural Engineer with 46 years of extensive experience in structural design, in Pakistan. Both local and international projects. I migrated to Houston Texas in 2014. While looking for jobs pertaining to Design Review or 3rd Party Review, etc. I notice the requirement of PE license. Not in a mood to go for that at this stage. Can somebody advise me if there is a way out.

    Mufti

    1. If you need to be a Professional Engineer for your job or for your duties, then there’s no getting out of that unless you can work under the responsible charge of another PE. As far as going through the motions of getting your education and experience evaluated, there’s really no “way out” – you just need to work through it I’m afraid.

      1. Thanks Dave! I think it will be more convenient to work under the charge of another PE, as suggested by you.

        Mufti

  39. Hello Dave. This is very informative forum. I need to ask two questions. I hope you will help me.

    1.I am a mechanical engineer from Pakistani University and degree is recognized by Pakistan Education Council (PEC). Upon my research, I found out that The Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) became a provisional member of the Washington Accord. I have 2 years been working in powergen firm for the past 2 years. I recently got married to a US citizen and processing time left is 4 months left. I am going to move to Miami, Florida and intending to do my field based job. I have heard there would be some test for equivalency test conducted for foreign degree holders? And some FE (Fundamental of Engineering) is required for it? And then PE. Are they necessary for getting my field job? I can give any test for ensuring equivalency of my degree to USA education system. But why FE? And seeing FE sample test scared me because after two years, it seems that I have forgotten major parts of my field. Please guide me the steps i should take after entering USA. CAN I GET JOB OFFER WITHOUT HAVING FE TEST? Needs your guidance in this regard.

    2. I have a plan to do masters after 1 year in my field. For that, I am going to take GRE test and score good marks. Is there anything needed other than that for getting admission in USA universities?

    1. In order to get licensed in Florida, you’ll need to have your degree evaluated for equivalency to a US (ABET) degree and make up any deficiencies that are found. After that, you must take and pass the FE exam: this is a prerequisite to taking the PE and cannot be avoided. Whether or not you actually need your PE is dependent on whether you’ll be signing and sealing any drawings, documents, reports or applications and whether your employer requires you to have one for your position.

      Each school has different rules on what is needed to apply, so I’d take a look at the enrollment process for the school that you’ll likely be attending. There are rules around residency, citizenship, English-speaking ability etc.

      1. I see. Thank you for that information.

        1. Dave, I got low CGPA in my academics. 2.4CGPA (56.6 percent). Can I be able to get admission in any university in Miami? Will it be an obstacle in my job hunt? Please advise.

        2. Is master degree essential for a foreign degree holder for jobs? Please advise. I heard my friend just after his foreign degree equivalency evaluation earning quite well regardless any masters and FE exam yet. So your reason justifies that it depends upon the the company you working in whether you will require to be PE or not.

          1. I have no idea. I have no experience with applying to universities in the States so I don’t know how your situation will impact your application.
          2. A Master’s degree is not essential. I’m a foreign degree holder and only have a Bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, getting a Master’s degree would have only resulted in me taking more technical classes (which I already had enough of in my equivalency): it wouldn’t have helped to make up my deficiency in humanities and social sciences. I’d start with a Bachelor’s degree, get an evaluation done and just take whatever classes you need to to make your degree acceptable to the state Board that you’re applying to.
  40. Hi Dave. i have non-ABET foreign degree. I copy-pasted Delaware State Board rule below. Is that means i need 8 years experience after a succesful NCEES evaluation?

    Experience: Graduates from an ABET-accredited engineering curriculum are required to have four (4) years of acceptable, verifiable engineering experience. All other graduates (non-ABET accredited engineering, engineering technology, or science-related to engineering programs) are required to have eight (8) years of acceptable, verifiable engineering experience.

    1. That’s correct Mike. Unfortunately, since you don’t have an ABET-accredited degree, you’re stuck with needing 8 years of experience. You might look into whether DE has a similar option to what I did in FL, where I got licensed in TX (with my foreign degree), waited two years and then got licensed by endorsement in FL.

  41. Hai Dave,

    Really your work is fantastic. I am chithra from India. I am working as project officer in Indian Institute of Technology. I have 1.5 years total work experience in structural field. I did my bachelors degree (B.E. Civil Engineering) in India and pursued my masters degree (MSc civil and structural engineering) in university of glamorgan, UK. I am searching a job in USA. So will PE license help me to get job in US?. And am i eligible for it. Can i apply it from India?.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Chithra,

      A PE is part of the natural career progression in the States, but since you only have 1.5 years of work experience, you’re ont yet eligible for your PE exam anyway. With that said, if you had 20 years of experience, you’d really be expected to have your PE so that you can lead projects and sign and seal the documents. To the best of my knowledge, you may be able to apply for the exam from India (after you’ve got at least 3-4 years of work experience, depending on the state you apply to) but you’ll almost certainly need to take the exam in the States.

      All the best!

  42. Hi Dave,

    Thank you for writing this! I finished my PhD in December 2014. My Bachelor’s is from outside US and hence I got my degree verified through NCEES. Their report was no surprise and my Bachelor’s degree lacked in 7 credit hours of General Science. However, l was told that FBPE now has new rules and taking courses is not the only way to make up for the deficient credits. I am planning to give my EIT this November (I know I am late!). My question is do I need to have 2 years of engineering work experience after EIT (for PE) or my experience before I clear my EIT would also count? Thank you!!

    1. No, I don’t think so. You just have to have 3 years of work experience and it’s irrelevant when you earned your EIT in that window. I took my EIT and took my PE in the very next cycle (6 months later).

      1. Thank you! I thought since I have a PhD, I will be eligible to take the PE exam after 2 years of experience. Is it 3 years?

  43. Hi dave,

    I have gone through Florida website.
    Its complicated for me to revise everything for these exams all over again.

    What if I do not evaluate my foreign mechanical engineering degree and do not take FE exam. Will i get job? I just need a good job. And Can i be inducted in masters program if i apply?

    1. It’ll be more difficult to get a job for sure, but not impossible. I don’t see that not having your FE/PE would ever preclude you from getting a Master’s degree.

  44. Hi Dave,

    My name is Maddie and I am currently a junior at a ABET university in Florida. I am struggling to understand the options available after completing my Bachelors in Civil Engineering. My plan when first going into college was to complete my BS and MS in a 4+1 program at my school (where I get my MS in Italy and am certified in both countries) which allows me to obtain both degrees in 5 years, instead of 6. However, after going halfway through, I am beginning to get antsy and want to complete school and get into the field as soon as possible. So, I started thinking about going into a EIT position after my BS and just working up the ladder (FE then EIT then PE). I don’t know which option to pick, because my MS would be almost entirely loan based ($60000 plus transportation to and from Italy with possibility of <40% partial scholarships) but I also don't want to wait years and years in an EIT position (with a lower salary) and forget some material for the countless exams ahead. I want to live in California, so I also need assistance on the regulations in CA. Should I power through and get my MS right after? Would I need additional years of experience before being eligible for the PE exam and 2 other CA civil exams? What are the advantages of getting my master's? Or should I go into an EIT position after passing my FE exam? How many years of experience would I need to take the PE in CA? Just really need some advice/guidance from someone who has already been through the system.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Maddie,

      In my opinion, unless your Master’s degree specialises you in a field that you have a passion and desire to follow, it’s simply not worth it. Get your Bachelor’s degree and get into work as soon as possible.

      In California, you can sit for the FE exam after three years of college education (see the California Business and Professions Code paragraph 6751(a)(2).) and for the PE exam you need 6 years of experience (paragraph 6751(b)(2)). As such, getting your Bachelor’s degree and working to earn that experience is the quickest way to professional registration.

      Good luck!

  45. Dave,

    First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your experience and at the same time giving hope to people-like myself- that is looking for professional improvement and growth as a foreign professional in US.

    I got my 5 year degree in Mechanical Engineering in Venezuela(South America) and also +5 years experience working as an Engineer at different levels.

    I have been living in FL since 2013 and after two years I finally got a job into the field working as an MEP engineering assistant with an architect firm here in FL with an in house licensed PE.

    I am seeking to get my PE and started to make my research on it so I would like to ask you.

    – Would you recommend any agency that can provide assistance regarding this process?
    – Does this FBPE has any support or customer service for inquiry about this?
    – Can you take the FE exam without having full credentials?

    At this moment I am starting this and I won’t stop until I succeed.

    Just need some guidance about where to start.

    Thank you.

    By the way congratulations for that Goal Achieved! PE!

    1. Hi Gilbert,

      Congrats and the job and on moving towards your PE. In response to your questions:

      – I never used a “consultancy” for this process – I just figured everything out from my own research, so I don’t really have any recommendations or even know of such a company.
      – FBPE doesn’t have any customer service, but they do have “Licensure Analysts” whose job is to specifically go over these sorts of issues with people. You can find a list of current Licensure Analysts on FBPE’s Contact Us page under the Administrative Contacts” section.
      – You can take the FE without full credentials, as I did. Once I had my degree evaluated, it showed deficiencies compared to an ABET degree in science, and social sciences and humanities. FBPE will allow you to take the FE if your only deficiency is social sciences and humanities, so I made up my science hours and then took the FE.

      Good luck to you!

      1. David,

        Many thanks for your valuable information.

        I am a civil engineer with 22 years of design and project management in Morocco and Dubai, I have been looking for a job for more than a year but no luck in Orlando FL, when ever I find a job that suits my experience, it always required a PE.

        I am looking for Project management job, does it need a PE?

        If the degree is from a non accredited school, we have take both FE and PE? experience does not help to skip FE exam??

        Kind Regards

        Fatima

        1. Hi Fatima,

          A Project Manager position does not typically require a PE, but the employer can require whatever they wish of their candidates. You’re only legally required to be a PE if you’re performing engineering work, but many employers prefer that their PMs are PEs because it shows their competency and that they have performed engineering work and are capable of speaking about it at a high level.

          And sadly, experience is no substitute for an accredited or approved education in Florida. You’ll have to go through the process of getting your degree(s) evaluated before being able to sit for the FE 9and ultimately, the PE).

          Good luck to you!

  46. Hey Dave, I actually feel pretty good coming across this blog. Your story is very similar to mines and I m really looking for someone to help me out with some concerns im having. Maybe you can.
    Im 23 years old and Im graduating in the end of the year Electric Engineering in Brazil. I lived in the USA from 7-18 years and I came back to Brasil because my parents did, so Im graduating as an engineer here. Anyways, when I came back to Brasil I left my girlfriend there and we have been in a long distant relationship for about 5 years now ( 7 years together). She is graduating to be a teacher there in Maryland. My concerns are, is there any way I can validate my Electric Engineering degree in the US? We are getting married and I will be legal, my only worry is with my degree..
    We dont really care where we are in the US, we just really want to work there. What do I need to do? I really hope you can help me or direct me somewhere since your situation is very similar to mines.

    1. Hi Lucas,

      I came across this page from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation which effectively says that holders of foreign degrees must have their education evaluated. This is fairly standard practice in most states. Since your education is from Brazil, which is not a signatory to the Washington Accord, there’s really no benefit of one state over the other. In general, you will have to have your degree evaluated by the State board before you’ll be eligible to register for any exam, which may require you to take additional courses to match your Brazilian education with that of an ABET degree. Good luck!

        1. No, you’ll want to decide which state you’re going to register in and then see what that state’s Engineering Board education requirements are. Each one has different methods that they will allow foreign degrees to be evaluated. Many support having your degree evaluated by NCEES (the body that also administers the exam), but you’ll want to make sure that your state does.

          1. Lucas, the main benefit of Texas is that they abide by the Washington Accord which helps foreign degree holders from certain countries. Sadly, Brazil is not one of those countries, so you can expect the same process in Texas as in most other states. You should simply pick the state that you want to live in, or will live in, as there’s no real differentiation between the process that you’re going to have to go through in any state.

  47. Hello Dave, thank you for your info.
    I have a Civil engineering degree from Ethiopia and i would like to work at US i have 4yr of experience so my question is how?

    1. Simon,

      First, you need to decide where you’re going to work: this will dictate the exact rules regarding professional registration. In general, because your degree is from Ethiopia (not governed by the Washington Accord), there’s little difference from state to state on the requirements for getting registered (except those states with “extra” requirements, like California). Your work experience will likely need to have been under the supervision of a registered professional engineer for it to count, but it depends on the state you’re registering in.

  48. Hi Dave , I am Deepak Rana from India i read about your story, i have the same kind of story that i fall in love with a American girl and going to marry her this December but i have a question regarding my future that i did my B.tech in civil engineering and right now i am pursuing MBA in construction project management . so my question is can i get the job by the education that i have or i have to go for PE test or any degree evaluation. How i will eligible for job in construction field or what are the requirements from their side. Please Suggest me regarding this, i will be very thankful to u.

    1. You’re on a level playing field with American college graduates in that all you have is your education (no work experience, no PE). India is now a signatory to the Washington Accord for certain degrees, so you may be eligible to sit for the PE without having to take any extra courses. Check here for more information on whether your degree is covered. Either way, you’re very eligible for jobs so long as you can work out the immigration issues (H1B visas are much hard to come by these days).

  49. Hi, thank you so much for your effort and time by giving a lot of information for people you don’t know!!

    My situation is the following: BS degree (Sciences) outside US, MS degree (Computer Engineering) from ABET US university (2 years program), and PhD degree (Electrical Engineering) from ABET US university (5 years program).

    What are my changes of sitting for a PE in Oregon? Any other state would shortcut my path?

    Thanks!!

  50. Hi Dave, congrats for your career and for this page, you’re really becoming a reference point for international engineers who want to license here. And this is great.
    I’m an Italian Professional Engineer(with Master’s Degree from Italian Univ.) and I would like to take the EIT certificate here in the states, just the EIT not PE, since I’m here for a limited time. I’ve had my degree evaluated for licensure on the Florida Board of Professional Engineers (I live in Miami) and they told me I miss something like 30 credits in basic science and general culture so I need to go back to school again… The question is, do you happen to know if there are other states in the US where they can allow me to take the EIT without going back to school?
    I know that every state has its own rules, so maybe there is one that can fully recognize my degree, or at least allow me to take the EIT even if I miss credits. Anyway if I cannot take licensure after the FE exam until I haven’t recovered all the credits, it doesn’t really matter, cause I’m gonna go back in a year or at most one year and a half.
    Thank you for any advice you will be able to give me.
    And I really hope that my question will be useful for other Italian engineers here in the US.

    1. Sadly, Italy is not a signatory to the Washington Accord, so you won’t be eligible to take the exam in TX or SC. If you’ve had your degree evaluated and you’re that short in those areas, I’d say that you’re not likely to have much more luck in any other state than you are in Florida. In Florida however, you can take your FE if you’re only lacking hours in humanities or social sciences, so depending on how many of those 30 hours are missing in basic science and math, it might not be too bad. Also, FBPE is soon to release, or has released, updated rules on getting foreign degrees evaluated, which are supposed to make it easier for foreigners to work and get registered in Florida, so be on the lookout for those. All the best Giacomo

  51. Sir,
    Got a degree outside the US, (Philippines).
    Been out of school for 10 years, I graduated in 2005, worked in an engineering industry for about a year, then in 2006 I moved to the US,been unemployed for 3-4 years. Till one day I decided to do a research on how to perhaps validate my degree here.. I tried Florida board since i’m currently residing in Miami, so, you know i did have my credentials evaluated. As a result, they agency told me that i’m lacking about 16 credits.
    Then, i found your story thru this blog. Texas huh? Never really thought about it, you mentioned about Washington Accord, then I checked if Phillipines is one if the signatories..there it was, Philippines on the bottom. I was just wondering, how did you apply for the FE exam? Did you just submit your credentials to the Texas board and got an answer if your eligible or not? Will you provide me the link on how to process the application(Texas board)..
    Any favorable assistance regarding this matter will be highly apprecaited.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Gaudencio,

      I am gretchen and am digging the web to research about getting my license here in the US as Electrical Engineer. I live in Illinois, and I have been applying jobs related in my field in the last 4 months and i really have a hard time looking for one so I decided to work in getting my FE have additional qualification in my resume. I want to ask if have you started with your credential evaluation?
      Do you still need to get evaluation from NCEES if you already had your degree evaluated by other eccredited evaluator?
      Thanks

  52. Hi David,

    I am a Canadian citizen with a master degree in civil structural engineering and a PE in four provinces (6 years of experience). I am willing to move to the US because I am tired of the cold weather. Do you have an idea about the options that I have? Also am I allowed to pass the PE exam in US?
    Much appreciated.

    Ben

    1. Assuming that your degree was earned by an accredited institution in Canada, your degree is covered by the Washington Accord which will make earning your PE in Texas and South Carolina easy. If your degree is ABET-accredited, that’s even better and you’re in the same situation as any US-degree holder. Your citizenship is not a limiter in your application: merely where your degree was earned.

      1. Hi dave

        I am applying for the PE license in texas. I am PE from Canada. I need to more references with US peng to complete my application. I recently moved to US. Do u know how I can get these two references with US peng. I was informed about this by the board just a week back. I had already submitted 10 referrals, but still couldnt satisfy their needs. Please can you help me!

        1. Sorry Krishna – if you haven’t worked with US PEs, you can’t simply make it up. If the Board requires you to document some experience under the responsible charge of a PE, then you’ll have to provide just that.

  53. Hi Dave, thanks for the amazing blog. I have an unusual circumstance and was wondering if anyone could give helpful insights here. I have my BSc in civil engineering ( 4 years program) from Afghanistan. then i got a master degree in public policy from Germany and another master degree in construction management from US. I am not sure whether all these degrees would count for anything to do my EIT. Interesting is, ( and i figured this out after i finished my master degree) that my US master is not ABET accredited. I was wondering what should be my first step to start this process. I contacted my board and they said ” we recommend that you evaluate your degree before you take the exam. The board my or may not accept your EIT scores if you don’t evaluate your degree in advance” . this is avery vague answer to begin with. I heard that Michegan is pretty linient when it comes to EIT exam takers. do you know which states are more flexible when it comes to EIT exam takers and would not give too much trouble to take this exam?

    1. Hi Reza,

      Your US Masters degree is unlikely to be ABET-accredited, because it’s in Construction Management rather than a technical degree. As such, I think that the Board’s suggestion of getting your degree evaluated is probably the best start. I’d have it done by NCEES because their evaluations are accepted by most state boards. I’m afraid that I’m not really aware of any one board being more “lenient” than another when it comes to getting your degree evaluated and EIT taken, but let me know if you find out otherwise.

  54. Dear Dave,

    Thank you for this post, I have recently finished my master degree in Trinity College Dublin, and did my Bachelors in University College Cork ( all in Ireland) which is a country covered for the 1989 agreement in Washington Accord , I have moved to UAE recently and will be moving the State soon, so I would like to do the FE exam for the moment in American University of Sharja.

    my questions:
    1- Should I do the evaluation process first or how does it work because I am a bit confused?
    2- if I do the FE exam in UAE will be recognize in the State?

    Thank you for your help

    Regards,
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Can you link me to some information about how you can take the FE exam in UAE? Typically, you need to take the exam in the state that you intend to get licensed by. Most boards require that you apply to them to take the FE before you actually take it, so it would be best to settle on what state you’re going to seek licensure in and apply to that state’s engineering board. Given that you’re covered by the Washington Accord, I’d suggest starting with either Texas or South Carolina, both of which recognise the Washington Accord for meeting the education requirements.

      1. thank you very much for the reply, ya the UAE exam is still not clear, I have emailed them and waiting for a reply to get more info (here is the link :http://www.aus.edu/info/200194/new_student_information/351/testing_center/6)
        Ok that makes more sense, sorry im still newly graduated so these info are all new to me. Yes so ill be in new york first, so for example if i get the FE exam in Texas or south carolina, should i be working there until i get the PE exam or i can work wherever in the state? and if you get licensed in one stated, would be recognized in another? it is just confusing compared to Europe (sorry about many questions)

        1. Hi Sarah,

          OK, after looking into it a little more, I can provide some more advice to you. There are several locations where you can take the FE and PE exam internationally, including UAE. However, there is no benefit to doing this if you already live in the States, as whether you take the exam in New York or UAE, you still need to apply to the NY board of engineering to register as a Professional Engineer, and meet all of their requirements, including education and work experience.

          I’m not aware of any states where it matters what state your work experience is in (I took the PE exam in Texas, even though my work experience was in Florida). There’s no sense in relocating for that sense. However, if it is particularly burdensome to take the FE/PE in NY, it may be worthwhile applying to other states where the requirements are more lax (e.g. SC, TX) and then applying for reciprocity/comity/license by endorsement in NY. If you are interested in that approach, check New York’s requirements for transferring licenses from other states first (to make sure it makes sense to do it that way).

          Good luck!

  55. Hi Dave,

    Having read this discussion for the first time and with great interest – I totally agree with everyone here, such a great job you are doing by sharing your knowledge and experience.
    As others, I need your expertise too and would be much obliged to have your opinion on my situation.

    I am intending to obtain a Colorado PE licence for employment. Below is the summary of my educational qualifications and work experience (in chronological order):
    • Graduate from an engineering technology curriculum (five years Bachelor degree from India);
    • Graduate from an engineering technology curriculum (one year Master degree from the UK);
    • Eight years of progressive engineering work experience till date in the UK (excluding time spent for education);
    • Qualified Chartered Engineer (awarding body – the Engineering Council UK).

    I have inquired with Colorado state board and they have confirmed that they will only accept accreditation from NCEES and not AACARO IES. The reason I am reluctant to approach NCEES is that a) they are very expensive and b) I am unsure if they will accredit my bachelor’s degree. The reason AACARO is my preference because they have accredited my friend’s degree which is exactly same as my bachelor’s degree and therefore it is guaranteed that it will be accredited.

    Do you know state boards which will accept AACARO accreditation as well as allow to take FE/PE exams without being resident of that state?
    Any guidance will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Kuldip

    1. Hi Kuldip,

      I haven’t heard of this AACRAO accreditation before, but a quick Google search yields several states that will accept evaluations from AACRAO, including North Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, Illinois, North Dakota, Alabama, Michigan and Connecticut. Sounds like this would be a great avenue for you to pursue (and thanks for bringing it to my, and everyone else’s, attention).

      I’m not as familiar with which states you can sit for the FE/PE in without being a resident, except for knowing firsthand that you can take the PE in Texas without being a resident, though that wasn’t true for the FE, at least as of a few years ago. I’d check these states above (and any others you find which allow ACCRAO evaluations) and see which ones allow out-of-state applicants to sit for the exams.

      All the best and please update me with your findings.

  56. Dave, this was incredibly helpful, just to even know my client is not alone! We are working on getting to his licensure by endorsement, but I keep being told he needs a course by course evaluation first. This will be interesting considering my clients degree is over 40 years old. I did’t notice anything in particular in your blog about this, are you familiar at all?

    1. Yes – when I first applied to FBPE (to determine whether or not I could sit for the PE), I had an evaluation done. When I applied for my FL license by endorsement, I had to include all of the information about my degree and I believe that since it was a foreign degree, it had to include the evaluation, even though I didn’t have to complete the deficiencies between my education and the Board’s requirements.

  57. I’ve heard the NJ PE license is not approved for working in NY, but NY PE License is approved for working in NY, NJ, and PA, without a need to transfer your license to the other two states or no need for separate secondary registrations to those other states. IS this even true, and if so, are there any other states the PE of which being acknowledged to work in other states?

    1. Touraj,

      I’d be very surprised if a state didn’t require any sort of registration in their state to perform the functions of a PE there. It’s a licensed and regulated trade (for a good reason), so the idea that a state would accept registration in another state as good enough for them surprises me, but I’d be very interested if that’s not the case.

  58. Dave, thanks for the very helpful information in your blog. I read through all posts here and couldn’t find the case similar to mine. So, It would be great if you can let me know your thoughts on the process of taking PE. My education and experience is blow:

    1. Foreign Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering (the top university in Vietnam)
    2. MS in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech, Atlanta
    3. MS in Statistics
    4. PhD in Civil Engineering
    5. Hold FE (Passed FE in California without going through the evaluation process)
    6. + 3 years of experience under PE licensed after my PhD.

    Based on your experience, could you let me know what path is most suitable for me to take PE (i.e., the state that is not required the B.S. evaluation process). I am not in a rush to take PE, but would like to get it done as soon as I can.

    Many thanks!

    Bob

    1. Hi Bob,

      It seems like the best thing you have going for you is point 2. If you have a Civil Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, it’s almost certainly ABET-accredited, which effectively completes the education requirements in every state. You can ignore everything else (although the PhD may mean you don’t need 4 years’ work experience in some states). Sounds like you could probably apply for the PE in most states today.

  59. I have just learnt that Oregon Board for Professional Engineering allows applicants to take P.E. Exam with out prior approval. This just started beginning July 2015.
    I stumbled upon minutes of meeting – CA Board while searching approval procedure and time frame.
    Thought it might prove to be helpful to all interested Engineers.

  60. Is it possible to get a job in the United States if I do not pass the FE or the PE. Instead graduating with a four year degree and receiving a BS.

    1. Absolutely. That’s how I started out. I came here with my British BEng Civil Engineering degree and got a job without a problem. I didn’t even pass my FE for about 4 or 5 years.

  61. Hello Dave,

    It’s really encouraging to read your blog. I am immigrating to TN to be with my Fiancee. Much like it sounds you did some years ago. I have a BE in Forestry Engineering (with enough civil courses alone to cover off the NCEES evaluation). It’s from a New Zealand university and recognized by IPENZ our professional body.

    But like so many others it’s been found completely deficient in general courses. I have been in contact with one person at the TN State Board and she told me I would have to make up the 16 credit hours in general papers before sitting the FE exam.

    If you were in my position what would be your strategy? Try another person at the TN state board? Would there be any benefit in sitting the FE in a neighboring state (or any state that would allow it)? Would that be recognized in TN?

    My thoughts are that it may at least demonstrate that my forest engineering degree has enough overlap with the civil field to take a graduate type role. It’s no big deal as I only have two years experience in managing large forest road construction projects here and am fine with a career direction change.

    Your thoughts are greatly valued. I really don’t want to have to spend a not inconsiderable amount of time and money taking 100 papers at a community college!

    Many thanks!!

    Aaron

    1. Hi Aaron,

      If your degree is accredited by IPENZ, it’s covered by the Washington Accord, so you could take the PE in Texas or South Carolina for sure (once you have taken and passed the FE). The Tennessee Board’s website isn’t that easy to navigate, so I’d give them a call and see what the requirements would be for getting licensed by endorsement/reciprocity/comity if you were able to get your license in TX. If that’s a way around taking those general courses (as it was for me in Florida), that’s probably the easiest path to licensure for you.

      Let us know what you find out. Cheers!

  62. Dave,
    Thank you for continuing to answer everyone questions its such a great help to new engineers moving to the states.

    I graduated with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering four year degree in Ireland, I am in the process of getting my qualifications recognized by NCEES. I ran into trouble with regard having credit hours in General studies, Chemistry & Biology.

    I have other qualifications that I hope will meet the general studies category but I was wondering how or where you studied to complete the credit hours you were lacking. Is there any good online colleges that people have used or is there a way to get around subjects such as Chemistry & Biology.

    I moved to New York two and half years ago, I worked under a PE for the first year as a project supervisor running construction projects. Will my time be counted towards the PE experience requirements even thou it was more civil instead of strictly Mechanical in nature.

    Also I was wondering if anyone had any experience apply to any state that lets you take the PE exam early after passing the FE of course. I read that some states let you take the FE and PE exam early, after completing the necessary years of experience before granting the PE license. I read California and I believe Illinois only require 2 years of experience before being able to take the PE exam, has anyone had any experience getting there foreign qualifications accepted in CA.

    Thank you for any help you of the other posters may have.

    1. Hi Martin,

      It’s my pleasure – I know how difficult it was in my own search to get accredited, so I’m only too happy to help ease that burden on others.

      For me, I went to a local community college (St. Petersburg College to be specific). There may well be online schools that will meet the same intent (University of Phoenix is a famous “distance-learning” [read ‘online’] school), so look around if you don’t have a community college nearby that’ll do the trick for you.

      Your experience isn’t discipline specific. In fact, if anything, it probably helps your case that your experience is more diversified.

      I’ve heard of states where you can take the FE without first completing all of the requirements, but I haven’t heard of states doing the same for the PE. I’m pretty sure that they’d want to vet you and approve you before letting you sit for the exam, so that your exam is the final hurdle. I’d be interested to hear if anyone is aware of a state where doing this is possible.

      And to my knowledge, the process for getting your foreign education evaluated in CA is generally the same process as most other states. It’s not more lenient like Texas is, if that’s what you were hoping (CA is one of the strictest states all around).

      All the best to you!

  63. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the valuable information. I’m graduated from a non- ABET non Washington Accord uni in the middle east. I managed to acquire a professional membership of Engineers Australia. The question is that if I want to get the PE, is the EA membership allows me to skip the FE exam or I still have to sit??
    Thanks again.
    Ahmed

    1. Hi Ahmed,

      I haven’t yet come across a state where professional standing in another country (such as being a professional member of Engineers Australia, or being a Chartered Engineer in the UK) has any bearing on your application to the board. I have a colleague who was something of an expert in the heavy civil field, was Chartered and had 25+ years of experience and he too had to go back to school to make up his deficient courses so that he could sit for his FE. Makes little sense to me, but that seems to be how things are done. Unless anyone is aware of a state where foreign professional accreditation has any bearing on your FE/PE application in the States?

      1. Hi Dave,
        Is it possible to say since Australia is a Washington Accord signatory then be having a professional membership of Engineers Australia would help in getting FE/PE application in the states?
        Thanks,
        Ali

        1. The Washington Accord applies to countries where degrees were earned, so your membership of Engineers Australia is irrelevant in this matter. If you earned your degree in Australia, then you would have a leg up, because you could take your PE at least in Texas or South Carolina without having to get your degree evaluated.

  64. Dave, Ahmed,

    I’ve come across this page (see below) on ICE UK website and it appears that UK CEng professionals are able to apply for PE license in the state of Idaho without having to go through the process. If this is true, it will be a great deal of relief for UK CEngs like me. I am going to send an email to the state board to find out if I am eligible and update here. It will be good to get some firsthand experience if anyone has gone through this.

    https://www.ice.org.uk/news/idaho-approves-uk-chartered-engineer-system

    Thanks,
    Kuldip

    1. Kuldip,

      That’s really interesting information. As the information states, Idaho is the first state to do this, and with it only becoming official in November, I doubt that anyone has made it through the process yet. However, this is an interesting development. I concur with the author when I say that I hope this is only the beginning of more states recognising the robust process by which engineers become chartered in the UK.

      Cheers!

    2. Kuldip,
      I have found the same information. Did the respond to you?
      I am also a CEng and I guess the application by comity must be accompanied with a note, since there is no explicit mention of other possibilities outside already being a PE (box to tick).
      I assume a CEng can tick that box and attach the certificate.

      If you have more information on the process, it would be great to hear more about it.

      Luca

      1. Hi Luca,

        Great to know that I am not alone here – looks like we both are pretty much in the same boat. I did contact Idaho board couple of month back (see my post – Jan 12 2016) and I am told that after having a CEng qualification, one should have eight years of experience. I got my CEng in Dec 2014 and I only have 1.5 years post CEng so I am not eligible to apply for comity! I suggest you contact them and see if their response is different than what I have. Please let me know what happens.

        Kuldip

        1. Hi Kuldip,

          I see only now your reply…
          I have 15 years of experience, and I did eventually apply by comity to the Idaho board of engineers, but got rejected.

          In my case the Engineering Council of the UK intervened directly to undermine my application: yes, this also can happen. The reason why is that I obtained the CEng MICE via the European Route in 2007. I have been a member since then and kept paying my annual membership fees also after leaving the UK several years ago because one of the selling point of the ICE is that their CEng certification is valued overseas.
          When I requested ICE support to sort out the procedure to apply by comity, they said that my membership was not equal to the others, so they involved the Engineering Council that reached out the Idaho board to explain that they did not support my application.

          Lesson learned: the ICE maintains separate database of their CEng Members, depending on how you obtained the certification. There is no transparency nor disclosure of this information with its members, so it is most likely illegal, but they can count of the fact that those who lose their money are mostly foreigners, who should lose even more money to get any justice, while fighting in a hostile environment (the UK courts) if they decided to initiate a legal action, so the scam is on.

          Luca

  65. Thanks Dave,
    I think ill have to take two classes I’m short then. I heard you can take the FE exam without getting your degree evaluate in CA but are required to a have it evaluate before they would let you take the PE exam even without the necessary work experience.

    I was wondering if that was the case or if anyone had gone down this route? I also read yesterday that you need to keep the license from the first start that approved your PE incase you ever want to apply to another state. I read that they ask to get the records from the first state were you received your license. Do you know if this is correct?

    Do you know how many years of experience you need to get licensed in CA after evaluations and passing the FE exam.

    Thanks.

    1. Martin,

      It seems that the CA board requires you to have the degree before you’ll be certified as an EIT, though you can take the test before applying to the Board.

      I don’t think it’s true that you need to keep the license in the state in which you were first licensed. So long as you maintain an active license somewhere, that should suffice. In an application to a new board, you’ll be asked to provide proof that you are currently licensed, which you can do with your current state. I’ve already tenatively spoken with the Oregon board (as I’m planning on moving there) and they don’t care where I was first licensed, just that I am licensed.

      Q19 in the CA Board’s FAQs on licensure indicate that 6 years of directly applicable experience is required to apply for the PE (irrespective of before/after the FE).

  66. Dave,

    I contacted Ohio State Board and I am told that individuals having minimum of eight years’ experience after attaining CEng qualification are eligible to apply for licensure by committee. So this is a dead end for me as I do not have eight years of experience post my CEng qualification but others may find this useful. Do you know which state boards allow taking FE without requiring to accredit degree? Also, is it possible to take FE is one state and PE in the other?

    1. The Ohio Board also recognises CEng? That’d be two states now, which would be fantastic. I can’t find any information about this online however.

      It’s definitely possible to take the FE in one state and the PE in another (I did this myself – the PE state will just request verification of the pass from your FE state). As for states where you can take an FE without having your degree accredited, you might find that a bit harder. I’m not personally aware of any, so I’ll open that up to others for input.

  67. Hi Dave
    My name is yasmin
    I am graduated since 2001 from engineering university in Egypt and I worked as an electrical designer till 2008.
    I moved to us after that and stop working till now.
    Actually I am looking forward to Perdue my career, I do not want to lose all that years of studying.
    I know seven years is a long time that I almost feel they I forgot everything.
    I need an advice how to start to refresh my knowledge and find a job again.

    1. With an 8-year gap in your work history, it’s going to be hard to convince an employer that you’re better suited than someone who has a more complete job history. Nonetheless, to get back into it, I’d suggest some refresher courses at your local community college, or perhaps some PE preparation courses, which will give you a good jolt of content and subjects to recall. Good luck!

  68. Thank you so much for your reply and sorry for bothering you by my questions.

    I actually find a university here in us which has a master with the same courses that are rated to my job, it is available online as well.

    Is it better to work on the master , or start from the fe, eit and pe exams.

    And also do you think it worth the effort, I mean I am afraid to put a lot of money and time studying and then no company accept me because of the long time I spent without a job.

    I even sometimes think to join the community collage and change my career and study some thing different .

    1. I personally don’t think it will be worth it to do the Master’s. Do a few refresher courses and remind yourself of what you already know and start applying for jobs.

  69. Dave,

    Sorry for a late response, but I was out of country for a month.

    Thanks for your response. My main concern is that my degree at Georgia Tech was M.S. (not B.E. or B.S.). I am not sure if any states that accept M.S. degree to the fulfill education requirement. Any comments will be really appreciate.

    Thanks!

    1. I don’t think that should be an issue. An MS is just the next step after a BS. The statutes tend to read that it must be at least 4-year degree focused on engineering. If it’s an ABET-accredited degree, you’ll be fine.

  70. Hi, I have a Maters Degree from USA, Bachelors Degree from India, 5 years work experience, NCEES evaluation (with 13 credit deficiency in General Education), and FE from Washington State . The Washington Accord does not apply to me because I graduated in 2007 and its applicable only for folks graduating after 2014 (for Indians). Could you please guide, which state can accept me for PE exam? I am trying to find a state which does not care about General Education or trade my US Masters Degree for Foreign Degree.

    1. Is your Master’s degree ABET-accredited? I would think that if it is, you could pretty much apply anywhere? You may also want to check if your degree is accredited by ACCRAO, because if it is, there’s a whole lot of states where you could apply.

  71. HI Dave,

    Thanks so much for your prompt reply.

    My Master’s degree is ABET approved but Ohio rejected my application because of my General Education credits deficiency.

    Looking at other states’s website, it looks like most of the states need foreign degree evaluation. So, I am not sure which state would accept my application?

    I am not sure if ACCRAO will point out same General Education deficiency in my foreign degree. So, not sure if I should try for ACCRAO evaluation?

    So, I am looking for states which do not need foreign degree evaluation. Don’t know if there is any?

    1. The only states that I’m aware of which don’t require a foreign degree to be evaluated are those that abide by the Washington Accord. Sorry

  72. Hi Dave! I am very inspired by your story and I wish I can get to talk to you about this because like you, the girl that I love will move to the States. I graduated about a year ago but i’m still looking for work in my country because i had a 6 month review and took the licensing exam here in my country, fortunately passed it. My university is currently processing its ABET accreditation so i’m hoping next year I can go to the States, one of my questions is if the accreditation also required for taking the FE? Anyway I really hope I can speak to you more directly. Thanks so much Dave, you’re awesome! :)

    1. Marco,

      Thanks for your kind words. Everywhere that I’m aware of, the ABET accreditation is also required for the FE. However, there are a number of states that will let you take the exam whenever you want and then apply to the board afterwards to get certified (historically, and typically, you have to apply to the board to get permission to sit for the exam). I believe that Oregon is one of these states, but the individual state pages on the NCEES website will be a great resource for finding out where you can take the exam with having an ABET degree (though you’ll probably still need an ABET degree or a credentials evaluation to actually get certified by the board you ultimately apply to).

  73. Well, Arizona should be fine because I got registered there just this past month, however I didn’t even mention my Bachelor and Master degree from overseas, I only put my Master Degree from the US in the form, hence no need for evaluation and it worked alright.

  74. Hello Dave,

    I think you deserve everything good in this life,good luck in your career and social life Path.

    I am an EIT in Kentucky, I have pursued my PE electrical exam for the first time and unfortunately I falied in it,I really feel so frustrated as I got NCEES book along with other books from California,the exam came so difficult and the problem in these preparation materials never matches the difficulty level of the exam.beside the limited number of problems that NCEES offered is not sufficient to got through much problems.

    So from your experience how I can gurantee the pass of this exam in case of repeat taking as I have experience of 5 years now.

    Thanks for your outstanding comments

    Kind Regards,

    Karim

    1. Karim,

      Obviously, there is no way to guarantee that you’ll pass the exam. All I can tell is what worked for me which was to study a little bit, particularly in the areas that I found most difficult, but to also do lots of questions. I personally used the Civil Engineering Reference Manual by Michael Lindeburg, which is an excellent resource with thousands of practice questions. It seems that the Power Reference Manual by John Camara is from the same company and is well rated. I’d start there. Good luck!

  75. Hi Dave, I live in Texas and I have a friend who lives in Ukraine. He has a BS in Petrochemical Engineering, and wants to make it a career in Texas. He doesn’t know where to start, and I would like to help advise him. Please reply thank you!!

    1. Hey Jouah,

      Since his degree is from Ukraine, it is not covered by the Washington Accord. As such, there’s not really any shortcuts to getting licensed. He’s going to have to get his degree evaluated and take classes in whatever areas he is deficient before being able to get licensed.

  76. Hi Dave,

    Can I get my previous engagements certified my present colleagues ? Or should I get the endorsement from the previous employers.

    Thanks in advance
    Pandu

    1. Hi Pandu,

      It all depends on how the application reads. If it reads that the references need to come from people who have overseen your work, then unless your current employer can adequately vouch for your professional capabilities, you would have to seek the reference from your previous employer.

  77. Hi Dave,
    I would like to ask you a question please, I know you are working in the industry for a long time and might have some tips
    I have just got my j1 graduate visa and will be able to work in USA for one year, I have a sponsor organization and at the moment I have to look up for an internship in Civil or environmental engineering,I am graduate with an MSc Environmental Engineering from Dublin, Ireland. I am heading to New York, I have made a cover letter and US CV, basically I am applying to all companies but I find the struggle to get accepted is very difficult.
    any tips or help on how to get an internships/what the employer is looking for? how long does it take to get a reply?

    Thank you very much

    1. It can, unfortunately, take a very long time to get a reply especially when it’s an employer’s market (few jobs, many applicants). You’d do your best to focus on the companies that you really want to work for, look at the kind of projects they’ve been working on and target your cover letters and CVs to specifically speak to those projects and indicate your interest in them.

  78. Hi David,

    I recently read the licensure requirements of Michigan state and I think they are the best fit for any international living in the U.S. The state does not require a degree evaluation prior to the F.E exam and also they don’t have any residency requirements to sit for the exam. With the F.E exam now being computer based I believe we could write the exam from any other state. cool!

    That being said- I think writing F.E from Michigan could be a great option. What do you think?

    1. Hi Naamto,

      It seems that you’re right about MI not having any requirements for the FE (see here). However, note that, per the same page, this is not true for the PE.

  79. I sincerely appreciate this write-up.

    I am a US citizen, born and bred, and graduating with my BSME in about a month. I recently began working (part-time while I finish my degree) as an engineer. In my state of Washington, they require you to work under the supervision of a PE for a period of time before you can take the PE exam. I am one of two engineers at my facility, and the other engineer doesn’t have a PE.

    This blog led me to investigate the option of being Licensed by Comity through the state. It looks as though it will be possible for me, via Texas (and who knows how many other states), and I will be able to complete the requirements within 3 years! Thank you very much!

  80. Hi David,
    I sent a few posts a month or so ago explaining my situation. I got my initial evaluation done and was deemed to be short “general studies and basic sciences”, fortunately I had some other qualifications that helped me meet the general studies requirements. I am still short on the basic sciences namely general chemistry, general calculus-based physics and general biology for which I need two or the three subjects.

    My question to you and your readers is what is the minimum level course work and duration either on line or class room based learning in New York City that will help me meet these requirements. I have very little real interest in learning anything from these courses as bad as that sounds I sorry I just want to be able to meet the NCEES this requirements as I am currently doing a refrigeration license course and holding down a full time job so my free time is limited.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Martin

  81. Hi Dave, and the rest of the readers-contributors,
    The information on your original post came much as the one I needed to clarify some issues about PE licensing in US. Moreover, to get that in Florida! Yet I got a couple of questions that perhaps you or someone else with useful information could answer or share their insights-experience?
    I’m Lithuanian and I finised my bachelor degree in Environmental Engineer (EI) which takes 4 years there. Then I completed a 2 years Master in EI in a joint program Lithuania-Finland. Curently I’m in the last year of my PhD in Environmental Science in Finland. But next year I am moving to Florida with my husband and I started browsing the topic. Here are the matters I am not entirely clear about:
    – I need job experience to the get the PE but, can I get a job as en engineer without the PE? or is the PE licensing only used for promotions? It is important for me to get a job in the first place, which perhaps can be combined with my research and work experience to meet the requirements.
    – from the above, what is the entry status in an engineer related job without having the PE license?

    Thanks a lot for any information!
    Julija

    1. Hi Julija,

      In response to your questions:

      • You do not need to be a PE to work as an engineer. You won’t be able to sign and seal any drawings and thus must work under the “responsible charge” of another engineer. Just think, this is exactly the situation that all US gradutes find themselves in: got the degree, but no experience. So yes, I’d focus on getting a job. Also, many states will give you a discount on the number of years experience required if you have a Master’s or PhD so look into your state’s Board’s requirements.
      • I’m not sure what this means. Are you referring to an immigration entry status, or some sort of job application requirements?
  82. Hey!

    Great article, my quest is a bit different then the others on here….I’m more interested in the time between you taking the fe to taking the pe….I have the requirements to sit for the fe in Florida….but graduated more than 4 years ago, so I technically have the work experience as well. Can I take the fe then a few months later take the pe?

    I just can’t tell if the 4 years is total, or for year from when you take the fe to when you take the pe….I hope what I am asking makes sense.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  83. Howdy Dave!

    I was wondering if you had any insight to the reverse process: frankly an American registered PE trying to get Chartered Engineer (CEng) status in the UK perhaps by reciprocity. Great post by the way, glad everything turned out wonderfully.

    Thanks,
    Eric

    1. Hey Eric,

      That’s interesting. I took a look at the Institution of Civil Engineeers’ page about becoming a Chartered Engineer (your institution may be different if you’re not a civil) but the long and short of it is that it appears ICE abides by the Washington Accord, so American (and other foreign) degrees are recognised. Thus, you should be able to apply for CEng just the same as an equally qualified Brit.

      Good luck!

      1. Eric,

        Just to add to Dave’s response, Idaho board and Engineering Council UK has reciprocity arrangement since Nov 2014 (see my earlier post). So I believe reverse will be very much possible at least if you have Idaho PE. In my opinion following could work:
        – Get a PE in Idaho (getting this by comity/reciprocity should be easy if you already have a PE in other state);
        – Contact Engineering Council UK and ask about reciprocity arrangement they have for Idaho PE;
        – Follow the what Engineering Council UK says and if all goes well, you should have CEng licence relatively quickly!

        Hope it helps!

  84. I have just got denied in Florida for my PE. I already have 2 PE’s in two different states, NY & PA and have a US Masters degree. they want me to take credits for General Education. FLORIDA FBPE is discriminating against all foreign graduates and there is no explanation but that. Florida is known to a racist state and it is wrong and should stop now. they play tough but the fact of the matter is that they are stupid and ignorant not to mention racist.

    1. George,

      It’s a bit short-sighted to say that FBPE are directly targeting foreigners because they’re “ignorant, stupid and racist”. The goal with FBPE’s rules to ensure minimum standards are met to ensure the capability of licensed engineers is adequate and public trust in the system is maintained. The goals may be a bit archaic and some people may fall in to awkward situations because of their unique circumstances, particularly when they have foreign degrees, but this is a function of trying to standardise a system which can procedurally ensure the suitability of an applicant. Because of this, some people will fall through the net, but it’s not because they’re racist.

  85. So Engineers practicing in various states in the US are not good enough to practice in Florida? How many foreign degree gets pass them and approved? None is the answer. Now if that is not targeting sector of Engineers, what do you call that. in the end Florida PE is not that important. They can exclude whomever they want, Nothing anybody can do.

    1. Well, at least one foreign degree “got past them”: mine. Also, I was practicing in another state when I got licensed, so your argument is quite flawed and clearly an emotional response to the frustration of not getting licensed.

  86. Hi Dave,

    Many thanks for your time and consideration. hoping the best for you and your career.

    I’ve a question regarding the FE and PE exams as you may know that these exams are offered outside u.s in many countries (Canada, Japan, Egypt, emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, turkey..)
    http://ncees.org/audience-landing-pages/international/
    do you have any idea if I had passed the FE and PE exams from any of the above foreign entities do I still need to take the exam again to get licensed in any state? can I just move my records to any state?
    another thing that I’m planning to move to us after one year and I want to evaluate my credentials and I’ve found many Groups such as NCEES and WES, and I didn’t decide yet which state I’m going to move. is there any approved firm that I can depend on its evaluation and completing the missing credits online before landing to the us just to accelerate my licensing procedures in order to get a job as soon as possible?

    Many thanks for your patience and cooperation.

    Mohamed

    1. Mohamed,

      To the best of my knowledge, those exams are administered by NCEES and as such, will be valid for any state PE/EIT application.

      As for the accreditation, you must research which firms the state you are applying to accepts evaluations from, because they do vary. Visit the state’s website and look for the rules regarding foreign credentials evaluation.

      Good luck

  87. Good day Dave,

    Kindly assist if you can on the following:

    I have both bachelors and masters degree in Civil Engineering from Egypt and I currently live in Saudi Arabia I wanted to relocate to USA my wife being american. My inquiry is can I take the FE from Saudi Arabia or will any state disregard it not being from any state of the US? Is it better if I take the exam
    in the US?. Also from what I understood regarding the post is that I’d have to have an education evaluation applied to see if I’m actually eligible to sit for a FE exam?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. A few here have spoken about taking the FE abroad, but I’ve not heard how they fared when applying to state engineering boards. With your degree being from Egypt, you’ll almost certainly need a credentials evaluation, but it depends on the board that you apply to, though, in some states you can take the FE without first being authorised by the Board (though ultimately, you need to go through that process to actually get certified).

  88. Hi Dave,

    So I guess i’m the first Nigerian to post a comment on this blog. Good job on your quick response to questions, you have really helped a lot of people.
    I graduated from chemistry in Nigeria but completed my masters degree in Environmental Engineering from The UK (University of Newcastle). I’m currently working with CB&I in New York and I want to do my FE exam and eventually my PE. Please what steps do I need to take to do the FE exam.
    Thank you.

      1. Olu, to add to what Dave said, I think a lot of foreign degreed applicants tend to miss a few very important points in the US engineering license application process:

        Firstly, it’s regulated by each individual state and what was acceptable to one state board may not necessarily be acceptable to another state board. In most parts of the world, the licensing is done at the national level. So it’s a one size fits all model. This is also partly because the terminal education accreditation process is driven by a single public agency in these countries and, again, it’s tied to all occupations and the licensing process as stipulated by a national law or code or decree. It’s the opposite in the US; States have certain rights and one of them is the right to regulate intra-state (i.e. within state) commerce. Mostly, if it’s a product engineered, and intended to be located and used solely within the state boundaries only and, drum roll, directly affects public safety the states have a right to regulate that. That’s why a civil engineer designing a bridge needs to be licensed (or at least the process supervised by one) and the drawings ultimately stamped by such licensed engineer whereas an engineer designing an aeroplane doesn’t need to meet such requirements because the plane/product is for and it’s production involves inter-state (across state lines) commerce under direct federal oversight.

        Secondly, the evaluation process required by the State boards is soley to determine curriculum equivalency similar to ABET accredited Bachelor degree programs. The key word here is curriculum equivalency; it’s just course content by course content comparison based on the basic premise that these educational systems are individually wholistic and comprehensive in their own respective ways with regards to the educational systems in each country. With that being said, having a US/UK/European engineering masters degree in addition to a foreign engineering bachelor degree doesn’t automatically make you meet the educational requirements for licensure in the US. One still needs to have all their “college level” (I am stressing on this for a reason) educational transcripts evaluated by, again, a “State approved” evaulation agency to determine if all the aggregate courses collectlively meet the equivalency test. I said college level because a lot of the states and evaluation agencies (with NCEES being one of them) recognize the advance level nature of some of these college prepatory programs like the Cambridge A-Level and are willing to give foreign students credit for such courses as part of the evaluation process so far as certain criteria can be met; if you need more information about this please work directly with your assigned evaluator at NCEES to identify those courses and requirements and make sure they are included in your transcripts submissions to NCEES during the evaluation application. It suffices to add a lot of foreign undergrad graduates, some with additional advanced engineering degrees from US institutions, have run into problems with the evaluation process simply because the basic sciences (physics, chemistry, biology ect) and humanities courses (history, arts, languages etc) taught in your typical US engineering programs during the first couple of years are not structured the same in foreign countries. In fact a lot of these foreign countries tend to push their college preparatory programs to be heavy and standard in these areas so that the college stage will spend more resources delving into the traditional technical and engineering courses. It doesn’t mean one system is better than the other but it’s just the way educational systems are set up differently. That’s why NCEES recognizes this and is willing to give credit for at least the reputable programs out there so far as certain conditions are met.

        Thirdly, there are certain instances like Olu’s case where even a US undergrad holder will need to submit such an evaluation. This is mainly because we are trying to compare apples to oranges with the hope that we could find some similarities. The chemistry or physics or biology undergrad degree is, in most instances, purely a Science degree and not an Engineering degree. However, there are some courses that can still be given credit for as part of the evaluation to determine ABET engineering degree equivalency by NCEES and these agencies.

        Lastly, I’ll advise folks to make sure they provide any information that can aid with the evaluation process so that you can get it right once. I also don’t need to stress on the fact that it’s not cheap. I think the evaluation done by NCEES is accepted by all the state boards, but I stand to be corrected. I did mine with NCEES and got credit for all my High school advance level college prepatory courses and so far haven’t run into any state board that had an issue with the evaluation results.

        That’s my two cents.

  89. Hi Dave-
    Nice article! I have a degree from Greece in Civil Engineering and trying to get my PE in MD. In order to do so I have to go through the accreditation process (already started this), I am optimistic that my education will be equivalent to an engineering degree here in the States. Meanwhile (to save me a bit of time) I am preparing the other documents for the MD state board. In addition to the official report of from NCEES, the board requires to fill out a form call ” Curriculum Checklist Form”. Was wondering if any of your readers or you had to fill out a similar form? and if any of you can share it. I am basically looking for a sable/template to make sure I do it right. Thank you and everyone else for your input!
    Good luck with everything in your life and thank you for sharing your story!
    Maria

    1. Hi Maria,

      I’ve never heard of such a thing. Are you sure it’s not something that is provided by the company performing your degree accreditation? It sounds like the kind of thing they would have to produce to confirm that your studies match up with the required curriculum. However, I did find this on Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s website which may be what you’re looking for.

  90. Hi Dave,

    Great info here. Appreciate it to the max. And it’s still going :)
    My condition:
    UK Graduate (Masters and Bachelors in Civil Engineering)
    Malaysian Nationality.
    Working in Malaysia for more than 8 years.

    Going to USA soon (Ohio), and planning to get PE in the USA.
    Degree is under the Washington Accord.

    Looking to take the FE at Texas and NC.
    1) Do I need to be a Texas resident to take the FE?
    2) After the FE exam, I will need to gain 2 years Engineer’s experience in the USA to go for the PE?
    3) Is there a validity period for the FE results?

    Many thanks in advance for your reply.

    1. Hi there,

      It seems that you do not need to be a Texas resident to take the FE there. Here’s the application form. Experience requirements are listed in Chapter 133E of the Texas Board’s Laws and Rules. However, paragraph 1001.302(a)(3)(A) makes no mention of the experience needing to be in the US, or under the supervision of an existing PE, so you may be in luck.

  91. Hi

    Great article. I’m due to graduate in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Britain. How easy was it to find your 1st job in USA? Was this your first engineering employment?

    1. It was my first engineering job and it was pretty easy, but then, that was 2006 when jobs were aplenty. Things are better now than they were 5 years ago, but not quite as good as back then. Nonetheless, there should still be some opportunities for you, especially if you’re willing to move to where the jobs are.

  92. Hello. Thanks for sharing your experience.I have a query hope you can answer. I live in UAE. I am planning to take NCEES FE exam in sharjah testing center and PE later on. I am not sure how much it will benefit me in the UAE. However, if i do come to US ( any state), will my PE be recognized? I do know that i have to meet other licensing requirements which are state specific. But do i have to retake the FE or PE exam in that specific state? Moreover, will my FE or PE be recognized in Canada?

    1. I have yet to hear back from anyone about whether they had issues with their overseas FE/PE exams being accepted in the States. I can’t imagine that there would be an issue, because why would they offer them if they weren’t acceptable? I am moderately confident that the exam would be valid, but don’t quote me on that. You should contact the Board that you are interested in applying to and check with them (then report back here on what you find). I am unfamiliar with how Canada handles reciprocity with the US for engineers. Another thing that you should check out and report back on ;)

      1. Hi Dave, thanks for your continuous support, regarding the FE/PE taken overseas I’ve contacted many states boards and they all approved and there will be no need to retake the exam again.
        I’ve one question if you could help. which state that has aplenty of engineering opportunities ( more specific in Civil infrastructure design field ,Roads and Transportation) so I can find a job easily?
        Thanks again and have a nice day.

        1. Mohamed,

          That’s great. Thanks for letting us know about how boards view the overseas exams. I tried looking around for states which are spending the most on road infrastructure at present and didn’t find anything particularly useful, but I’d search for states with big road infrastructure spending plans. Good luck to you!

  93. Dave! What about those who studied Non-Engineering course in undergraduate, such as, 4 years (Engineering Physics) and graduated (Did MS) in Engineering? Can they, if they luckily work in engineering firm for 2 years after graduation in Engineering, apply for PE? Is there any long/short route for them to get PE?

    1. If your degree is not an engineering degree, it is unlikely that it will be accepted as good enough on its own. You’ll probably have to have it evaluated by the board’s provider and see what courses you need to take to make it equivalent to an ABET degree.

  94. Dave,
    I thought I would give you and all your readers an update on getting my Irish Mechanical Engineering degree evaluated. I initially sent all my paperwork to the NCEES to get my 4 years Mechanical Engineering degree evaluated.

    My initial report found I was deficient in General Education and Math/ Basic Sciences. While I did meet the 32 hours in the Math/ Basic Sciences I didn’t have two of the three subjects listed below;
    1) General Chemistry
    2) General Biological
    3) General Calculus Based Physics.

    I decided to submit an additional teaching qualification I did to help me meet the General Education, the NCEES accepted it meet the requirements for General Education. Thus leaving me short on two or the three subjects listed above.

    I was advised that some boards may accept my evaluation as meeting the ABET credited degree from America collage. After contacting the New York education board they informed me they don’t accept the NCEES evaluation. I had to resubmit my qualifications again for evaluation.

    The New York state board said my Mechanical Engineering degree was good enough to take the FE exam now but would only account for 6 years instead of 8 years. They also wouldn’t count my teaching qualification in their evaluation of my qualifications.

    So my next step is to either do two of the three subjects listed above or take the FE exam first. After passing the FE exam I would have to work for 6 further years before being able to take the PE exam In New York.

    My thinking is to take the two subjects and then the FE exam so I could possible take the PE exam early in another state such as California after two years experience. Does anyone know of any state that would let you take the PE exam early without any experience if the NCEES accepted my degree as meeting the ABET standard and passed the FE exam.

    Thanks,
    Martin

  95. hello Dave.

    My name is David Espinal i’m a civil engineer (not ABET degree) from the Dominican republic i have 8 years of experience in my country. i send my credentials to the NCEES for approval all went well i passed the minimum requirements standar, now i’m going to take the FE exam in Maryland or Michigan state but a want to live in Florida.

    my questions;

    1) it doesn’t matter if i take the FE exam in other state
    2) what state convalidate forging experience for the PE.

    what do you recommend.

    1. Hi David,

      You can take the FE in any state – once you’ve passed it, you’ve passed it. I’m not sure what you mean by your other question though.

  96. Hello Dave,

    It’s been a year since I first visited your blog, now my green card application was accepted and I’m moving to US soon.

    I’m planning to move to California, I have an Engineer degree from Algeria since September 2015 and been working as a procurement engineer.

    I would like to pass the FE exam, Do you know if california board accept evaluation from NCEES and how much will it cost me.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Tako,

      Actually, in California, it’s much simpler than I had thought. In California, there is no education requirement: there is only an experience requirement, which your education can contribute towards, per Section 6751 of the Professional Engineers Act. According to Section 6753(b) of the Act, you can achieve up to two years for completing a degree from a non-approved curriculum (which yours is). Thus, you would then need four years of experience to add up to the requirement of six years of experience before being eligible to apply for your PE.

        1. Tako, as far as engineering goes, there’s nothing to stop you from working. You can work in an engineering role without a PE or even an FE. You just won’t be able to sign and seal your own documents until you are a registered PE. Until then, you work “under the responsible charge” of a licensed PE meaning that the work you do is the responsibility of the PE that signs and seals whatever documents you contribute to. So that only leaves the issue of immigration and being legally allowed to work which is a very separate issue.

  97. Dave,

    Your story has proven inspirational to me!. Having read it, I am now determined to pursue my career and life in US.

    Bit of background – I am British by nationality but did my Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering (BE Mech) (after passing Diploma in Mechancal Engineering) from India. Having looked at Washington Accord list, my BE Mech is not in that list. I am currently working as Infrastructure Engineer in a local authority in London for last 10 years.

    I will be immigrating to US in next 5 years or so but I want to move to US (preferably to avoid cold weather here in London!!! and partly to be with family in US…) as quick as possible through H1B visa.

    Please provide your expert suggestion on these:

    1.The best way for me is to get my foreign degree evaluated for FE Civil Exam by NCEES as most states now accept NCEES evaluation – please correct if I am wrong. If there are any deficiencies suggested, can I take those courses here in UK or has it got to be taken in USA?

    2. Also, should I get my evaluation through AACRAO on the assumption that they may approve my degree with no deficiencies!?

    3. Being a British Citizen and no permanent residence in US (I have family of my wife in CT state to support any documents if required) can I apply for FE exam in CT or Georgia State? (Both support NCEES and AACRAO). I am happy to physically sit for the exam in US if I am happy to sit for the exam. Do I have to be a resident in US for FE Exam?

    Your view will be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tushar Patel

    1. 1. Yes, most states now recognise the NCEES evaluation, so that’s probably a good place to get your credentials evaluated if you don’t know where you’re going to move to. You may also consider waiting until you have moved and know which Board you’ll be applying to and can be suer of the process. If you had to take those extra courses in the UK, I think you’d need to have those courses evaluated again to be sure that they’re equivalent to what courses you’re told you need to take. I’d also try and do those in the States if you can.

      2. You might consider it, but this is less widely accepted, so unless you knew you were moving to a state that accepts it, it’d be a waste of money.

      3. Each state is different. For each state you’re interested, find the website of the state’s Board of Professional Engineers and look for a link to rules, laws or statutes. In those, it will detail very specifically the exact criteria for applying, including whether you need to be a resident. That is not a common requirement and you can probably apply from the UK.

      All the best!

      1. Thanks Dave. Your suggestions have cleared some of my confusion, thanks again.

        I will go for NCEES evaluation. On that note, would you recommend me to wait till I immigrate to USA and then apply for FE exam. Or should I start apply and pass FE now in the state that allows me as a foreign national and then hunt for a job under a PE professional?

        Also how long is the result of FE exam valid in terms of applying for PE exam later?

        Thanks.

        1. I’d definitely wait until you immigrate before applying for the FE. Most employers will not consider your lack of FE as a barrier to getting employed (I didn’t have mine when I was hired). The results are good either indefinitely, or for many years (I noticed recently that Texas will accept your FE credentials for 8 years).

  98. Dave,

    First of all, thank you very much for the information you gave.

    I have double degree from Turkey (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and both are accredited by the Washington Accord. I will soon move to the U. S. (Hopefully to Texas) to pursue my Master’s degree in Civil Engineering.

    My question is, although it seems like Texas accepts the Washington Accord for PE, there is no other possibility than having ABET accreditation for the FE, am I right?

    If the Washington Accord does not work for the FE exam, then do you think a Master’s degree from an American university would do that?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ahmet

    1. In the Texas Laws and Rules, Section 1001.309 says that the applicant must meet the education requirements of Section 1001.302, which are the same requirements as for PE, and thus, a Washington Accord degree is sufficient to sit for the FE in Texas.

      1. Hi again Dave,

        Thank you for your response, but I think there is a complication here.
        You are right, that section 1001.309, which is for EIT, relates to 1001.302 with (b) (1) below, which accepts the Washington Accord in section 133.31:

        (b) The board shall consider as minimum evidence that an applicant is qualified for certification or enrollment as an engineer-in-training if
        the applicant:
        (1) complies with the education and character requirements of Section 1001.302; “AND”
        (2) has passed the board’s examination in the fundamentals of engineering.

        However, it says “and” (b) (2) (not “or”), which is the necessity of the FE exam, and there is nothing related to this regarding the Washington Accord, unfortunately.

        I would love to find out that the Washington Accord is enough to take the FE exam directly, but this laws and rules does not seem to explain it much.

        What do you say about it?

        Thank you again.

        Best,

        Ahmet

        1. Ahmet,

          The way it reads is that in order to become certified as an EIT/FE in Texas, you need to pass the education and character requirements of 1001.302 and pass the FE exam. That is to say, if you meet the education and character requirements of 1001.302 (which you do, because you say you have a degree that falls under the Washington Accord), then you are eligible to sit for the FE exam. Once you sit for and pass the FE exam, you will be eligible to be certified as an EIT by the Texas Board. From what I’m hearing, you have everything you need to sit for the FE and once you take and pass that, you will be eligible to be an EIT in Texas.

  99. Dave, All,

    Hope all is well. NCEES sent me an outcome of the credential evaluation today morning. I am deficient by 22 hours in 2 of 3 (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). Does anyone had similar outcome – do you know what will be the best way to overcome these deficiency? I have taken Physics, Chemistry in my school (pre bachelor’s degree) can I use these to satisfy the deficiencies? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Kuldip

    1. I fell foul of the same problem, because in the UK we learn all of that for our GCSEs, which we take at age 16 before specialising in our chosen subjects. Because my GCSEs were not (and could not be) part of my evaluation, I had to take a couple of classes (though I was only 6 hours short, not 22). If you can get them to include your school classes in your evaluation then that may help. Otherwise, you may look at a “CLEP” exam.

  100. Hi Dave,
    Did you provide reference while applying for PE test? I am planning to take PE exam, and I am from Nepal. I have worked as a engineer in Nepal for 6 years but we don’t have PE engineer in Nepal. How did you go about providing PE reference?

    1. I did, but then, I worked here in the States for 6 years before getting my PE, so I had plenty of references to choose from. In your case, I’d suggest a call to the engineering Board to see what they can do.

      1. Sikha, I have all my experience in the UK and Colorado state board have agreed to accept that – my ex-manager has not yet send the experience verification form though! As Dave suggested, speak to the state board and I am sure there will be happy to accept foreign experience.

  101. HI, Dave. I am thrilled to discover this blog.

    Its an encouragement for foreign engineers who wish to work in the States.

    I would like to ask you opinion about my situation. Here is my background.

    I am an Asian. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Hong Kong and was a UK chartered engineer. I got 1.5 years geotechnical design experience (tunnel project) and 6 years sewerage and drainage construction experience in Hong Kong. I worked in Aecom and am working as an assistant resident engineer in Atkins currently. I would get a green card and immigrate to Texas in around 2017 or 2018.

    To be honest, I really miss working in design office. I don’t think I can do better than local as a site staff in the states.

    In case of jobless in the States, do you think which would help me to pursue my career in design office? Getting a master or being a volunteer in civil engineering consultancy firm in the states?

    Thank you for the advice.

    1. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with a Master’s degree and there wouldn’t be any opportunity to “volunteer”, though internships (paid or unpaid) may be possible. I’d try to leverage your relationships with AECOM and Atkins to see about getting a position in a design office in the States.

  102. Hi Dave,

    I’m from Texas. If someone has the required experience to write the PE in Texas. Can he/she write the FE and PE consequently or do they need to write FE get additional experience and then write PE.

    Thanks

    1. You need to have the FE to sit for the PE. If you already have the experience required for the PE, there’s no need to gain any more experience between passing your FE and sitting for the PE.

  103. Hi Dave,

    I came across this blog a year ago. I have problem similar to everyone here. I have a Bachelor in Physics from a US college, then a Master in Mechanical Engineering from a US university too.

    Obviously I won’t be ABET accredited, so I saw from the blog you can get credential evaluated from NCEES. The result was a deficiency of 12 credits of Engineering Science/Design classes. NCEES did not count any physics class from my Bachelor because the NCEES standard say engineering science/design class must be under a “Engineering” dept and not Physics Dept. This is so illogical, science is still science no matter what dept it is under, it doesn’t change.

    Well, I found out this morning that even if NCEES would approve of my education, the New York State Board would not accept it. Yup, I asked, the guy in the office said they don’t accept NCEES’s credential evaluation.
    I am going to take my FE after sending in my experiences, I have enough, then after that I’ll have to wait 6 years to take the PE in NY….

    1. 1. If both your Bachelor’s degree and your Master’s degree are from US institutions, why would you think that they won’t be ABET-accredited? They most likely are…
      2. NCEES can evaluate your credentials, but you need to first check what kind of evaluation the state you’re intending to apply to accepts. Not all of them accept NCEES.
      3. Not sure why you think you’ll need to wait another six years to apply for a PE in NY. What is their experience requirement? Do you not already have some work experience under your belt?

  104. Hi Dave,

    I just came accross your website and I have a ton of question as I look forward to the PE.
    I have a Bachelor from a foreign country (Cameroon) and I have 4 years of experience in cameroon (lead Technical Support in IT field and as System Admin). I moved to Texas two years ago and I currently work as Field Engineer in In-line Pipeline Inspection field (I started as Field Technician).
    I had my degree evaluated by an organism (https://www.spantran.com/) here a year or two ago. After the evaluation the issued document have the mention “RECOMMENDED U.S. EDUCATIONAL EQUIVALENCY: Bachelor of Science in Industrial
    Technology from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education in the United States.)”
    What do you think is the best way/path for the PE?
    Are my previous experience are enough for the PE? How can I document them?
    I also notice that I need 3 PE references and my company doesn’t have any PE, is there any way around that?

    Thanks

    1. Jurgen,

      I’d start by calling the Board of the state where you want to get licensed. A few issues I see with what you have here:

      • I’ve never heard of Spantran and I suspect that your evaluation will not be acceptable to the Board that you’re applying to.
      • You probably will need references and they’ll need to come from PEs. Most states that I know of have this requirement. You said you work in Texas – how can you not be working around PEs?
      • Your experiences (including your time in Cameroon) may be acceptable to the Board, but a call would definitely clear that up.

      All the best.

  105. Dave,
    Thanks for the insight into your ordeal to get the FL PE. I got my Bachelor’s degree from India and a master’s from US. I have been a PE in Arizona and Virginia since 2011. I created NCEES record to get licensed in other states. Maryland approved right away, so did Delaware. Florida is a different animal altogether. They denied my application for Licensure by Endorsement on the basis that I lack 3 hours of general education. So, how does their, “Once you have had your license in another state for two years you can apply for endorsement” work? Is it that you pay $400 and then we’ll deny it?…..they provided me with an option to go for hearing or provide supplement to application form. At this point, I am confused and just not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

    1. That’s bizarre. In my case, I was still short of the general education requirements but was told that I would be eligible for license by endorsement (which clearly succeeded). I’d get on the phone and try and speaking to a Licensing Analyst who can tell you exactly what you’d be eligible for. Each case is so unique and has different factors, so it’s best to speak to someone to understand the process, follow up immediately with an email so that your understanding is recorded and confirmed by the Board and then you have something pretty solid to go by.

  106. Can someone tell me that if I have a PE in another state, can I apply for reciprocal in NYC for the PE? I can’t find a concrete answer.

  107. Hi Dave,

    first of all let me thank you for your availability of elucidation and kindness. It’s kind of funny hearing about your story because i am thinking to move to the US because i felt in love with someone from there (NY by the way).
    I am just finnishing my master in Mechanical Engineering (in Portugal) and i am already planning my move.
    Could you give me some guidance on what I should do in order to be able to practice my field in the US!?

    Cheers!!!

    P.S – (I’m already taking care of my english level and visas).

    1. Hi Duarte and congratulations to you.

      Sadly, Portugal is not a signatory to the Washington Accord. As such, you’ll need to get your degree evaluated. Assuming that you’re looking to get licensed in NY, the process actually seems to be a bit easier. You submit the application form for the FE exam to the Board and they themselves evaluate your education. They may require you to take extra courses to make it equivalent to that of an ABET degree, but at least you don’t have to go through a third-party evaluation service.

      1. Hi again Dave,

        Let me ask you one last question. Is there any possibility of getting some job in the field before taking the exam?
        You’re not paid to answer questions, but still …BIG thanks to you.
        Best regards.

        1. Just to confirm what Dave said, I am working in traffic and I have not passed FE/PE exams. I am hoping to get these out of the way by the end of 2017!

  108. Readers here may find an avenue through the Maryland Board of Professional Engineers. In my experience, they look at your individual course history if you do not possess an ABET Bachelors. If you’re pursuing a Masters in engineering in the US, this could help you sit for the F.E. and then the P.E. in Maryland (MD). MD requires a lot of detailed work history (showing calculations!) and supervisors’ signatures, as well as a separate list of P.E signatures (US) that will vouch for you in order to sit for the P.E. I am a licensed P.E. in MD because similar to Dave’s test experience above, I traveled to MD, stayed in a hotel, rented a car, and went to sit for the P.E while being a resident of Nebraska. Until I fulfill all of NCEES’s requirements (more engineering classes & a calculus-based physics course; my B.S is in biology so I apparently took algebra-based physics) – I must wait ten (10) years for Nebraska P.E. reciprocity. With all the extra classes, I will likely pursue a PhD. I am interested in knowing other states reciprocity timelines (Dave mentioned 2 years for Florida with existing P.E. from another US state). The path straight to the P.E. is very clear for those who are from the US and who have an ABET/EAC accredited 4 year Bachelors degree. Most others must unfortunately abide by NCEES’s terms or simply find a way by searching each states’ requirements to see if they may work for you. Good luck everyone!
    P.S. For you Civil engineers: Nebraska small cities and rural communities are in dire need of dedicated engineers (licensed or not, it is always worth applying and showing them you have a path toward the license/reciprocity). By extension, with crumbling infrastructure, the need for sanitation upgrades, and evermore water quality concerns, I assume that most rural areas of the States are also in dire need of good (civil) engineers. If you’re willing to relocate, this could be a great opportunity! Surprisingly, since moving to Nebraska, I’ve met quite a bunch of other “transplants”, and in wastewater where I work we’ve engineers from China and S. Korea.

  109. Hi David,

    I am Gretchen and I obtained my Electrical Engineering degree in a non-ABET university Philippines in 2010. I worked in a power distribution utility for 5 years and I just recently moved in Iliinois this June. I have been applying to jobs related to engineering in the past 3 months but I just could’t find one matching to my experience in the Philippines. Been to interviews but non of them yet had a positive result. Since my husband is in the Navy, I am planning on getting my FE license to get additional qualification in my resume. i already signed up for the NCEES and just last week my school sent the documents to NCEES but I think NCEES is still verifying the documents that is why it doesnt appear yet in my dashboard. Well if ever I get the result, and had some lackinf credits, am I required to take those courses in an ABET accredited institution? And whenever I pass my FE exam, would it increase my chance in landing a job? Please give me advice on how could I start once I pass my FE. Are there companies here that accepts apprenticeships for entry level engineers? thanks

    1. Hi Gretchen,

      You won’t have to take your classes in an ABET-accredited school – you just need to take them. I did mine at the local community college.

      Getting your FE might increase your chances of getting a job, but I’d say your experience is much more important than getting the FE which is relatively unimportant. There’s plenty of companies that will take on entry-level engineers. Keep looking: you’ll get there.

      1. Thanks David. I saw a lot of companies but there’s few near my place. I will work on for my FE and my PE in the future, but it will gonna be a long road ahead. I am military wife and I don’t know which state yet will I register for my FE. Illinois has a lot of requirements including getting TOEFL. I will be staying here in Illinois til Feb.2018.

    2. I’d like to answer to your question re NCEES evaluation. The NCEES is an evaluation agency and they do not make any decisions/ It is the state board which you are applying to make final decision. NCEES could say your course is equivalent to a US degree – in that case you are all set for FE exam. If they say there are some deficiencies – you will have to contact the state board where you want to take FE exam. NCEES identified 22 credit hour deficiency in my course. I contacted Colorado state board and I was told if I can demonstrate “six years of progressive engineering experience, of which educational study may be a part.” then I do not have to take these courses. Hope this helps and good luck with your job search.

  110. Dave, I did myMASTER IN engineering in India with 2 years of TEACHING experience. I am now in DUBAI for job hunts they are asking IELTS???? Could you please guide me on taking the exam ? What I am looking for is which states will accept my credentials and where should I take the exam. Thanks in advance. Your blog is very helpful to engineers.

  111. Hi Dave,

    I am Burak Yucel. I tried to read all of the posts and replies in order to find the answers of my questions before writing here. There are some people with similar sitation as mine but still i have some questions. Let me explain mine:

    I graduated from an ABET accredited University in Turkey (ITU – Istanbul Tech.) and completed my master study at another ABET accredited university in Turkey (METU, Middle East Tech.)
    I have been working for 5 years under the supervision of three different engineers with PE title, at a company in Turkey.
    I passed the FE exam in Istanbul, Turkey (ITU-NCEES)
    I am going to take PE exam again in Istanbul, Turkey (ITU-NCEES)

    I am going to apply for PE license because our company deals with projects of some companies from USA. And as i understood from the other posts that South Carolina and Texas boards give PE licenses to non-US citizens. My problem is that i do not consider living or working in the US, i just want to be a PE for my career. So do you think that it is possible to get it by just preparing and sending the required documents? Do i need to go to the USA personally to apply for it? or take an ethics exam in Texas?

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Burak Yucei,

      If you are able to pass the FE and PE exam where you are, then you won’t need to come to the States. Also, every state will issue a license to non-citizens. I myself am not a citizen. It is just that TX and SC recognise foreign degrees under the Washington Accord. So it sounds like you have everything you need to get licensed in just about any state you choose. However, you will need to meet the education requirements of whichever state board you apply to. Since you have an accredited degree from Turkey, which is a Washington Accord signatory, you automatically meet the education requirements in both of those states.

      1. Thanks for the information Dave,

        I passed the PE exam and made a contact with Texas Board of Civil Engineers. I read the rules and asked a couple of questions to them via e-mail. I was replied that “Please note you must have the legal ability to work in the U.S. to apply for licensure in Texas.” I did not see such a rule in the web page. Is work permit required to apply for PE licensure in any state? Do you have any idea?

        1. Omer,

          Actually, I also don’t see anything in the rules that specifically requires you to be legally eligible to work in order to get licensed. However, I did see that §133.43(a)(3)(D) requires that two years of your experience to have been conducted in the United States, which inherently means that you have to be authorised to work in the US in order to achieve that. Maybe have the board cite the rule that requires it so that you can look more closely at the requirements.

  112. Hello sir,
    Iam in a similar situation I have my BS in civil engineering from Jordan – Middle East, my state is MN, what I should do next to do FE PE exams and get a job?

  113. Hi Dave,

    I am a Canadian Civil Engineering student from an accredited university – will be graduating next year with three 4mo co-op work terms.

    I am just wondering what the job market is currently like there and how likely it is for a foreign entry level engineer to obtain a job in the states with EIT status?

    This is probably all for not anyways as with the recent H1B proposed changes of $100,000 minimum salary; that will eliminate me and many others from obtaining a work permit unless I marry an American woman.

    1. Hi,

      Yeah, no entry-level engineering job will pay >$100K I’m afraid. Nonetheless, the market is moderate. Not like the boom times of 2007, but also not like the desert, as in 2009-2011. I’d say you have a good chance of finding a job in your position. In fact, keep your eyes open for an entry-level position at Black & Veatch in Tampa, FL in the spring…

  114. Can you support me based in your experience iam graduated from distance learning university as a civil engineer from California and presently iam working in gulf area with consultant engineer and as you know that online university non accredited so if there any way to take some additional courses to make the degree accredited and after that to submit for FE exam.

  115. Hello Dave

    Thanks for the helpful and meaningful posting. I will be finishing my master’s degree in aerospace engineering outside of Florida but actively looking for an engineer career opportunity in Florida (My SO might be working in South West Florida, and I have more career flexibility than her). I have submitted dozens of my resume to engineering companies in Florida but gotten no luck so far. Partially I believe it is due to my student visa status.

    I am seriously thinking about taking the FE exam and give a shot for civil engineering companies since my master’s work focuses on aerospace structural analysis. Do you think becoming EIT would boost a chance of getting a job in Florida? Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Brian

    1. Brian,

      Honestly, I don’t think that getting the FE would boost your chances much, but it’s still worth doing so that you’re not hampering yourself compared to your competition. With that said, sadly, I’d say that your immigration status is a more likely hindrance to you right now, which of course you can’t do much about. Where is your citizenship and where did/will you earn your degree?

  116. Hi,

    I am currently residing in Michigan and have a Work Experience of 3 years and a Master’s Degree in Mech. Engineering. I need to get the PE certification, Do I need to appear for FE or I can directly take the PE exam? Can you please advise?

    Sincerely,
    Sid

  117. Hi Dave,
    I graduated from the UK with MSc in Control Systems. I have been working as a Control and Automation Engineer for 7 years now. I am planning to move to the US by end of this year. My fiance is in Chicago, how easy do you think ill find a job in Chicago? DO i really need to take a FE?

    many thanks

    1. I have no idea what the job market is like I’m afraid. There’s no need to take the FE, but with 7 years behind you, you’ll be looking for jobs where most of your peers are going to be PEs, so you’ll want to work towards getting that as soon as possible.

  118. Dave,
    I enjoyed your PE article, as well as your link to planning to move to Oregon. My wife and I spent 10 years living in Florida, but we were on the other side of the state in Palm Bay; much of our time was spent on the St Johns River, with my wife doing wildlife photography and me just driving the boat. I hope your move goes smoothly and (as a cat rescue person) I appreciate all the thought you have given to the transportation of your cats. I pray that you and your wife and kids and kitties all make it safely there. Keep up the good work with your writing.
    take care,
    dave

  119. Hi Dave,

    Very interested article by the way

    I am a US citizen holding a B.Sc degree in civil engineering from a foreign country and about 15 years of experience there. After moving to USA in 2010, I did my M.S immediatly and right now close to get my PhD as well (both in civil eng.).

    I really look to get an academic carrer, and I think that being a PE is also preferred (not required) to get a university job. That is why I started to dig into details of how I can get my PE license. My question is; Am I able to sit for PE test without having FE. I was searching the web to get a clear answer to this question when I found this wonderful article and wanted to get your advice. I am a Missouri resident and I just want to waive the FE test because of time and cost reasons no more.

    Thanks,
    Muha

    1. Some states do exempt you from the FE if you have significant work experience, so you’d have to check with the MO board of engineers as to whether they allow this. Some other states have a very hard line and it doesn’t matter if you have 50 years of experience: they’ll still make you take the FE.

  120. Hi Dave,

    I am glad that I had chanced upon your website. I am currently a Professional Engineer (Environmental Engineering) with the State of Kentucky, US and am planning to come to Kentucky to work. By June this year, I would graduate with a Masters of Science (Environmental Management) from National University of Singapore.

    I have the following questions..

    1) Is it relative easy for a foreigner to find a engineering job in the US with a PE license?
    2) What is the best way to look for job in the US? (Currently, i am working as a consulting engineer at CH2M)
    3) Are engineers with PE license highly respected and valued in the US?

    Thanks,
    Ald, Singapore Guy

    1. Hi Ald,

      I’m a bit confused because you say that you’re already a Professional Engineer in Kentucky…

      Nonetheless, here’s my thoughts:

      1. It’s just as easy for a foreigner to find work in the US, especially if you have a PE license, so long as you are authorized to work here. With that said, it is getting harder, given the election of Trump and you might want to read up on what Trump wants to do with H1B visas (scrap them).
      2. The best way is to contact people that you know. If you work for CH2M, start by networking with professionals in the US and look for internal opportunities. Beyond that, start looking at the websites of their competitors for available opportunities. There’s a good amount of jobs right now.
      3. Professional Engineers are definitely highly respected and valued. It’s a well-regarded industry to work in, and your PE credentials are very valuable.

      1. Many thanks for your prompt reply:)

        I took the PE exam in Louisville and received my license back in Oct 2015 then. At that time, I was working for CDM SMITH in Singapore under a few US professional engineers, and they guided me and helped in my PE application then. As I am about to finish my masters, I am planning to start seeking work opportunities in Kentucky.

        There is an agreement between Singapore and the US with regards to work visa. It is called the H1B1 visa. Apparently, Singaporeans are allowed as principal applicants. Here’s the link for your reference, http://www.ustraveldocs.com/sg/sg-niv-typeh1b1.asp

        Do you know of any good and reliable job websites that I could look into?

        Any good recruitment firm that could assist in my job search in Kentucky?

        1. In a field like this, I wouldn’t bother with “job sites” like monster.com or indeed.com. It’s better to go directly to the websites of the companies. To get a feel for the biggest and best in the industry, check out the ENR rankings. There probably are some headhunters that could help you, but I don’t know of any.

          Also, just beware of visas at the moment. It looks like H1B1 visas are separate from H1B visas, but know that Mr Trump effectively wants to kill off H1B visas…

  121. Dave,

    I came across your blog about the procedures required to becoming a professional engineer and found it very helpful.

    Just to give you a quick background I’m also British, born and bred in London and graduated from City university. Upon graduation I moved over to the Middle East (Qatar) where I have been working here for the last 6years. My wife is American and we have decided that we are reaching to the stage where we feel the need to move (in her case back) to the states, Ohio to be exact. I have done a bit of reashearch and found out they allow for engineers to sit their FE & PE exams in Qatar.

    My question is the application for jobs over in the states. Would I require to have my visa issues sorted out before applying or will companies be able to sponsor candidates on work visas?

    Reagards
    Sharmarke

  122. Hi Dave,

    Excellent piece of information.

    I have been scanning NCEES website for the requirements for PE. There are many international countries that conduct FE and PE exam of NCEES around the world at international centers. I wonder how they license these PE aspirants who do not live in US but still pass FE and PE exam. And if they want to move to US then how this PE exam can benefit them.

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