Is It worthwhile to take FE tests if you do not want to become a PE?
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) testifies engineering graduates' hands-on experience. The National Council of Examiners administers this test for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) in the United States.
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test the first of two significant aptitude exams required to get a professional engineer license (PE).
Having a PE after your name suggests that you are knowledgeable in your industry to organizations and consumers.
Becoming a PE
Some engineers may be compelled to earn a PE license, but for others, obtaining a PE license is a personal ambition. Only a licensed engineer may draught, seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings for approval to a public body. As a result, many chemical engineers consider that holding a PE license is primarily useful for people working in design or consulting.
Because you never know when obtaining a PE license will be useful, many engineers recommend beginning the process by clearing the FE exam as soon as feasible. The first step to becoming eligible for a PE license is to study for FE test and clear it.
This article will glance at the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, also known as the EIT exam. We get across the steps to becoming a certified professional engineer in the United States and how each step works. We also discuss why you should take the FE test and what it means for your career to be an engineer-in-training (EIT) and, ultimately, a licensed professional engineer (PE).
FE exam: Fundamentals of Engineering exam
The NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test is the first of two required exams for engineers to become licensed in the United States.
Before taking the PE exam, engineering college seniors or working engineers must pass the FE exam and obtain four years of engineering job experience. After passing the PE test (PE), the examinee becomes a licensed professional engineer. A licensed professional engineer has the lawful authority to sign and seal engineering papers distributed to the public.
The NCEES FE (EIT) exam covers most engineering undergraduate courses, a 5.5-hour, 110-question multiple-choice test. You may only bring an authorized calculator, and you will be given a PDF containing equations and statistics to consult during the exam. There will be no "cheat sheets" or notes permitted.
Reason to take FE exam
You can take the FE exam early and become an EIT so that you can become a professional engineer (PE) in the next few years or have the choice later on. Professional engineers have the legal authority to stamp and seal engineering papers distributed to the general public.
Depending on the company (or potential sector), having a PE is necessary for executive positions or a notable distinction amid your colleagues for professional success.
The value of having a PE, and thus an EIT, varies based on the sector in which you work or may work. Professional engineering licensure is frequently required for non-entry-level positions in the construction business, which practically all civil engineering graduates enter. In contrast, EIT certification is frequently required for entrance roles.
According to NCEES's annual report, Squared, while there are roughly 70,000 new engineering graduates each year, approximately forty thousand persons take the FE exam each year. Another way to look at professional engineering licensing is to consider how it can help you differentiate yourself from your colleagues and grow in your career, rather than whether it is required to acquire a job.
After FE exam
After passing the FE exam, you can complete the paperwork for your engineer-in-training (EIT) certification in your state. You next get four years of work experience before reaching the final step, clearing the PE exam.
Generally, you should have four years of engineering experience as an EIT before taking the PE exam. Certain places, such as Kentucky, will help you take the PE exam before finishing the four years of engineering experience, but your official licensure will not be valid until the four years have passed. Taking the PE exam shortly after the FE exam might be highly beneficial because the contents are still fresh in your mind.
Secure a promotion by clearing the FE exam
Realize that passing the FE test is only a necessary intermediate stage before being qualified to obtain and pass the PE exam. Is clearing the FE going to help you receive a pay increase? It is conditional.
Indeed, it is common for civil engineers to receive a promotion shortly after passing the PE exam. After completing the PE exam, the normal rise is an additional $2,000-$5,000 per year in pay. Furthermore, after passing the PE exam, you will be qualified for project engineer or team management roles, often paying $10K+ more than admittance EIT jobs.
Clearing the FE exam will amaze your supervisor and will most likely play a role in you gaining your following advancement sooner than usual, which will result in you earning more money. According to the Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), mechanical engineers with a PE license who passed the FE earned $16,000 more per year than their non-licensed colleagues. The only reason to pass the FE is to pass the PE later. If clearing the FE does not increase your earnings, completing the PE will.
What to do with the EIT certificate?
Engineer-in-training (EIT) certification is an essential intermediate step toward licensure. You cannot stamp or seal engineering documents with an EIT certification as a PE could. EIT certification does not provide any special abilities; it only denotes that you passed the FE exam and are on your road to becoming a registered professional engineer (PE). An EIT certification also confirms that you have the technical knowledge needed to pass a comprehensive engineering exam.
What is the right time to take the FE exam?
When there is one thing that many engineers agree on, you should take the FE exam shortly after graduation or during senior year of college, while your courses are still relevant and up to date. For people who have been out of school for like a year, the exam becomes considerably harder.
Eligibility criteria for FE exam
You must have earned or be on your way to finishing an undergraduate bachelor or graduate engineering degree from an EAC/ABET-accredited institution in most states. After many years of experience, several states will enable you to take the FE exam without a bachelor's or graduate degree in engineering. If those terms persist to you, contact your state board for more information.
FE exam; what's on it?
The FE test is extensive, encompassing most topics included in an undergraduate engineering curriculum. There are various FE exams (civil, mechanical, electrical-computer, environmental, chemical, industrial, and others), each with its topics.
Preparation for FE exam: Study For FE
Study For FE has created a complete program aimed exclusively at practicing what you need to know to pass the FE test. Study For FE is the fastest-rising FE exam prep program available, featuring dozens of tests and quizzes and comprehensive solutions delivered in an engaging, online environment.
Hence, if you are unsure if you have no plans to take on PE, you should still go for FE. Taking the FE exam will help you secure your job and benefit you in your professional career. And say if you already have one job, you will be able to secure a promotion by clearing the FE exam.