document updated 10 years ago, on Oct 30, 2012
To be certified as a Professional Engineer in the US, you must do each of these steps:
If you only complete the first two, you can often be certified as an Engineer-In-Training (EIT) AKA Engineer Intern (EI).
- Graduate with a degree from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited four-year university program in engineering. Ex. BS (Engg)/BSE/MS (Engg)/MSE Degree approved by ABET
- pass the FE exam
- accumulate four years of engineering experience
- pass the PE exam
Step 1 for me
I graduated with a CS at Purdue, which is not on the list
So... I would have to go back to Purdue and complete enough courses for another BS. Degrees that I might possibly choose:
bypassing Step 1
answer to "Are there other ways of qualifying to take the examination other than through an approved engineering degree?"
However, note that if you go this route, it *might* (I'm not sure) make it more difficult to be licensed in other states
in Illinois, the relevant statute is 225 ILCS 325/10(b):
A graduate of a non-approved engineering curriculum or a related science curriculum of at least 4 years and which meets the requirements as set forth by rule by submitting an application to the Department for its review and approval, who submits acceptable evidence to the Board of an additional 8 years or more of experience in engineering work of a grade and character which indicate that the individual may be competent to practice professional engineering, and who has passed a nominal 8-hour written examination in the fundamentals of engineering and a nominal 8-hour written examination in the principles and practice of engineering. Upon submitting the application with proof of passing both examinations, the applicant, if otherwise qualified, shall be granted a license to practice professional engineering in this State
- Section 1380.230 Approved Experience
"Experience shall be under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer or a person legally practicing engineering pursuant to Section 3 of the Act who verifies the number of years during which the applicant was doing work at a professional level, and the manner in which the work prepares the applicant for licensure as a professional engineer."
Yeah, I don't qualify for that.
- Section 1380.220 Definition of Degree in a Non-approved Engineering Program or a Related Science Curriculum
this one might be a possibility... I'd need to look at the details of my credit hours
15 hours of physics and chemistry — that one might not work for me... I passed out of those via AP credit, and AP credit might not apply...?
On the other hand, taking more physics courses (statics, dynamics, etc) to prepare for the FE would be a great idea
bypassing Step 1 (another possibility)
go through the process that international students go through?
Step 2 for me
The version of the afternoon portion of the exam I would choose would probably be:
Step 4 for me
Specific versions of the PE that I might consider:
benefits to me
I want to be recognized by potential employers as an engineering-generalist, someone who has broad and deep knowledge outside of the specific path that my career has taken. This would hopefully open up a larger range of job possibilities.
Read more about possible benefits:
Read more about salary increases specifically:
Additional job opportunities that might become available:
- writing custom software that is closely related to some other engineering field
- be a project engineer
- any job that requires interdisciplinary knowledge
Okay, fuck it. You know why I want it? Prestige, that's why. I want people to know I'm a Jill Of All Trades.
immediate next steps
- talk to dad about this
- estimate cost of an additional four-year degree