PE Exam Requirements

By: Calvin Lokko, EI

“During the 2018 Legislative Session several proposed changes to the licensure application process were adopted. One of these changes separates the work experience requirement from the principles and practice exam requirements. In other words – you can now take the principles and practice exams any time after you successfully pass the fundamentals exam.” –  Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (BELS).

What does this mean? It means all Engineering Interns that have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam are now eligible to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam in Alabama. After passing the exam, one must still obtain years of experience before a Professional Engineering (PE) license is obtained.

After a license is obtained, what is next? Tennessee is one of the few states that has not changed the exam requirements, however Tennessee has reciprocity for PE licensees from states where the early exam is allowed. Most states will accept reciprocity of PE licensees that complete the PE exam early. From my personal research, I only found one state that requires re-examination in order for reciprocity for persons that pass the PE exam prior to years’ experience.

I think the change is a smart move on the state’s part. I wouldn’t mind having a year pause between the FE and PE exam. Everyone I have spoken with thinks it is a good idea, and for myself, the new requirements allow peace of mind about not having to relearn general engineering knowledge four years after graduation.

The new requirements have not been publicized well to persons that recently graduated. Several of my classmates did not know of the recent change. I only found out the news after attending an ASHE (American Society of Highway Engineers) meeting in Nashville and learning of Kentucky’s early examination from a fellow engineer there. That caused me to research Alabama’s requirements. Previously, I only heard rumors of US territories like Puerto Rico allowing early examination. I’m hoping this blog post will provide helpful information for our newest engineers.




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