The Road to Becoming a Professional Engineer

After several years in school and a lot of tests, I honestly wasn’t excited about the thought of taking another one. But the Professional Engineer (P.E.) Exam is worth it.

For engineers, this is the last step in obtaining licensure so that we can be recognized as a Licensed Professional Engineer, which allows us to certify engineering documents. It’s important in terms of progressing from being a “trainee” or assistant to a professional who can oversee projects.

I will take my exam on October 25, 2013 at the BJCC. By that time, I will have studied for about two months. I took a class, which isn’t necessary, but was helpful for me because there is material covered on the exam that I haven’t seen since school or don’t often use on a daily basis. The class provided a good foundation to study from, and it’s helped me feel more prepared for the exam.

The exam consists of an eight hour multiple choice test that covers five breadth subjects in the morning (4 hours) and then your area of expertise in the afternoon (4 hours). The format is similar to the fundamentals of engineering exam (the initial licensure exam taken after school), but the problems and questions are oriented more toward practice than theory.

I have had several co-workers at Sain Associates go through the process of studying for, taking and passing their exams, so talking with them has also been helpful. The questions change, so it doesn’t help me know exactly what will be asked, but it’s helpful to have an idea.

The exam will be a good measure of how much I’ve learned since I’ve been out of school and working, and it’s been great to revisit some concepts that have helped me hone my skills.

I will get the results 8-10 weeks after the exam, and I’m hopeful that I will pass. I definitely don’t want to take an eight hour test more than once!

Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Cullman, Alabama, Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.

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