Is there an empty spot on your wall, crying out for one more degree or certification? A PE licensure is considered the industry’s highest standard of proficiency, an assurance of skill and qualifications. Candidates for licensure must meet requirements regarding education and work experience, and pass an exam. Are you a controls engineer ready to obtain your PE license?
Check out these tips below:
• Decide which test you want to take. If you have a strong controls engineering background, then the “Control Systems” test may come the most naturally.
• Take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam if you haven’t already. This is usually offered twice a year at some of the major colleges.
• Work four years in an engineering field. Those with a master’s degree or other prerequisites might need less work experience. Check with your state’s board for exact numbers.
• Start a journal of projects. Make sure you explain what “engineering” you have done during the project. Each project should have a start and end date. Keep customer proprietary rights in mind and focus on the work done and not why the customer was doing the project.
• Build a list of references. You will need a list of five references, three of which must be licensed engineers. Make sure to maintain current contact info.
• Submit the paperwork to take the exam. This is the hardest part of the process. Follow the formatting details very explicitly or you may have to resend it. An exam fee is also required.
• Build a supply of relevant reference material. See the appendix below for essential info for the “Control Systems” test as of 2015.
• Schedule an exam date, typically in either late October or mid-April. Pick a convenient location and plan to stay at a nearby hotel if you have to.
• Optional but recommended—take an online course. ISA offers a well done online course for the “Control Systems” exam that includes some useful reference materials.
• Exam week! Gather food for a healthy lunch, check calculator batteries, get all your references together, and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Check the board’s website for what you are and are not allowed to bring.
• On the day of the exam, wake up early and get your body moving; you don’t want to roll out of bed and stumble into the exam. Keep your lunch in your car while taking the exam. Dress to be prepared for any temperature. You will have two sessions to complete 80 questions, split into two 4-hour, 40 question sessions.
For more information, visit your state’s engineering board’s website. And good luck on your exam!