The Importance of a Professional Engineer (PE) License

professional engineer license

Civil engineering is a budding industry with lucrative career option. In this vast field, candidates with true potential can take themselves to new heights of success. The FE and PE Civil exams are two major engineering exams that open up more opportunities for you. On passing both these exams, you can earn the title of a professional engineer (PE) which is the highest civil engineering honor in the country.

Once you take up engineering as a career path, you will have to make the decision of whether or not to go after the PE license. Many engineers spend their entire careers working as standard civil engineers on various projects. Whereas, some engineers work hard to pass the FE and the PE Civil exam to earn the license and be project heads instead.

The decision to seek the PE license is every engineer’s personal choice. However, it is ideal if you have a license. A professional engineer’s license is going to benefit your career in more ways than one. So, before you decide to opt out of taking the PE & FE Exams, learn about the top benefits of a PE license.

Major Salary Boost

Everybody wants a career that pays more to live a decent lifestyle. This is why the number one benefit of a professional engineer’s license that we have here for you is the rise in salary. Research shows that licensed engineers are earning relatively more than non-licensed engineers. 

An engineer who has passed two of the most competitive engineering exams has more value in the industry. You become much more marketable once you add a professional engineer license to your resume. By being a professional engineer, you are also allowing yourself to be financially stable in the long run.

Lead Big Projects

Your PE licensure will get you some of the top construction projects. A professional engineer is considered capable of managing any construction project on their own. Once you have your license you will get a chance to lead a team of civil engineers. You might even get the freedom to work on some government-based projects along with major private sector construction projects.

The pace at which your career moves forward after you have your license is astounding. The type of work you get, the salary, the authority, everything will get better immensely. You will be hired by big firms and will be prioritized to take over their most important projects as a lead engineer. On the other hand, without a license, you might have to work under a PE all your life.

Work Anywhere in the Country

The FE and the PE Civil exams take place throughout the country, which means your license is valid across the United States. After you have your license, switching cities or states will not affect your career that much. No matter where you decide to settle, your license will get you a prominent job. So, your job security is always there regardless of under what circumstance you move to a different place.

You can apply and show your license to the company you want to work in. It won’t matter if you have only recently moved to a new city. The license will be a testament to your skills and qualification as a civil engineer. This flexibility allows engineers to simply get themselves registered with the state’s engineering board and start looking for work immediately.

Be a Stand Out

The PE license is not just about getting you better jobs but also setting you apart from the rest. Did you know that only those who have passed the PE exam can be called Professional Engineers? The title cannot be used by anybody around the country, only the engineers who have earned the license will be designated as “Professional Engineers”.

There are so many civil engineers in the United States but with your license, you become a professional engineer which makes you stand out from them. The licensure shows your authority in the field of engineering and gets you the respect and appreciation you worked hard for. The moment you have your license with you, you are officially a professional engineer.

More Work Options 

Different civil engineering jobs have different criteria and for a common engineer, it can be tough to meet all those requirements. Some positions need the candidate to be licensed to apply and some don’t. It means for a PE license holder, both these options are available whereas for a non-licensed engineer there’s only one option for which they have to fight pretty hard for.

The availability of more job options than before is a crucial benefit of the PE license. You can choose from the variety of choices you have with you and grow your career profoundly. Although for a non-licensed engineer, the chances of getting prominent jobs become less as professional engineers take up most positions. Being licensed will lower the competition a bit for you.

Tips to Pass the FE and PE Civil Exam and get Licensed

Are you now convinced you want to be a professional engineer and reap all the benefits that follow? Then you might need to start with your FE and PE exam preparation. In case you are not sure how to go about it, we will provide you with some valuable tips that can help. Check out the following tips to prepare and pass these two exams:

Be Smart When Scheduling Your Exam Date

Whether you are registering for the FE or the PE exam, make sure you check your schedule first. The exam date should not clash with any major event or function so that you can focus entirely on your preparation for one of these exams. You need to have an open schedule so that you can prepare effectively and without any distractions.

Both these exams require you to study hard and dedicate yourself \. You should have at least 4 to 5 months to prepare and not have any other thing coming up to divert you from your goal. Don’t apply unless you can devote yourself completely.

Join a Quality Review Course

You probably would have heard about a PE review course. This course will not only help you prepare more effectively but provide you with relevant study resources as well. There are many course services out there, make sure you choose wisely. Your chosen review course provider should be a reliable and experienced engineer who can guide you professionally.

When you enroll in a PE review course, you are not only making the best of course resources, you can gain insights about the exam and get useful tips on how to take the exam, what mistakes to avoid, etc. This type of knowledge is something that you cannot find in any study material.

Solve More and More Practice Exams

Completing the course is not enough, your preparation is incomplete until you solve a handful of practice papers. Working on NCEES-based practice exams is the ultimate preparation before the main exam. You will learn how to pace yourself on exam day, you will get an idea of your strong and weak zones, and more.

After you are done with the course, before reviewing from the start, solve a practice exam. It will tell you precisely what you lack and what areas you still might need to work on. Time yourself each time and you will get better at time management with each practice test. Eventually, you will be fully ready and confident when you walk into the exam hall.

Allow Yourself to Relax

When you are in the examination center, you must have a refreshed and ready-to-go mind and body. A lot of engineers make the mistake of overdoing the day before the exam and the fatigue affects their ability to think and work in the exam room. Therefore, you should be done with your studying and preparation at least 2 days before so that the last day can be spent relaxing. 

Stop studying or working on practice exams 24 hours before the main test. Instead, spend that time listening to your favorite music, talking to your family and friends, and doing things you love. By doing so, you will feel energetic and light on exam day.


The above-mentioned detailed information will help you understand the importance of a PE license and how to pass the FE and PE Civil exams to become a professional engineer. As far as seeking the right assistance for your journey towards the PE license is concerned, Civil Engineering Academy has just what you need. Here, you can find review courses, study references, NCEES-based practice papers, and more to help you prepare for the FE and PE exams.