The Professional Engineer (PE) license is not required, for engineers but it helps them prove their skills and expertise, allows them to advance higher up the ladder, boosts marketability – and often boosts salary. But becoming a PE is no easy feat. It takes a great deal of time, money and resources, which leaves many professionals wondering of getting their PE is actually worth it.
How to Become a PE
Becoming a PE is a process, not an event. There are several steps involved in becoming a PE, and it all starts with education. Engineers interested in earning a PE license must:
- Graduate from a four-year, accredited engineering program
- Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Work under a licensed PE, earning progressive experience, for four years
- Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam
- Maintain status through continuing education requirements
The Benefits of a PE
Becoming a PE takes years of focus and dedication, but the benefits can be well worth it. The PE designation is considered one of the highest standards of competence for the engineering profession. Hiring managers know that someone who has earned their PE has met or exceeded standards for the industry, and it provides instant “proof” of expertise in the hiring process. Only licensed engineers can prepare, sign, seal and submit engineering plans. These are critical steps in the process, and many firms place priority on hiring PEs, because unlicensed engineers add extra steps to the process.
Data indicates that PEs earn more than engineers without the licensure. They can earn anywhere from 5 to 10 percent more, which translates to significant lifetime earning potential over the course of a career – in some cases, the difference can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more over a lifetime.
PEs are also able to start their own firms, work as managing and independent consultants in both the public and private sector, and as educators. For these roles, licensure is a legal requirement, leaving unlicensed engineers with a much more limited set of career options.
Engineers who want to have options in their careers, climb the ladder and earn as much as possible will find it well worth the effort to secure their PE license.
Are You Looking for New Career Opportunities in Engineering?
If you are an engineer seeking new opportunities to grow your career as a PE and you’re ready to work with a professional recruiter, contact the Atlanta recruiting experts at Selectek today. As experts in the engineering field, we will identify opportunities that align with your skills and goals, and we can help you achieve your definition of career success.