Napkin Diagrams

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Tag Archives: NCEES

Application for F.E. / EIT (in NJ)

In an earlier post, I gave a general overview what it takes to get a Professional Engineer’s Licence. This is a quick follow-up to discuss the Fundamentals Exam application in New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyor handles registration, testing, and licensing for the state. Their website has a bunch of pages and pdfs, but doesn’t give much insight into what each are beyond their titles, so one has to check each one manually.

Typical Test Times: April, October
Typical Application Deadlines: December, July

Important Bits:

  • Application Fees and Exam Dates — You’re going to want to check this first. It’ll give you relevant exam dates, how much it will cost, and most importantly, when you need to have everything submitted by.
  • The F.E. / Engineer-In-Training Application — This is the application itself, served up as a pdf. You’ve got to print it out and physically send it in to the board by the appropriate date. It says that responses must be typewritten. Unfortunately, the editable text boxes in the pdf were not done properly to align with the given line layouts, so you’ll have to manually make adjustments.

Items You’ll Need:

  • Photo ID — Portrait taken within the past 6 months. Larger than 0.25in wide
  • Certified Check or Money Order — The Application fee has to be sent in with the form as one of these methods. You’ll have to go to the bank for this. Regular checks, cash, and credit cards are not accepted.
  • Three (3) References — These can be peers, professors, co-workers, etc. However, one of these must be a currently licensed Professional Engineer in the U.S. and know of your experience. Take note that most professors are not licensed, so finding a suitable reference can be difficult for those just starting out.
  • Social Security Number
  • Official Transcript — This one will be done after you get your application number sent to you. Your university will need to send an official transcript, with the application number, directly

NJ Board Contact Info
Contact: Arthur Russo
Phone: (973) 504-6460
124 Halsey Street, Third Floor
Newark, NJ 07102


The Professional Engineer License: What is it and why would you want one?

Engineering, like many other professions, has a registration and licensing system in place. This is to ensure that certain standards and regulations are met. Safety and quality would be difficult to maintain if under-qualified people were engineering all willy-nilly, except in the case of a British dystopia, when rogue heating engineers are needed to fight the oppression.

Not all engineers need to obtain a professional engineer’s (P.E.) licence, and in fact, many aren’t. One can get by without it, working under a P.E, however career growth and abilities will be limited. A P.E. is required for such things as signing off on designs, dealing with government contracts, and running a firm or freelancing. In addition to the direct benefits, the licence will open up career opportunities, allow for further progress up the business ladder, garner a higher salary, and further set one apart from one’s peers. Therefore, in industry, it is a very good thing to have.

The process to achieve this status is long and difficult. The generall path is:

  1. Graduate from an ABET accredited college or university and obtain a B.S. in engineering.
  2. Pass the Fundamentals Exam, sometimes known as the Engineer-In-Training exam
  3. Work for several years under the supervision of a P.E.
  4. Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam of the desired field

The first time pass rates for the F.E. and P.E. are around 75% (source), but it is not uncommon for a hopeful to take either multiple times to succeed. Exams are held twice a year — mid-April and mid October.

In the United States, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) oversees all of this. Each state, however, handles their own certification, which brings up two issues. The first is that, while some states will except licences obtained in others, a licence is generally valid only in one particular state. If a P.E. moves, he will need to get re-licensed in the new state. The other problem is that some states have more confusing websites and applications than others. The New Jersey F.E. application in particular will be discussed in a later post.

Do you have your P.E. licence? What were the deciding factors in getting it (or not)? Tell us in the comments!