Licensure of Returning Veterans

Licensure of Returning Veterans
Adopted: July 20, 2013
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The policies outlined below are considered to be in concert with, and supportive of, the federal government undertaking to assure gainful employment of returning veterans who wish to enter the private nonmilitary workforce, and also those who wish to continue military service and to either obtain or maintain previously acquired licensure as professional engineers.

The following policies are recommended by NSPE for adoption by state boards of licensure.

  1. Experience requirements: To be acceptable, engineering experience gained in the armed forces must be of a character equivalent to that which would have been gained in the civilian sector while doing similar work. Requirements regarding supervision by, and references from, engineers should be the same for veterans as are applicable in that state for engineers in industry.
  2. Educational requirements: Military applicants for licensure, active or recently separated, shall have successfully graduated from an ABET-accredited engineering program.
  3. Testing requirements: Military applicants for licensure shall have successfully passed the FE and PE examinations in order to be eligible for licensure as a professional engineer.
  4. Renewals: If a PE license expires while on active duty in a location outside of the United States, state boards are requested to provide a time period for renewal of the earliest of up to 180 days from date of separation from the military or upon return to the United States. The license of a member of the armed forces, who is on active duty in a location outside of the United States, should remain valid until he or she returns, and for 180 days thereafter.
  5. Portability: State boards of licensure are encouraged to expedite the licensure process for military spouses who are licensed in other states and have left employment there to accompany a spouse relocated to another state due to a military transfer, while ensuring that requisite qualifications for licensure are met.
  6. Continuing professional development hours (PDHs) and renewal fees: NSPE recommends that licensees serving on active duty in the armed forces in a location outside of the United States for a period of time exceeding 180 consecutive days in a licensure renewal period should be exempt from obtaining the PDHs required during that licensure renewal period, and should have payment of renewal fees waived while serving outside of the United States.