How To Get Licensed

Becoming licensed as a professional engineer is a well-earned honor, as well as an indication to employers and clients of the skills you bring to your work. That's why NSPE helps candidates throughout the entire licensure process, in every way we can.

Though the specific requirements for licensure can differ from state to state, licensure candidates follow the same basic steps throughout the U.S. and its territories:

Step 1:  Become an Engineer Intern

If you're a graduate from an engineering program approved by your state's licensure board, you can become classified as an "engineer intern" or "engineer-in-training" by successfully completing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Achieving EI or EIT status signals that you have mastered the fundamental requirements and taken the first step toward earning your PE licensure.

NSPE offers a range of FE exam preparation and review resources for EI and EIT candidates.

Step 2: Gain professional experience

All states require that candidates complete four years of qualifying engineering experience, typically under the supervision of a professional engineer. In many cases, your school can guide you to engineering jobs in your area, or you can take advantage of NSPE's Career Center and search for the right opportunity on our Job Board.

Step 3: Learn your state's licensure requirement

Each state (as well as the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories) has its own licensure board, administering its own exam and required qualifications. To find out more about your state's licensure requirements, visit the Web site of your state licensing board state-by-state summary.

Step 4: Prepare for and take the PE exam

In most cases, the final step in attaining licensure is successfully completing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam in your state. 

As a service to members, NSPE has evaluated a wide range of exam review and preparation courses in all media from in-person study to online and self-study courses. Take a moment to browse through our catalog to find the option that's right for you.

For additional information, please visit our Licensure FAQ page.