Understanding the Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Engineer


If you want to pursue your career in civil engineering, your ultimate goal must be to get a Professional Engineer (PE) license. However, becoming a professional engineering license holder comes with lots of responsibilities. And once you have managed to earn your license, you have to keep working hard on your skills to ensure that you can retain the license with time.

For your PE license, you first need to undergo a four-year engineering degree and have four years of working experience as an engineer (for most states). You will also need to fulfil these two criteria – passing your Civil FE and PE exam. There are plenty of FE civil exam prep study courses available online that can help you with that.

As an industry newbie, you might wonder how important this license is and why it is needed? These are common questions that come to the mind of many aspiring engineers. You must also understand why so many budding engineers invest their time and energy on FE and PE civil exam prep to get their license. But before that, let’s look at all the criteria you have to follow to get the license:

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from an authorized engineering program that is ABET-accredited.
  • Most states require four years of working experience under an officially licensed professional engineer (check your state’s professional licensing division).
  • You must clear your Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
  • Pass the Principles & Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
  • Get a license from the state’s licensure board.
  • A professional engineer must maintain the educational requirements to retain the license through professional development hours.

Although having a PE license to be a working civil engineer is preferred, it is not an utter necessity. You can have a career in civil engineering without a PE license, but opportunities are fewer for you.

Advantages of Professional Engineer License

Now that you know why you must focus on earning your professional engineering licensure, you should know how it will benefit you. There are many career-wise differences between a common engineer and the one with a PE license. Find out how owning a PE license will work in your favour below:

  • Gives You an Edge Over Other Engineers

As mentioned above, a PE license is the ultimate goal for civil engineers. Therefore, when looking for a project to work on, an organization will always prefer you over the ones without a PE license. It always proves a handy deciding factor when a company has to choose among a bunch of qualified applicants. With this license, your career development will take a significant boost as well since there will be more opportunities knocking on your doors. More often than not, a licensed engineer becomes the automatic pick as they are considered more qualified.

  • Respect and Authority

If you think spending all that time and effort on a PE civil exam prep study course doesn’t pay off, you are mistaken. After you have done your PE civil exam prep and cleared the exam, you become one of the best there is in the civil engineering business in the US. Getting the license puts you in a more prestigious status, and you are respected more in the industry and out in the market. Those with a PE license are also given more responsible tasks like submitting plans and approving deals, etc. Major government agencies also give preference to PE license holders over non-licensed engineers.

  • Enhances Your Marketability

With your career development taking a significant leap and your authority among other industry professionals increasing, your marketability also grows. In simple words, because your license sets you apart from other engineer’s your opportunities become limitless. You get good career-growing chances from both the private and government sectors. Many organizations will want you to work with them on their projects because your PE license makes you more skilled and trustworthy. The license helps to build a career outside the corporate zone too. And if you have always wanted to be a private practitioner or an engineering consultant, you will need the PE license to take a step towards that dream.

  • Engineer’s Title and Credentials

When you are working for years in the civil engineering line, you would want to call yourself a professional engineer. But you cannot until you have your PE license. Officially, you are not authorized to call or establish yourself as a professional engineer without a license. Plus, the license is also your credential while seeking a job or independent project. You can meet potential clients, show them your license, and tell them that you are a professional engineer, making it more convincing – this is often done in marketing materials from the company you work for. In a market where the competition is neck-to-neck, how credible employees are will make all the difference in shaping jobs awarded and your career.

  • Flexibility to Work Throughout the United States

By earning your PE license, you are not only allowing your career to grow in the state you live in but are also expanding your options country-wide. The NCEES FE and PE exams are standardized nationally, and therefore a professional engineers can choose to work anywhere they want. The only legal formality needed is registering with the state board of engineering, and you are good to go. It is a great advantage since you can always have more and more alternatives if you cannot find work in one particular state for a while.

How will a PE license help you grow?

The information that is given above is all the benefits that come with your professional engineer’s license. But taking your PE and FE civil exam prep study courses to be the license holder will help you grow as an individual, which will also support your career. Learn more about it here:

  • You will Feel More Responsible

Since being a Professional Engineer puts you in a position of authority, you will start to take your engineering work more seriously. You will be responsible for your projects and will be the overall in-charge. This means you will always feel a sense of responsibility and accountability for a job well done or vice-versa. A typical engineer working under a PE might not feel the need to commit himself to a job because they are not answerable. But a PE has to ensure that quality work is being done constantly, time and again.

  • You will Value your Work More

Out of all the engineers in the US, only around 20 per cent of them get a professional engineer’s license. The PE license is the highest achievement that you can get as a civil engineer. It shows how tough it to earn the right to be called a Professional Engineer. Spending night after night for your PE civil exam prep and then getting the license after all the hard work will make you value what you have earned more. You will find yourself working harder and respecting your job more than you used to as an engineer without a license.

  • Your Ethical and Professional Standards will Enhance

After getting your license, you will notice growth in your work, ethics, and professional approach. You will hold yourself to higher professionalism standards because you will have your title to maintain. Besides, you would probably be working with big corporations on significant projects where you would have to be at your very best in every aspect.

  • You will Feel Confident

You might be working as an engineer for years, but there’s a different satisfaction in being a professional engineer. Before that, you are just one of many familiar engineers working under a PE. Your professional engineer’s license will not just be your work identity but proof that you are skilled and knowledgeable enough to deserve this job. It will give you that confidence boost that everyone needs some time in their career.

How to pass your FE and PE exams?

To clear your FE and PE exam and get the Professional Engineer’s license, consider the following preparation tips:

  • Understand the NCEES handbook thoroughly so that you can easily use it during the exam without wasting your time.
  • Along with PE and FE civil exam prep study courses, focus on solving as many practice exams as possible. It will teach you how to manage your time during the exam and identify your week and strong zones.
  • Working on complex topics first with a fresh mind will help you grasp the challenging concepts relatively quickly.
  • Only register for the exam when you know you have the time to prepare and take the test without any disturbance.


If you were doubtful about taking your FE and PE exam, you surely know what lies on the other end now. However, the road to becoming a professional engineer’s license holder in the US is not easy, but it’s worth it. If you want to fulfil your dream of becoming a professional engineer, make sure you start your preparation right. Visit Civil Engineering Academy for your FE and PE civil exam preparation, where you will find many NCEES based practice exams, courses, and more.


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