What You Should Know About Working as a Licensed Engineer

Engineers can work in any number of professional roles that require strong analytical, technical and design skills to solve a problem. When it comes to working on projects that serve the public, most states require engineers to be professionally licensed and registered with the state. Being a professional engineer or PE means that you have the training and credentials to assume design responsibility.

Becoming Licensed

To become a PE, you have to pass an exam as well as meet certain education and experience requirements. This exam is an 8-hour open book test that is specific to your particular engineering discipline. In some states, you may be able to sit for the exam before you’ve attained the minimum years of experience. As part of the application process, you need to fully detail your working experience up to that point. Consider maintaining a work journal to keep a record of everything you’ve done.

Maintaining Licensure

As a PE, you’re expected to engage in continuing education to stay fresh and informed about your practice area or industry. This continuing education is often broken out into professional development hours or PDHs that you’ll need to complete on your own schedule each year. Each state has its own rules about the number of PDHs needed stay registered. Nearly any type of job-related education can be used to satisfy this requirement, such as Civil 3D training Miami.

Being Responsible

As a licensed engineer, you are responsible for the drawings and documents that bear your seal and signature. These documents will be used to create or build something that will hopefully improve life for other people. It’s incumbent on you to make sure that what you’re signing and sealing is free of errors and omissions, which can lead to claims, injury and in some cases, loss of life.

Becoming a professional engineer is a major career milestone for many graduates. Licensees must be able to demonstrate command of their discipline as well as sufficient experience. It’s important for license holders to stay knowledgeable and carefully review the documents they’ll be singing and sealing.