PE exam (Principles and Practice of Engineering) is the examination that must be completed to become a Professional Engineer or Licensed Engineer in the US. Before taking the PE exam, taking the FE exam (Fundamentals of Engineering) is the initial step.  But just completing the FE exam is not enough and the engineers are required to have a minimum of 4 years of experience in their engineering disciplines. The application fees for the PE exam vary from state.

(You may like: FE Exam: Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Explained)

pe exam
Inspired student writing down his ideas on paper

Most of the PE exams are paper-and paper-based exams while some of them are computer-based exams and are administered once a year by NCEES licensing board. It is organized one day per year. The total number of questions in the Professional Engineering exam depends on the engineering discipline you choose. For example, for the Petroleum Engineering PE exam, there will be a total of 85 questions and the exam appointment time is 9.5 hours. The time is divided into 2 minutes of a Nondisclosure agreement, 8 minutes of Tutorial, 8.5 hours of Exam, and 50 minutes of Scheduled Break.  While, for Mechanical Engineering, there are a total of 80 questions and an exam time of 9 hours. The total time is divided into 2 minutes of a Nondisclosure agreement, 8 minutes of Tutorial, 8 hours of Exam, and 50 minutes of Scheduled Break.


S.N.Experience Requirements
1Degree in Engineering for the educational requirement
2Four-Year Term of Experience

What are the Specifications of the Professional Engineer Exam?


The NCEES PE exam is separate for different engineering disciplines and thus is divided into several engineering disciplines. The division of the Professional Engineering exam as Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Chemical, Civil, Control Systems Electrical and Computer Environmental Fire Protection Industrial and Systems Mechanical Metallurgical and Materials Mining and Mineral Processing Naval Architecture and Marine Nuclear Petroleum, Land Surveyors and Structural.

Is the PE Exam Harder than FE?

According to the Professional Engineers, the NCEES PE exam and FE exam both are hard as well as easy. As the FE exam covers a vast topic and thus is much broader than the PE exam, it is said to be the hardest. But, if it is taken right after graduation or in the final year before graduation then, it is said to be not that hard.

While the practice of engineering exams is more focused on the general knowledge of a lot of things concentrated in the specific engineering discipline and it requires experience, so it is said to be not that hard. Thus, gaining as much experience as you can in your field before taking the PE exam is beneficial.

What is the Passing Score for the PE Exam?


As per the NCEES website, the passing scores are not published. Also, the number of students passing and failing the Practice of Engineering exam is not pre-fixed either. The PE exam score completely depends on the total number of correct answers. Like, the FE exam, the final result of the PE exam is also displayed in the form of Pass/Fail.

What Percentage of Engineers are NCEES PE?

According to the U.S.News, only around 20% of the engineers are professional engineers. For engineers, having a professional license is not a requirement, but the ones holding it are highly desired. But, for the ones self-employed or designated to work in an environment that could possibly affect public health and safety, having a professional license is a requirement.

How do I Take the PE Exam Date?

For most of the PE exams, before taking the PE exam date, you will first need to register on the MyNCEES website. While registering, you are also required to pay for the exam. During that, a set of on-screen instructions will be displayed, and you need to follow those instructions. Afterward, an email confirmation of the payment will be sent to the email address that you used while registering. Then, you will be able to choose the date and location of the exam at your ease.