What is a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER?
Like doctors who have passed the medical boards or lawyers who have
passed the bar exam, professional engineers have fulfilled the education
and experience requirements and passed the rigorous exams that, under
state licensure laws, permit them to offer engineering services directly
to the public. Professional engineers are bound by a code of ethics to
hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and to act
truthfully, honorably and lawfully to perform services within their
specific area of expertise.
Engineering licensure laws vary from state to state but, in general,
to become a professional engineer an individual must be a graduate of an
engineering program approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering
and Technology, pass the non-disciplined Fundamentals of Engineering
exam, practice under the direction of a professional engineer for an
intern period of four years and pass the disciplined Principles and
Practice of Engineering exam administered by the state Board of
A state licensing board regulates the practice of engineering within
each state. The National Society of Professional Engineers, in
conjunction with its state chapters, represents the interests of
professional engineers nationwide. A licensed professional engineer
appends the initials PE to his or her name.