Obtaining a California Civil Professional Engineering License

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Published: 08th August 2012
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California is a vital jurisdiction for the purpose of licensing as a Civil Professional Engineering License for a couple of factors, it will take the least magnitude of experience and is also quite possibly the most troublesome exam to complete nationwide.

California calls for just a couple of years of on the job training for all those with a college diploma via an ABET accredited program, and merely one year for anyone having a master's degree education through an ABET qualified course of study. This is the earliest state for which virtually all engineers will satisfy the conditions to sit for the PE exam and come to be fully certified. With that being said, this can be just about the most troublesome jurisdictions to get registered in. In addition to the nationalized 8 hour Civil Professional Engineering examination administered by NCEES, prospective civil engineers must take a pair of additional examinations: the California specific Civil Engineering Surveying exam, and the California specific Civil Seismic Principles examination.

I strongly recommend obtaining licensure in California the instant you meet the criteria. If you achieve licensure in this jurisdiction, you will be able to acquire your PE license in every other jurisdiction via reciprocity (after you have gained the required experience in the jurisdiction in which you might be seeking licensure).

Requirements for Obtaining Your License

Licensure as a Professional Engineer within the state of California is a three step process. To begin with, you have to successfully pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is generally taken in the last year of your 4 year engineering degree course of study. Secondly, you are required to obtain 6 years of relevant experience (this experience does not need to come after taking the FE examination). Finally, the would-be engineer will need to take and pass the Professional Engineering exam together with the California specific Civil Engineering Surveying exam, along with the Civil Seismic Principles exam.

Qualifying experience is recognized in four areas of professional growth. These aspects consist of undergraduate education, post-graduate education, engineering teaching, and applicable on the job training.

undergraduate education is recognized with various amounts of qualifying experience according to degree type, and whether the college from which the degree was acquired is certified through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). California awards four years of relevant experience for graduating from an ABET accredited course of study with a college degree in engineering. Two years time is awarded to the college graduate with a 4-year college degree in engineering technology through an ABET recognized program, and a year is awarded to those of you having an associates degree in a equivalent course of study. Finally, two years credit will be awarded for graduating with an engineering degree from any college whose engineering course of study is not Board certified (this includes all international colleges).

People that have post-graduate degrees provided by an ABET approved course of study will be credited additional qualifying experience toward licensing. Prospects who earn a board approved post-graduate degree in engineering will receive 5 years of experience credit toward the 6 year practical experience obligation no matter the undergraduate education. A board accepted post-graduate degree is one where by either the undergraduate or post-graduate engineering program is approved by ABET.

Experience credit can also be provided to people that have teaching experience in engineering. At most 1 year credit as qualifying experience is provided for engineering instructing inside a higher education course of study, so long as the individual is claiming not more than 4 years credit for education.

The remainder of the six year qualifying experience criteria will have to originate from qualifying work experience. This on the job training must be acquired under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer.

The application procedure entails three simple steps. First of all, the candidate must fill out the California PE application to the board together with the proper fee. The application is located online at http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/appintrope.shtml. Once the application is accepted, the prospective engineer will need to register for the national 8 hour Professional engineering test via NCEES and pay the relevant fee (guidelines will be supplied once the original application to the board is approved). Finally, the prospective engineer must sign up for the state specific Civil Engineering Surveying, and Civil Seismic Principles exams via Prometric (instructions will be provided once the original application to the board is accepted).

Your complete cost for making an application for your California Civil Professional Engineering license totals $807.60. This total incorporates a $125.00 non-refundable application payment, $300 seismic and surveying exam fee, 265.00 NCEES PE test charge, and a 117.60 Prometric administration fee. If this is not incentive to study hard, ensuring you pass on the first try, I have no idea what is!

When the prospective engineer has passed the PE test, and is a licensed civil PE in some other state, he or she can easily get a California PE license by comity, sticking to the exact same process mentioned above. Bear in mind that you must still take the California specific seismic and surveying tests.


Now that you've completed the criteria, successfully submitted your application, and paid out an excessive fee, all you need to accomplish is complete the 8 hour Professional engineering exam, the 2.5 hour seismic test, and the 2.5 hour surveying test, and you'll be a licensed PE in California....

For more information on obtaining your California PE, visit CivilPE.net

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