The Engineer in Training (EIT) exam, formally known as the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, is the first step in acquiring your Professional Engineer (PE) License.
The road to acquiring the Professional Engineer license can be broken down in to three tiers, each with their unique requirements and characteristics, they are as follows:
- Take and pass the Engineer in Training exam
- Gain the required experience as an Engineer in Training (EIT) while working under a Registered Professional Engineer.
- Take and pass the Professional Engineering exam
When you become a Professional Engineer, you reach a unique status as far as Engineers are concerned and are rewarded with a number of exclusive benefits. These benefits are defined in other areas of this site, so for the sake of keeping our focus, we will return to covering tier 1 of the process, the Engineer in Training exam.
The EIT exam is developed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The exam is taken over an 8 hour period and is broken up in to two independent testing sessions, morning and afternoon. The exam as a whole is 180 multiple choice questions in length and is currently taken on paper, but soon will be moving to a computer format.
The exam is administered by the NCEES semi annually (April and October) and at specific locations throughout every state. The specific date of the tests are not universal but are defined by each State’s Board of Engineers. The cost also varies, but can range anywhere from free to a few hundred dollars. I have compiled a detailed State by State Requirements page here on my site that you can reference further for state specific information.
Educational requirements to sit for the Engineer in Training exam also vary widely from state to state. The standard is if you are attending or have graduated from a EAC/ABET accredited engineering program, you will be golden to sit for the exam. However, it is commonality that many states accept degrees from other accredited programs such as TAC/ABET and ASAC/ABET. Some states even allow individuals who have graduated from Non EAC/ABET, Non TAC/ABET and Non ASAC/ABET to sit for the exam. These states may require some further educational requirements during the 2nd tier of the PE process.
I probably just completely confused you, and that was not my intent, but my point is, educational requirements vary, so don’t let anyone tell you that you must have this degree or that degree, make sure to check for yourself. The State by State Requirements page can shine more light to your specific State’s guidelines.
If you were raised outside the United States and received your degree from a foreign country, don’t fret, you still have a chance to take the Engineer in Training exam. Most states nowadays accept equivalent foreign education by determining eligibility through services such as the Center for Professional Engineer Education Services (CPEES) and American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRA). If you fall in to this category, make sure to contact your State Board immediately prior to setting forth on your journey to get accurate details on their requirements. This is important because they will determine when, how, and what steps are required to obtain the opportunity to sit for the EIT Exam.
Applying for the EIT exam is fairly streamline, but there is a sequence that must be taken, and unfortunately it can’t be done all in one place. The next few pages will walk you through the process of getting registered to take the Engineer in Training Exam.