How Often Every Type of PE Exam is Offered

How often is the PE exam offered

When I was getting ready to take the PE exam I remember asking my coworkers how often the PE exam was offered. I was a little disappointed to learn that I could only take it twice a year—in April and October—at the time. I worried that if I failed I’d have to wait six months to try again. 

Luckily, though, the Civil PE and the other most popular PE exams are now offered more frequently than that with the transition to computer-based testing. Many of the other PE exams are offered only once per year.

Here’s a table for how often each PE exam is offered:

PE Exam How Often It’s Offered
CivilOctober 2021 then Year-Round
PetroleumOnce Per Year, Usually October
NuclearOnce Per Year, Usually October
Fire ProtectionOnce Per Year, Usually October
Industrial & SystemsOnce Per Year, Usually October
Agricultural & BiologicalOnce Per Year, Usually October
ArchitecturalOnce Per Year, Usually October
ComputerOnce Per Year, Usually October
Electronics, Controls, & CommunicationsOnce Per Year, Usually October
Mining & Mineral ProcessesOnce Per Year, Usually October
Naval Architecture & MarineOnce Per Year, Usually October

The biggest thing to note here is that the Civil PE will be computer-based starting in 2022, which means it will be offered year-round. No more waiting six months to attempt if you fail!

This means that, like the Mechanical, Power, Chemical, and Environmental PE exams, you’ll be able to take the Civil PE any day that the testing center is open. You are limited to only one attempt within each three-month period, though, including the following:

  • January through March
  • April through June
  • July through September
  • October through December

So if you fail the PE exam in January, you can’t take it again until April. 

You are also only allowed three failures within a 12-month period, so if you fail in January, April, and July, you wouldn’t be able to attempt the PE in the October through December window.

There are a lot of really nice things about the PE exam going computer-based, and being able to take it more frequently has got to be one of the best! 

I remember how awful it was to learn that I’d failed my first attempt at the PE exam in April 2019. It was made way worse by the fact that I couldn’t try again until October! Plus I’d have to endure the awful wait for results again. 

If the Civil PE had been computer-based back then, I’d have been able to try again sooner and been able to get my license sooner, too. Oh, and I wouldn’t have had to wait so long for my results, either.

Thankfully, though, I passed on my second attempt (but only with the help of School of PE) in October 2019 and am now a licensed Professional Engineer!

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