This guide is a walkthrough of the requirements to take the PE Exam, obtain a PE license, and maintain your PE license, including Professional Development Hours (PDH’s) in the state of Pennsylvania.
I will update this as often as possible, but to make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date information, always check for the right information from these links:
- Requirements to Take the PE Exam in Pennsylvania. To take the PE exam in Pennsylvania you must apply with the Pennsylvania board. You must have passed the FE Exam, have an Engineer In Training Certificate, provide a Criminal History Records Check, pay $50 to the Pennsylvania board, $225 to Pearson VUE, and a fee with NCEES. To apply, create an account on the board’s website.
- Requirements to Apply for a PE License in Pennsylvania. To get your PE license in Pennsylvania, you must have completed 4 years of engineering experience after obtaining an EIT certificate, have passed both the FE and PE Exams, and have an ABET-accredited engineering degree. The application can be found after creating an account on the board’s website.
- Requirements to Renew Your PE License in Pennsylvania. To renew your Pennsylvania PE license you need to go through the application in your account on the board’s website, including paying a $100 fee. Licenses expire September 30 on every odd-numbered year. You also need 24 Professional Development Hours to renew your Pennsylvania PE license.
This article is meant as a general reference and does not replace the official guidelines from the Pennsylvania state board or NCEES.
Requirements to Take the PE Exam in Pennsylvania
You must fill out an application to take the PE exam in Pennsylvania. To find the application, first create an account with the Pennsylvania board at this link. Then, you have to scroll down to the area that says “New Professional License Application” and click on “Apply for New License.” Even though it says license this is still where you want to go to apply to take the PE Exam in Pennsylvania.
You’ll first be asked to select your board, which is the one for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. Then you’ll choose license type, which is Professional Engineer. The next question asks if you’re applying to take the PE Exam. Say yes to that, confirm you’ve passed the FE and got your EIT certificate, then hit “Next” to see the actual application.
In addition to having passed the FE Exam and received your EIT certificate, you must have also completed your 4 years of engineering experience at this point. Note that experience only counts after you’ve received your EIT certificate.
There are eight sections of the application:
- Application Information, most of which should be in there already from when you created your account. Just make sure it’s all correct and fill in any missing information.
- Examination Information, which is where you select when and where you passed the FE and when you got your EIT Certificate. You’ll also choose when you want to take the PE Exam.
- Education Information, including your degree and which college you went to.
- References, including name, address, the state in which they are licensed, their license number, and their phone number. Only 3 of the 5 references need to be licensed Professional Engineers. You also can’t be related to your references.
- Legal Questions, which ask about revoked licenses in other jurisdictions, criminal activity, and more.
- PA Veterans Registry, which is just answering whether you’ve served in the armed forces.
- Verification Statement, including a digital signature (you just type your name) indicating that you agree to the terms.
- Delegate Email, which is just a repeat of your name and email to make sure they have it right. This is important as most of their information comes through email.
Completing the application and registration for the PE Exam in Pennsylvania also requires that you pay three separate fees, including:
- $50 to the Pennsylvania State Board for the application itself.
- $225 to Pearson VUE, which is the testing center that administers the exam. You have to call them at 877-883-1370 to pay the fee, but you have to do it one business day after submitting your application to take the PE Exam in Pennsylvania.
- $375 to NCEES to register for the exam itself.
Once you’ve completed the application and been approved, you can go to the NCEES website and apply for the PE Exam. You will have to verify that you’ve been approved.
Requirements to Get Your PE License in Pennsylvania
The good news about this long, complicated, and expensive process of applying for the PE Exam in Pennsylvania is that the difficult part is over once you pass the PE Exam.
To apply after finding out you’ve passed, simply log into your account at the Pennsylvania State Board’s website, click “Apply for New License,” and follow the instructions there. This time you get to say that you’re applying for a license instead of just to take the exam!
But remember, passing the PE Exam doesn’t mean you are licensed. You must apply with the board and are only licensed once you get your license number from them.
If you are applying for a comity or reciprocity PE license in Pennsylvania, meaning you are licensed in another state and also want to get licensed in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to create an account and fill out the application at the Pennsylvania Board’s website. You will need to complete all of the same sections as if you were applying for a new license as described above.
Renewals and Professional Development Hours for Pennsylvania PE’s
There are three main things to know about renewing your PE License in Pennsylvania:
- Your license expires on September 30 of every odd-numbered year.
- You need 24 Professional Development Hours to renew.
- You’ll get a renewal notice by email a couple of months before your license expires. Follow the instructions and pay the $100 fee to renew.
You can find this renewal information at this link.