Once you have passed the exam, you will be granted licensure as a Professional Engineer in the state of Illinois. Your PE license must be renewed every 2 years. Please refer to the section Beyond Licensing for basic information on requirements to maintain licensure.
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The FE tests the knowledge that is expected of recent university graduates for general engineering concepts and other specific engineering disciplines. The morning session is standard for all test-takers. It has questions in 12 topic areas. These are: math; engineering probability and statistics; chemistry; computers; ethics and business practices; engineering economics; engineering mechanics — statics and dynamics; strength of materials; material properties; fluid mechanics; electricity and magnetism; and thermodynamics.
The afternoon session consists of one question Module. You choose one of seven Modules available. They are:. Your background in a specific field of engineering practice such as mechanical or civil engineering may make choosing its module for the afternoon session appear to be an easy decision.
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However, you may also wish to consider general engineering, especially if your test preparation time is limited. Its topics are an extension of the topics covered in the morning session. All reference materials for both morning and afternoon sessions, such as formula sheets, are provided by NCEES. It tests the theoretical and practical engineering knowledge you have gained through a minimum of four years of qualifying employment experience under the guidance of a legally practicing engineer.
For more information on the other types of exams, please see the Important Links section. Results of both tests are combined to create your total score. You can find practice tests, test preparation classes, and study groups that can be great tools to help you pass your tests in the Important Links section. The afternoon session, called the Depth Exam, is a question exam in which you choose one of the five practice areas covered in the morning session. The afternoon session, called the Depth Exam, is a question exam in which you choose one of the 3 practice areas covered in the morning session.
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Evaluating your foreign degree and achieving licensing as a professional engineer in Illinois depends on many factors:. We provide two hypothetical scenarios to show some of the variety of results that immigrant professionals may find when they seek to become civil engineers in Illinois. Please consider these scenarios as two examples out of many possibilities. Your experience will vary. The breadth of the engineering field and the high numbers of positions that do not require licensing make other careers in engineering very attractive to foreign-educated professionals.
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Here are just a few notes on in-demand credentials or job titles to start you in your research. The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Important Links can give you a better idea of the responsibilities in these and other careers in engineering. Preparing for licensing takes a significant amount of time, money, and effort.
Some professionals choose to seek lower-level positions in engineering to help them meet longer-term licensing goals. If you take a job with fewer responsibilities but with access to a supervising PE, you may find some distinct advantages. These include the ability to build job security, polish technology skills and adapt to the US workplace culture in a lower-pressure environment, and to have more energy left over to focus on preparing for licensing exams. If you have prior experience of project management and particularly strong communication and organizational skills, you may want to consider qualifying for the Project Management Professional PMP certification from the Project Management Institute.
The PMP is a widely-recognized credential that can complement an engineering background, as many large engineering projects require both project skills and mastery of technical specialties. Again, if your soft skills prepare you for this kind of work, it is a way to work actively in the engineering field without having to hold professional licensure.
Construction management certificates also offer a way of differentiating you in the medium term and saving resources while still maintaining a critical role in the civil engineering field. Construction management is a viable option if you have excellent communication and organizational skills and have already worked in this capacity in your career. Green building and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED certification depend, in part, on systems that fall to mechanical engineers, such as heating and cooling.
Given trends towards large-scale investment in environmentally-friendly building and rehabilitation, getting certified to assess projects for LEED can be an interesting credential for an engineer with the right transferable skills. If you plan to have your own engineering business, it is important to know that you may have to register as a Professional Design Firm. However, if you plan to do business by another name or to include others in your practice you will need to license.
Once you are licensed as a professional engineer you must maintain your Illinois licensure by renewing it every 2 years with the IDFPR. The license expires November 30 of every even year. You will be notified in the mail and can renew on the IDFPR website using online payment or via mail. You must state that you have taken 30 hours of continuing education or professional development courses in order to renew.
You must meet specific criteria for subjects studied and approved providers. Restoring your expired license requires more documentation, fees and, sometimes, coursework. To keep informed of regulation requirements and update your skills, consider joining a professional association see below.
State and national associations for professional engineers and structural engineers provide opportunities for professional development and networking. They also help set acceptable working conditions for the industry and give information and opinions on policy in Illinois and across the US.
Their websites may offer useful orientation to the licensing and examination process, including test preparation. Their employment networks, however, are typically restricted to licensed professionals. Once you have progressed in the licensing process you may want to join a professional engineer or structural engineer association. Even if you are not seeking licensing, you can find a large variety of professional associations with membership based not on licensed status but on specialty discipline, job type, sector, ethnicity, gender, or religion.
Some people with PE or SE licenses from one state want to practice engineering in another state. The state of Illinois does not participate in any agreements with other states and its approach to licensing mobility for newcomers is conservative: licensing by endorsement. If you are a recognized PE from another state and are seeking to practice civil engineering in Illinois, you must:.
Conversely, when Illinois PEs or SEs want to work in other states, they must research and meet the licensing guidelines of their destination state, which can sometimes be less stringent than Illinois regulations. In either case, some employers see the value in helping their engineers with licensing mobility when their business crosses state boundaries. An equivalent degree in another country may take either 3 or 4 years. Since it is based upon respect and deference rather than strict legal principles, it does not require that any state or jurisdiction adopt a law or decision by another state or jurisdiction that is in contradiction, or repugnant, to its own law.
Examples of credentials are a university degree, a certification, or proof of participation in training. For example, a nurse in the state of X can also work as a nurse in the states of Y and Z without any new training or tests. Foreign degree evaluation services for professional engineer licenses require that your university sends transcripts directly to them.
Invest the time and money early in this process. Effort here can result in significant savings of time and money by minimizing the gaps in comparing your degree to its US equivalent. Be your own advocate throughout the licensing process. Seek clarification about questions and concerns directly from official sources. For example, if you feel your degree has been misinterpreted or you do not understand a fine point of the state regulations, organize your questions, contact CPEES or IDFPR, and ask for assistance. IDFPR can answer specific questions on an individual basis through an email link on its Professional Engineering main page.
If you have to take additional college math classes to qualify for the FE exam, consider taking math courses that you mastered in high school; often these are equivalent to US college subjects and will make your studying easier. Your FE exam includes a general engineering test in the a. Look at NCEE exam descriptions and study materials to decide which choice will be the best for you.
Others with significant experience in a specialization may prefer to take the afternoon test in the discipline they know the best. Build professional networks; consider temporary or contract employment in your field to build your reputation; be prepared to start at lower levels and prove your competence. To compete successfully you should work to keep up to date in workplace technologies such as CADD and Excel; perfect your communication skills for professional emails, reporting, and client contact; learn how to discuss your past work experience in terms of skills you can transfer to new projects, and develop a portfolio of work that highlights your skills without compromising the intellectual property of your former employers.
If you seem overqualified for a position, be prepared to explain how the position will help you become established in a way that shows long-term benefit to the employer. Illinois Engineer Professional Licensing Guide. Professional Engineer PE : The PE name represents a high level of training, testing and experience and can be associated with civil, electrical, mechanical, and other engineering fields.
Still, you can come from a variety of engineering disciplines and become licensed as a PE. Being a PE offers you a wide range of professional practice. However, it does not allow you to design structures. Structural Engineer SE : The structural engineering licensing process is relevant to a minority of civil engineers and will not be looked at in-depth in this topic.
However, it is important that you know that Illinois is unique: it licenses structural engineering separately from professional engineering. This means that if you wish to practice structural engineering the design of structures such as buildings or bridges to manage loads and environmental stresses , you will need to become licensed as an SE.
Exemptions: There are some specific work environments where you do not have to be licensed to work legally as an engineer. There are exemptions under certain conditions for manufacturing, for government, or for military work. See all. Item Information Condition:. Sign in to check out Check out as guest. The item you've selected was not added to your cart.
Illinois Engineer Professional Licensing Guide
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