As more states make the move to allow early taking of the PE exam, will Minnesota be next?
The Minnesota licensing board is considering a rule amendment to allow applicants to take the PE exam before gaining four years of professional experience. Applicants will still be required to complete all education, examination, and experience requirements before being granted a PE license.
Traditionally, licensure candidates have been allowed to take the PE exam only after passing the FE exam and gaining four years of approved experience. The board is considering the change because it believes that allowing applicants the option of taking the exam prior to completing the experience requirement may encourage and facilitate emerging professionals to pursue a PE license. They can do so without having to polish their exam-taking skills many years after graduating from college.
In 2005, Nevada became the first state to allow the early taking of the PE exam. The following states have followed suit: Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
NSPE is in favor of state licensing boards allowing candidates to take the PE exam early, if they have met the educational requirements for licensure and passed the FE exam. The Society also believes that the requirement of four years of progressive engineering experience should remain unchanged, and licensure candidates who pass the PE exam early need to gain the required years of engineering experience before becoming licensed.
To provide guidance to engineering professionals on the path to licensure, NSPE has published When Can I Take the PE Exam? States Allowing Examination Before Experience, which covers the state-by-state details.