How to Register for the FE Exam? Updated Step-by-Step Guide
Passing the FE exam is the first goal of anyone who wants to become a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). But before taking the test, you should first register and learn the steps on how you can schedule for an examination date. That's why, I decided to create this latest step-by-step guide on how to register for the FE exam. Regardless of what discipline you want to take, I highly recommend that you give some time in reading all the instructions presented in this article.
The main reason why I created this walk through is because I want to share all the information that I learned during the process of registering for the test up to applying for the EIT certificate. I know the feeling of being lost, so I hope that this guide can help you in your journey.
Before we start, let me remind you that these steps are based on what I have done when I took my FE exam last 2016. There are some changes throughout the years but I already updated the information per the current requirements and regulations.
If it happens that you see something that is outdated, please let me know in the comments below so I can revise the information.
Step 1: Check Your State's Requirements
The first step when taking your FE exam is to check your state's requirements. Each State Engineering Board has their own fee schedule and education requirements. Most of them require examiners to be graduates or students from ABET accredited engineering program. However, it is not true for everyone.
In California, you can take the test without submitting any application to NCEES. That's why even though I graduated from a foreign country, I was still able to schedule for an exam.
If you live in other state, kindly check with your board if they have specific requirements before registering for the exam.
a. Click here to go to the NCEES engineering exam registration page.
Eligibility to take the FE exam differs from state to state so I suggest that you review your licensing board requirements.
b. Choose the state that you want to take the exam. No need to select a country.
c. Read the exam registration and authorization of your chosen state.
Since I took my FE exam in California, I can only share what I know from this state. California board doesn't require you to submit an application. All you have to do is to register on the NCEES site and schedule your examination. I took my Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in the Philippines and I was able to take the FE exam last 2016.
Step 2: Create a MyNCEES Account
After checking your state's requirements, you are now ready to create a MyNCEES account.
a. Head over to the register account page. Fill up your personal information such as username, first name, last name, email, password and date of birth.
b. Instructions for activating your account will be sent to your email. Click the link on your email to verify your account.
c. You will be redirected to your MyNCEES account dashboard.
Now, your account is officially verified and you can already register for the exam.
Step 3: Registration
You can register for an exam on your account dashboard. The registration for computer based exam can be done from Monday to Sunday, 24 hours a day through your validated account.
a. Log in to your MyNCEES account. Select the 'register for an exam' button on the common tasks area under the exams column.
b. In the exam page, fill up all the required information before you can register for the exam. Select a section to enter or update your information. Bear in mind that you must complete all the sections in order to proceed. Sections highlighted in green are complete while those that are in yellow require attention.
c. Provide your contact information.
d. Provide your education information. NCEES may ask to verify your education but at this point of time, it is not yet required since you are just taking the FE exam. But for information purposes see the instruction below.
For US Education
NCEES accepts the electronic version of your transcript if it is from a US school. However, it must come from a secure email and directly sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that transcripts emailed from the applicant are not acceptable. It must come from your institution.
Send by mail to:
NCEES Credentials Evaluations
Attn: NCEES ID 20-612-76
PO Box 1686
Clemson, SC 29633
For Non-US Education
Download the 'Transcript Request Form' and send this to the registrar of your institution. NCEES must receive official transcripts directly from your school.
e. Verify that all your contact and education information are correct and you are ready to proceed.
f. After the exam data are reviewed, click the 'register for an exam' button.
g. Select an exam type. You can choose the discipline that you want to take.
h. Select the Engineering Board.
i. Click the 'Agree' button on the Attestation.
j. You are given an option to buy NCEES exam preparation materials. This includes the following:
- FE Civil Practice Exam - I suggest that you buy this a month or two before your exam date.
- FE Reference Handbook - You can download this for free on the NCEES website. But if you want to have a hard copy you can already purchase this one.
After this section, you are now redirected to the checkout page. I will explain the payment process on the next step.
Step 4: Pay the NCEES Fee
Starting on January 2018, the NCEES fee is $175 and you have to pay it directly on the website. They accept payments online through Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
There will be a $25 fee if your payment doesn't go through, for charge backs, or any form of disputed payments.
You can receive a refund if you decide to cancel your computer-based test but your have to do the cancellation 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. There will also be a $50 administrative fee deducted to your refund amount.
Your registration fee is forfeited if:
- You do not cancel or reschedule your appointment more than 48 hours in advance your date of exam.
- You fail to show up, then your payment is non-refundable.
- You are unsuccessful to schedule and take the exam within 12-month period
There is also a rescheduling fee.
Step 5: Receive Authorization Email
After your registration and paying the required fees, you will receive an email that authorizes you to schedule a date and time to take the FE exam. By the way, you can take the exam within 12 months after your registration. It may take up to 48 hours before you receive the authorization email.
Step 6: Schedule the FE Exam
You can schedule the FE exam within 12 months after you paid for it. I recommend that you schedule 2 to 3 months ahead of your test date so you can prepare for the big day.
After you receive the authorization email, you can log in your MyNCEES account and select the schedule button. You can now choose the date on when you want to take the exam. Just follow the instructions to continue with the process.
You can also reschedule and cancel your appointment. Just login into your account and modify your appointment. Remember that there are applicable fees for this option.
Step 7: Pass the FE Exam
The next step is to take the FE exam. Of course, you should be fully prepared before you go to the big fight.
I suggest that you spend at least 4 to 6 months to study the various topics included on your specific discipline.
Personally, I solve 5 problems a day for a year. If you are wondering why I spend that much time studying, it is because I work from 9 to 5 and I can only open my reviewers after work. On weekends, I try to work on 10 problems. But I must say that you should also take a break and rest. In this way, you will not be exhausted and you will be able to sustain your study schedule.
If you want to learn more about how I prepared for the FE exam, you can take a look at my FE Exam Study Guide. Basically, it is a gist on what you will be expecting from the exam.
Step 8: Apply to your Board for Your EIT Certificate
Once you pass your FE exam, it is now time to submit your application to your engineering board. They will be the one who will issue your certificate as an Engineer-in-Training. By the way, it is not required to have US citizenship to apply. But you must provide your social security number or individual taxpayer identification in order to be processed.
Checklist before submitting your application:
- Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
- Minimum of 3 years of college level engineering education or minimum of 3 years of engineering related work experience or combination of the education and work experience
Here are the requirements that you need to submit to your engineering board. It may differ from state to state but generally, it will be the same.
- Completed Live Scan Form - You can go to a live scan location near you and go through the electronic fingerprinting process. I think it cost me $75 to do the process.
- Completed Certification Application form.
- Application fee of $50.
- Certified court documentation for all convictions except minor traffic offense (if applicable).
You can mail the application form, live scan form, & application fee to:
Board for Professional Engineers,
Land Surveyors, and Geologists
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95833-2944
Make sure that you send the mail with a tracking option in order to know that your application was already received by the board.
Get Your EIT Certificate Now!
Acquiring your Engineer-in-Training certificate is important if you want to become a licensed professional engineer. In your early stages, you can also use this to make your resume more appealing to prospective employers.
By the way, if you still have questions about the process of applying, here is a flow chart that you can use as a guide.
The process of getting your EIT certificate requires several steps. It is definitely time-consuming so I hope that this step-by-step guide can save you some time and expedite your process.
If you have questions or clarifications, please let me know on the comment box below so I can help you.