Engineering is a great career path to consider! As an engineer, you serve the public in creative and challenging ways, hopefully giving you the job satisfaction you desire.
There are many other advantages to engineering, such as the growing use of the term, the level of certification you choose and the variety of career opportunities that become available to you with each new level.
Engineering is a broad term that has been used for many years. However, its popularity is growing immensely. New engineering positions are developing all the time.
Position titles such as Maintenance Engineer, Communications Engineer, Nuclear Engineer and Environmental Engineer are only a handful of the career choices available to you as an engineer.
As you progress in your engineering education, more job opportunities become available to you. Since engineering is such a broad term, there are many different requirements for various levels of engineering.
There are job descriptions out there that use the word “engineer,” yet they fail to embody the true definition of an engineer. An engineer is someone who uses the application of scientific principles to practical ends in the construction, design and operation of economical and efficient structures, equipment and systems. While many of these jobs are still very important, they do not necessarily require a 4-year degree from an engineering college.
The next level of education for an engineer does involve a degree, four or more years of study, from an engineering college. Engineers at this level often work for private manufacturers which sell their products, rather than engineering services, to individuals and various entities. While some engineers in this category do purse licensure from their state, a license is not necessary for their work.
Licensure is required for the next level of engineers, however. Engineers who are in charge of, or take responsibility for, engineering projects that will be used directly by the public are required to be licensed by the state in which they work. These engineers might be in charge of building public buildings, roadways or bridges.
Requirements for licensure vary slightly from state to state, but the normal requirements are:
- A 4-year degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited engineering program
- Passage of the 8-hour Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Four years of engineering work experience under the supervision of one or more licensed professional engineers
- Passage of another 8-hour exam (the PE exam).
Obtaining a License
In order to obtain a license, most states require that you have at least a 4-year degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited engineering program and have passed the passage of the 8-hour Fundamental of Engineering Exam, followed by four years of engineering work experience under the supervision of one or more licensed professionals and the passage of yet another 8-hour exam, the PE exam.