I was speaking with some colleagues recently, comparing and contrasting our experiences in applying to take the PE exam. Despite the fact that its been 4 years since I took the exam, there are still details about the application process that stick out in my memory. For example:Each state differs in its application rules.
In NJ and PA for example, your EIT and your 4 years of experience need to be complete before applying for the exam. However, a few states will let you take the exam before you experience is complete, and simply award you your license after such time as you complete your experience. Some of these states may also offer the exam "remotely" in another state. I seem to recall a coworker took this route. I do not remember if he did or did not have an EIT certificate either.Each state board (or individual on a given state board) will interpret rules differently.
I had a coworker who had earned her EIT at least 4 years before she applied for the PE. However, because she never requested the physical certificate, the board she applied to would not let her apply. Even after she obtained the certificate, she was told that she would need to wait until 4 years after the date on the certificate (meaning 4 more years since the certificate itself was dated the day she requested it). This was a pointless barrier to overcome and she ended up successfully applying to take the PE in another state.Certain state boards will ask you to describe your "design work experience". Do not panic if you do not do traditional design work.
While we all do not do traditional design work, there are ways to describe the work that you do in the context of "design support." For example, I described working on various H&H models and performing capacity assessments in order to inform future design projects (that I would not be involved with). This was apparently enough to satisfy the state board that I applied to.
I was wondering if anyone else wanted to share the application experiences (good and bad) in the hopes that we might be able to help those who have yet to apply to get a sense of what to prepare for. If you haven't applied yet, questions are welcome as well!
Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE