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Why take the FE and/or FS exams?

If you are a senior or a masters student, you are probably not an expert in your field now, but you probably will be in 4 to 8 years. If you ever want to do engineering consulting work, you will have to be a professional engineer

This means you will have to have taken and passed the FE and/or FS exams. Medical doctors, attorneys, registered engineers and registered surveyors must pass exams administered by the state (Indiana, Illinois, etc.) and obtain a license before they can offer their services to the public. Each state has such laws as part of their effort to protect the public safety, health, welfare and property.

It is like an automobile drivers license. It is unlawful to drive a car on a public road without a license. It is unlawful to tell the public you can perform independent engineering and/or surveying work in the form of consultation, investigation, evaluation or design of engineering works and systems without a PE and/or PLS license.

An engineer can work for a company designing and manufacturing products without being registered. This is because product liability laws protect the public. However, if a company offers engineering services in any of the above mentioned categories, the person responsible for the work must be a registered engineer and/or registered land surveyor. If you work for such a company and you are not registered, the law says you must work under the supervision of a registered engineer or surveyor.


The FE and FS exams are sometimes erroneously referred to as the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) and the Surveyor-in-Training (SIT) exams. These are actually the titles you are allowed to carry after you have passed the FE and/or FS exam.