The professional engineering licensing process varies from state to state. The goal of this page is to help direct the Oregon structural engineering community in the process of obtaining a professional engineering (PE) license as well as obtaining a structural engineering license (SE). While this section is provided to help in the process of obtaining professional licensure, it is not meant to be a fully comprehensive guideline. Please refer to http://www.oregon.gov/OSBEELS/ for a more complete guideline.
Obtaining your PE License
The first step to becoming a licensed Professional Engineer in Oregon is to attend and graduate from an ABET accredited engineering school. While the Oregon administrative rules currently do not specifically say that you are ineligible from obtaining a PE without an ABET accredited college diploma, they do say there will be an "evaluation of degree credentials for those degrees not from an ABET accredited program" (OAR 820-010-0204 (C)). While it's not exactly clear how this evaluation would be carried out, getting a degree from an accredited college would be the easiest path to take.
The second step on the road to professional licensure is to take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam (formerly the Engineering-in-Training or EIT test). This 8-hour, two-part test is offered in April and October and is administered by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying). The FE exam contains 180 multiple-choice questions and is split into a morning session (120 questions) and an afternoon session (60 questions). It is a national test and does not need to be taken in Oregon in order to qualify for professional licensure. It is helpful to take this test during either your junior or senior year of college as the exam tests knowledge on general engineering coursework such as thermodynamics and chemistry. Visit http://www.ncees.org/Exams/FE_exam.php for additional information.
After obtaining a degree and passing the FE exam, Oregon requires a minimum of four years of active and qualified work experience. This work experience needs to be in the field of engineering and must be done under the guide and supervision of a licensed engineer. If you have a post-graduate degree in the engineering field (and from an accredited ABET institution), you may replace one of the four years of work experience with your degree. In addition, the four years of work experience can span up until the exam date.
The next step to professional licensure is to fill out the application and provide the correct documentation. The application, application deadlines, fees and additional information can be found at http://www.oregon.gov/OSBEELS/registration.shtml. The following is a list of items you will need in order to fill out the application:
- EIT/EI certification number, state of issuance and date of issuance
- Official sealed transcripts from college and post-graduate transcripts if applicable
- Work experience summary including name of employers, dates and position(s) held
- Five references. Three of the references must be licensed engineers (does not have to be an Oregon license) and all five must have at least one year of personal knowledge of your practical work.
- Check or credit card number for exam fee
Note: Application deadlines are nearly five months prior to the exam date. It is strongly advised that you begin the application process at least one month prior to the application deadline as some documentation may take longer than anticipated.
The final step is taking and passing both a 8-hour, two-part multiple choice exam as well as a take-home exam. Similar to the FE exam, the PE exam is an 8-hour national exam administered by NCEES. It is open-book and consists of a morning and afternoon session. Visit http://www.ncees.org/exams/pe_exam.php for information regarding exam policies, schedule and scoring. The take-home exam is specific to Oregon and tests your familiarity and comprehension of the applicable Oregon Revised Statutes (ORSs) and the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs).
After obtaining your PE license, Oregon requires continuing education in order to maintain your registration status. Visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSBEELS/about_us.shtml for additional information.
Obtaining your SE License
After obtaining at least two years of "progressive responsibility in structural engineering experience" as a licensed PE (OAR 820-010-0417 (1)(C)), you may apply to take the SE exam administered by NCEES. The two years experience must be supervised by a licensed SE or by a PE with "substantial structural engineering work experience" (OAR 820-010-0417 (1)(C)).
The examination process for acquiring an SE license in Oregon (and elsewhere) is currently changing. If you are planning on applying to take the exam in October of 2011, it is strongly advised to contact OSBEELS directly as the new exam process will not take effect in Oregon until 2012. Visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSBEELS/contact_us.shtml
If you plan to take the exam in 2012, visit http://www.ncees.org/Exams/SE_exam.php for information regarding test policies, scheduling and scoring. Currently, because of the changing process, OSBEELS does not yet have clear direction on their site regarding the SE exam. Until their website has been updated for the new exam process, it is encouraged to contact OSBEELS directly for more information. Visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSBEELS/contact_us.shtml.