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Re: EIT, PE, SE exams

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Additionally, you may be required to take the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOELF) before sitting for any of the EIT (FE), PE or SE tests.
Regarding foreign education, it is probably up to you to prove that your education meets ABET requirements, as Scott pointed out.  I believe it varies state by state.  Illinois uses the Engineering Credentials Evaluation International to evaluate foreign engineering degrees, and they can be found at or called at 410 347 7738.

>>> Scott Maxwell 09/04/03 03:20PM >>>

As far as structurally related issues (i.e. licensing etc), you should be
able to start working here right now. Basically, you would need to just
find a company that is willing to hire you. Your potentially bigger
hurdle will be the potential issues with regards to immigration status
(i.e. does the method under which your are in the US "permit" working,
etc). And that is _WAY_ outside my range of knowledge.

As to the licensing issues, you have a real driving reason to becomes
licensed if you want to work as an independent consultant (i.e. open up
your own firm) or if you will be in "responsible charge" of projects. If
neither applies, then generally you need not be licensed, although I would
certainly suggest it.

The first step to obtaining your license (either a PE or SE) in most, if
not all, states in the US is take and pass the EIT exam. This is
generally done around the senior year of undergraduate eduction, but some
take it decades after getting their undergradute degree. I am not really
aware of any specific requirements to be permitted to take the EIT exam
other than filing out the forms and paying the fee.

The next step would be to get work experience. Depending on the state in
question, the "quality" (some states require work under a licensed PE
while other may require work under a licensed PE _OR_
equivalent...thus, depending on the state in question and your ability
to get the needed verification, your work experience in India may or
may not count towards this) and length of this required work experience
will vary. Most states require 4 years of experience. If my memory
serves me correctly, however, California only requires 2 years.

Once you have the work experience, you may be ready to take the PE exam.
I say may because the one sticking point that might arise is that a
typical requirement for getting a PE license is getting an undergraduate
degree from an ABET accreditted or equivalent program. Most is not all US
undergrad civil engineering programs will be ABET accreditted. Most
non-US undergrad civil engineering programs are not. Thus, if you are
foreign educated, you have prove that your undergrad degree meets the
intent and requirements of ABET accreditation. And this proves to be a
potential stumbling block for many foreign educated engineers.

Anyway, the next step is to apply to take the PE test(s) and get your
license. This requires filling a large bunch of tedious forms (largely
tedious cause every state still requires you to fill them out even though
you might be licensed in multiple other states) that will be used to
verify education and experience. You also need to have original
transcripts submitted from your undergrad (and graduate if applicable)
education. This tends to be another potential stumbling block for foreign
educated engineers...sometimes it is VERY difficult to get original
undergraduate education transcripts, depending on which country they were
educated in. You also pay a fee, of course.

Then, if everything on your application checks out (you should be prepared
to have to prove your undergrad education is "equivalent"), then you will
be permitted to take the PE exam(s). In most states, this is one 8 hour
exam. In California, it will be the 8 hour exam plus a 2 hour (??)
seismic exam and a 2 hour (??) surveying exam. Some states also have take
home ethics or PE act/law tests (asks questions about the PE law in that
state). Pass all this and bingo, you will be licensed as a PE.

Now, the SE license is a little more complex. Depends on the states that
you are in. Most states don't have SE licenses. California does. To get
a California SE license, you must first get your PE license in CA, then
get three addition years of eductions (I believe that is correct), then
get three (??) licensed CA SEs to act as references, fill out the forms
and pay the fee, and then take hte SE exam (16 hours long). This ignores
the issue of do you really need an SE license in CA. I will leave that
for another day.


Ypsilanti, MI

On Thu, 4 Sep 2003, nidhi mehra wrote:

> Hello,
> I am a civil engineer from India, 2 years experience in working for a structural Engineering firms. I am completely unaware as to how to get started here.
> Do I have to give the EIT exam?
> How soon can I start working? Can I get to do voluntary work in South California?
> I will be really gratified if I can get some help on this.
> Thanks a lot,
> Nidhi.
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
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