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Professional Engineer Navigator

The purpose of the Professional Engineer Guide is to provide transparency, inform applicants of expected timelines for receiving your license, and outline steps you can take to reduce mistakes and mitigate delays. To provide the greatest clarity on the licensing process from start to finish, we will break it down into three phases, providing estimated times for each stage of the process, and recommendations for how to reduce processing times.


A Professional Engineer (PE) is an individual licensed by the State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists whom:

  • Applies mathematical and physical sciences in the design of public or private buildings, structures, machines, equipment, processes, works or engineering systems
  • Consults, investigates, evaluates, conducts engineering surveys, performs construction management, planning and inspection of public or private buildings, structures, machines, equipment, processes, works or engineering systems
  • Performs acts and services related to engineering such as municipal planning, teaching, construction, maintenance and research.

Two of the primary ways to receive a Professional Engineer license in PA are by examination or by reciprocity. 


Professional Engineer License By Examination

Obtaining a professional engineer license by examination means you have:

  • completed at least 4 years of progressive engineering experience earned under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer, or similarly qualified individual, after the issuance of your Engineer in Training (EIT) certificate, and
  • passed the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Fundamentals of Engineering Examination (FE) and Principles and Practice Examination (PE.  

Applicants must have an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Accredited Bachelor of Science degree.

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Professional Engineer License By Reciprocity

Obtaining a professional engineer license by reciprocity means you have already obtained a professional engineer license in another state or jurisdiction.  A person is eligible for licensure by reciprocity if they are currently licensed in another state, territory or country whose licensure requirements either were equal to those in effect in Pennsylvania at the time of initial registration, or are now substantially equivalent to those in effect in Pennsylvania.  Applicants must have an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Accredited Bachelor of Science degree and passed the NCEES FE and PE exams.

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Renewal of Professional Engineer Licenses

On average, renewal Professional Engineer licenses are issued within three calendar days.

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Process Overview

How to Apply for a Professional License.

 

What Happens to My Application?

 

  1. Sign in or create account at www.pals.pa.gov

  2. Select the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists to apply and plain-language questions will appear to help you get started

  3. Application appears – review checklist, upload required documents, follow prompts

  4. Review all information and edit as needed

  5. Pay the required fee and your application is submitted

  6. Keep an eye on your email or get real-time updates at www.pals.pa.gov