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Why Become a Licensed Engineer?

Dr. Anton Bowden spoke about the importance of getting licensed as a professional engineer in a virtual presentation on Wed. March 4. The event was hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Being a licensed Mechanical Engineer opens doors, according to Bowden. The mechanical engineering professor said it benefitted his path to becoming an engineer and allowed him to have his own tech startup in 2016.

More career opportunities and a higher salary than those who aren’t licensed professional engineers are benefits of licensure included in the presentation.

“Whether or not you have a set path on the track you’re on right now, that could change. The reality is if you decide to change directions then this could become important to you,” Bowden said.

In addition to getting a degree from an accredited university, licensure requires passing scores on two exams, the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering exam) and the PE (Professional Engineer exam). Engineering experience is required as well, but varies by state.

Bowden highlighted advantages of taking the FE exam while still in college. Including a higher pass rate due to more current test-taking skills. The pass rate goes down 10% for every year away from school.

Attendee Aaron Bame took the FE three years ago and shared advice for doing well on the exam.

“I found that the most beneficial thing that I did and could have done more of was go through problems using the manual that NCEES has published,” Bame said. “I passed and I really didn’t feel like it was that challenging because it felt like all of the resources I needed were in that manual. I feel like the biggest nugget of advice that I could offer is just understanding how to use and access the equations and the keywords in the manual.”

Visit the NCEES official website for more information about requirements for and benefits of becoming a licensed professional engineer. Specific questions about the FE exam visit the Mechanical Engineering FE exam Q&A page. Questions can also be taken to Dr. Bowden during his office hours.

For more information about upcoming ASME events or questions about the organization, visit the ASME Instagram page.

Photo by BYU Photo.