Professional Engineering Exam

Professional Engineering Exam
The Professional Engineering Exam is the final step a graduate engineer must take in order to sign and seal engineered drawings and perform, or supervise others performing, engineering calculations.

The Professional Engineering Exam is administered twice a year in April and October. Each 8-hour test day is divided into a 4-hour morning session and a 4-hour afternoon session with a lunch break. Each session consists of 40 multiple choice questions that will measure the engineer’s grasp and understanding of the subject matter.

Professional Engineering Exams are available in the following disciplines:

  • Agricultural
  • Architectural
  • Chemical
  • Civil:
    • Construction
    • Geotechnical
    • Structural
    • Transportation
    • Water Resources and Environmental
  • Control Systems
  • Electrical and Computer:
    • Computer Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronics
    • Power
  • Environmental
  • Fire Protection
  • Industrial (April only beginning in 2013)
  • Mechanical:
    • HVAC and Refrigeration
    • Mechanical Systems and Materials
    • Thermal and Fluids Systems
  • Metallurgical and Materials
  • Mining and Mineral Processing
  • Naval Architecture and Marine
  • Nuclear
  • Petroleum
  • Software
  • Structural

Resources to prepare for the examinations are available in the form of books, CD’s, online classes, classes at local universities and others to help test takers. Refer to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying – NCEES for additional study resources and to get specific test information and areas of concentration for each discipline.  You may also find study resources at your discipline’s professional society.

2012 Professional Engineering Exam Pass Rates

According to 2012 data from NCEES, the pass rates for the Professional Engineering Exam are:


  • First Time Test Takers: 83%
  • Repeat Test Takers:33%


  • First Time Test Takers: 71%
  • Repeat Test Takers:31%


  • First Time Test Takers: 71%
  • Repeat Test Takers:20%


  • First Time Test Takers: 65%
  • Repeat Test Takers:27%

Control Systems

  • First Time Test Takers: 80%
  • Repeat Test Takers:42%

Electrical and Computer

  • First Time Test Takers: 66%
  • Repeat Test Takers:34%


  • First Time Test Takers: 62%
  • Repeat Test Takers:34%

Fire Protection

  • First Time Test Takers: 60%
  • Repeat Test Takers:29%


  • First Time Test Takers: 79%
  • Repeat Test Takers:57%


  • First Time Test Takers: 72%
  • Repeat Test Takers:40%

Metallurgical and Materials

  • First Time Test Takers: 56%
  • Repeat Test Takers:22%

Mining and Mineral Processing

  • First Time Test Takers: 75%
  • Repeat Test Takers:54%

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

  • First Time Test Takers: 66%
  • Repeat Test Takers:17%


  • First Time Test Takers: 56%
  • Repeat Test Takers:0%


  • First Time Test Takers: 79%
  • Repeat Test Takers:35%

Improving Professional Engineering Exam Pass Rates

You can greatly improve your odds of success taking a Professional Engineering Exam by being thoroughly prepared for the test through study, practice and by utilizing adequate test-day reference material. All three of these issues are addressed in the Architectural Engineering PE Exam Study Guide. Even if you are not taking the Architectural Engineering Professional Engineering Exam, the guide offers valuable resources that can be applied to any Professional Engineering Exam.

Professional Engineering Exam

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