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Environmental PE Choice


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#1 matt267

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:43 PM

I'm looking to take the PE exam within the next couple years and am working on my plan of attack. I'm trying to decide if I want to take the Environmental PE or the Civil-Water Resources PE.

 

I have a BS in Environmental Engineering but work exclusively in water resources with a main focus in wastewater. Both the Env and Civil PEs have topics that I didn't study in school.

 

I'm wondering if there is anyone else in a similar situation (ie degree and experience) that took either of these two exams and what lead you to your decision.

 

I'm also wondering which PE is more "marketable?" I'm thinking the Civil-water resources with an Env degree would look well rounded on paper.

 

Thanks.



#2 matt267

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:18 PM

Hmmm, looks like I'm the only one in this situation. I think I'm going to take the civil-wr. I'm thinking of starting my studying this fall to take the pe in April 2015.

#3 Dleg

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:35 AM

I'd say the civil PE is more "marketable" just because it is more versatile. 



#4 VTEnviro

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:54 PM

I'm with DLeg.  I took the Envl PE because I was more qualified to based on my college background and I just wanted the wall certificate and the damned letters after my name.



#5 matt267

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:04 PM

Thanks guys.



#6 Dleg

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:34 PM

I took the Envl.  PE for almost the same reasons as VTEnviro - it best summed up my professional experience (original degree in ME), and I didn't want to fight my board over the civil PE (or take the seismic exam!).  I'd take the civil if that was my original degree.



#7 matt267

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:28 PM

There also seems to be more study material available for the civil-wr then there is for the environmental.

#8 envirotex

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:28 AM

It also depends on your board...in Texas, you take discipline specific tests, but practice in areas where you are qualified.  I am trained as reservoir engineer but spent the majority of my time before I took the exam doing environmental work including water resources, so I took the environmental exam.

 

Bottom line...Take which one you think you are more likely to pass.  In the end, I think it's mostly just that you have a PE that matters.



#9 FLBuff PE

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:24 PM

I also took the environmental PE. My degree is civil engineering, environmental/water resources emphasis. I took the environmental exam for a lot of the reasons above, but also because the structural component of the civil exam scared the shiite out of me. That was not one of my strong suits in college. I am a practicing geotechnical and environmental engineer, with most of my work being in the dirt world. In Colorado, as long as you have a PE license, you are allowed to practice engineering in any area of engineering that you have expertise in. You should check what your state board says. Also, Hawaii and California do not recognize the environmental PE. If you plan on moving to either of those locales, I would highly recommend taking the civil exam.



#10 VTEnviro

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:37 PM

I wish I had a decent transpo or structures class.  I'm so out of my element with that stuff.



#11 matt267

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:49 PM

I wish I had a decent transpo or structures class.  I'm so out of my element with that stuff.

Those two topics are only 20% of the total score on the civil-wr. 



#12 VTEnviro

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:20 PM

I meant it in the workworld context.  My degree says environmental, but in practice I'm a civil/site guy.



#13 matt267

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:11 AM

^ I see.

#14 jmr

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:28 PM

I'll chime in with my perspective at the moment ;)

 

BS in Agricultural Engineering and also a BS in Civil/Environmental engineering. Did some time as a geotechnical engineer (8 months after graduation, 4 summers prior as a tech). I've been with state regluatory since working wtih wastewater, storm water, and air quality...mainly NDPES permits, and water quality is my strong point.

 

I took the Civil PE Exam with Water Resources emphasis twice so far, and have failed both times. My diagnostic reports (or whatever!) say I need to study transportation and geotech for general sections...which I hit hard-core for the second exam in October '13, so I felt very discouraged. I aced water quality the first go-around in April '13, but there weren't any questions at all in October...so sometimes you just luck out I think on what the exam focuses on ;)

 

I decided to start with Civil PE exam, since my thought was I'd just have to "relearn" or study the general topics, whereas with the Enviro exam, I'd have to learn "from scratch" solid and hazardous waste, and basically air quality, too, since I'm not very confident I know much of that ;). I had a friend who had all the civil study material for me to borrow, too, so that helped ;) Plus, her emphasis was transportation in school, but all her real world experiance was structures...she took the transportation afternoon session and passed.

 

Anyway, 3 coworkers took the Enviro exam in October '13...two were NPDES-background (chemical and mechanical degrees), one was hazardous waste background in the department. So they all had to learn something new, and they all passed first try =) So there is hope!

 

So I figured since I was guaranteed some water quality questions on the Enviro exam, I might as well give that a go, since for me, Civil Water Resources has not been working (darn transportaion!!). Fingers crossed third time's a charm and I'll pass the Enviro exam in April '14!

 

Bottom line, you get to put fancy letters in your title and stamp things (if needed) regardless of what your PE is in...at least that's my thoughts, but that's also coming from employ with state govenment.

 

On a side note, my friend who passed the Civil PE with emphasis in transportation uses her license to stamp/approve structural designs...

 

Good luck! :D



#15 jmr

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

^^ woah, and sorry for the winky-smiley overload!



#16 matt267

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for your insight jmr. Good luck in April. Let us know how you do.

 

I think I'm going to take the Civil - Water in 2015 some time. Hopefully I pass the first time, if not, I'll reassess and reconsider the Environmental PE.



#17 VTEnviro

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:47 PM

Welcome to the show jmr.  Is it as nice and toasty in SD as it is in ND?



#18 jmr

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 07:36 PM

Yes, we have a balmy high of -1 today...without windchill.

And I will definitely let everyone know when I pass this lovely exam, including the postmaster when I open my license at the post office and whoop for joy...hopefully it will be this April! :D


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