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About solomonb

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  1. Working Overseas

    Take a civilian engineering position in the Department of Defense at one of the overseas military installations. You have government benefits, are able to shop on base, work on some real interesting and stimulating projects and have the opportunity for the spouse to work on the installation as well. The "creature comforts" are better, i.e., the base environment, other Americans, but also many foreign nationals. If I had a spouse, I would NOT want to go to the Middle East unless it was an accompanied tour, however, Asia is attractive. Saudi can be attractive as well, however, you will need to read up on the cultural differences-- comes as a shock to many folks who don't know what to expect. We have withdrawn significantly from Europe since the end of the Cold War, Late 1990's, however, there are DoD installations over there as well. USAID is another opportunity that you may find interesting. Government work is interesting and exciting-- I spent 30 years in the Air Force, in uniform, as a very senior officer-- take a look -- you may be surprised at what you find. You have your PE, waiting on the SE, which you probably passed-- no kids, wife that likes adventure, get up and go. You will never regret the experience.
  2. I will argue differently. I don't know the chemical discipline, so I trust what has been written is true and accurate. HOWEVER, the key to having a PE is the following. A. You don't know what the future holds. None of us do--however, having your PE now will preclude stress and pressure later if the rules change and you are required to possess a professional license. B. You will find, at least I have, that many folks will be in awe because you have a PE. Oh, they are not going to jump up and give you any High 5's, however, you will be amazed as you network that many individuals recognize and understand the work, drive and dedication that you put into becoming a professionally registered individual. C. If you have the opportunity to serve as an expert witness in court, a consultant to a private or public client, your PE license will give testimony to your competence, breadth and depth of technical knowledge in your engineering discipline. D. Many folks can get a PMP, LEED or other certification. However, only a select few, that have the education, experience and reference credentials can become a licensed professional engineer. E. If you have work overseas, especially in Asia or the Middle East, a PE license from the US is held in high esteem and regard. Perhaps today you don't think that you will ever go overseas, do that kind of work. One never knows when an opportunity is presented and you take it. F. Congratulations on a job well done. You will never know when the PE license becomes a valuable commodity.
  3. Fe passing score

    DO NOT worry about the raw score or anything else. Worry about knowing the information on the exams. You should be able to know what to do by seeing the problem. If you don't know what to do, don't understand the problem, then you are not ready to take the exam. Study and review the material until you know what to do on each problem. This comes by working LOTS of different problems, however, working the problems is the solution. If still unsure, take the prepineer.com review course. Sure, it costs some money, however, you will be able to gain the confidence as well as have experience with many different problems before you take the test. You can do this! Good Luck!
  4. is the quiz bank from ppi2pass a good source?

    The only one to answer this question is YOU. Go to NCEES and review the elements of examination on the exam. Make damn sure that you understand and know, really know, each of the topic areas on the exam. If you do, you are golden. If not, then you have some work to do. As many on this board have stated, different authors have different takes on the test questions. Your key is to work as many test questions and problems so that you can pass the exam the first time around. There is no reason to take this test more than once. If you have only been out of school a year, this should all be fresh information. I would also spend some money and take the prepineer.com review course. Spend the money, work the problems, take the test. Now is the time to do it, so that the clock can begin for your PE license. Spend the money, take the review course and then take the test. You will not regret your decision.
  5. Just got my results back after my second attempt...

    There is no reason to take the FE exam more than once. If you have had not passed the second time, take the review course at Prepineer.com. Do all of the course work, take the practice exams and then pass the test. There is nothing wrong with taking a review course. Yes, it costs money. Yes, I know about a new baby, job, sunshine, recreation, friends, summer, etc. You need to take some short time pain for some long term gain. Establish a test date today-- say 13 August. Then back up from that to today, figure out the topics and get after it. Put the shoulder to the wheel and push. I know, not fun, however, having a structured approach will get to pass this test. It is NOT that difficult-- however, if you have been out of school, it is best to take a review course to get back into the study mode, as well as refresh on that material that you may have let some rust develop.

    If you have taken the FE once and failed, don't screw around. Go to Prepineer.com, sign up for your discipline specific exam review, take the course and then go pass the FE exam. There is no reason to take this more than 1 time. As has been mentioned above, you have to score at least "average" to have any chance of passing the exam. Prepineer has the course work, that if fully completed, should allow a candidate to successfully pass the FE exam. Remember, this is not that tough. You got through an ABET accredited engineering program. Don't make this any harder than it is-- if you have been away from school for more than a couple of years, taking a review course is the way to go. You will have to make some schedule adjustments-- family, significant other, recreation time, sports-- if you want to pass this-- then put your shoulder to the wheel and push hard. Establish a test date and then plan on hitting the books and review courses hard. Yeah, I know, new baby, new job, summer time, sunshine-- got it. If you want to pass this exam, you will have to make some short time sacrifices for long term gain. Prepineer.com has a structured program that has been successful for many folks. Give it a shot and see what happens.
  7. How to deal with PE test anxiety?

    OK, don't panic--that is step 1. We have all been through this, so we fully understand the anxiety that you are feeling. Remember, don't make this any harder than it really is! You will do just fine! Study hard every day and really know and understand the elements of examination that are listed on the NCEES web site for the exam that you are taking. Remember, the exam is designed to be completed in 6 min per question. Now, some questions will be able to be answered by inspection, the answer is obvious. Others, may require several calculations and take 7-9 min to complete. If you are totally flummoxed, go to the next question and come back to that question later. Remember, you have a 25% chance to get the answer right by pure guessing-- The test is multiple choice, with usually 4 answers provided. If you know the material, you can usually eliminate at least 2 answers right off. Now, you only have 2 to work on, with one being the correct answer. Make sure that you know your signs during the calculations--- if you get a sign reversed, there might be that answer as a choice! Don't put any more pressure on yourself than there is already. You will do just fine. Don't worry about your job-- you can worry yourself sick and get ulcers-- you will do fine. Make DAMN sure that you understand the concept that is being tested-- that is the key. There is no reason to take the test more than once-- it is expensive and takes a lot of time. Hit it hard now until April, take it, pass it and press on. Good Luck-- you will do just fine.
  8. Places to Volunteer as an Engineer?

    Let's look at this a little differently. Find a non profit that you are interested in-- it could be the foodbank, Head Start, Boys and Girls club-- something that you are interested in. Go there and volunteer. You will find that your engineering skills will be used-- Oh, you may not design the next power plant or boiler room, however, in Head Start's case, you may help with a playground, a garden, a fencing project. Maybe look at some facility challenge and provide some engineering insight-- no, you would probably not get the hammer and nails and do the actual work, but you may provide some insight and ideas on what could be done. If you were to redesign the playground, you may use your engineering skills in equipment placement, aid in a drainage issue, etc. If you go to the food bank, you may use your engineering skills in design of the lines that give out the food, stocking the boxes for the clients, etc. There are lots of opportunities to use your engineering skills--and the non profits will be happy to have you. Yes, I have done all of this-- actually, ended serving on a Head Start board for 7 years and became the Chair of the Board-- not my plan, but how it worked out. You will use your engineering skills in ways that you never thought about before. Have fun! I do!
  9. Interpretation of CBT Diagnostic Report

    Sign up for the Prepineer.com review course. You can take the review on line-- there is plenty of help available and you will be able to nail this test the next time. As mentioned above, you need significant work in most areas. You did the ethics problems all right, 15/15. My advice is to try hard to get 12/15 on all areas. Then you don't have to worry about any area. Good Luck-- you can do this. I would plan on putting in 25 hours per week between now and April to study. I mean 25 good, hard, solid hours every week-- yes, it is hard, but then you are done.
  10. Pay Raise?

    The issue of balking about new business cards is petty and trivial, however, if that is the mindset of the company, now is the time to find a new opportunity. There are a lot of PE opportunities available!! Again, no reason to get ugly or confrontational with your boss, you may he/she somewhere down the road. OK, the business cards are good enough, even though they fail to identify you as a licensed professional. What this really says is that the firm does not value you with your license, however, they are happy to bill you out for more fee because you are now "more valuable!" Get the resume dusted off and begin the interview process. There are lots of jobs that are seeking PE's. Make sure that you know your worth and value BEFORE you get started-- everything is negotiable-- yes, salary, hours, cell phones, moving expenses, vacation, career development, etc. It is harder to move if you have been planted someplace for several years, however, it is not impossible. If you can sell your house and at least come out even, then the moving program is attractive. Depending on the job and location, some companies will help you sell your house-- i.e, if you have to sell it and take a $20K loss due to market conditions, the new company will make that $20K up in your package. Of course, you will want to talk to your CPA to see what the tax implications are for your particular situation, however, my point is that everything is negotiable. Get started-- it is fun out here in the jungle-- hot and humid, hot and arid, wet and rainy, but fun.
  11. Pay Raise?

    DO NOT let the boys bully you regarding the PE and no raise. There is NO LOYALITY to the employee, irrespective of what the code of values says in the foyer of the main office. It does no good to sit and bitch-- move out and make something happen. Now, if you have not kept your resume up to date and current, this weekend is a great time to put in the time to do so-- get a good resume, crisp and polished and then start to make something happen. We worked with a client who stayed at his firm, a major public engineering firm for 9 years. First job out of college, got married, had a couple of babies, passed the PE exam and then his butt was on the road all the time. He got the "It is only for 4 month" routine. 12 months later, he called us and we got him an awesome job near home, no travel. Guess what-- his wife produced another baby!! Never seen a happier dude! When he began his search, he was real rusty on the whole job search and interview process. We spent a lot of time helping him get up to speed, and when he did, good things happened. Bottom line-- if your boss does not value your PE, then it is time to find someone who will. No reason to be ugly or negative about it, after all, this is a business decision. There are a plethora of factors that one has to consider when making a move, be it across the street or across the country. Don't do anything in haste-- develop a measured, calculated plan and approach. Once your approach is defined, execute. There are lots of jobs that need PE's. If you have to talk to an idiot, the only guy that wins is the idiot-- someone is talking to he/she. Now, moving 1200 miles away has some challenges as well, however, as I have said on this board previously, you can stand on your head for 24 months if you have to. Do NOT be bullied by anyone. Sadly, today, peer recognition is often lacking. Not sure why, but you now have a great idea of how you are valued by the company and your superiors. Again, no reason for tears or hard feelings. Make a plan and attack. In some cases, you will get the, "Oh, we did not know that you felt that way-- what can we do to fix it?" The answer is "Nothing, I am Out of Here-- see ya!" Get your stuff all out of the office before this conversation, but prepared to hit the bricks about 20 minutes after the chat. Don't go without having a new home to go to-- it is always easier to find a job when you have a job. This is 2015-- make something happen today! You will not regret it.
  12. PE Controls

    I believe that you will have to test if you wish to become licensed as PE Controls engineer in addition to being a PE Power licensee. I question why you would wish to take the PE control examination if you already have the PE Power license? If you are in a discipline license state, then I think that I understand. If you are in a general license state, as I understand the licensing laws and processes, do not believe that you need to retake the PE Controls examination. Of course, you are only ethically allowed to seal in those areas where you have competence, as manifested by either examination, experience or both. However, if you work in the controls area and develop an experiential competence in that area, then, it is my understanding that you would not need to gain a second PE license. Again, if you are in a jurisdiction which licenses by discipline, then I understand what you are going to do. Congratulations on passing the PE Power! Good Luck on the PE Controls.
  13. Where were you when you got the exam results

    Dec 20, 2007-- At the post office! I had taken a review class and one of the guys from Texas had sent us an email that said that Texas results were out and he had passed. I went to the post office a couple of days later because I could not get there earlier. There were 2 letters-- one from NCEES and one from the Montana board. Each was kind of skinny-- so, I thought that I had failed! Of course, don't know why if I had passed, I would have gotten a fat envelope. I opened up the NCEES letter, it said PASS! Of course, there was nobody in the Post Office to tell, so I went to the coffee shop downtown. I got in line to buy a coffee and told the kid behind me to pick whatever he wanted-- I had passed the PE exam and his coffee was on me, my treat! He knew what the PE license was, was happy for me! Best Christmas gift I have received in a long time.
  14. Need Help with PE License Rules

    Most of the state web sites will tell you if you need both the FE and PE exams, without exemption. I know in Florida that if you are a PE and waived the FE due to experiential ability, Florida will require that you take the FE even though you are licensed in some other state. I believe that is true in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina-- just review the state board web site-- they usually will tell you what they require. We have had on this board someone who was a licensed PE in some state and wanted to get licensed in Florida-- he was required to take the FE in Florida. Now, with the new CBT and discipline specific FE exam, even if you are out of school for some time, some brush up work should put you in good shape to pass the FE.
  15. Technology and science are changing too fast to not want to gain more information/knowledge about how your field is changing. Those that believe that going back to school will produce no additional learning are correct-- if that is your attitude. Conversely, those that believe that they will learn a lot more, will also do that-- it is all about attitude. School is tough enough, costs lots and if you don't want to be there, certainly don't go. I am not sure how you are going to keep up with all of the changes in your respective discipline without additional education. Some of the 3 day quickie courses can scratch the surface, just barely, but you still need to devote time and energy to learn the fundamentals of the new technologies. Accounting requires 150 hours before sitting for the CPA examination. This requires either a Master's degree or another 30 hours of preparation. Yes, all of the whining that we see here was there as well, however, it did stick. Once something is a given, it becomes easier. Architecture is another program where a Master's is the entry level degree. Many of those who earned BS degrees and practiced for many years were "grandfathered" in-- they had to take some sort of "test" after which, if passing successfully, most having been in practice for many years were, were awarded a Master's degree. Not sure that NCEES and the state boards thought this out as carefully as required, and now, they see some flaws, requiring that the Master's degree requirement be deleted from the Model Law. The issues of comity and working in other states appears to be an unintended negative consequence, which was remedied with the removal of the requirement for the master's degree. I suspect that we will have as many ideas and opinions on this subject as we have engineers discussing the idea!!!!!