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Blackmoth49

Taking PE exam with no working experience

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Hi, I just recently graduated from my University and passed the FE exam 2 weeks ago. In Texas, they allowed us to be able to take the PE exam with no working experience as long if you're an EIT, but will have to wait for 4 years to get the license for the experience.

My question is, is it possible for someone who has no working experience in the industry to be able to take the PE exam and pass? 

My major is in electrical power, I currently am internship for a control systems company, but I am hoping to take my power PE soon because it's seem like the only one that most people take. 

Edited by Blackmoth49
Bad grammar.

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You could but I wouldn’t recommend it. I would get at least a few years of experience and then you could also have whichever company you’re working for at the time reimburse your expenses for the exam.

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Yes, you can take the exam decoupled from experience in several states. And yes people pass the exam with limited experience.

I can't find it, but I know that NCEES has released a graph that shows the pass rate (for all tests) as a function of years since BS graduation. It's an upside-down 'U' shaped curve, maxing out around 4-5 years after graduation. The pass rate for people who take the exam immediately after graduation is okay - but not great; IIRC its like those who take the exam ~8 years after graduation.

Each PE exam is designed for someone with four years of professional experience. I'm sure there is variation between the exams on how much experience is really needed. I can't speak to the EE power test.

 

Edited by RBHeadge PE

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I'm taking the geotechnical PE Exam for the first time this cycle, so I'm probably not the best source of information, particularly for the power exam. However, based on my preparations, I don't think it necessarily matters too much whether you take it now or later, at least not from the perspective of passing the exam. Many say that it's actually better to take it sooner, because the things you learned in school will be fresher and easier to recall. Though, as you and @Ranger1316 brought up, you also learn things in practice that are helpful for the exam, as well. Additionally, the exam covers a number of different topics in enough depth that significant study is needed, either way, in order to have a good chance of passing.

Now, I have to give you my standard warning that applies to anyone who decouples (i.e. takes the PE before having the standard experience). There are some state boards *cough* Ohio *cough* *cough* that will often make applicants who decouple retake the PE Exam in order to get licensure in their state. Before you take the exam, definitely consider where else you may want to get licensed in the future and what requirements they have for licensure.

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3 hours ago, RBHeadge PE said:

Each PE exam is designed for someone with four years of professional experience.

Yep. There’s a chance you *can* pass the exam without the experience, but you will be at a disadvantage since some questions will require industry knowledge or experience.

Edited by ChebyshevII PE

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If you're interning for a control systems company, why would you take the power pe?

There is an control systems PE. 

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6 hours ago, LyceeFruit said:

If you're interning for a control systems company, why would you take the power pe?

There is an control systems PE. 

 OT: the control systems PE exam cut score meeting is the long pole in this October's results release schedule.

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Just now, RBHeadge PE said:

 OT: the control systems PE exam cut score meeting is the long pole in this October's results release schedule.

Yeah I noticed that their form states "For October 2019 Examinees & beyond" (or whatever wording they use). WHOMP.

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Just now, LyceeFruit said:

Yeah I noticed that their form states "For October 2019 Examinees & beyond" (or whatever wording they use). WHOMP.

Is that your exam?

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6 hours ago, LyceeFruit said:

If you're interning for a control systems company, why would you take the power pe?

There is an control systems PE. 

Back on topic...

In my state it’s not necessarily required that the exam you take *exactly* matches your work experience. I work in control systems, but took the Computer exam with the belief it would give me the best chance of success. Also, Control Systems and Electrical are considered different disciplines in my state, and I was applying to be endorsed in the electrical discipline, so that left Computer, Electronics, or Power. Computer topics are what I am best at.

It’s unclear if I could have applied for an electrical and taken the control systems exam, but I was wanting to be endorsed in electrical anyway, so it didn’t matter a whole lot at the time.

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25 minutes ago, RBHeadge PE said:

 

Is that your exam?

No, I'm power. I'm whomping since I'm working real effin' hard for this to be the last time I give you info for VT for the map and I'm mad I'll have to wait for control systems. 

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1 minute ago, ChebyshevII PE said:

Back on topic...

In my state it’s not necessarily required that the exam you take *exactly* matches your work experience. I work in control systems, but took the Computer exam with the belief it would give me the best chance of success. Also, Control Systems and Electrical are considered different disciplines in my state, and I was applying to be endorsed in the electrical discipline, so that left Computer, Electronics, or Power. Computer topics are what I am best at.

It’s unclear if I could have applied for an electrical and taken the control systems exam, but I was wanting to be endorsed in electrical anyway, so it didn’t matter a whole lot at the time.

But their logic seems to be "more people take power" rather than "I have a higher chance of passing power than control systems" 

Because why else would you willingly take the power exam? Eff this noise. It's awful. 

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4 minutes ago, LyceeFruit said:

But their logic seems to be "more people take power" rather than "I have a higher chance of passing power than control systems" 

To each their own, I guess. One thing I will say, there are A LOT of resources out there for the power exam, and next to nothing for the computer exam (and control systems, i’m Told), so there is a comfort factor there. Obviously, that doesn’t make the exam any easier, but I can understand wanting to feel like you’re on the right track.

Edited by ChebyshevII PE

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18 hours ago, ChebyshevII PE said:

To each their own, I guess. One thing I will say, there are A LOT of resources out there for the power exam, and next to nothing for the computer exam (and control systems, i’m Told), so there is a comfort factor there. Obviously, that doesn’t make the exam any easier, but I can understand wanting to feel like you’re on the right track.

Yeah. For Mechanical Engineers, I've heard some argue that the Thermal/Fluids exam is easier than the HVAC and the Machine Design exams, so everyone should take thermal. (The argument is that with thermal all the concepts build on each other, whereas machine design has many unrelated concepts to learn. And HVAC has a ton of specific ASHRAE codes to learn.) I have no idea if it actually works out like that. I took Machine Design because that my area of expertise. But like you said, to each his own. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edited by jean15paul_PE

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