Should You Take the FE Exam? 3 Reasons It’s Worth It.

You learn so many essential concepts, practices, and applicable knowledge in your undergraduate engineering courses. During those four long years of study, you – hopefully – are taught the fundamentals of engineering and are given the information necessary to become an engineer in the field of your choice.

Some engineers fail to realize the significance of this exam. Many don’t know that the best time to take it is before graduation or shortly after graduation.

No, you don’t have to pass the FE exam to become a civil engineer, but if you don’t, you’ll never progress. You’ll effectively remain a technician and not a professional engineer.

But don’t worry: it’s never too late! Whether you graduated a year ago or decades ago, you can take the FE exam at any time… though the longer you wait, the more FE exam prep you’ll need to pass the test.

Benefits of Taking the FE Exam

Career Advancement

When it comes to FE exam benefits, career advancement has to be at the top of the list. Firstly, passing the FE exam adds weight to a resume and indicates that you’re serious about your field and your career. Secondly, while the exam itself carries little importance in day-to-day engineering work, it’s the first step toward obtaining a Professional Engineer license.

To earn promotion as a civil engineer, you must become a PE. Why, you might ask? It’s because only PEs can sign, seal and submit engineering work for public and private clients. PEs lead other engineers. PEs go beyond the technical into management and direction. 

There are four steps to becoming a PE:

  1. Earn a four-year undergraduate degree in engineering from an accredited engineering program.
  2. Take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.
  3. Complete at least four years of engineering work under the supervision of a PE (varies by state).
  4. Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

The sooner you take and pass the FE exam, the better your career trajectory.

Return on Investment

Another benefit of taking the FE exam is your return on investment. The FE exam only costs $175, and there are affordable online FE exam prep courses that can help you maximize your study time and minimize the effort needed to pass.

All in all, the cost/benefit ratio is overwhelming. Yes, studying for the exam will require time and effort, but passing the FE exam could be the difference between landing your dream job or not, getting the promotion you deserve, or negotiating a higher salary.

The FE Never Expires

You may be thinking about putting off the FE exam for any number of reasons. You’re not sure if you plan to stick with engineering. You don’t plan on becoming a PE. Your employer doesn’t require it. You hate exams, and the FE exam is a tough one. There is one reason not to put it off, though.

The FE exam never expires.

It’s an overlooked benefit of taking the FE exam, for sure, but it is essential to know that passing now means that you never have to retake it. If you’re almost out of school or just graduated, now is the time to take the FE exam while the information is still fresh in your mind.

It’s never too late to study and pass. No matter how long it’s been since you graduated, the FE exam can help you advance in your engineering career. Take the FE exam… you won’t regret it.