Path to Licensure

Becoming licensed as a professional engineer is a well-earned honor, as well as an indication to employers and clients of the skills you bring to your work. Though the specific requirements for licensure differ from state to state, licensure candidates follow the same basic steps throughout the U.S. and its territories:

Step 1: Become an Engineer Intern
If you’re a graduate from an engineering program approved by the MA state licensure board, you can become classified as an “engineer intern” (EI) or “engineer-in-training” (EIT) by successfully completing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Achieving EI or EIT status signals that you have mastered the fundamental requirements and taken the first step toward earning your PE licensure. (SEE BELOW for the typical requirements for earning PE Licensure in Massachusetts.)

Step 2: Gain Professional Experience
All states require that candidates complete four years of qualifying engineering experience, typically under the supervision of a professional engineer.

Step 3: Learn the State’s Licensure Requirement
Each state (as well as the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories) has its own licensure board, administering its own exam and required qualifications.
Our state’s licensure board is:
MA Board of Registration of Professional Engineers & Professional Land Surveyors
Phone: 617-727-9957
Office Address:
Division of Professional Licensure
1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118-6100

CLICK HERE to view questions and answers to MASSACHUSETTS-SPECIFIC
Rules & Regulations Governing Professional Engineers & Professional Land Surveyors

Step 4: Prepare for and Take the PE exam
In most cases, the final step in attaining licensure is successfully completing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.The PE exam tests your ability to practice competently in a particular engineering discipline.The PE exam is administered in April and October. (Click the NCEES link below for test dates and registration details.)

Exam Prep Resources:

Typically, registration as a Professional Engineer (PE) in Massachusetts requires that a candidate must pass the FE exam, and:

  • have four years of engineering experience, if the candidate graduated from an accredited four-year engineering program; or
  • have by eight years of engineering experience, if the candidate graduated from an accredited four-year program in engineering technology or engineering-related science.
  • For candidates with non-accredited degrees, or degrees from other countries, contact the MA Board of Registration for information on becoming licensed

The FE exam is designed for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. In January 2014, the FE and FS exams transitioned to computer-based testing (CBT). The FE and FS exams are no longer administered via pencil-and-paper format. As a result, registration is now open year-round and students may select the exam time, date, and location that works best for them. Examinees receive  their results 7–10 days after the exam. Click the NCEES link below for registration details.

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors. It develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure in the United States. It also facilitates professional mobility and promotes uniformity of the U.S. licensure processes through services for its member licensing boards and licensees. These services include the records program, study materials, credentials evaluations, exam administration, and more.

How to Register for an Exam – Before registering for an upcoming NCEES exam, it’s important to review the Massachusetts state approval and registration process.

Access the MA State Info Page (and all other states) on the NCEES website.

About the FE Exam – On this page of the NCEES website, you’ll learn key information including FE Exam Specifications, Exam fees & requirements, Reference Materials, Practice Exams, Scoring & Reporting, FE Pass Rates, and Outcomes Assessment.

About the PE Exam – On this page of the NCEES website, you’ll learn key information including PE Exam Specifications & Design Standards, Reference Materials, Afternoon Modules for certain disciplines, Scoring & Reporting, and PE Pass Rates.

View Licensure FAQs for more information

Maintaining Your License
Currently in Massachusetts, license renewal is required Biennially (June 30th of Even years), and no annual professional development CEUs are currently required.