As an NCEES exam prep provider, we are often asked by potential students when they should take the FE exam. Should they take it after gaining some experience after college? Should they take it in college? Every student is different, but we believe there are benefits to taking the FE exam while in college.
Engineering students may have an advantage over other FE examinees because the information needed to take and pass the exam is fresh in their minds. Think about it: those students are attending engineering classes all day and studying for college exams. The information they are learning in college most likely mimics the information that the FE exam requires examinees to know and understand.
NCEES actually promotes the FE exam as a test for college students or recent graduates, claiming the exam “is designed for recent graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree from an EAC/ABET-accredited program.”
In many states, individuals are required to take and pass the FE exam before taking the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. So, the earlier one takes and passes the FE exam, the earlier in their career they can become a licensed engineer. Engineering licensure has a variety of benefits, including the ability to sign project documents, the ability to open a firm, and so on.
Those who obtain their professional engineering license will get a jump start on getting a higher salary. Those who are licensed earlier in their career will most likely earn more at a younger age as opposed to those who wait. According to the NCEES website, “Salary studies show that as a PE, you can expect to earn significantly more throughout your career.”
Have we convinced you to take the FE exam while you’re still in college? If so, we can help you prepare you for the exam. College courses are a great bonus when studying for an exam but may not cover absolutely everything you need to know for the FE exam. Consider taking an online FE exam review course to ensure that you are completely prepared to take it with confidence.