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Quitting a job to take the FE?

  • 30 June, 2023

Quitting your job to take the FE exam is an enormous decision with potentially significant long-term consequences. Apart from the potential financial strain and gaps in your resume, it may also lead to missed opportunities for career growth and advancement. While the FE exam is an essential step towards becoming a licensed engineer, quitting your job to prepare and take it will lead to several trade-offs.

Financially Unviable

Leaving your job to prepare for the FE exam may not be a financially practical option. The month(s)-long effort required to fully prepare for the exam will likely necessitate an extended period of time without any income. Financial burdens will begin to stack up, particularly any pressing expenses that need to be addressed, such as mortgage payments, rent, car payments, or student loans. Furthermore, the act of quitting your job could potentially make it more challenging to find future employment, as potential employers may question why you left your previous job without already securing a new one.

Financially Unviable

Gap in Resume

Choosing to leave your job in order to take the FE exam may create a notable gap in your resume, which could lead to immediate concerns from potential employers. In a competitive job market, these gaps could be viewed as a red flag, as they might raise questions about why you were not employed and what you were doing during that time period. Moreover, such gaps can make it more difficult to find new employment, as some employers may be hesitant to hire someone who has taken a break from their career; this concern can be exacerbated depending on how long you were employed before leaving.

Gap in Resume

Missing Opportunities

Another significant consequence of quitting your job to take the FE exam is the missed career opportunities. During the time you spent preparing for the exam, you may miss out on valuable work experience, networking opportunities, and potential career advancements. Networking is a crucial aspect of career growth and can open doors to new job opportunities, projects, and collaborations. By quitting your job, you may be losing out on opportunities to meet new people in the industry and build connections that could benefit your career.

Finally, it may not be necessary to quit your job in order to successfully prepare for the FE exam. Many engineers have achieved passing scores on the exam while working full-time jobs, demonstrating that it is indeed possible to balance both responsibilities. Though it will require significant dedication and strong time management skills, preparing for the exam while still working may be a more viable option than quitting your job altogether.


What can be taken away is that deciding to leave your job to focus solely on preparing for the FE exam is a massive undertaking that requires a lot of careful consideration. While passing the exam is undoubtedly a key step towards becoming a licensed engineer, the potential financial strain, resume gaps, missed career opportunities, and the additional stress of continuing to work while preparing for the exam are all factors that must be weighed when making such an important decision. Ultimately, it is important to carefully consider all the options and the potential benefits and drawbacks of quitting your job and make a decision that aligns with your individual circumstances and priorities.

Are you ready to start studying for your FE exam with School of PE? Our comprehensive courses and expert instructors are just what you need to pass.

About the Author: Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor is a freelance writer and avid researcher- a jack of all trades, but a master of none. She graduated from the University of Hawai'i with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts because she had no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up. She has since found her love of Extended Reality and the possibilities it brings to the world, as well as gardening, cooking, and writing. Anna lives in Interior Alaska with her family.

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