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Since 2004, School of PE has been helping engineers prepare for and pass their engineering exams. Our PE Civil exam review courses thoroughly cover each topic based on NCEES’ exam specs and have been designed to ensure you have what you need to pass your PE Civil exam. These courses are offered in three delivery methods, Live Online, Ondemand, and Onsite to best fit our students’ preferred learning styles.
Books by School of PE
These two-volume review guide sets have been authored by our subject-matter expert instructors and are designed based on the PE Civil exam specs from NCEES. Included in these guides are also exam tips, engineering definitions, and example problems.
PE Civil Exam Review Guide (vol. 1 & 2)
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- Ondemand - : This is the perfect option for especially busy schedules. Study at your own pace and gain access to course materials immediately upon registration. You will even have a Personalized Study Plan to help keep you on track.
- Live Online - This is the best option for individuals who prefer more traditional teaching. Receive the experience of studying in a live classroom with live instructor interaction anywhere, on any device with internet access.
- Onsite - If you prefer the same learning experience you had in high school and college, Onsite classes will be the best option. Receive a traditional classroom experience with live interaction with your instructor and classmates. Raise your hand to answer questions, engage in dialogue, and flag your instructor down when you need help.
What do our students say about our PE Civil course?
"I did not plan on pursuing my PE, and therefore spent a few years without working a single engineering problem. I ended up taking a job contingent upon me pursuing licensure, and therefore had to refresh myself. I took the School of PE course for both the FE and PE exams and passed both on the first try! Overall it was well worth the investment and will help build your confidence for the big exam."
-- Mr. Youmbi, PE
City of Baltimore
"Fantastic test prep course! The review material and course layout was super helpful to my success on passing the Civil PE exam. I tried taking another course, but unfortunately did not receive the same results. I would recommend this course in a heartbeat based on the way they approach the study material."
-- Mr. Welch, PE
Everything You Should Know About the PE Civil Exam
Typically, individuals seeking professional engineering licensure will have to follow several steps, including earning a four-year engineering degree, passing the FE exam, obtaining at least four years of experience in the field of engineering, and then passing the PE exam. Our Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Civil exam review course was designed to facilitate success on exam day. This exam is the final step for individuals who have already passed their FE Civil exam as well as obtained their EIT certificate.
Before Taking the Exam
Before they can take the PE Civil exam, licensure candidates will need to fulfill several requirements. Although each state may have different requirements, they generally will all follow a similar pattern. Individuals will need to earn a four-year degree from an ABET-accredited university, take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Civil exam, earn at least four years of experience in the field of engineering, pass a background check, and submit a report detailing their work experience. Because each state has different eligibility requirements, we suggest you check with your state board to ensure you are fulfilling them properly.
PE Civil Exam Fees
To take the PE Civil exam, exam candidates will need to pay $375 to NCEES. Each state may have different registration procedures , so be sure to check with your state licensing board in case there are separate applications or fees required to register.
The PE Civil exam is designed to gauge an individual’s competency in civil engineering. This exam is computer-based and administered at NCEES-approved Pearson VUE testing centers year-round. Including both multiple-choice questions and alternative item types (AITs) , it uses the International System of units (SI) and the US Customary System (USCS).
Materials and Resources
On exam day, individuals will receive a virtual version of the only reference material that can be used during the exam, the NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook. A free copy of the PE Civil Reference Handbook is available for download through the student’s MyNCEES account. They can also download the free NCEES Examinee Guide to learn more specific details of what to expect on the day of the PE Civil exam.
After the Exam
After taking a computer-based exam, results will typically be available 7-10 days later. NCEES will send an email to each candidate with instructions on how to see results through their MyNCEES account. More information about how NCEES scores exams can be found here. Please see NCEES’ website for further details about engineering exams.
PE Civil Exam FAQs
What exactly is the PE Civil Exam?
According to NCEES, the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Civil exam tests for a minimum level of competency in civil engineering. It is designed for engineers who have gained a minimum of four years’ post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline.
How long does the PE Civil Exam last?
The exam appointment time is nine hours and includes a two-minute nondisclosure agreement, an eight-minute tutorial, an eight-hour exam, and a fifty-minute scheduled break.
Is there an open-book exam for the PE Civil Exam?
Although in the past exam takers would be allowed to bring in their properly bound exam reference materials, the open-book exam is no longer offered for PE Civil exams. All PE Civil exams have been transitioned to the CBT exam format.
What is the format of the PE Civil Exam?
The PE Civil exam includes multiple-choice questions as well as alternative item types (AITs)—which include but are not limited to:
- Multiple correct—allow examinees to select multiple answers
- Point and click—require examinees to click on part of a graphic to answer
- Fill in the blank—provide a space for examinees to enter a response to the question
- Drag and drop—require examinees to click on and drag items to match, sort, rank, or label
What Is the Civil PE Exam Pass Rate?
As of December 2021
- PE Civil: Construction—53%
- PE Civil: Geotechnical—54%
- PE Civil: Structural—62%
- PE Civil: Transportation—63%
- PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental—67%
Pass rates from NCEES website.
What is the salary of a Civil Engineer Pe?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a licensed civil engineer is $88,050.
Why is the PE Civil license so important?
Obtaining your PE Civil license is important in many ways. A PE license gives you credibility, boosts your reputation, provides the legal ability to design plans and stamp documents, increases your career value, and more. In general, a PE license not only makes you a more valuable engineer but will also help you stand out to employers.
How do I register for the PE Civil exam?
The registration process can vary between states, but most states will require you to apply to your state board for approval to sit for the exam. According to NCEES, once approved, you will be able to register with NCEES to schedule an exam. Examinees will be provided one attempt per testing window and no more than three attempts in a 12-month period. Examinees register and schedule appointments through their MyNCEES accounts. During the registration process, examinees select their exam location. Next, they are presented with a list of available exam dates. If examinees are not happy with the choices, they can browse through the available dates at other NCEES-approved test centers. NCEES’s official registration process:
- Review your licensing board's approval and registration process.
- Create a MyNCEES account.
- Register and pay for the exam.
- Receive authorization notification from NCEES to schedule an exam.
- Schedule the exam.
- Receive the appointment confirmation letter from Pearson VUE.
What are the recommended PE Civil Exam references and prep materials?
We recommend School of PE’s PE Civil exam review course and exam review guides, which have been designed with the help of subject-matter expert engineers and provide the content and tools you need to succeed. NCEES also generates helpful practice exams.
What will exam day look like?
NCEES computer-based exams are administered exclusively at approved Pearson VUE test centers. You will want to bring your appointment confirmation letter, an NCEES-approved calculator, a government-issued picture ID, and any pre-approved items. You will also want to arrive at the Pearson VUE test center 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment to check in. Once you arrive at the test center, you will be provided a copy of the NCEES CBT Exam Rules and Agreement to review and must sign it digitally. A Pearson VUE representative will check the items in your possession to make sure they are all allowed. Any unapproved items can be placed in a test center locker (if available). You will have a digital photo and palm vein scan taken to help verify your identity and protect the security of the exam. You will then be escorted into the testing area, where your identity will be verified once more. Your proctor will provide you with a reusable booklet and marker for scratch work and you will have a chance to ask them any additional questions. The proctor will then launch your exam.
What is the exam format?
According to NCEES, the exam is divided into two sections. You’ll be given the entire exam time at the beginning of the test. There are no individually timed sections, so manage your time accordingly. After you see approximately half of the questions, you will be prompted to review and then submit them. You will no longer have access to those questions after you submit them. You will then have the option of taking a scheduled break (see next section). Manage your time accordingly to ensure that you have plenty of time to complete the remaining questions.