Basic Requirements for Licensure
There are three basic categories of requirements that must be met for licensure: Education, Examinations and Experience.
You must have earned one of the following degrees or degree combinations:
1) An accredited degree, as described in subparagraphs A & B of this paragraph:
A) Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from an EAC/ABET accredited program in the United States or Board designated equivalents from Canada or Mexico, the Washington Accord, or the list of substantially equivalent as documented by ABET.
B) A Board-approved combination of a Bachelor's degree in one of the mathematical, physical, or engineering sciences and a graduate degree in engineering from a university with an EAC/ABET accredited undergraduate program in the same discipline of engineering.
2) A non-accredited degree as described in subparagraphs A & B of this paragraph:
A) Bachelor's degree in engineering technology from a TAC/ABET accredited program.
B) A Bachelor's or graduate degree in mathematical, physical, or engineering science approved by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.
All degrees or combination of degrees must have at least:
• 8 hours of math beyond trigonometry (courses such as calculus and differential equations), and
• 20 hours of engineering sciences (courses such as mechanics, thermodynamics, electrical & electronic circuits, materials science, transport phenomena, computer engineering, etc.)
All foreign degrees from countries other than those listed in 1)A) above must have a Foreign Credential Evaluation and must be translated into English.
All applicants for licensure must take and pass the Texas Ethics of Engineering examination. The Texas Ethics of Engineering Exam is an open book examination concerning the Texas Engineering Practice Act and the Board Rules, which should be completed and submitted with a license application. Applicants must also take and pass or qualify for waivers of two examinations - the National Council of Examiners for Engineering & Surveying (NCEES) Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination and the NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) examination.
The FE exam is administered by NCEES throughout the year.
The PE examination is an 8-hour test and is given twice a year at several locations in Texas (certain PE tests are given only once per year). The PE exam testing dates are scheduled for April and October. Individuals may register with NCEES to take the FE examination without submitting an application to the board. Applicants with appropriate experience must apply and get approval to take the PE exam.
You must meet the following experience requirements prior to application with the Board:
1. With an accredited engineering degree you must have a minimum of 4 years of active practice in engineering work, of a character satisfactory to the Board, indicating that you are competent to be placed in responsible charge of such work.
2. With a non-accredited degree you must have a minimum of 8 years of the same type of work required of those candidates with an accredited engineering degree.
Types of Experience
During your first few years of experience after graduation, it is imperative that you place an emphasis on gaining experience that is acceptable for licensing purposes. Failure to become licensed can severely limit your potential professional growth.
This experience must demonstrate a clear use of your engineering knowledge, engineering education, and engineering judgment to perform the task, be progressive, of an increasing standard of quality and responsibility in one dominant discipline. Although it is recommended that the engineering experience be obtained while working under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer, this is not a requirement for licensure.
Experience that is considered most acceptable for licensure purposes generally falls into one of two categories: design or analysis.
The most common type of acceptable experience is design. The common denominator in all design projects is the selection and use of recognized engineering principles and methodology to determine a solution to a problem. The final result of design work will almost always be details, plans, or specifications for use in creating a finished product.
The second common type of acceptable experience is analysis. Common features of analysis activities include the use of mathematical modeling and acceptable data collection techniques to assess a problem, and the act of making a learned recommendation based on analytical findings. An analysis activity will almost always result in a conclusive report or recommendation.
It should be noted here that many other types of activities would also be acceptable if your participation in those activities can be described in terms of design or analysis. By asking yourself if you can describe your activity in terms such as "I calculated..., I designed..., I analyzed..., I recommended...," you can almost assure yourself that you are describing design and analysis.
While gaining experience, it is equally critical that you document it in such a way that you can summarize it for the Board. As you go about your weekly tasks, you should keep a detailed diary of your activities: the starting and ending dates of the project(s) on which you worked, name and address of each employer, job title(s), the name, present addresses and phone numbers of the engineers and other persons with which you personally worked who can serve as a reference to substantiate your experience, identification of the project, the scope of the project, and the engineering activities that you personally performed.
This information will be transferred from your diary into a summary called the Supplementary Experience Record (SER) and will be submitted with your application for licensure. It should range from about 6 to 12 pages and adequately describe the engineering activities that you have performed for your entire engineering career, starting with the first engagement after graduation from college.
The SER is to be written in the first person describing in active engineering verbs the engineering work that you specifically designed, calculated, evaluated, analyzed, etc.
You are required to submit at least three (3) confidential reference statements which must be from currently licensed professional engineers who are familiar with the work you describe in your SER. (If you are applying for an original license and requesting an examination waiver you must submit five (5) references from currently licensed professional engineers [P.E.]). You select the references and they will verify the quality and scope of the work that you describe in your SER and will provide the Board with an assessment of your character and suitability for licensure on the Reference Statement Form. A professional engineer who is familiar with your work and not your supervisor will be acceptable as a reference. Professional engineers who have not worked with you may review and judge your documented experience and serve as a licensed engineer reference. Such review will be documented on the Reference Statement Form.
If not requesting exam waivers, three (3) references are required from currently licensed P.E.'s. If requesting exam waivers, then five (5) references are required from currently licensed P.E.'s. The professional engineers can be licensed in any jurisdiction. The P.E. references not licensed in Texas must provide a copy of their current pocket card or other documentation to verify an active license.
Board Rule §133.51(b) allows for a reference who did not work with the applicant to review and judge the SER. An applicant might ask any of the references that are familiar with the applicant to review and judge the experience. The reference shall mark the appropriate box on the reference Statement (Character and Review of SER only for Purpose of Reference Statement).
Follow the instructions on the back of the reference statement to request your reference statements. Send a signed copy of your SER to those references that will verify your engineering experience.