The EIT and the FE exam are the first steps toward becoming a Professional Engineer (PE). Fundamentals of Engineering is abbreviated as FE, and Engineer in Training is abbreviated as EIT. When a person passes the FE exam, he or she is designated as an EIT. The Principles and Practices (PP) exam comes after the FE and EIT exams. In order to become a PE, EITs must pass the PP exam.
The FE exam and the EIT program are open to certain graduates in the United States. To be eligible, students must have studied engineering or a related field of study, or be enrolled in an ABET-accredited degree program. More than 3,000 ABET programs can be found in 21 countries around the world. Individuals with engineering-related work experience may be eligible to take the FE exam and the EIT in some areas.
Circuits, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, and materials science are among the topics covered in the FE exam, which is held on the same day across the United States. The exam is eight hours long and is broken down into two four-hour sections. The questions are multiple choice, and test takers are given a reference book.
In the first half of the exam, there are 120 one-point questions. In the second half of the exam, students choose from seven specialized subject areas and answer 60 two-point questions. Chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, general, mechanical, and industrial engineering are examples of specialized subjects. There are a total of 240 points available on the exam.
Candidates must have completed three to four years of study or engineering-related work experience in order to complete and pass the FE exam. Typically, students in their final year in college in the United States apply to take the FE exam. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying administers this test, as well as EIT certification (NCEES).
Engineers can distinguish themselves passing the FE exam and earning the EIT title. A student who has completed an EIT is an engineer, but not yet fully qualified. For EITs, there are no formal training programs. Each will begin to gain experience under the supervision of one or more PEs. As a result, the EIT is more of a training program than a test.
An EIT must gain a certain amount of professional experience as an engineer before becoming a PE. The required experience varies, but it is usually eight years. Four of these years can be earned while in college, and two more can be earned while pursuing a Master’s or PhD. This leaves two years of practical experience on the job.
When an EIT has accumulated all of the required experience, he or she is eligible to take the Principles and Practice exam. In addition to experience, EITs must obtain several letters of recommendation, at least three of which must come from PEs, according to the NCEES. Although the PP exam is divided into two sections, the content and passing scores differ from state to state. The EIT becomes a fully qualified PE after passing this exam.