What Do I Have to Do to Become a Professional Engineer?

Future Professional Engineer Understanding the steps on how to become a professional engineer is important if you are thinking about making it your career. There are many colleges that offer engineering degrees and there are also many types of engineering degrees available.

You will want to take the time to decide which type of engineering is your passion or interest as soon as possible because the steps and requirements to become a professional engineer are different for each type of engineering.

Picking an Engineering Area of Interest

The first step in learning how to become a professional engineer is to pick your field of interest. With so many types of engineering degrees out there, how do you know which is right for you? Well, that really depends on your interests. Engineering is such an exciting field because you can study things like Aerospace, Electrical or even Petroleum engineering. There are also even more specialized fields involving agricultural or nano-engineering. Are you interested in structures, chemistry, physics, or electricity? Asking yourself these questions will help you decide which field you should pursue.

Enroll in an Engineering Degree at a College or University

Once you decide what area of engineering you want to study, you need to find a college or university that offers it. Some public colleges that offer engineering degrees are Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan. There are also many private colleges that offer various engineering degrees such as Harvey Mudd College and Bucknell University. Finally, you can also complete an engineering degree online at schools like DeVry University and Walden University.

Becoming a Professional Engineer: The Final Steps

After you graduate from an engineering program, you will be classified as an “engineer intern” upon completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Once that is completed, you must gain four years of experience in your field, usually studying under a professional engineer. Depending on what state you are in, you will then have to meet various qualifications and take another exam. Once this has all been completed, the final step to become an engineer is to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam in your state. Once you pass that, you will be a certified professional engineer; congratulations!

Sierra Martinez is a Marine Corps wife, mother of one and a writer. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communications and a focus in Public Relations.