Path to Licensure - Current EI


What to Know First

  • Graduates from a US-Based ABET accredited engineering program may apply to take the PE exam anytime after graduation.  In Illinois you do not need to complete your experience requirement prior to taking the exam.  (You do need to complete your experience prior to being licensed.)

  • Once you have graduated from your US-Based ABET accredited engineering program, you may take both the PE and FE at the same time, or even the PE before the FE (but most don't).  

  • While the FE exam is computer based, the PE Exam is not.

  • The PE exam is offered two times per year - in April and October.  See the NCEES site for scheduled dates.   NCEES and Continental Testing both have deadlines for registering, so pay close attention to those.

  • For details about exam format and disciplines offered, see the NCEES site.  

Apply for the Principles and Practice Exam (PE) through NCEES.


Locate your NCEES ID (or create one if you don't already have one), log in, and register apply for your examination part, discipline, and exam location.  

There will not be a fee through NCEES for the exam.  

Be sure to pay attention to the NCEES registration deadline - typically 6-8 weeks prior to the exam.

If you do not pass the first time, you must repeat the NCEES registration process.

Apply through Continental Testing for PE Exam (PE)


Once you have registered for the Exam through NCEES, you must also apply through the Illinois exam administration company, Continental Testing.   Be sure you have the 7-digit number you received from NCEES before you begin the Continental Testing registration.   Click here for the Continental Testing PE application page.  Be sure to review the Professional Engineer Examination Requirements document.

In addition to the online application, applicants must submit an official school transcript from an ABET-Accredited Engineering Program verifying either graduation OR a copy of your IILLINOIS Engineer Intern certificate in order to be scheduled for the exam.  The documents must be sent to:  Continental Testing Services, PO Box 100, LaGrange, IL  60525.  Electronic transcripts are not accepted. 

If you took the FE exam OUTSIDE of Illinois, you must also have the exam verifications sent to Illinois.  Verifications can be obtained at https://verify.ncees.org.   The form will be transmitted to the State.  You must request that the form be sent from the State to Continental Testing.   Requests may be made via email to FPR.PRFGROUP02@illinois.gov.  

You can monitor the status of the requests through the "Get Your Application Status and Grades" on the Continental Testing Professional Engineer Page.

Prepare for the PE Exam


Review the State References, Materials and Procedures for the Illinois Professional Engineering Examinations guide to know what to expect on exam day and what materials you can bring into the facility.  

The PE is a major exam.   Applicants should not expect to cram and do well.   Applicants are encouraged to take their time, develop a study plan.  Many tools exist to review. 

Gain Acceptable Experience  AND Document It


If you have your minimum 4 years (48 total working months) of approved experience, proceed to Step 5.

A minimum of 4 years of approved engineering experience is required before you may apply for your PE license. For the post part the clock for approved experience starts on commencement day.  Of course there are exceptions (qualified certified cooperative programs; full time employment and at least eight years as a part time student to earn your degree).    Master's degree and doctor's degree in engineering work may count in place of some experience as well.

Click here to review the Approved Experience section of the Illinois Administrative Code that outlines what is considered "Approved Experience".

All experience must be documented when you apply for your PE license.  ISPE advises that as you change positions, or your supervisor changes, you request your supervisor to complete the VE-PNG (verification of experience) form and mail it to you for your records.  DO NOT OPEN the envelope - leave it sealed.   This will be much easier than having to track down supervisors when you are ready to submit the forms. 

Apply for PE Registration


After successful completion of the PE Exam, and completing the requisite years of experience, you may now apply for official registration as a Professional Engineer (PE) with the State of Illinois!  Applicants will use the forms for Professional Engineer by Acceptance of Application.  

The forms can be a bit confusion.  Pages 3-6 of the PDF serve as instructions for completing the actual application found on pages 17-20 of the PDF.   Page 9 sums up the the requirements for Licensure - Acceptance of Examination.   Important items on the Actual Application:

  • Part I  A1. Profession Name = Professional Engineer.  2. Profession Code = 062  3. Licensure Method = Acceptance of Examination  4. Fee = $100.
  • You must answer the rest of Part I, Part II, and Part III.  (Even if submitting a copy of your NCEES record, you MUST fill this out.)
  • Part IV =  List any other licenses you may have (Land Surveyor, etc)  
  • Part V = This should at minimum include the FE and PE exams, and any other attempts prior to the successful passage.  
  • Part VI = Required
  • Part VII = You can skip - You have already completed the exam.
  • Parts VIII & IX = Required.

You must have each employer for whom you worked as part of your qualifiying experience complete a VE-PNG form.   If doing engineering work (required experience), a supervisor must be licensed unless exempt by statute (i.e. manufacturers' exemption).    The work is not exempt under Illinois law, and it is not being supervised by a PE, either it is not considered engineering work, or you are likely violating the PE Act.  

You must submit the CT-ENG form from each jurisdiction where an exam was passed.  If you passed the exam(s) in Illinois, you do not need to complete a CT-ENG for the Illinois Exam.