Alabama does not distinguish between a Civil Professional Engineer and a Structural Engineer. As a licensed Civil PE, an individual may engage in structural engineering work without additional licensing.
Requirements for Licensure
There are 7 paths to licensure as a Professional Engineer in the state of Alabama:
- a 4 Year ABET accredited engineering degree plus 4 years of relevant work experience.
- OR a 4 year unaccredited engineering degree plus 6 years relevant work experience.
- OR a 4 year TAC engineering technology degree with an ABET accredited MS engineering degree plus 6 years relevant work experience.
- ORa 4 year related science degree with an ABET accredited MS engineering degree plus 6 years relevant work experience.
- ORa 4 year TAC engineering technology degree plus 8 years relevant work experience (if originally licensed as a Professional Engineer in another state prior to December 31, 2005).
- ORa 4 year related science degree including 32 semester hours or 48 quarter hours combined math and basic science plus 8 years relevant work experience (if originally licensed as a Professional Engineer in another state prior to December 31, 2005).
- ORNo degree and 8 years of relevant work experience (if originally licensed as a Professional Engineer in another state prior to December 31, 1992).
- AND Previously passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam.
- AND Passed the NCEES Professional Engineering exam.
For more detailed information on qualification requirements refer to the Board.
The application process involves 4 steps:
- Complete the Pre-Application formto determine your eligibility for PE licensure.
- Submit the Alabama PE applicationto the board with the appropriate fee.
- Once the application is accepted, register for the national 8 hour PE exam through NCEESand pay the appropriate fee. Instructions will be provided once the initial application to the board is accepted.
- Within 30 days of passing the PE exam, pay the $25.00 licensure fee.
The application is the most time consuming, and it’s important to keep filing dates in mind when applying. Explicitly follow these steps to ensure your application to the board is complete and processed in a timely manner.
- Select 5 references and contact them immediately to verify they’re comfortable serving as your reference. Three of these references must be licensed professional engineers with personal knowledge of your engineering experience. The PE supervisors used to verify employment may also serve as references.
- Complete the 6 page Civil PE application.
- Mail the Reference Formto each of your references. Include a self addressed stamped envelope and instructions to have the reference stamp and sign over the envelope seal once the reference form is complete (reference forms will not be accepted without this stamp and signature). The references must return these completed and sealed forms to you for inclusion with the application.
- Mail the Experience Verification Formto each PE licensed supervisor verifying employment. The verifying engineer must have been licensed prior to the time period being verified. Include a self addressed stamped envelope and instructions to have the reference stamp and sign over the envelope seal once the employment verification form is complete (experience verification forms will not be accepted without this stamp and signature). The supervisors verifying experience must return these completed and sealed forms to you for inclusion with the application.
- If a supervisor was not licensed as a professional engineer during the time period being verified, he or she must submit a Background Information on Endorser form which must be included with the experience verification form.
- Order certified sealed college transcripts to be sent directly to the board.
- If you’re applying by comity, or took the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in a different state, submit the verification of registrationform to the jurisdictions for which you’re already licensed.
- Submit the application, along with the 5 sealed reference forms and the sealed experience verification forms to the State of Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, with a $50.00 check made payable to PE & LS Fund (If applying by comity, this check should be $75.00).
Your total fee for applying for your Alabama PE license amounts to $340.00.
License by Comity
If the applicant has passed the PE exam, and is a licensed professional engineer in another state, he or she may apply for an Alabama professional engineering license by comity, following the same process outlined in the Application Process. The application fee is $75.00, and includes both the application fee and licensure fee.
To simplify the application process, Alabama accepts the NCEES record.
PE Exam Details
The Professional Engineering exam is typically the last step in become a fully licensed professional engineer. Refer to the NCEES exam schedule for upcoming exam dates. This exam is targeted for an engineer with 4 or more years of engineering experience after college graduation. During exam registration each examinee must choose from one of the following modules for the afternoon portion of the exam:
The exam is an 8 hour breadth and depth multiple choice exam. The 4 hour morning session is a 40 question breadth exam equally covering each of the above listed modules. The 4 hour afternoon session is a 40 question depth exam covering only the module selected during registration. This exam is open book, and the examinee is allowed to bring any reference to the exam provided it is bound, and stays bound throughout the test. Loose papers bound by a 3 ring binder, or other device, are acceptable.
Refer to the calculator policy for a list of approved calculators for this exam.
Continuing Education Requirements
Alabama requires continuing professional competency to help safeguard life, health, and property, and to promote public welfare. To demonstrate continuing professional competency, the licensed engineer must earn 15 Professional Development Hours (PDH) per annual renewal period or 30 PDH per biennial renewal period.
Continuing professional activities which satisfy the professional development requirements are as follows (provided these activities are relevant to the practice of engineering or land surveying):
- Successfully completing or auditing college or university sponsored courses.
- Successfully completing courses which are awarded continuing education units (CEU).
- Successfully completing tutorials, televised courses, short courses, correspondence courses, or videotaped courses.
- Attending seminars, in-house programs, workshops, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences.
- Teaching, presenting, or instructing in any of the above mentioned courses.
- Authoring published papers, articles, books, or accepted licensing examination items.
- Receiving a Unites States patent.
The board does not preapprove any Continuing Professional Competency activities. It is the responsibility of each licensee to determine if the claimed PDH meets these requirements.
Continuing Professional Competency activities must meet the following criteria:
- There is a clear purpose and objective for each activity which will maintain, improve, or expand skills and knowledge obtained prior to initial licensure or to develop new and relevant skills and knowledge.
- The content of each presentation is well organized and presented in a sequential manner.
- There is evidence of preplanning which should include the opportunity for input by the target group to be served.
- The presentation will be made by persons who are well qualified by education or experience.
- There is a provision for individual participant registration which will include information required for record keeping and reporting.
The conversion to PDH from other units is as follows:
- 1 University semester hour = 45 PDH
- 1 Audited university semester hour = 15 PDH
- 1 University quarter hour = 30 PDH
- 1 Audited university quarter hour = 10 PDH
- 1 Continuing education unit (CEU) = 10 PDH
- 1 Hour of acceptable professional development = 1 PDH
- Authorship of papers, articles, or books = preparation time (not to exceed 10 PDH) – Cannot be claimed until published
- Receipt of a US patent = preparation time (not to exceed 10 PDH)
- Teaching or instructing qualifying courses or seminars, or making presentations at technical meetings, earns PDH at twice that of participants.
The board does not encourage correspondence, video, audio, or online courses. PDH for these courses may be acceptable if the licensee can demonstrate high quality education from the course, if requested. These courses must require the participant to show evidence of achievement and completion and/or a final graded test.
The board does not accept self study, repetitive teaching, service club meetings, equipment demonstrations, or membership on Boards or Committees.
The licensee may carryover a maximum of 15 PDH into the next renewal period whether on an annual or biennial renewal cycle.
Continuing Professional Competency Exemptions:
licensees may be exempt from the continuing professional competency requirements for one of the following reasons:
- A non-career military licensee serving on active duty for a minimum of 120 consecutive days in a calendar year.
- A licensee employed as a professional engineer assigned to duty outside of the US for a minimum of 120 consecutive days in a calendar year.
- A licensee who has experienced serious illness or injury of a nature and duration which has prohibited completing the continuing professional competency requirements. To claim this exemption, a letter from a physician must be supplied to the board.
- Licensees who list their occupation as retired or inactive on the renewal form, and who certify they are not currently practicing engineering. To reinstate a retired or inactive license, licensees must accrue PDH for each year exempted (not to exceed 2 years).
New licensees are awarded 15 PDH toward their first renewal.
It is the licensees responsibility to maintain continuing education records. At minimum, these records must include a log showing the type of activity claimed, sponsoring organization, location, duration, instructor’s or speaker’s name, and PDH credits earned. Records must also include attendance verification in the form of completion certificates, signed attendance receipts, paid receipts, a copy of a listing of attendees signed by the sponsoring organization, or other proof of attendance. These records must be maintained for a period of 4 years, and copies must be furnished to the board, if requested for auditing purposes. Alabama provides on online continuing education activity log for your convenience.
The license renewal period is 1 year in the state of Alabama, and licenses expire on December 31st. License renewal notices will be sent out on October 15th. The yearly PE license renewal fee is $45.00. Lapsed licenses are subject to a reinstatement fee which includes the renewal fee. For licenses lapsed 1 year or less, this fee is $295.00. This fee increases yearly, and is $345.00 for 2 years, $395.00 for 3 years, and $445.00 for 4 years. If the license is not renewed within 4 years from expiration, it is considered expired and a new application must be submitted for licensure.
License renewals may be submitted in one of two ways, online renewal or paper renewal. The board provides renewal instructions for the paper renewal form. It is recommended that the licensee use the online continuing education activity log along with the online renewal form to automate the tracking of your continuing education. Using this method of renewal will automatically calculate the PDH carryover allowance for you.