California Engineer-in-Training Certification

Under California law, certification as an Engineer-in-Training is the first step toward becoming a licensed Professional Engineer.

Requirements for Licensure

Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification applicants must have:

  • Three years or more of postsecondary (college-level) engineering education.
  • OR three years or more of engineering-related work experience.
  • OR a combination of postsecondary (college-level) engineering education and engineering-related work experience totaling three years.
  • AND Previously passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam.

Application Process

The Engineer-in-Training application process for California is new as of the October 2012 examination.  New candidates now apply to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam directly through NCEES (the FE exam author and administrator). To earn the Engineer-in-Training certification, each applicant must register for the Fundamentals examination on the NCEES website (navigate to https://app.ncees.org/emsLogin/ to begin the registration process).  pay the NCEES examination fee, which is $125 at the time of this writing, and sit for the Fundamentals examination. Examinees who pass the examination then apply to the Board of Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists, and pay the application fee of $50.00 (at the time of this writing) to be issued a certificate as an Engineer-in-Training.

Exam Exemptions

Individuals who’ve completed one of the following are exempt from taking the Fundamentals of Engineering exam:

  • Taken and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in another state
  • Obtained a BS degree in engineering from an ABET accredited program and completed 15 years of qualifying work experience
  • Obtained a BS and a Masters degree in engineering from an ABET accredited program and completed 14 years of qualifying work experience
  • Obtained a BS degree in engineering technology from an ABET accredited program and completed 17 years of qualifying work experience
  • Obtained a BS degree in engineering technology and a Masters degree in engineering from an ABET accredited program and completed 16 years of qualifying work experience
  • Obtained a BS degree in engineering from a non-ABET accredited program and completed 17 years of qualifying work experience
  • Obtained a BS degree in engineering from a non-ABET accredited program and a Masters degree in engineering from an ABET accredited program and completed 16 years of qualifying work experience
Further elaboration on the above mentioned exemptions may be found on page 3 of the pdf document at http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/faq_eng.pdf.

License by Comity

If the applicant has passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in another state, the applicant will not be required to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam a second time, provided the exam was an 8-hour written EIT/FE exam. Proof of taking and passing this examination must be verifiable by the appropriate state’s Engineering Board.

Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Details

Designed for students who are within one year of completing their undergraduate degree in engineering, the Fundamentals of Engineering exam is typically the first step in becoming fully licensed as a Professional Engineer. A 4 hour general morning session, and a 4 hour discipline specific afternoon session constitute the 8 hour, multiple choice exam.  All examinees are  required to take the same morning exam, which tests basic math, science and engineering knowledge typically obtained in the first 2 years of an ABET accredited engineering program.    The afternoon portion of the exam tests engineering discipline specific knowledge typically gained in the first 3 years of an ABET accredited program.  Examinees choose 1 of the following 7 modules for the afternoon portion of the exam (click on the link for exam details) :

The FE exam is closed book, and each examinee will be given a reference manual on exam day.  A copy of this manual may be purchased at http://www.ncees.org/Exams/Study_materials.php?exam=FE&product=1R   for review prior to exam day.

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education is not required for those holding an Engineer-in-Training certification.

License Renewal

The Engineer-in-Training certification does not expire, and is not subject to renewal.