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PE or not PE

  • 1.  PE or not PE

    Posted 08-07-2018 16:23
    Hi Everybody,

    I have been working for 20 +years as a ChE and recently I am wondering whether I should get a PE license.

    So my questions are:
    1)  Do I need to take the FE or EIT exam first and then work with a PE for 5 years, then take the PE exam.
    2)  Or can I get my work experiences to exempt my FE test and the 5 years work experience requirement, and just take the PE exam.
    3)  Forget about PE license and get other license like PMP (Project Management Professional).
    4)  What is my fellow ChE think?

    Stuart Chan
    Southern Cal
    MS ChE

  • 2.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-08-2018 13:05
    It probably depends on the state. After 23 years, I took my FE and then the P.E. 6 months later in Louisiana.

    — Mike Clay —

  • 3.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-15-2018 23:10
    Thank you so much..

    Stuart Chan


  • 4.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-08-2018 15:53
    Hi Stuart,

    I'm pleased to hear that you are considering obtaining your PE, even belatedly.  Your post lists SoCal, so I presume it would be a California license.  Engineering is one of some 43 professions licensed in California by the Department of Consumer Affairs.  Unlike engineering, the PMP you mention has no legal status in California.

    As mentioned elsewhere, the requirements do vary somewhat from state-to-state.  You can find the California Engineers' Act in the Business and Professions Code, https://bpelsg.ca.gov.  Code Sections 6751, 6753 and 6755 should provide the information you are looking for.  If not, call their toll-free number.  Good luck.

    Emmett Miller, PE

    Emmett Miller PE, FAIChE
    Consulting Engineer
    Emmett R Miller, PE
    Lafayette CA

  • 5.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-15-2018 23:11
    Thank you so much..

    Stuart Chan


  • 6.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-09-2018 07:24
    ​Definitely check with your licensing office in your state of residence.

    You likely can take the P.E. without taking the F.E. based on experience; however, I am not familiar with CA requirements.

    In MD, my state of residence, I am eligible to take the exam this fall as I will have 12 years of experience (they count 4 for your degree).  I never took the F.E., but if I had, I could have taken the P.E. earlier in my career.

    Bob Katin offers a P.E. review course in the state of CA you may want to check out:

    ChE Principles, Professional Engineering, PE Exam - Katin Engineering Consulting
    Katinengineering remove preview
    ChE Principles, Professional Engineering, PE Exam - Katin Engineering Consulting
    Katin Engineering Consulting.
    View this on Katinengineering >

    Kevin Poff
    Chemical Engineer
    APG, MD

  • 7.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-09-2018 22:08
    I know the rules vary from state to state, but it is my understanding that even if you do have to take the FE, you don't have to wait 4 years (or 5 as you stated) to take the PE.  To my understanding, most states require 4 years of experience after completing the an ABET accredited bachelor degree program, 3 years after an MS in engineering, and 2 years post graduation experience if you have a PhD.

    As to whether you should is a more complicated question.  I would never discourage anyone who wants to be licensed PE.  However, if you are working in a manufacturing environment with no desire to ever work for a engineering design firm, or do any consulting, either through another firm or being self-employed, then I would not spend a lot of time trying to convince you to be licensed.  Disadvantages include license renewal fees, and the cost and hassles of meeting the continuing education requirements.  Not to mention the effort involved on preparing you PE application, which includes locating and getting references from previous supervisors, as well as the effort involved studying for the FE/PE exam(s).

    If you do want to do any consulting, I would highly recommend being licensed.  If you are not licensed, you can get into splitting hairs in determining what you are legally allowed to do.  In most stated, you can get into trouble for using the engineering title in a consulting role if you are not licensed.

    Arnold Harness PE
    Chemical Engineer
    High Plains Bioenergy
    Overland Park KS

  • 8.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-15-2018 23:13
    Thank you much.

    Stuart Chan
    S Cal

  • 9.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-10-2018 05:34
    Every state has their own licensing Board and unique application process and decision rules.

    From personal experience for applicants I wrote recommendations supporting their applications I know Idaho and North Carolina accepted 10+ years of work experience to allow the applicant to skip the FE exam and sit for the PE exam  (both passed and are now licensed PE's).   The one in Idaho was a PhD ChE who worked at the Idaho National Lab for several years and then became a faculty member at the University of Idaho and taught for 6+ years before applying to take the licensing exam.   The one in North Carolina was a BS EE who worked for about 15 years at the University of Idaho ChE Dept as a research associate and process control instructor before returning to his original home state to care for aging parents and join a consulting firm.

    Most states interpret the 4+ years of experience as doing engineering work under the supervision of a licensed PE (or at a company with an engineering license) after earning an ABET accreditted BS Engineering degree, a graduate degree counts as 1 year of experience regardless of how many years of graduate study and how many graduate degrees you have.   Once upon a time, decades ago, Idaho allowed an applicant to take both the FE and PE exam the same weekend (the PE on Friday and FE on Saturday); but now the FE must be passed ~6 months prior to applying top take the PE unless they waive the FE requirement.

    Check with the PE licensing Board in the state you want to become licensed in to find out their specific criteria and application process.

    David Drown PE
    Emeritus Professor
    University of Idaho
    Moscow ID

  • 10.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-15-2018 23:11
    Thank you so much

    Stuart Chan


  • 11.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-11-2018 08:08
    Edited by Gregory Alexander 08-11-2018 08:09
    I will not repeat the good advice already given, but I hope my own experience (based on advice I was given) is helpful.

    "The earlier the better. The longer you wait, the farther away you are from academic training and the more difficult it becomes. And you never know where your career might take you." In graduate school, a professor strenuously encouraged us to become PEs with this reasoning.  I followed his advice, becoming a PE in my state of residence at the time of my first post-graduate job, Missouri.  The renewal fees there are quite modest, and I have kept it current for these 30 years since, during subsequent moves to Minnesota, Belgium, and Illinois.

    What did it do for me in the corporate world? Not much, other than the surprise at Eastman, when they took the legally risk-averse decision of not allowing anybody without a PE license to put "Engineer" on a business card. This made many PhD Engineers there quite huffy. They might have rescinded the decision by now; I departed that company in 2004.

    Upon facing retirement and considering some possible consulting work, I pursued and gained license by comity in my current state of residence, so I am now a PE in MO and in IL. This situation does require
    - a number of PDU (professional development units) every 2 years
    - renewal fees in both states
    Renewal fees in IL are not so bad either.  I find the PDUs are a way of maintaining curiosity and knowledge about trends and new happenings in the field. You can rack up a lot of PDUs simply by attending AIChE and other meetings and by participating in various webinars on the AIChE site.

    I did consider pursuing the PMP certification, but was put off by the onerous application process. Several people advised me that with my experience, my PhD and my PE, the extra letters at the end of my name were probably not worth the bother to support my goals, even though a focus of my consulting work is in Project Management (especially as applied to New Product and Process Development). I might regret the decision not to pursue that; I now wish I had pursued it earlier. But then again - more PDU requirements.  And the consulting work in project management training and mentoring is so far is causing me to receive a C plus or D minus in retirement.  I think that the PE license does add credibility to my brand, balancing the practical with the academic PhD piece.

    I hope this helps.

    Gregory Alexander, PhD, PE
    Real World Quality Systems
    Crystal Lake IL

  • 12.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-11-2018 11:16
    Looks like you already have great answers on the "how", but less feedback on the "why".

    I worked for engineering companies for 43 years, and had my PE license for nearly 30. I used it exactly twice, both times for environmental permit documents. And the 2nd time barely counted, as the project was canceled the day after i signed.

    That being said, the license will:
    • Be a resume plus, increasing your employability
    • Allow you to work in states where a license is required to practice any engineering (North Carolina, for example)
    • Increase your value on a project where only certain documents need a PE stamp

    There have been several discussions in this forum on the value or need for a PE. My personal observation is that more jurisdictions are requiring it, on more and more types of documents. If you are in a position where it is not needed, and plan to stay there for the rest of your career, then it is nothing to be concerned about. But those are two large ifs.
    And if your current employer will reimburse you for the cost of getting and maintaining it, then I would not hesitate.

    Alexander Smith PE
    Littleton MA

  • 13.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 08-15-2018 23:15
    Thank you so much.

    Stuart Chan


  • 14.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-04-2018 12:23

    A Professor at the University of Minnesota, and a Fellow of the Institute, Dr Shri Ramaswamy, contacted me regarding my ChE PE course he saw mentioned in the AIChE blog.  He expressed interest in letting his students know.


    My name is Bob Katin.  I am a ChE PE in CA, a Fellow of the Institute, and have over 40 years of industrial experience.  I have seen opportunities for ChEs diminishing and industry move off shore.  To stay employed, I have changed industries from nuclear to chemical to petroleum to environmental.  Finally, I started my own small engineering firm, specializing in training. 


    How did I keep landing on my feet?  I think having my PE helped.  In my opinion, every engineering school should require their students to get their EIT, now known as FE, in order to graduate from college.  Just like the GRE, take the EIT/FE, just in case in the future, you may want to get your PE. 


    I believe that most ChEs will get their first job from a small company, possibly a mom and pop shop, possibly a start-up.  Why should they hire you?  Because you have one credential that the other candidates do not, an EIT/FE/PE.


    I believe that the day of joining a chemical company or a refinery or an engineering firm for life are long past.  I expect the average ChE will change jobs every few years to stay employed.  How are you going to find your next job?  Because you have one credential that the other candidates do not, an EIT/FE/PE.


    I believe that when you reach a magic age, perhaps forty, major firms believe they can hire two new ChE graduates for the price they are paying you.  Yeah, it may be true that you have more experience than the two new graduates, but the day of major firms being run by a ChE have passed.  Now major firms are run by lawyers or bean counters.  How are you going to find your next job, because you have one credential that the other candidates do not, an EIT/FE/PE.


    If you land a job with an environmental firm, for them to win jobs, they do it by credentials, telling prospective clients they have X staff members that have a PE.  To get ahead, they expect you will have a PE.


    If you land a job with an engineering firm, for them to win jobs, they do it by credentials, telling prospective clients they have X staff members that have a PE.  To get ahead, they expect you will have a PE.


    When you reach an age where your company for a bazillion years laid you off, and you do not feel ready to retire, what will you do?  Many ChEs decide to consult.  To do so requires you have your PE.


    You asked about taking the EIT/FE after being away from school for so many years.  In California, Board Rule 438(a)(3) says if you graduated with a BS in ChE from an ABET accredited school, after 15 years of experience, you may request a waiver and not take the EIT/FE.


    Finally, as Dr Ramaswamy wrote to me in his e-mail, the AIChE blog does mention that I offer a class to help ChEs pass the EIT/FE/PE.  A brochure regarding my class may be found at http://www.katinengineering.com/IS%20YOUR%20CAREER%20STUCK%20IN%20A%20RUT.pdf.  Please look at the testimonials http://www.katinengineering.com/testimonial.pdf from ChEs who have taken my class.  For more information regarding my class, please call me at (925) 755-1150, or send me an e-mail to bobkatin@katinengineering.com .  I have made PowerPoint presentations to AIChE Student Chapters regarding why students should get their EIT/FE/PE, should you be interested in a Student Chapter dinner meeting topic/speaker.

    Bob Katin, PE
    Katin Engineering Consulting
    Antioch, CA

  • 15.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-05-2018 16:07
    I agree with Bob that one of the best argument for getting one's PE is that you can never predict exactly what path your career will follow after you get your initial degree and that obtaining the PE is really just a form of career insurance. Also, it's best to get it early because it will never be easier. Bill Parrish and I advance this argument every tear at the Annual Student Conference to the undergrads who attend the workshop presented on the FE/PE process. This is a case of 'do as I say' and not 'do as I did' because I waited until more than a decade after receipt of my Ph.D. to take the EIT (FE) exam. I had to do a lot more work to prepare to take the exam and although I passed on my first try I'd not recommend delaying to anyone.

    Joseph Cramer PhD,PE,Fellowof
    Director Emeritus, Program Development
    Independent Consultant
    Hendersonville NC

  • 16.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-10-2018 12:39
    My advisor in college said to take the FE exam when offered my senior year in college.  Some reason I did and passed.  It was not until 34 years later that I took the PE exam and passed.  I did not need it until then, but I am glad I have it now.  The application process was worse than the test.

    Donald Naab PE
    Senior Consulting Technical Professional
    Wood PLC.
    Denver CO

  • 17.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-11-2018 04:33
    I would recommend the FE and the PE exams. One of the problems is that the chemical industry does not value the PE unless you are going to be the Chief Engineer or have significant public interactions where you would be responsible for design of a facility.
    However, given the nature of the chemical business in the US, lots of us will wind up working for consulting and private companies where the PE is more valuable.
    In my own case, I started out in the Civil field where a PE is a necessity. Shortly after that I went into the chemical industry and then ultimately into private consulting.  When you stamp something with your seal, it says that you are committed to the information and that it is accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief.  If I take the cynic's view of the PE license, it is a license to be sued for incompetence.  In 50 years of practice, I've never been sued.  Part of that reason is, I believe, that I value my license, and it's my ticket to business income, so I am cautious with what I stamp or certify.  Having a professional license does that to one.  Look at the PE as also a type of business license.  Whether or not you will incorporate as a consultant (I am an S Corp) you can operate as a sole practitioner with just the PE license.
    By the way, PE licenses are state specific.  One cannot practice, and certify plans, outside of a state in which you are licensed.  The National Council of Engineering Examiners can help with multiple state certifications.  Yes, it is a bother, but then you are in control of the design process, and I believe that means something.   You will also find that you need to maintain your licensing, by obtaining Continuing Education hours, or otherwise guaranteeing that you are current in your practice with the various state licensing boards every couple of years... but it is generally a self-certifying requirement. You will also find that maintaining at least one license is useful if you are going to get licensed in a neighboring state.
    What does it cost?  Anywhere from $50 to $325 per year.  I believe that Tennessee is currently the most expensive annual fee, and that's why I'm no longer licensed there-- because I wasn't developing business there and didn't need the expense.  New York is peculiar.  Several years ago, I voluntarily dropped my license in NY because the State imposed a requirement that one had to have continuing education hours which were only from organizations approved by the New York State Board. (A silly requirement!)  Outside educational groups would not be accepted for the process of renewal.  Plus they specified that a certain number of hours  had to be classroom hours.  At the time I was up for renewal, the classroom hours were only offered by companies in NY and not even AIChE hour were acceptable because of lack of registration.  I was not practicing in New York, and it was a business decision to relinquish my license, due to the expense and lack of work in NY.  I can renew my license at any time, but it's a bit of a hassle.
    So:  take the FE, and the PE.  It is a professional step which can be defining and useful in later life

    David Russell
    President, Global Environmental Operations, Inc.
    Lilburn GA

  • 18.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-11-2018 16:56
    I congratulate you on having little difficulty after 34 years of practice. The PE Exam Committee tries very hard to make the exam fair and one that a competent engineer should pass. I still strongly advise everyone to take both exams as early as possible.

    Joseph Cramer PhD,PE,Fellowof
    Director Emeritus, Program Development
    Independent Consultant
    Hendersonville NC

  • 19.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-11-2018 20:14
    I also agree with Bob. We never know where our chemical engineering education will lead us.
    When I was in my Junior year at Minnesota pursuing a BChE degree with a biochemical option, my processes professor advised me to take the EIT the next time it was available. It was the best career advice I ever received. Even without my senior classwork, I had enough flexibility in choosing questions to answer that I did quite well.  While  earning an MS in chemical engineering at UC-Davis, I was captivated by environmental issues and the biological processes used in the wastewater treatment. I took the Civil-Sanitary coursework while I was completing my Masters thesis and never looked back.
    My first job was with the State of California reviewing planning, design and construction documents. While studying for my Civil PE, I worked alongside engineers who were trying to pass their EIT on their third, fourth and fifth attempts. They had let too much time go by since undergraduate education and we're too rusty on the broad-range science and engineering topics they had studied so many years before but not practiced since they left school. Because I was working in the civil field, I only had to focus on the non-chemical engineering topics, e.g. surveying, earthquake, etc. for the PE.
    I worked in the wastewater industry for almost 40 years and continuously used my chemical engineering background, first with the CA state agency, then in consulting, and finally with a local metropolitan sewerage district. It turned out that I never used my stamp. But the enduring value of the PE was credibility... in testifying before the legislature on permitting, in presenting proposals for consulting contracts, in court as an expert witness, and in public presentations representing the sewerage district.
    I am giving the same advice my old professor gave me to my grandson who is beginning his Freshman year at Minnesota with an eye on chemical engineering in the medical field. Keep your options open by taking the EIT as soon as it is available following your Junior year. Even if you never take the PE exam, at least you haven't foreclosed on the future possibility.

    Peter McCarthy, Retired

  • 20.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-12-2018 11:20
    I obtained my PE as soon as possible, four years after I graduated.  The test was pretty easy to pass at that point because I still remembered most of my college work. In my case, working in a refinery as a process engineer doing design and operations troubleshooting I was still using my college text books on a daily basis so I did not study for the test at all and passed it without any problem.  However twenty years out, and especially if you are not using a wide range of your chemical engineering training in your job, it may prove fairly difficult to pass.  A major drawback is that usually the only other PE's you know to use as references are engineers at your workplace.  By using them you will alert them to the fact you are taking the test and they will likely check the results of the next testing cycle to see if you passed.  If you fail you may do irreparable damage to your reputation at your current job.  So consider that risk in making your decision.

    As to the value, it has very little in the industrial sector.  I retired early and do some consulting purely for entertainment and it does look nice on a consultant business card and for the expert witness work I do it is an absolute necessity.  But very few chemical engineers ever do that kind of consulting.

    Steven Cousins
    Executive Director
    Steven Cousins P.E. Consulting Engineer
    El Dorado AR

  • 21.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-13-2018 16:20
    Let me relate my own personal experience here.

    On advise from faculty, I took and passed my EIT/FE as senior.  Sound advise.  I have known others who waited for more than decade out who told me they more trouble passing the FE than they did the PE.

    Fast forward a dozen years and I find myself working for an engineering firm as control engineer.  Even though my work did not require a PE's stamp, they encouraged all their engineers to get one to enhance the company's resume.  So I decided to take mine and passed after extensive study.

    Fast forward a few more years, I am with a different employer who sold out to a bigger company and I found myself out of work due to a general force reduction.   That lasted tow days.  The client of the project I was on yelled so loud they hired me back on contract.  That was 1999 and I launched my new career and I discovered I like that side of the fence that I have remained self employed ever since.

    Initially I did not need my PE to get work as a contract labor.  I only needed a business licence and general liability insurance.   I maintained my PE to enhance my status.  Like many others on this thread I have not stamped a design in my career.  But, in recent years that has changed.  Some of my clients now require me to have a PE and Professional Liability insurance as well as general liability even though I will not stamp any design.

    If you strike out on you own, circumstances will dictate whether you are legally required to have a PE or not or if you will have to partner with someone who does.

    There are some down sides, included the cost of the license and cost of continuing education.  For some, this may be an issue, but for me its just a cost of doing business like my insurance.  I could make an argument for tangible reasons for having a PE, but I have gone on long enough.

    At the time I did not have to get a PE, but as my career veered in a direction I did not intend, I am glad I did.

    William Wagoner PE (VA)
    Wagoner Consulting
    Chesterfield VA

  • 22.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 10-06-2018 01:32
    Thanks a lot to share your experience, I will do the FE exam. I am a student of master in chemical engineering and I was thinking about the FE but 2 experienced engineers (working in refinery as process engineers) told me that it's not useful for chemical engineer. Yet, like you said, we never know the future.
    May I know if I need to graduate before taking FE?

    Kaledia Ouattara
    Student Master Chemical Eng.
    Lamar University
    Beaumont TX

  • 23.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 10-05-2018 18:33
    Early in my career I felt no need for a PE, but then circumstances changed and I began working at a consulting company. After a few years I was design and setting up projects that were stamped by a very junior civil PE. It was just a matter of time before I'd be pushed out because I lacked a PE. Too expensive to keep without one. I passed the PE test about 18 years out of school, very tough. I wish I had taken the test sooner. I've used it multiple times since, but more important, having a PE opened up opportunities for me to free lance and other job prospects.

    I know Bob Katin and I have met a number of his students. Some work at same company I'm at and I see they keep Bob's training materials on their bookshelf. They still use the notebooks they got during Bob's class. That says something. You learn a lot in his class and all of them (that I have met) think very highly of the training. It goes way beyond the PE. The class is great for real hands on application of chemical engineering.

    Diane Spencer PE
    Safety Analyst
    Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab

  • 24.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 10-06-2018 11:26

    Hi Diane, my experience varies from yours. I started my career in the oil patch in Calgary, Alberta. There, everyone who wants to work as an engineer must be a licensed PE, called a P.Eng. So, I wrote the exams after my stint as an EIT and became a P.Eng. My lucrative oil patch career allowed me to travel extensively and 20 years ago I met my future wife in south-central PA, moved there and settled down.

    Like you, I joined a consulting firm, where PE's were valued. I managed to get a PE from Delaware by reciprocity with Alberta, however in PA that is not possible. PA does not recognize the exams I wrote in Alberta. Staying married has allowed me no prospect of relocation. Job prospects for ChE's in south-central PA are slim at best, and ~25% of the postings require a PE in PA. I find myself 34 years out of school trying to decide if I should pursue a PE in PA.

    Peter Kabatek, PE, P.Eng.
    Chair, Susquehanna Local Section
    Harrisburg, PA

  • 25.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 10-06-2018 14:54

    I had the good fortune of being encouraged by my employer to become a PE in 1974 and have never regretted the decision.  Later, the PE has gotten me two jobs

    (CH2M Hill and Irwin Engineers).  Great decision.





    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  • 26.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 10-08-2018 15:36

    Like Diane, I did not become a PE until years after I was out of school. I took the tough route and why I tell the kids at the Annual Student Conference to 'di as I say and not as I did'. But I am so glad I did get my license that I would still recommend it to others who have waited many years (I was 48).

  • 27.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-18-2018 12:36
    Hi Stuart:
    I was advised by Monica Mellinger to respond to your email.
    I am 75+ retired, AIChE Fellow, originally born in India.

    You have already received valuable advice. I am only complementing what has already been said.
    I strongly advise to go for it. You will not regret it. The reasons are as follows.

    1) It prompts you to "Sharpen your tools" all the time.
    2) The Ethics exam will constantly remind you of objective scholasticism.
    3) If you have a non-European family name and/or you have an accent or you do not project the mainstream image, your opinion will be looked down upon without a PE. In this regard, please visit www.designandsafety.com and click on Das's Laws. Then read the 4th law.

    I have three books in this area. Please contact Kelly Lyons, Brightwood College, kelly.lyons@brightwoodsupport.com for the books.

    God bless you.

    Dilip Das

    Dilip Das [P.E., FAIChE]
    [Principal Engineer]
    [Kansas City] [MO]
    1(816) 400-3238
    Design And SafetyDesign And SafetyDesign And SafetyDesign And SafetyDesign And Safety

  • 28.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 09-24-2018 10:04
    Edited by Robert Snell 09-24-2018 10:13
    Hi Stuart --

    I have a PMP and i also got an MBA and JD beyond my Chem Eng. Deg. in Boston Mass.

    The first thing is to decide what you want to do:

    1. Technical career ladder
    2. Management career ladder

    For a technical career I recommend the PE. It adds credibility to your Chem. Eng. functional knowledge. You may also want to get advanced degrees in Chem. Eng. and perhaps a complimentary technical area of interest like computer science or some other accretive technical discipline.

    For the management track I would firstly recommend an MBA. The better brand, the more useful to your management career. Also,an MBA is much less rigorous than a Chem. Eng. degree. Believe me on that. I got an MBA at Wharton and it has helped my management/consulting career immensely. I have a PMP, but that is much less of an accomplishment than a PE. I don't have a PE but it is one thing I want to do when I have the time. I started to get it years ago but something came up just before the exam and I missed the window. Regardless of tech or management I think a PE is useful. And if you take it later in your career it really helps as a refresher and updater of your technical knowledge. It just helps your analytical thinking process. If you want to take a management/consulting track I recommend the PMP, as well as the PE. Keep in mind the PE will take about 8 weeks of prep whereas the PMP you can do in 1 week or so.

    In my hiring process for management consultants I would value the Chem. Eng. PE much above the PMP as a differentiator as it reflects a high level of competency in critical and rigorous thinking (best athlete). Much more than the PMP. The PMP demonstrates a minimum competency in project management.

    All the best,

    Bob Snell

    Managing Director
    The Quaker Group, Inc.
    The Woodlands TX

  • 29.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 10-08-2018 20:12

    Mr. Collins,

    I just read your reply to Ms. Spencer.  It appeared that you were recommending AGAINST taking the PE because a person holding a PE may be sued. 


    I concur, that might happen, however, I feel that is a low probability of occurrence. 


    Due to downsizing and company buyouts, I have not only changed jobs, but I have changed careers.  I have operated nuclear power plants, chemical plants, and refinery units; been project manager; been Chief Engineer for environmental firms; and have been General Manager for an Instrument and Electric Contractor.  I believe industry is downsizing and moving offshore.  The day of working for one manufacturer or one engineering firm for life is long past.  I believe the bulk of graduating ChEs will find work in start-ups and Mom & Pop shops.  I believe I have landed on my feet and was re-hired because I held one credential that the others did not; I had a PE. 


    I have had my PE since 1982.  I have never been sued.  People sue Deep Pockets.  I am not familiar with a lawsuit against a Fortune 500 Company that also listed an individual that held a PE.


    You mention that California is litigious.  If a lawsuit is made against an individual, I think an individual with a PE is just as likely to be sued as an individual without a PE.  I live in California.  The worse engineering disaster I have known in my lifetime was the 1989 earthquake that caused the collapse of the Bay Bridge, killing 42 people.  Guess what happened to the Civil Engineering PE who designed that bridge?  NOTHING.  His name was not even listed in the paper.


    If you want to get hired and stay employed, I recommend you get your PE. 


    Bob Katin, PE
    Katin Engineering Consulting
    Antioch, CA

  • 30.  RE: PE or not PE

    Posted 19 days ago
    Can anyone add any experience or information about obtaining the PE in PA? Any recommended training courses?

    Ted Heron
    Performance Assurance Engineer
    Primex Process Specialists
    Philadelphia PA