Licensing & PE Exam


The engineering profession is regulated by licensing boards in each US state & territory. These licensing boards set high standards for professional engineers to protect the public.

If an engineer intends to practice fire protection engineering as a consultant, or work for a firm that requires a registered PE, it is wise to follow a path leading to the attainment of a professional engineering registration.

Also, employers value engineers who are licensed. Many employers require licensure for promotions and PE’s usually earn higher salaries.

Because FPE is related to public safety, state laws require that many engineering projects be overseen by a registered (licensed) professional engineer (PE’s). Professional engineer registration is awarded by the state registration boards based upon written examination, college education and professional experience.

There are two exams you must pass after graduating from engineering school and before becoming a licensed engineer. The first is the Fundamentals of Engineering exam or (FE). The second is the Professional Engineer or (PE) exam.

For more information about engineering licensure, visit the NCEES website.

PE Exam

The 2020 Fire Protection Engineering Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam is set for October 22, 2020.

The following is important information about the exam:

One of the most important steps a fire protection engineer can make early in his or her career, is to place themselves on a course to becoming licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE).

Professional licensing as a fire protection engineer brings many advantages. As an individual, the licensed fire protection engineer gets an important credential bringing recognition from the engineering community, better chances for professional advancement, and the potential for a higher salary. In most states, professional licensure is required by law to offer engineering services to the public. Employers of fire protection engineers benefit from having their employees licensed. It is not only a competitive advantage; it is tangible evidence that an engineer is competent in fire protection engineering. SFPE has a Position Statement on professional licensure. For more information about the benefits of engineering licensure and how to become a PE, visit

Educational Resources for the Fire Protection PE Examination

Taking the PE in 2020

The Fire Protection Professional Engineer examination is continuing as scheduled and will be administered on October 22, 2020. The Pearson Vue testing facilities are open following the local regulations for the test center location. Most of these facilities are operating near 50 percent capacity, which means seats are limited. Once you have been approved by your state board it is imperative to register for your testing seat as soon as possible.

SFPE, NCEES, and Pearson Vue are all aware that testing on October 22nd has limited seating availability. The best course of action is to contact NCEES directly through your “MyNCEES” account so they can track the issue and work towards solutions. If you are in a situation where you cannot get the test site you desire, there are waitlists and cancellations do occur regularly. NCEES has published the following:

“Please note that there are seats available for exams at testing centers. While they might be a couple of hours away, there is that option as well as being able to test in other states. Pearson VUE must operate in compliance with local guidelines and restrictions. Due to varying government restrictions, capacity has been reduced at many test centers to comply with social distancing requirements. Appointments may be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. NCEES is aware that this has caused scheduling issues for some candidates. NCEES is monitoring the situation and is working with Pearson VUE to evaluate other testing options. In the meantime, please continue to check for availability; there may be cancellations or additional appointments added to a test center’s calendar as capacity increases in some areas. NCEES will notify you if other testing options become available.”

For updates on testing and exam administration related to current global health thread visit: Approvals by state boards is handled individually and your specific board should be contacted if there are questions related to that process.

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