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PROCESS OF LICENSING:  Ever wonder what an Engineer goes through in order to get Licensed as a professional Engineer (PE)?  According to the mission statement of the California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, "The mission of the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors is to safeguard the life, health, property, and public welfare by regulating the practice of professional engineering and professional land surveying."

In the United States, to get Licensed as a professional engineer there are a several requirements:

[1] Educational; [2] Residency; [3] Qualifying Experience, [4] Examinations & [5] Professional Development and Education:   These policies vary from state to state.  In general the process is as follows:

  • Obtain a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from an accredited college

  • Pass the 8 hour FE/EIT (Fundamentals of Engineering/Engineering in Training) Examination

  • Obtain the required number of years of design experience under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer called "qualifying experience" in ones chosen design field (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, etc.)


  • Pass the 8 to 12 hour PE Examination and any other examinations required by the state.

  • Pay the periodic state licensing fee and the renewal fees on time. 

  • Most states require continuing professional development and education in order for an engineer to renew their license.


  • After obtaining a PE license in Civil Engineering, one needs to have the required experience under the supervision of another SE and then pass another sixteen hour examination.

  • Only persons who are granted the authority by the state are legally permitted to use the title "Structural Engineer" or "SE" in California

For more information on licensing, please visit these sites:

California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

National Society of Professional Engineers - NSPE   - A good source of information for Engineers and for Licensing.

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES): NCEES is a national non-profit organization composed of engineering and land surveying licensing boards representing all U.S. states and territories.

Professional Publications - Has a good message board where you can get many of your questions answered regarding licensing.  Also this website has links to various state rules and regulations.

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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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