The Engineer in Training (EIT) exam, formally known as the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, is the first step in acquiring your Professional Engineer (PE) License. With the PE license and distinction, the Engineer becomes one of a select qualified group of Engineers who are afforded a number of exclusive benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to, the ability to stamp and seal drawings, owning their own Engineering Firm with their name associated with it, having access to a broader pool of vital positions (Engineer and Managerial), and an increased rate in salary. Getting to be distinguished as a PE requires one to pass the EIT exam and become an Engineer in Training, also known as an Engineering Intern.
The EIT exam is developed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The exam is taken over an 8 hour period and is broken up in to two independent testing sessions, morning and afternoon. In the morning, one will be asked to analyze 120 multiple choice questions from a wide range of engineering topics. This session’s content is the same for everyone sitting for the exam and tests the engineer’s overall knowledge of the engineering disciplines as a whole.
In the afternoon session, one of seven specific disciplines is chosen by the test taker to hone in on. At this time, another 60 multiple choice questions that are completely unrelated to the questions given in the morning session are analyzed. This session’s content is unique to each examinee and tests the engineer’s in depth knowledge of the specific discipline of choice.
The exam is administered by NCEES semi annually (April and October) and at specific locations throughout every state. The specific date of the tests are not universal but are defined by each State’s Board of Engineer. The EIT exam most commonly can be taken as early as your final year in College, sometimes in your Junior year, or as late as you so desire. It is typically easier to get the exam done as close to the point of graduating due to the knowledge of engineering topics being tested on is fresh. However, this is not required and many individuals have taken and passed the exam with flying colors after being far removed from college. The EIT exam is a closed book exam but the test taker will be provided with a NCEES reference book that has a wide range of engineering information, including but not limited to commonly used equations, unit conversions, and miscellaneous engineering tables.