Poll: To PE or not to PE, That is the Question

  • I have my PE license
  • I do not have a PE license, and have no plans to get one
  • I am working toward/plan on getting my PE license

0 voters

I wonder sometimes if my impression is correct on this.

Here on SE and the ET forum I often feel like I am in a vast minority not having a PE license. It sometimes makes me feel like a bit of a schlub, but then again, my career has never called for it.

So I’m curious what the actual numbers of members are who do and do not hold PE licenses are.

I’ve been registered for nearly 50 years… and still actively practice.


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I think it will depend a lot on jurisdiction.

In Canada, anyone working as an engineer is required to have their P.Eng. (PE) or work under the close supervision of a P.Eng. who takes responsibility for their work, so almost all practicing engineers get their P.Eng. Canada doesn’t have the exemptions that exist in the USA.

In the USA, it seems like a lot of those who aren’t required to get their PE don’t bother.

In some other jurisdictions (including Germany), there is no PE license required or available.


@jmec87, I hadn’t heard of the Canadian regulations you mentioned. I’ve always worked within areas where industrial exemption applied. I see that Canada does not allow industrial exemptions; so yes, that would definitely play into the decision for those in Canada.

I’m also now considering this question having taken a position in an engineering firm. My boss is a ChemE PE but I don’t think I’ve seen/heard him discuss stamping anything. I don’t really know what he’d stamp…P&IDs? Heat and mass balance spreadsheets that I print out? He does talk about going to jail a lot as a consequence of project managers messing up small details of his design…I’m pretty sure he’s usually kidding.

I wouldn’t feel like a schlub about it though - whether or not I get my PE, I’m going to make sure my knowledge/skills are the best they can be.

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In most jurisdictions in Canada, in order to use the term engineer related to the type of work you do, you have to be a registered professional engineer. Microsoft was taken to task on this for their use of software engineer.

Engineering… the oldest profession. The wheel came before the whore.


Took the EIT test in school, never did the PE exam. I was sucked into automation and controls for an OEM. Not much use for a PE, but I did add a lot of pnuematics and hydraulics knowledge to my EE degree base. :blush:

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We don’t licence engineers in the UK. I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer and Chartered Marine Engineer.

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I passed the EIT over 40 years ago. Graduated with a BS ChE on Saturday and went to work for a Chemical MegaCorp two states away on Monday.

That Monday I asked if a PE was required and they said it was not. For the last 40 years I have been bought by two other Chemical MegaCorps and there really has been no need to have a PE. Maybe this is typical for a ChE.

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[quote=“Latexman, post:9, topic:1086, full:true”]
I passed the EIT over 40 years ago. Graduated with a BS ChE on Saturday and went to work for a Chemical MegaCorp two states away on Monday.[/quote]

Almost did you one better… my wife and I were married on a Wednesday… Other than the office receptionist, no one knew; she was the matron of honour. Found out on Thursday the company wanted me in Toronto… We packed all our belongings, and our two children and flew out… I started work on Monday.



I was married then too. We also moved that weekend.

Got my PE in ‘79 and SE in ‘81, so 50 years for me too. 58 for my FE.

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a little different… I just got married the day before they wanted me to move. The company didn’t know that I wasn’t single.


I draw the comparison of the engineering licensure process to that of the accountant who does not have a need to be a certified public accountant (CPA). Now a physician, that is another realm entirely!

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Welcome to the group… slowly adding membership. Good things generally take time.

I don’t know how it is with other professions, but, professional engineering membership, IMHO, is a a bit of a joke. Their actions are often not in keeping with the interests of the profession. They use the argument that they don’t have to… they’re a regulating body.



Thanks so far for the responses. It seems with the polls results so far, my occasional feelings of being in a “vast minority” of non-licensed PEs was unfounded.

Also, as I wrote this post, it struck me that the phrase “vast minority” is an oxymoron. My usage of it doesn’t even fit Urban Dictionary’s definition:

vast minority

an isolated incident or individual that identifies or seems to identify an entire group

Guess I’ll have to stop using it.

I have been a member of my association from about 1956 until 2019. I became a Life Member when I retired in 2008 and ceased to practice engineering. I notified APEGA that I was terminating my membership in 2019.

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BAretired, just curious, why did you remain a life member for 11 years after retirement, and then why terminate this year?

jmec87, I was involved with committee work for my association before and after retirement. As my hearing deteriorated, I often had to ask people to repeat themselves at meetings. This became a major problem when listening to evidence at Discipline Committee hearings, so I decided it was best to part ways when an opportune moment arrived.

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