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CCEE, ITRE prep for big changes coming to PE Civil Exam in 2024

There are countless reasons why engineers decide to pursue a Professional Engineer License: increased credibility and authority, career advancement, increased earning potential, job security, professional development — the list goes on. 

At CCEE, our focus is prepping students and professionals for the future, including preparing graduates for the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam. The test, which was traditionally designed for engineers with a minimum of four years of post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline, has undergone many changes over the years — including a change in 2016 to remove the four-year experience requirement to take the exam. Starting in April of 2024, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is making a big update to PE Civil Exam Specifications to better test engineers on their specific discipline within civil engineering. 

While the test previously included sections based on the breadth of civil engineering knowledge topics, the test will now only focus on content related to the test taker’s discipline, whether that is construction, geotechnical, structural, transportation, or water resources, and environmental engineering. The five PE Civil Exams will include updated topic and subtopic question distribution and industry terminology. The goal is to better focus the exam on each individual engineer’s professional experience and evaluate the knowledge of specific disciplines. 

Some things will stay the same: The exams will still include 80 questions in eight hours, be computer-based, and be administered year-round at NCEES-approved test centers.

To help engineers prepare for the new changes and stay ahead of the curve, NC State’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) and CCEE have updated their PE Review Courses. The courses are taught primarily by CCEE alumni and faculty:

  • CCEE Teaching Professor Steve Welton teaches the topics on structural engineering 
  • Daniel Findley (BSCE 2005, MSCE 2006, Ph.D. 2011), CCEE adjunct professor and associate director of ITRE, and Chris Cunningham (BSCE 2002, MCE 2004), associate director of ITRE, are two instructors for the transportation track.
  • Mike Batten (BSCE 2008, MCE 2011) teaches the geotechnical track.
  • Russell Briggs (MSCE 1980) teaches the water resources track.
  • Erin Gallimore (MCE 2010) teaches the environmental track.
  • Kelly Marshall (MSCON 2010) teaches the construction and materials track.

The courses are offered in-person, live online, and self-paced online to accommodate working engineers’ schedules.

“The world of civil engineering is diverse and extensive; our PE exam review course helps focus participants on the topics that are most likely to appear on the exam and presents an exam strategy that will help them be successful,” Findley said. “As civil engineers our work is often specialized, so a review class can provide the structure to align your studying and preparation with the broader expanse of topics specified for your discipline’s exam.”