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PE vs EIT: What’s the Difference?

By January 25, 2023No Comments3 min read

This week, we spun the Wheel of Certifications and landed on “Professional Engineer”!  Join us to take a look at the differences between a professional engineer and an engineer-in-training.  Stay tuned as we keep spinning the wheel over the upcoming months!

What’s the Difference Between an EIT and a PE

Upon graduating from an accredited engineering program and finding employment in the field, someone may be given the title of associate engineer or junior engineer, depending on the company.  From there, they may take different paths to certification, including becoming and EIT or a PE.

What is an Engineer-In-Training (EIT)?

An Engineer-In-Training (EIT) is an individual who has completed at least 3 years of college in an engineering program and has passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.  Engineers-in-training may perform some engineering work under the supervision of a Professional Engineer (PE).

Most EITs will perform common engineering tasks with different difficulty levels in order to practice their skills and learn various processes.  These tasks may include gathering data and performing research and using that data to compile reports, traveling to project sites, attending workshops, and communicating with senior staff members for advice and information.

What is a Professional Engineer (PE)?

A Professional Engineer (PE) is an engineer who has gained the experience (usually 4 years) and met the requirements mandated by each state, and has passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam specific to their engineering discipline.  This is a big accomplishment!  Many PEs are licensed in multiple states and they must maintain and improve their skills by fulfilling continuing education requirements, depending on the state(s) they are licensed in.

An advantage to becoming a licensed PE is that it offers the engineer broader career options.  PEs have demonstrated that they will bring credibility, dependability and competence, to all their projects, and are obligated to do so.  Also, only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign, seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or to seal engineering work for public and private clients.

Fun Fact:  100 years ago, anyone could call themselves an engineer, without proof or adherence to a common standard.  In 1907, the state of Wyoming enacted the first engineering licensure law, to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.  Every state now regulates the practice of engineering by granting PEs the authority to sign and seal engineering plans.

Out of Encorus Group’s engineering design staff of 32 engineers, architects, drafters, and project managers, 15 are PEs and 3 are EITs!  Their disciplines include mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, fire protection, and process / chemical.  If our team can help yours, give Tom Gilmartin, PE, a call at 716.592.3980, ext. 124.