The ROI of a PE License: Is it worth it?

by Modis on August 21, 2018

PE LicenseWhen engineers have advanced to a certain level in their career, they may find they have to decide whether it’s worth investing the considerable amount of time, money and effort that’s needed to obtain their Professional Engineer license.

Beyond the specific career benefits which we look at below, it’s been proven that people who are lifelong learners are happier in their jobs and are also more emotionally resilient. This article from Harvard Business Review outlines the health, wealth and social benefits of continually learning and developing, which include better salaries, warding off cognitive decline and lowering stress levels.

But there’s no getting around the fact that PE licenses are hard work; you need to complete a four-year degree program, learn for four years under a qualified PE and pass two additional exams in order to get one in the first place. Plus you must commit to ongoing education in order to maintain your license.

But if you do choose to embark on earning your PE license, chances are you’ll be happier, better paid, and more respected in your chosen line of work. Here are some of the benefits we found.

PE’s get better job prospects.

You’ll be more likely to advance quickly through the ranks as the best companies want to employ committed, professional and skilled people. Having a PE license will demonstrate that you’re willing to invest the time and effort needed to improve your skills in your chosen career.

According to the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) “…employers look to licensure in evaluating the advancement potential of employees.” And that they find PE-licensed employees to be “…more dedicated, with enhanced leadership and management skills.”

With this comes more financial security and in their Engineering Income and Salary Survey, the NSPE found that, on average, licensed engineers earned $5,000 more a year than non-licensed professionals.

You’ll get to work on more interesting projects.

Not only will your career advance more quickly, you’ll get to pick the best projects. A quick glance at the roles advertised across the country indicates the majority of the complex and challenging positions all specify they are looking for PE-licensed candidates.

As the challenges we face around environmental sustainability, fast urbanization and population growth increase, these include jobs such as senior electrical engineers in charge of teams looking at how to provide more energy efficient lighting for our cities. Or Senior Mechanical Engineers working on creating buildings that meet ever more stringent health, safety and environmental requirements, while making use of the latest innovations to do so.

And if that wasn’t enough motivation to get licensed, the NSPE also said: “By combining their specialized skills with their high standards for ethics and quality assurance, PEs help make us healthier, keep us safer and allow all of us to live better lives than ever before.”

You’ll likely experience better job satisfaction.

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany found the factors that have the most impact on improving job satisfaction are increased responsibility and recognition. With a PE license comes both of these things.

PE’s can help develop other PEs of the future.

Many PE-licensed engineers go on to teach and train the next generation of engineers. This can be within a job in industry but if you think that one day you might like to pursue a career in engineering education, then it’s a legal requirement in many states that only licensed engineers can do so.

Becoming a trainer within your job at work will also make you even more invaluable to your employers, meaning your job security and prospects become even better all over again.

These are just a few of the many benefits that a PE license can bring you at work and at home by improving your overall wellbeing and financial security. Find out more about how to get licensed here and take the first steps in improving your advancement prospects and job satisfaction in your engineering career.

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