TIPS FOR THE PE EXAM FROM OUR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS

We join the National Society of Professional Engineers in celebrating Professional Engineers Day!
 

In our industry, acquiring a Professional Engineer license demonstrates that an engineer operates at a standard of high quality. With 116 licensed Professional Engineers that span experience, disciplines, and locations, McCormick Taylor’s dedicated and skilled staff uphold levels of quality and are committed to protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of our communities.

 

Read on to hear from some of our Professional Engineers on what it means to be licensed and receive tips on how to approach the exam.

Farzana Atique, PE, Transportation Engineer II, Newark, DE

 

 

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to take the PE Exam?

Study for at least six months for the exam. I stopped reviewing materials five days before the exam to let everything I had studied sink in.

 

Is there anyone who helped you become a PE that you'd like to give a shout out to?

I was a stay-at-home mom when I took the exam, but I got the chance to take it because of all the references that my co-workers and supervisors from McCormick Taylor had provided.

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Josh Jarmul, PE, Water Resources Engineer III,
Pittsburgh, PA

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to take the PE Exam?

Study, study, study. Make sure you know how to find equations and tables easily in the books and reference guides that you bring. Nothing worse than wasting a bunch of time looking for tables or equations. 

 

What inspired you to become a professional engineer?

I wanted to take ownership of a design. 

Jamie Kilner, PE, Water Resources Designer III,
Salisbury, MD

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to take the PE Exam?

The School of PE really helped me prepare and so did doing a lot of practice problems.

 

Is there anyone who helped you become a PE that you'd like to give a shout out to?

McCormick Taylor's Will Carpenter has been my fearless supervisor and mentor. He has taught me countless engineering skills and abilities. I continue to learn from him daily.

 

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Katrina Lawrence, PE, Associate Project Manager, Transportation Planning, Philadelphia, PA

How has the license benefitted your career?

It has benefitted my career in many ways! For example, I work in the communications and planning department, so having the initials next to my signature gives clients the added assurance that I understand the technical work that we present along with the communications and outreach aspects. 

 

What inspired you to become a professional engineer?

I was inspired by my father who is also a professional engineer in chemical engineering. He always loved his job and would explain the different projects he was working on. 

Eric Simmons, PE, Water Resources Engineer II,
Baltimore, MD

What does being a professional engineer mean to you?

It is a show of value and care about progressing further in the field and practice. It takes time and effort to fill out the paperwork, acquire references, study for the test, and sit for eight hours to take it. Even after passing, there is constant the upkeep of the license, which illustrates lifelong education in the field. 

 

Is there anyone who helped you become a PE that you'd like to give a shout out to?

Shout out to Amy Hribar for offering to be my primary reference, Lauren Havener for her old PE study notes, Andy McLean for dealing with my constant crabbiness leading up to the exam, Greg Adolph for the practice problems, and my work fam for the support and jokes along the way.

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Fannie Tao, PE, Structural Engineer II, Baltimore, MD

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to take the PE Exam?

Start studying early! When you start early (3-4 months out), you can study at a more comfortable pace and take your time learning the topics instead of just cramming in the last few weeks. The study courses (i.e., School of PE and EET) are expensive but helpful. The courses do a great job of organizing and teaching all of the exam material, a lot of which is from college or not directly related to your current work, and help you stay on schedule. Make sure to take lots of practice exams to get accustomed to the time and questions. 

Ashley Tracy, PE, PTOE, AICP, Senior Traffic Engineer, Pittsburgh, PA

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to take the PE Exam?

Start logging your project experience early. Getting past the application is the first hurdle.


What does being a professional engineer mean to you?

It means a responsibility to act ethically, put out solid work products, and keep public safety first and foremost in mind. 

 

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Dennis Wilson, PE, Associate Project Manager, Transportation Engineering, Philadelphia, PA

How has the license benefitted your career?

I think obtaining the license provides an additional level of credibility to the work you're doing, especially as a younger engineer. Adding that credential to the end of your name shows that while you may have less experience, you have the technical knowledge and skills to perform your job.

 

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to take the PE Exam?

Gather all of your reference materials first. Studying from them will make you that much more comfortable navigating them on the exam and will save you tons of time on test day.