Engineering Licensure

“A century ago, anyone could work as an engineer without proof of competency. Now every state regulates the practice of engineering to ensure public safety by granting only (professional engineers) the authority to sign and seal engineering plans and offer their services to the public,” said Scott S. Haraburda, president of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers.

(The Journal Gazette, July 25, 2015, N. Kelly)

“Licensure as a professional engineer involves completing three main components, which are education, experience and examinations. Although no engineering experience is required, an individual must achieve at least senior status in an accredited engineering program before being eligible to apply to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Upon passing this FE exam, the individual is enrolled as an engineering intern and begins internship in the engineering profession” (

Why obtain your engineering license? “Licensure is the mark of a professional. It's a standard recognized by employers and their clients, by governments and by the public as an assurance of dedication, skill and quality. There are many powerful reasons both professional and personal for earning and maintaining a PE license. Only a licensed engineer, for instance, may prepare, sign, seal and submit engineering plans and drawings to an public authority for approval, or to seal engineering work for public and private clients. For consulting engineers and private practitioners, licensure is a virtual necessity. In fact, it is a legal requirement for those who are in responsible charge of work, be they principals or employees. More and more with each passing day, government agencies, educational institutions and private industries are requiring that they hire and contract only with licensed professional engineers. This is a trend that is almost certain to continue in the future. Today, no matter what career path a professional engineer chooses, a successful, ongoing career virtually requires PE licensure” (

“In the United States, engineers are licensed at the state level by professional licensing boards. Engineering boards confer the P.E. license when licensure candidates meet a combination of requirements in education, experience, and exams” ( Before registering for an upcoming NCEES exam, review your unique approval and registration process by visiting the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation website. For additional information please visit the South Dakota FAQ as well as the NCEES FE Exam page. Finally, specifics about the FE Exam for Mechanical Engineers can be found here.

“NCEES develops and scores the FE and PE exams for engineering licensure. The FE exam is generally your first step in the process to becoming a professional licensed engineer (P.E.). It is designed for recent graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree from an EAC/ABET- accredited program. The PE exam is designed to test for a minimum level of competency in a particular engineering discipline. It is designed for engineers who have gained a minimum of four years of work experience in their chosen engineering discipline (

Passing the FE Exam is your first step to becoming a licensed professional engineer!

PE License

Below we list the Mechanical Engineering Faculty Members that have their engineering license. Feel free to stop by and visit with any of them to chat and ask questions regarding the FE Exam and the subsequent steps needed to obtain an engineering license in South Dakota or in another state.

Mr. Ardell Knudson, P.E. (Wyoming) Instructor
Dr. Aaron Lalley, P.E. (South Dakota) Lecturer
Dr. Pierre Larochelle, P.E. (Florida)
Head and Professor 

Useful Links:

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website 
NCEES Member Boards
South Dakota Board of Technical Professions
South Dakota Board of Technical Professions FAQ
NCEES FE Exam Information for Mechanical Engineers