PE Licensure

Licensure Board

To find out about licensure requirements and dates and locations of licensure exams, contact your state licensure board.
> California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists

Why Licensed Professional Engineers (PE)?

CSPE enhances and promotes the distinct value that licensed professional engineers provide through exceptional engineering services that place public health, safety and welfare above personal gain.

Licensed Professional Engineers (PE) work at the intersection of engineering, technology, law and public well being, combining professional expertise with an ethical duty to protect the public.

California, as with all 50 states across the U.S., requires that engineers be licensed in order to practice engineering, particularly in private practice or in working with governmental and/or municipal projects. Each State has its own licensing board with nuances in how PE licensure is applied for and obtained. All 50 states require passing of the Engineer-In-Training / Engineering Intern exam, some level of professional experience, followed by passing of the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, which result in the PE license.

But PEs don't exist for just the right to practice - California Society of Professional Engineers (CSPE) is the advocate for the ethical practice of engineering in the novel ways engineering and technology will be impacting the present and future state of the greater public good.

Where a certificate or certification program verifies one's skill in a particular area, a license is a public verification of the practice of skill(s) in the context where public safety and well being are affected.

We are California Engineers.

But that's the engineering profession. What about my engineering career?

California Society of Professional Engineers (CSPE) serves are your advocate, partner and network to reach professional engineers and connect with engineering across the state. We are the California State chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), which connects you from California to the rest of the US.

We are by your side as the role of the Professional Engineer enters into the the contemporary technological environment where communities and public safety will continue to interact with engineering ethics and professionalism in new, highly connected, and increasingly interactive ways.

What are the specifics about PE Licensure in California?

The State of California offers Professional Engineers three tiers of licensure:

1) Practice Act

  • Applies to Civil, Electrical and Mechanical disciplines.
  • Only a person licensed in these areas may practice these specific disciplines of engineering.

2) Title Act

  • Applies to Agricultural, Chemical, Control System, Fire Protection, Industrial, Metallurgical, Nuclear, Petroleum and Traffic engineering disciplines.
  • Only a person licensed in these branches can use the title, i.e. "Agricultural Engineer" "Traffic Engineer"

3) Authority

  • Applies to two focus areas under civil engineering: Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering.
  • Having the Authority category of licensure indicates a proficiency that is more specific than civil engineering as a discipline.

For the latest information as well as applying for licensure in California, visit the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG).

Who are all the groups involved?

State Level - Each state has its own professional licensing board, including California.

NCEES - This is the independent organization that produces and administers the EIT and PE exams.

NSPE - The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE); this is a volunteer driven, non-profit organization that advocates for professional licensure and the license's role at the intersection of engineering technology, regulations, and public well-being.

CSPE - The California Society of Professional Engineers is NSPE's California sister branch, representing NSPE's mission in the State of California.