Careers in the Licensed Professions

Professional Engineer

Professional Engineer Print Profile PDF

Professional engineers lead and work on projects and processes that apply engineering principles and data to safeguard people and property. Professional engineers:  

  • evaluate, plan, design, supervise, and consult on the construction and operation of a wide range of structures and systems. This includes utilities; houses and office buildings; roads and bridges; machines and equipment; and much more.
  • work in a variety of fields, from chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering to subfields stretching from aerospace and agriculture to software, textiles, and telecommunications.

Education and Experience

“Credits” toward an engineering license are based on the type of education and experience you have. You will need 12 units of combined education and experience for licensure. Your experience requirement will depend on the units granted for your education; at least 4 years of engineering work experience will be required. The majority of New York's engineers have at least a bachelor's degree. Visit the Office of the Professions for a listing of all options and requirements.


6 years of credit are required for admission to the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination.

12 years of credit are required for admission to the Principles and Practice (PE) examination.



Salary and Projected Growth

  • Median salary: depends on discipline and years of experience
  • Salary range: $45,000 (entry) - $175,000 (30+ years experience, non-supervisor)
  • Projected growth: average to much faster than average

Where Could I Work?

  • Private practice
  • Government
  • Manufacturing
  • Research facilities
  • Military
  • Colleges and universities

Your Interests and Abilities

  • Mathematics
  • Preparation in the sciences
  • Analysis and design
  • Technical writing

Professional Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Management

What Interests You?

Match your interests and personality to career options! Explore a free career tool at

Tip: try searching for mentoring programs—talk to a professional engineer about what they do and how they got started!

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Last Updated: January 13, 2020