What is an EIT Certification?

You might have heard about the EIT certification, or seen it on a business card or signature. Perhaps you saw it as a job description requirement. But what is this certification exactly and why is it important?

EIT Certification Definition

EIT stands for ‘Engineer in Training’ and it is a document and number given by the state engineering board after the individual has passed their Engineer in Training examination. After this, the individual will work towards their next license, which is the ‘Profession Engineering’ or PE license.

All states within the United States, as well as several locations outside, offer the EIT examination, which is sometimes called FE or ‘Fundamentals of Engineering’.

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, or NCEES, developed and administers the examination, and it all eligible students may request it. The examination occurs in four testing windows year-round.

In order to achieve this professional designation, you must complete two requirements:

  • Complete at least 3 years of post-secondary school at an ABET-accredited engineering program or similar board-approved science curriculum.
  • Pass the 6-hour Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam

More about the EIT Exam

The EIT certification itself is simply a certificate with a unique number given to the individual to show they are proficient in engineering fundamentals. However, what can cause some confusing are the acronyms often used by EIT certificate holders. You might see EIT (Engineer in Training), IE (Intern Engineer) or EI (Engineering Intern).

The reason why there are various acronyms in use after the EIT certification is that every state has their own regulations about the terminology you can legally use. Each of the above acronyms basically means the same thing – that the individual has passed their EIT examination.

So whether you have heard the term, seen it on a job advertisement or noticed it on someone’s email signature or business card, now you know that EIT simply means they have taken and passed the fundamentals of engineering examination.

How to Get EIT Certified

First of all, remember that States differ in requirements, as do Canada and other regions offering this certification. Check with your board or association and ask about any specific requirements before registering with the NCEES.

You might be allowed to take the exam if you graduated less than two semesters ago, so ensure you apply in time while the knowledge is still fresh in your mind. Register with the NCEES by going to NCEES.org. Log in or register for a MyNCEES account, then register for the EIT (FE) examination.

The whole exam is done on a computer and you can take it anytime at a Pearson VUE test center. NCEES runs a useful channel on YouTube offering more information about the computer-based exam.

The next thing you need to do is pay the $175 NCEES fee. Bear in mind that some boards or associations might have other fees besides this one.

Preparing for the FE Exam

Now all you need to do is pass the exam. When studying for it, it is a good idea to work on various problems rather than try to review all the theory. Familiarize yourself with your FE exam calculator and use video tutorials to numerically solve problems in your head.

This handbook is a valuable resource and you can use it alongside your FE Review Manual to study before the exam. Learn the sequence of sections, included data and where to find the important tables and figures in the NCEES handbook. It is also a good idea to brush up on the terminology used in the handbook to describe subjects or equations (because the terms will also be used in the exam).

Use the diagnostic exams found in the FE review manual to figure out which areas you need to study harder in. These exams will also let you determine whether you are ready for the actual exam.

The NCEES has reduced the number of subjects you need to know, but bear in mind that skipping your weakest subjects is not a good strategy for the exam because there are no optional questions any more. You will need to study the whole review book in detail to prepare properly. Everything shown in blue in the review book features in the NCEES handbook and is likely to show up in the exam questions.

The only thing you can take into the exam room with you is the FE Reference Handbook so ensure you get it for free using your MyNCEES account and then start using it immediately.

Once you have passed the exam, you need to apply to the board to get your certificate and unique number. To do this, contact your state board, pay the fee and submit your application.


As you can see, it’s not that easy to get EIT Certification and become EIT Certified. But if you pass the FE exam and follow all instructions carefully you don’t have to be worry about anything.

I hope you find this article helpful and if you have any question feel free to leave your comment below!

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