Professional licensing is governmental regulation of professional practice. The purpose of licensing is to safeguard the public by setting minimum standards of professional performance when professional services are needed.

Professional licensing raises the standards of the profession by limiting practice to those meeting objective standards through examinations.

Non-licensed practitioners are limited by law in the scope of work they are allowed to perform. Licensing laws vary from state to state and are exclusively under the control of the individual state legislature.

Getting Licensed in Illinois - Follow your Category Below:

Current EI or other graduate of an ABET Accredited Engineering Program

  1. Complete the NCEES registration process and obtain your NCEES ID. Click here.  Please note: you are not registered for the exam until you register with Continental Testing.
  2. Apply through Continental Testing's Online PE Application Click here.
  3. Those who successfully pass the exams and have the necessary 4 years' experience can then apply to the State of Illinois for their PE license.  Those without the 4 years' experience may apply to the State of Illinois for their PE license once they have complete the necessary experience.

Current Senior Enrolled in OR Graduate of an ABET Accredited U.S. based Undergraduate Engineering Program
  1. Complete the NCEES registration process and obtain your NCEES ID. Click here.  Please note: you are not registered for the exam until you register with Continental Testing.
  2. Apply through Continental Testing's Online EI Application. Click here.

Hold a bachelor's degree in a "related science" from a US-based university
  1. Complete 8 years of qualifying experience (see the paperwork for details).
  2. Take and pass both the Engineer Intern and Professional Engineer Exam. You must complete the paper applications. Click here.

Graduate from a non-US based engineering program
  1. Have your credentials reviewed by the NCEES Click here.
  2. Submit proof of completion of the English as a foreign language (TOEFL) and test of spoken English (TSE) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test (TOEFL-iBT). Click here.
  3. Complete the paper work for either the Engineer Intern exam and/or the Professional Engineer exam.

Licensed Engineer in another state.

  1. Illinois offers "Licensure by Endorsement" to licensed professional engineers in other states.  The process is simple so long as the licensing criteria at the time of your licensure was "substantially equivalent" to licensure in Illinois.  (PLEASE NOTE:  This means you MUST have taken both the Fundaments of Engineering Exam and the Principles and Practice Exams.)  Click here to access the forms. (Not every page in the packet will apply).
  2. **Please note that all companies doing business in Illinois (whether you are based in Illinois or not) must be registered as a Professional Design Firm.  Click here to access the forms for Design Firm registration.


  1. You MUST successfully pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam to be a PE in Illinois. NO exceptions are EVER made (no matter how long you have been a practicing engineer).
  2. Bachelor of Science - Engineering Technology (even if from an ABET accredited program) is NOT a qualifying degree to become a Professional Engineer in Illinois, even if you have a Master's Degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited program.  If you have taken enough courses outside of your ET degree, the board may elect to consider those as "related technology," however your ET classes will not be considered.

Why take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE) and become an Engineer Intern (EI)?
EI Status:
  • Distinguishes you as positive, committed and success oriented.
  • Boosts your resume - for young engineers short on experience, your credentials as an EI or PE will demonstrate your seriousness of purpose.
  • Offers you networking opportunities by putting you in closer contact with licensed professional engineers.
  • Provides you with certification that is transferable to other parts of the country.
  • Gives you a psychological advantage with people respecting you as a professional.

What Advantages does a PE License Provide?
  • Employment
    Licensed employees enhance the reputation of engineering firms and become symbols of competency, professionalism, experience, and character.
  • Promotability
    Getting licensed demonstrates motivation, responsibility, and success orientation. The same qualities are demanded for positions requiring individual thought, discretion and responsibility.
  • Quality Assurance
    As the demand for consumer protection continues to grow, so will the demand for licensing among the engineers designing the products and processes affecting the public.
  • Global Competitiveness
    Engineering projects increasingly cross national borders. Most countries require some form of professional licensing and will expect the members of the international team to be licensed in their home countries.
  • Back to Basics
    Industry increasingly demands licensing to better identify designers of both good and bad work in an effort to restore quality engineering and limit product liability.

Dates, Deadlines & Forms
In Illinois, the FE exam is offered year round. For more information on this exam, click here. PE exams are offered in April and in October. Click here to go to the CTS registration page.

Please note a new requirement:
YOU MUST OBTAIN AN NCEES ID prior to registering with CTS.

Exam Review
The Illinois Society of Professional Engineers offers a Professional Engineer Review Series (PERS) each Spring and Fall prior to the exams. To learn more about PERS click here.

ISPE also offers an online review course to prepare for the FE Exam; for more information, or to register, click here.