MEP engineers and the organizations they represent are essential to many construction projects, juggling a number of responsibilities and assisting in the making of major decisions which can impact the trajectory significantly.
From the optimization of practices to the deployment of design expertise to deliver improved energy efficiency and assure regulatory compliance, it is easy to see what MEP engineers bring to the table.
However, for any professional in this sphere, it is sensible to acquire as much relevant training and as many relevant qualifications as possible. To understand why this is the case, here is a look at the benefits that passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE) will provide.
Bolstering career prospects
If you want to progress in the field of engineering, then passing the PE exam will be the natural next step to take after you have completed the foundation exam and worked for a minimum of four years to become eligible to apply.
Without a PE license attained by exam success, your career will be unavoidably hampered. You will not be able to get the promotions you crave, nor command any significant pay rises or appeal to prospective employers when your dream job becomes available.
This is why it is important to take the exam seriously, study hard and ideally make use of professional engineering review courses to make sure that you are as well prepared as possible. While going it alone is an option, it is definitely preferable to get all the help you can rather than leaving anything to chance.
Official recognition & identification
Passing the PE exam is not just some arbitrary achievement; there are some things that only those who have qualified can do, while any MEP engineers without a license under their belt will be left out.
One example is that if you want to be able to refer to yourself as an engineer in official documentation, you will need to attain this qualification. Anyone who does not have it yet still puts ‘engineer’ on their business cards is technically in breach of regulations.
This officially recognized and fully reputable qualification goes even further, so in the event that further down the line you decide to stop working for a larger company and instead open your own MEP engineering consultancy, you will be able to do so without any hindrance with a PE pass under your belt.
Another key perk to keep in mind is that professional engineers are free to work in whatever part of the country you wish, even if you are originally licensed in a specific state and then decide to move a little later in your career.
It will be necessary to get in touch with the board of engineering in the state where you relocate to, but because licenses are entirely transferrable there will be no need to re-sit the exam or prove yourself in any other way.
Since states do have differences in terms of how engineering licenses are issued, be sure to check carefully as your own circumstances change to avoid disappointing or any unexpected surprises. Even so, in general it is safe to assume that your license will let you ply your trade nationally.
Industry standard adherence
One of the main aspects of the PE exam is that it is designed to instill in fledgling engineers an understanding of and appreciation for the various standards which govern the industry.
For MEP engineers, this is particularly crucial, since the projects they work on and the roles they play in them will need to be handled with a view to ensuring public safety and avoiding potential pitfalls.
Licensed engineers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in their profession of choice, while also bringing benefits to wider society as a result of their expertise and education. This means that, in a sense, passing this exam is partly a civic duty in addition to being a personally advantageous one.
Signing off on plans & drawings
Another process which is restricted only to licensed engineers is that of being able to sign and seal plans, which in the case of MEP engineers can cover aspects like the designs of heating and cooling systems, architectural lighting and plumbing, amongst other things.
That is not to say that you will be outlawed from involvement in the planning process if you do not have a license, but rather that your ability to take on leadership roles and do the most important jobs in this context will be limited.
So there you have it; MEP engineers and any other engineers with different specialism to their name should strive to pass the PE exam both for their own sake, and for the positive impact that this can have on the companies they work for and the clients they serve.