By Duriem Calderin
Before diving deep into strategies for how to ace the Nuclear P.E exam, let’s briefly review the three main reasons of why it’s essential for nuclear engineers to pass the professional engineering (P.E.) exam.
It’s the law! Yes. Every state mandates (in one way or another) to follow the license requirements to be recognized and practice as a professional engineer. Completing these requirements in the nuclear engineering profession is the equivalent of completing the final project through the university engineering curricula, only four years later. The difference is that employers have become complacent by hiring nuclear engineers with no intention of pursuing licensing, while the state (and the law) requires both (engineering degree plus licensing requirements). This is especially true if you’re considering doing consulting engineering work in the future or pursuing a senior engineering position in the government.
The truth is, engineers become better prepared and more qualified to address challenges through the process of taking and passing the exam. The licensing process sets the requirements and standards to understanding the roles of the engineering profession in society. Applying engineering principles to solve problems but above all, protect the workers, the public, and the environment. That’s a challenge!
It also feels good because it is one of those long-term goals in the engineering profession you can get early on (after four years of experience). I am sure all my P.E. colleagues can agree that passing the exam feels fantastic!
How to Ace the Nuclear Professional Engineer Exam?
To give some context, it took me three attempts to pass the nuclear P.E exam! I learned the hard way. I realized my biggest mistakes were on how I was preparing for the exam and how I was taking it.
My experience is not unique. NCEES Nuclear P.E exam passing rate is presented below (Source: NCEES