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The FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) Exam, also known as the Engineer in Training (EIT) exam, is a critical step for aspiring engineers on the path to becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). It is designed to assess the knowledge and understanding of fundamental engineering principles and is typically taken by recent graduates or students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree.

The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is the first of two examinations that engineers must pass in order to be licensed as a Professional Engineer in the United States. The FE exam is designed to test the knowledge and understanding of fundamental engineering principles. Once an individual passes the FE exam, they are designated as an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or an Engineering Intern (EI) until they qualify for and pass the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.

Format and Topics

The FE exam is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The exam is computer-based and consists of 110 multiple-choice questions. The exam lasts for approximately 6 hours, including a scheduled break.

The exam covers a broad range of fundamental engineering topics, such as:

  • Mathematics (calculus, differential equations, etc.)
  • Ethics and Professional Practice
  • Engineering Economics
  • Statics and Dynamics
  • Strength of Materials
  • Material Properties
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Electrical and Electronic Circuits
  • Heat, Mass, and Energy Transfer
  • Chemistry
  • Other General Engineering Topics


The FE exam is offered in several engineering disciplines:

  • FE Chemical
  • FE Civil
  • FE Electrical and Computer
  • FE Environmental
  • FE Industrial and Systems
  • FE Mechanical
  • FE Other Disciplines

Each discipline has a specific exam that focuses on the fundamentals of that particular field.

Eligibility and Preparation

You generally need to have a four-year degree in engineering from an accredited engineering program to sit for the FE exam. However, rules can vary by state, so it’s a good idea to check with your state’s engineering licensing board for specific eligibility criteria.

Preparation for the FE exam often involves several months of study and the use of review materials, which may include textbooks, practice exams, and online resources. Many universities and private organizations offer FE exam review courses.

After the FE Exam

Passing the FE exam is the first step towards becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). After gaining sufficient work experience (usually 4 years, but this can vary by state), you can apply to take the PE exam in your engineering discipline.

Becoming a licensed PE allows you to offer your services directly to the public and provides a credential that can enhance your career prospects.

Remember to check with NCEES or your state’s engineering licensing board for the most current information, as requirements and procedures can change.

Free Example Problems for FE Exams

Electrical Engineering: Circuits

Problem: A 10-ohm resistor and a 20-ohm resistor are connected in parallel. What is the equivalent resistance?

Fluid Mechanics

Problem: Water flows through a pipe with a diameter of 2 cm at a velocity of 1 m/s. What is the flow rate Q in m3/s?


Problem: A force of 40 N is applied at an angle of 30 degrees to the horizontal. What is the horizontal component of the force?