Quite a while ago, I wrote vaguely about some of my more lofty career goals. Specifically, to become a Professional Engineer in power engineering. Just to qualify to take the exam in California, one needs four years of accredited engineering plus two additional years of PE supervised work as the “responsible charge.” Back in August of 2014, I was so very far away from reaching this minimum qualification. The targets I wrote about were incorrect, stemming from a belief that some of my work in wind would qualify — it does not.
However, it’s almost August 2016. I crossed two years of employment at my current company in February, having served under the direct supervision of an electrical PE, as well as performed work in which I was the responsible decision-maker, albeit at a gradual pace as my confidence grew.
As my two year anniversary came and went, the clock began to tick. I scanned the requirements to apply, went into detail on the application process, and got to work. At the end of March, I began compiling the necessary references (five in total from my colleagues; four are required), filling out the paperwork, obtaining my college transcript, taking the take home exam (the test to qualify for the test), and writing a check (to pay for the right to pay for the test). It was a stressful process, one that took nearly five weeks in total as some of my references were no longer local. In the end, one week before the hard deadline at the beginning of May, I sent my thick PE packet away in the mail, grabbed a rewarding lunch at a dumpling place across the street from the post office, and waited.
I received an email a week later from the board. They’d received my application packet. Great.
I received another email two weeks after that. They’d begun to review my application packet. Cool. Moving right along.
Today, July 20th, I received the email I’d been waiting for for over two months — with the exam just over three from now.
…and now shit just got real, for real this time. I had been lowering my expectations gradually, assuming that my minimum qualifications would somehow not be enough and that I’d just take the test next year. I’d begun studying in the meantime, in case the approval did end up coming later than I needed it to. I wasn’t expecting this at all.
So, here we are. The clock is ticking again. I’ve got about thirteen weeks to get ready and I am not throwing away my shot.
I did it four years ago — I can do it again. Bring it on, PE Exam.