Engineer in Training

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Engineer in Training, or EIT, is a professional designation from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) used in the United States to designate a person certified by the state as having completed two requirements:

  • Completed a minimum of three years of post-secondary school at an ABET-accredited engineering program, or related science curriculum approved by the Board – Many states allow for the substitution of several years of engineering experience in place of the engineering degree requirement.
  • Passed the NCEES six-hour[1] Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination

Once an individual has passed the exam the state board awards that person an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or an Engineer Intern (EI) designation. EIT and EI are equivalent variations in nomenclature that vary from state to state. Receiving an EIT designation is one step along the path toward Professional Engineer (PE) licensure.

Clarification of the term

In the USA the term "Engineer Intern" (formerly "Engineer in Training")[2] is a ubiquitous misnomer as people with this designation are already engineers,[citation needed] just not fully licensed Professional Engineers (PE). Although they are "in training," the term is misleading in that it sounds as if it implies that they have yet to become engineers. "Engineer Intern"[3] is also a possibly misleading term as it may imply that the engineer is still in college and is working merely in an intern position.

An Engineer-in-Training can do engineering work, such as design, but may utilize the supervision and direction of a Professional Engineer, who are exclusively able to perform certain tasks, such as stamp and seal designs and offer services to the public.[4]

In Canada, an E.I.T. designation means that the person has completed the educational requirement of their P.Eng but has yet to accrue enough work experience (or has yet to apply for a P.Eng). An EIT can perform engineering work under the supervision of a professional engineer. With the exception of New Brunswick, PEO (Ontario) and OIQ (Quebec), EITs are allowed to use the title "Engineer" as long as they also include the EIT designation in either their name or their title. [5]

Significance of the designation

Lack of an EI designation does not necessarily represent a stigma for an engineer. The inverse is more appropriate: having the EI designation represents a level of distinction.[citation needed]

Having an EI designation shows an understanding of fundamental engineering principles, as EIs have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. It also expresses some level of commitment towards the engineering profession as taking and passing the six-hour FE exam requires a level of dedication and is not something that all engineers have attempted or completed.[citation needed]

Many engineers do not sit for the exam as the EI designation is not necessary to do engineering work that does not represent a threat to human life.[citation needed] Depending on the profession, having an EI designation can either be very important or have little bearing on an engineer's career.

EI designation as a part of PE licensure

Each state's statutes delineate the requirements for the experience and education needed to become a PE once EIT or EI certification has been earned. The requirements vary depending on the State and the licensing board, but for most engineers the process typically includes the following steps:

  1. Graduate from an ABET-accredited four-year university engineering program
  2. Pass the 6-Hour Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination to receive an Engineer[6] Intern (EI) enrollment or Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification. The FE exam was an 8-hour exam prior to 2014. Some states such as Kansas and New York use the designation of IE (Intern Engineer), but is essentially the same as EI or EIT.
  3. Accumulate a set amount of engineering experience, typically under the direction of a PE. In most states the requirement is four years, but in others the requirement is lower.
  4. Pass the 8-hour Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam to receive a PE designation[4]


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