Synopsis:  There are many benefits to becoming a licensed civil engineer.  One requirement to become a licensed civil engineer is to pass the licensing examination for civil engineers.  One free resource to help civil engineers study for and pass their examination is EngineeringVideos.Net.

The Benefits

Becoming a licensed professional engineer is a well respected goal and achievement for any civil engineer, young or old.  Civil engineering licensure has many benefits.  The licensed engineer is more likely to be promoted within their company, is eligible to assume more responsibility on engineering projects, and is more valuable to their company in general.

Also, a licensed civil engineer has better job security.  When hiring, employers prefer licensed engineers over those without a license.  Most civil engineering jobs require PE licensure, especially for more advance positions.  Also, with an engineering license you can start your own engineering company.

There are other benefits as well, but you get the idea.

How does someone become a licensed civil engineer? 

One requirement for licensure is a combination of education and work experience.  Typically, a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in addition to 2 to 4 years of post-collegiate work experience is a minimum requirement.  Having an advanced degree may reduce the required work experience, but the exact requirements vary from state to state.

Another requirement for becoming a licensed civil engineer is to pass the professional licensing examination for civil engineers, often called the Civil PE Exam.  The Civil PE Exam is an 8-hour national examination offered every year in April and October, and is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).  Certain states require additional examinations such as a seismic examination or surveying examination.

The national 8-hour examination is divided into two sessions, a 4-hour morning session and a 4-hour afternoon session.  The exam covers the major topics within the field of civil engineering: structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, water resources / environmental engineering, and construction.


Although there are many great review books used to prepare engineers for this exam, engineers can also study by watching videos.  EngineeringVideos.Net is a website which provides video example problems covering structural engineering, geotechnical engineering,  water resources / environmental engineering and construction (coming soon).  Some of the surveying videos can also be watched to study transportation engineering.

The videos are free to view online and are similar in nature to questions found on the Civil PE Exam.  Each video contains one problem, and the videos are organized by subject (Structural, Geotechnical, … ) and then further organized into topics.

Most problems are the same level of difficulty as examination problems, and last between 3 and 6 minutes in duration.  However, a few problems are slightly more difficult than exam problems.  But no problems are overwhelmingly difficult.  A harder problem can be viewed as two easier sub-problems.  If someone can solve the hard problems, they can also solve the easy problems.   Below is a screen shot of a structural engineering video, within the topic of ‘Shear and Moment Diagrams.’

If you expect to be without internet access, one option is to purchase the videos and download the files to your own computer.  However, since all of the videos are free to view online, I suggest just watch the videos when you have internet access, and study from books during the other times.

The videos on EngineeringVideos.Net were created by a licensed civil engineer who lives in California named Tim Nelson, that’s me.

I took and passed the Civil PE Exam in April 2009.  I created EngineeringVideos.Net because I thought free video example problems would be a popular resource for civil engineers studying for their PE exams.  I was right.  The site has been a huge success.  Why wouldn’t it be?  It’s free, and it fills the need of hundreds of soon-to-be licensed civil engineers as they prepare for their exams.

I’m a visual learner and I was tired of studying from books.  I would have really benefited from these video example problems if they were around back in 2008 and early 2009.

Without videos, I studied solely from books.  If I had to retake the exam today I would still use books as my primary source of study material.  However I would also watch the videos at EngineeringVideos.Net.