My student Harry from China asks: (edited)
Could you please tell me which kind of certification is the most popular for Electrical Engineers in the US? Also, which certification can be got through examination useful all over the world.
Thank you for your kind help.
I don't know :) I'm not an expert on electrical engineering (EE) and the only electrical engineers I know are in China, but I've done a little searching on the web and I'll give the results here.
As examples, I'll give some links in this article to job advertisments on US jobs websites, but links to specific jobs might stop working once the employer finds an employee. If so, try making new searches for "electrical engineer" at these websites:
Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE / BSc)
It seems the basic qualification in the US is a BSEE (Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering) from an accredited university (usually the university must be accredited by ABET ).
Click "Read more" to continue.
Most EE jobs require a BSEE or equivalent. Here are some examples:
Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)
Soon after getting a BSEE, American engineers usually take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam. (I believe EIT [Engineer-in-Training] was the old name for the FE, and a lot of info still talks about the EIT.)
The NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) runs FE exams. See this page for more on FE (including PDF about FE for EE).
Master's of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE / MSc)
Some jobs also ask for an MSEE/MSc (Master's of Science in Electrical Engineering). Here's an example:
Professional Engineer (PE)
Higher-level jobs often require an engineer to be a Registered / Licensed Professional Engineer (PE).
To become a PE, you must:
The NCEES runs exams for PE. See this page for more info (includes PDF desciptions of PE exams for "Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering", "Electrical and Computer: Electrical and Electronics" and "Electrical and Computer: Power")
Each state in the US has its own requirements & procedure to become a Registered / Licensed Professional Engineer. (So someone who is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas might need to recertify to go and work as a Registered Professional Engineer in California, for example.)
Here's a list of the state boards:
Examples of jobs that require being a PE:
And an example of a job requiring BSEE and "PE registration highly desirable, but not required":
Not sure if all info includes electrical engineering
A word of warning: I'm not exactly sure if all this info applies to *electrical* engineers. It definitely applies to engineers, but I wasn't always sure if that only meant other kinds of engineers, e.g. civil engineers.
For example, here's a page about becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer, but I don't know if it includes electrical engineering:
Qualifications earned outside US?
What if you earned your qualifications and certificates in China or elsewhere outside the US? Are they useful for getting a job in the US? The answer: I'm not 100% sure, but I think that yes, they are useful... but you might sometimes have to do some extra steps so that employers and government in the US will recognize Chinese (or any foreign) qualifications. Especially if you want to get a visa.
I did a little research on recognition of foreign engineering qualifications in the US. It seems there is no single central authority on doing that: it's up to individual universities, employers and states.
Getting foreign engineering qualifications recognized in the US is not always easy. In a report from the Migration Policy Institute, Part III talks about difficulties for engineers:
There are some international agreements to make recognition of engineering qualifications easier, but mainland China is not part of them (Taiwan is a signatory of one, Hong Kong of another).
Something that can make it easier is using a Credentials Evaluation Program: a special organization will check your foreign qualifications to compare them to US qualifications. Here are a couple of links I found:
Once your qualifications are recognized, that can help you get an H-1B visa, which allows a skilled professional like an electrical engineer (and also fashion models!) to live and work in the US for 3 years, extendable to 6 years. An employer (not you) applies for an H-1B visa.
Be careful of scams
There are lots of bad people out there who want to take your money. Be very careful before paying for any service that claims it will help you get a US visa, get recognition of your qualifications or immigrate to the US.
I'm not sure if there are any qualifications recognized all through the world, but it seems there are 2 engineering organizations that are recognized in many countries.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Remember: I'm an English teacher, not an electrical engineer! Please do your own research and check with other electrical engineers before doing anything or spending any money.
If you know about these topics and find any mistakes in what I've written, or would like to add more info or advice, please comment below.
G.A.L.E.S.L. / joe3
Some tips and links on learning English.