Tips From a Recent PE Exam Survivor

Congratulations John Christiansen on passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam!

John has worked for EAPC intermittently since 2011 in both EAPC’s Bemidji and Grand Forks offices as an electrical engineering intern, engineer in training, and now a professional engineer. In October, John completed the second exam required for engineers who have gained at minimum of four years post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline and have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.

Each PE exam lasts 8 hours and is split into a morning and an afternoon session. John took the Power Focus exam. The morning session addressed various aspects of electrical engineering and mathematics while the afternoon session focused on more in-depth power related questions. For anyone aspiring to take the exam, John offers some advice.

Broaden your experiences and take a prep course

John’s advice to anyone prepping for an engineering exam is to get as much exposure to as many different aspects of the job as possible. The broader your experiences, the better.

“The test covers a lot of materials and situations, so the more you can see and do in the years leading up to the test, the better off you will be. Also, I would highly recommend a prep course to help you study. They are laid out very nicely and they give you a framework for studying.”

How EAPC helped John reach his goal

John says working at EAPC helped him to learn quickly as he was given a wide variety of challenging projects. He also says EAPC’s recently completed Minnkota Power Cooperative project offered many learning opportunities due to its size and complexity.

Studying is the most challenging part

John shares, “Content wise, the three-phase power calculations and power factor correction questions were the most difficult part of the test for me since I don’t use that stuff very often. Overall, the hardest part of the test is knowing what to study and how to study.”

What’s next?

John waited nine years from the day he started college to complete his testing. Now, he’s relieved that it’s over. As a licensed professional electrical engineer in the state of Minnesota, John’s next goal is to complete his NCEES record and get licensed in North Dakota as well. He plans to develop his skills and knowledge in electrical engineering to become more proficient.

Thank you for your contributions to EAPC!

EAPC Bemidji is thrilled to have John on our crew. Cory Vaughn, Electrical Department Manager, shares how John has contributed to the team,

“Though John’s career is still young, he has emerged as the leading expert for Arc Flash studies and also successfully managed the day-to-day needs on a multi-million dollar construction project. His positive energy and desire to learn has given him a big boost in his career.”

EAPC is looking for another Electrical Engineer to join our team

Working for EAPC’s electrical engineering department is both rewarding and challenging. Would you like to work with the best assembly of Electrical Engineers in the Midwest on a wide variety of interesting projects? Contact us to learn more about using your passion and skills at EAPC.