I am now a Professional Mining Engineer – so what?
March 30, 2020
March 30, 2020
A professional engineering license is a rite of passage for most young engineers, learn what the exam meant for one engineer
Just over a year ago, I was one of 82 individuals across the United States anxiously awaiting to hear if I had passed my Mining/Mineral Professional Engineering (PE) license exam. I spent 8 hours answering 80 multiple choice questions in a room in Phoenix. This exam was not just another test for me—it was a milestone in my career.
I was eligible for this exam after 3 years of work experience, having earned my Master of Science in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Despite the exam having been scheduled during an extremely busy time, my managers gave me a reprieve from work to allow me to study for the exam. I found time on nights and weekends to study and took time off work to attend a week-long study session hosted by SME.
This exam is more than just the check box of ‘now I can approve drawings’. It is a symbolic step in my career toward becoming a mining engineering consultant. Obtaining a PE registration adds credibility to an engineer’s work and is one of the recognized qualifications for an engineer to offer mining engineering services to clients. The designs and plans I will produce, review and ultimately approve, will affect the communities where I live and work. As a PE, I am now responsible for three key commitments to the mining industry.
Stantec sponsors the SME Foundation’s PE Exam Committee, the only organization the United States that prepares examination questions for the licensure of the mining and mineral processing engineers. This group is ensuring that the industry has trained, knowledgeable, and licensed engineers with integrity, which is key to the success of mining operations around the world.
When I took the exam in 2018 only 45% of my peers passed. This is because the PE Exam Committee fosters an intentionally challenging question bank. Upholding tough technical, ethical, and safety standards ensures we have capable professionals ready to deliver projects successfully.
Now that I am a PE, I have an industry recognized credibility. But with this comes significant responsibility. I am now a part of a team of licensed professionals who are transforming our industry by designing safer, more sustainable, and more efficient operations today and in the future.