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How to Become Certified Plant Engineer

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Becoming a plant engineer entails having specialized knowledge of many engineering disciplines. A plant engineer needs the appropriate education and experience to assume the many responsibilities of managing a facility. He can be responsible for installing, maintaining, modifying, selecting and operating plant equipment. He may also have administrative duties, like the planning and budgeting of plant operation expenditures. Before you can become a certified plant engineer, however, you first must qualify by meeting the stringent requirements needed for this demanding profession.

Qualify to become a certified plant engineer (CPE) by knowing the requirements. Candidates can qualify by meeting CPE certification categories. For category A, a candidate should have at least four years of plant engineering management experience, or six years overall experience in this field and a four-year degree in engineering or another related field. Candidates without a degree can qualify under Category A by having a minimum of six years in plant engineering management or eight years overall experience in this field. Engineers, who have at least four years experience as licensed professionals, can qualify under category B.

Submit an application to take an examination once you meet the requirements in Step 1. You can get information online on the application process and fees for application and exam (see the Resource section).You must provide prove of work experience (employment verification) in this field and show that you are eligible under the different CPE categories. A licensed professional engineer (PE) must provide copies of his license to qualify for category B, but he is exempt from taking the exam. Once your application is submitted and approved, you must take and pass an exam within one year to get certification.

Get information on the test and the topics it covers. This exam has 100 multiple-choice questions, which cover content areas in mechanical engineering, civil engineering and electrical engineering. The CPE exam can be divided into four modules, which require two hours each to complete. It can also be taken all at one time, but you will need eight hours to complete it.

Prepare for the exam by reviewing the 11 topics covered on this intensive test. The Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE) provides assessment tests, CPE review paks, virtual seminars and National Review programs to help you study for the test, or you can study on your own. (See the Resources section below.).

Take the exam, and pass with a grade of at least 70 percent. You can take the exam either online or in paper format. National review program sites or a proctor at your workplace can administer the test. Pass the test to obtain your certificate and CPE identification card.

Continue working as a CPE by meeting the recertification requirements every three years after receiving the initial certification. You should have a minimum of eight-recertification credits every three years. Obtain these credits by being employed in the field and attending workshops and seminars.

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