Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Understanding Which Depth to Take: A Comparison of PE Civil Exam Depth Topics

Two common questions from potential PE Civil students are “which depth should I take?” and “which is the easiest PE Civil depth?” The PE Civil exam is broken up into two sections: the breadth and the depth. The breadth portion is held in the morning and is taken by every examinee, and the depth portion is held in the afternoon and is structured around areas of specialty. Examinees must choose one of the five depth exams to take.

The five depths are construction, geotechnical, structural, transportation, and water resources and environmental. 

If you are struggling to decide which depth to sign up for, we have compiled pass rates, potential job responsibilities, and average salaries for each of the five depths to help you with your decision. 

PE Civil: Construction 

· For the October 2017 exam, the pass rates for the construction depth were 59% for first-time takers and 36% for repeat takers 
· Duties could include residential and commercial side planning and designing/managing infrastructure 
· Average Annual Pay: $91,370 

PE Civil: Geotechnical 

· For the October 2017 exam, the pass rates for the geotechnical depth were 61% for first-time takers and 37% for repeat takers 
· Duties could include monitoring worksite conditions, foundation construction, and earthwork 
· Average Annual Pay: $94,240 

PE Civil: Structural 

· For the October 2017 exam, the pass rates for the structural depth were 69% for first-time takers and 44% for repeat takers 
· Duties could include designing and managing buildings or bridges. Structural engineering is closely aligned with architectural engineering. 
· Average Annual Pay: $84,770 

PE Civil: Transportation 

· For the October 2017 exam, the pass rates for the transportation depth were 69% for first-time takers and 42% for repeat takers 
· Duties could include planning urban transportation, designing roadways, and operating transportation facilities 
· Average Annual Pay: $84,770

PE Civil: Water Resources & Environmental 

· For the October 2017 exam, the pass rates for the water resources and environmental depth were 70% for first-time takers and 43% for repeat takers 
· Duties could include designing and managing human water equipment and implementing air pollution, radiation, and recycling control 
· Average Annual Pay: $86,800 

Another great way to determine which depth you should take is to check out NCEES’ PE Civil exam specifications. The exam specifications outline the topics that will be covered on each depth exam. 

Worried about the national pass rates? Taking a review course is a proven way to raise scores. Below is a comparison between national pass rates and School of PE’s pass rates for each of the PE Civil depths. 

PE Civil exam pass rates broken down into depth subjects, including PE Civil Construction, PE Civil Transportation, and PE Civil Structural. Pass rates compare national PE Civil pass rates to School of PE pass rates.

Regardless of the PE Civil depth that you choose, School of PE’s exam review courses will help you prepare and pass your exam! 

Job Descriptions and Salaries obtained from Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/home.htm

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