Category: About Me

My Journey to Become a Professional Engineer

My name is James Doane, and I am the founder of Mechanical PE Academy.   I talk a lot on my website and in social media about how to get licensed as a professional engineer.   So, I thought I would share my personal story about how I became licensed.

A Snapshot of my Career

If you have been following me you may know I have a rather unique career that mixes industrial experience and academic experience.   To fully understand my reasoning for getting licensed, I will give you a quick overview.

My Career Path

Like most young engineers, I finished my undergraduate engineering degree and immediately went on to work as an engineer.   My first job was as an applications engineer doing a lot of job estimates for material handling.   My wife and I did not like the town, so we moved back home where I got a job in a consulting firm.   During my time at the consulting firm, I started planning to take the FE exam.   Before I had the chance to take the FE exam, the consulting firm went out of business and I was on to another job.   My journey took me to South Carolina, where I worked as an engineer for a design / build firm in material handling.  While there I took the FE exam and passed!   My plan was to prepare for the PE exam, but my interests in higher education changed my path.   I started working on my Master’s degree in South Carolina and later worked on my PhD in Louisville KY.   I completed my PhD and started my teaching career.

Why I became Licensed

In a strange path (I won’t cover all the details), I later left academics and returned to industry as a Mechanical Engineering Manager.   That position required I get my PE license.   Having just left academics, where I was teaching a lot of undergraduate courses, I did not need to do a lot of studying for the PE exam.   Luckily the topics were fresh in my mind.   I took the PE exam and passed, so I am licensed in the state of Indiana.

How do I use my License now?

I really did not use my PE license much in my career.   It was required for the management position, and it did result in a nice pay increase.   However, I use it in a strange way now… which is a nice combination of my PE license and my PhD.

Helping others

One way I use my license is by helping others pass the exam, which is what Mechanical PE Academy is all about.   I like to take my academic experience and use it to help teach review courses that help others pass the exam.  I recommend review books and offer savings on PPI materials.  I am active on social media helping answer questions about the exam or just general engineering concepts.  You can join my Facebook page here!!

Continuing Education Courses

Professional engineers need to take continuing education courses to maintain their license.   One way I use my license along with my PhD is by creating continuing education courses.   I have several on SunCam and some on School of PE, and I teach webinar continuing education courses on PDH Engineer. I have also taught seminar courses.   I really enjoy creating these courses to help engineers maintain their license.

Closing Thoughts

I followed a rather unique path, but I am very happy I decided to get my PE license.   Though I don’t use it now in the traditional way, it definitely opened doors for me and allows me to create continuing education courses.   If you have questions or concerns, let me know so I can help!

Are you licensed? If so, share your story below.