Korea has five different national qualifications in engineering field which are Professional Engineer, Master Craftsman, Engineer, Industrial Engineer and Craftsman. In order to become a qualified engineer, a candidate is required to pass different levels of exams and each level of exams has certain requirements.
A candidate who wants to become a professional engineer should take the PE exam which has 84 specialties. The PE exam is organized by Human Resources Development Service of Korea(or HRD Korea) under the Ministry of Labour(see II.2). Once candidates are found to meet the requirements of PE exam, they will take a written test and those who passed the written test can apply for the interview.
Both written test and interview appropriately cover a comprehensive range of subjects in engineering. The written exam lasts 9 hours and is a closed book test. The ratio of successful applicants for PE exam is usually within 10% and the average age of successful candidates is around 35.
When applicants pass the interview, they finally become a professional engineer. Only professional engineers can be a member of Korean Professional Engineers Association(hereinafter "KPEA"). Membership of KPEA is not mandatory for practicing, but professional engineers or PE office must register to KPEA in order to practice as a PE and licensed firm or a company in Korea. KPEA is in charge of managing individual career records, records of the Continuing Professional Development(or CPD) credits, opening professional engineers' office and registration of APEC / IPEA IntPE.
For renewal of licensure, professional engineers should earn at least 90 credits of CPD per five years after they completed the registration under the Professional Engineers Act.