[Some of this text is taken verbatim from the NCEES website ]
To advance in your career as an engineer, many disciplines will require that you have a professional engineering license. By law, many jurisdictions require engineers to be licensed in order to practice. The road to licensure is multi-step: 1) Take and pass the Fundamental of Engineering (FE) exam, 2) relevant design experience for several years under a licensed professional, and 3) take and pass the Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a measure of minimum competency to enter the profession. Employers hiring recent engineering graduates often look to see if the applicant has successfully passed the FE exam. Passing the exam also demonstrates how serious you are about your engineering career. This exam used to be called the EIT (Engineer-in-Training) exam and is still widely referred to as the EIT exam.