Calculators for the Professional Engineer’s Exam

We’re going to go over PE exam calculators. 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Which calculator brands are allowed by the NCEES
  • How to choose your calculator
  • Where to purchase your calculator

Let’s get into this!


The NCESS has an approved list of calculator brands. As of 2019, these are the approved calculator brands and models.


Texas Instruments Approved Calculator Models

“All TI-30X and TI-36X models (Any Texas Instruments calculator must have “TI-30X” or “TI-36X” in its model name.)” – via NCEES Policy


Hewlett Packard Approved Calculator Models

“The HP 33s and HP 35s models, but no others” –NCEES Policy

Casio Approved Calculator Models

“All fx-115 and fx-991 models (Any Casio calculator must have “fx-115” or “fx-991” in its model name.)” –NCEES Policy

*The calculators shown above are not the only available options to choose from. Refer to the NCEES calculator policy for all available options.


When choosing the best calculator to use on the exam, you should consider ease of use, familiarity, and price. From my personal experience, I suggest bringing the calculator that you used while working through exam problems. You’ll be very familiar with this calculator and probably already consider it fairly easy to use. All of the approved calculators are sufficient to use on the exam but I noticed that some functions are simply easier to use when working through some problems. For example, I found converting from DMS (degree, minutes, seconds) to a decimal format (and vice versa) was easier to compute on the TI-30X than the HP 35S. However, I brought both models to the exam and used the HP 35S for most of the problems.


  1. Staples
  2. Wal-Mart
  3. Target


Choosing your calculator shouldn’t take up a lot of your time.

  • Choose a calculator from the NCEES approved calculators. This list is current at the time of publishing (2019). 
  • Find the calculator at your local retailer or get it shipped to your door via Amazon.
  • Make sure you are comfortable using the calculator you choose.
  • Use your calculator while you study.

Which calculator are you bringing to the exam? Why?

To help in your preparation to begin studying, I created a PE exam focused planner that can be used to keep you on track from the beginning. The planner features a five month calendar as well as PE exam topic breakdowns and a quick formula conversion sheet.

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