Professional engineers are individuals who, because of their training in one or more engineering specialties, are licensed professional engineers by the state.

Professional engineers in private practice either own or are employees of engineering companies, commonly referred to as "Consulting Engineers". Consulting engineers serve private and public clients in ways ranging from brief consultations to the complete design and coordination of a project. They are often the technical liaison between other design professionals, process specialists, contractors, suppliers and the client.

A professional engineers' specialties may include a broad spectrum of engineering technologies, including the fields of civil, electrical, structural, mechanical, chemical, environmental, metallurgical, geotechnical, and transportation engineering. They may also concentrate in specific fields such as soil mechanics, sanitation, hydrology or petroleum.

A professional engineer may provide general consultation, feasibility reports, planning studies, design, cost estimates, rate studies, project development, patent assistance, and preparation of environmental documents/studies.

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