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Portable Engineer

How To Become A New York City Licensed Portable Engineer

STEP ONE: You must meet the minimum qualifications to become a licensed Portable Engineer.

You must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to read, write, and understand the English language
  • Good moral character, so as to not adversely impact upon fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of this license.

Applicants must also:

  • Have been the holder of a basic (Class A) license as a hoisting machine operator for a period of three years within the five year period preceding the date of application;


  • Have served as a fireman, oiler, assistant engineer or engineer of portable high-pressure boilers for a period of three years within the seven years immediate preceding the date of application; at least one year on high-pressure boilers in New York City under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed portable high-pressure boiler operating engineer.

STEP TWO: You must apply to take the Portable Engineer Exam, administered by the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).

The exam application and exam dates can be found on the DCAS website at, or you can pick one up at the following Manhattan location: 2 Lafayette Street, 17th floor, New York, NY

Submit the application, along with exam fee of $275 payable by money order only, to:

Division of Citywide Personnel Services
Application Section
One Centre Street, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10007
TEL: (212) 669-1357

The application must include documentation that you have the required work/educational experience. This includes: payroll records, notarized letters from your employers that detail the type of work you performed, and any other documents the Department requests.

STEP THREE: You must take the Portable Engineer Exams.

The written exam is a multiple-choice test assessing your knowledge of the NYC Administrative Code. You will NOT be allowed to use reference materials during the exam. If you pass the written exam you will be scheduled to take the practical exam. If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter notifying you of your exam score in approximately 5 weeks.

STEP FOUR: Apply for your Portable Engineer License.

If you pass the exam, the Department of Buildings Licensing Unit will notify you in writing that you are eligible to apply for a Portable Engineer License. You have one year from the date of the letter to begin submitting the required documents for your license. If you do not complete the process within one year of the date of the first document submission, you will be required to retake the examination. The notice will include an application form, instructions, and a list of additional documents required by the Licensing Unit. The License application (LIC2) and instructions can also be found on the Buildings website. Candidates can make an appointment to apply for the Portable Engineer license by calling (212) 566-4100 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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