Engineering Continuing Education & Online PDH Courses
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most engineers require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in their field to find employment. Some engineers may need graduate degrees to get into more advanced positions, to get licensed, or to conduct research. There are license requirements for engineers who provide their services directly to the public, per the BLS; some fields that often require license include mechanical, civil and environmental engineering. To maintain license, most states require professionals to complete continuing education. Engineers can get continuing education to participate in Online PDH Courses.
Engineers who have their Professional Engineer licenses are well acquainted with continuing-education programs. About two-thirds of all states now require that PEs who practice within their borders pick up professional-development units, gained by attending technical courses, to keep current. But PEs aren’t the only ones trying to update their technical skills.
Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) standards are required by many states to maintain licensure. CPCs may come in the form of professional development hours (PDHs), the requirements for which vary by state. Most states set an hour requirement that must be met either annually or biannually. A PDH is an hour of instruction or presentation that meets established standards.
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has established national standards for what constitutes a PDH and how many hours they are worth. Depending on the length of an event and the commitment needed, PDH assignments can vary. According to the NCEES, attending or presenting at a conference is worth only a single PDH. While a semester-long course at an accredited college is worth 45 PDHs. This organization also defines activities, that are not counted as PDHs.
Continuing Education Units (CEU) or Professional Development Hours (PDH)
- 10 hours of continuing education = 1 CEU
- 1 hour spent in professional-development activities = 1 PDH
CEU and PDH credits may be earned in a variety of activities
- Completion of college credit courses
- Completion of continuing education courses or PDH Courses offered by professional associations
- Completion of correspondence, online, and other training course tutorials
- Presenting or attending seminars, in-house courses, workshops, or professional technical presentations
- Teaching or instructing courses
- Publishing papers, articles or books
- Active participation in professional or technical societies
Individuals should contact their licensing, chartering, or certifying entity for specific details. Licensing authorities normally require the engineer to keep a diary of PDHs. If audited, the licensed engineer can use conference registrations receipts to document attendance.