How to Find Engineering PDH Credits

Professional Engineer Continuing Education

In most jurisdictions, licensed professional engineers must take continuing education courses to keep their licenses valid. Although the specific requirements vary by licensing board, most engineers must complete a certain number of specially approved Professional Development Hours (PDH credits) every year. This helps keep their skills sharp and lets them stay current with the latest engineering research.

The first place you should visit for information is the website of the licensing board in your jurisdiction. They will tell you how many hours are required per year, which course topics qualify, what the courses must cover, and whether or not online PDH credits count.

If this is your first time fulfilling PDH requirements, talk to more senior professional engineers in your field and or another mentor. Other engineers can tell you which courses are worth the money and how much time each class requires outside of class. In most areas, PDH requirements can be met with a combination of live, online, and self-study courses. Seminars and webinars may also count. If you are a busy working professional with other obligations you want to find the easiest and cheapest options for continuing education.

One thing to keep in mind: because there are so many continuing education options for engineers, most jurisdictions do not maintain a list of approved courses. Rather, it is up to you to make sure that your courses cover technical, ethical, or managerial aspects of professional engineering.

Before you buy or enroll in any course, contact the PDH company to make sure the course meets the engineering board's criteria.

If you are allowed to fulfill professional engineer continuing education requirements through self-study, be sure to document your efforts. After reading journals or books, write reports or save your notes.

After completing any live class, online PDH course, or seminar, fill out the PDH forms and make copies of your receipts and transcripts. Send the documents to the licensing board and you are all set. It is a good idea to retain your instructors' contact info. Also be sure to record which classes you have taken so that you do not accidentally repeat a course the next year. Some boards may allow you to take the same PDH class more than once, others may not.

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