Continuing Education Requirements for LA PEs
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The Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board (LAPELS) regulates the practice of engineering and establishes continuing education standards. Engineers in Louisiana must earn 30 professional development hour credits every two years. LAPELS requires 1 PDH in engineering ethics. Louisiana does not pre-approve course providers or courses. License renewal is March 31st and September 30th, based on the year of initial registration.
Listed below are the Louisiana professional engineer (PE) license renewal requirements.
|No of PDH hours required||30 PDH|
|Renewal period||March 31 and September 30 based on the year of initial licensure|
|Provider approval||Effective November 2015, the Board no longer pre-approves course providers or sponsors.|
|Course content approval||
The Board does not pre-approve specific courses. It is left to the individual registrant to determine if courses meet the Board’s requirements. Courses shall have “subject matter which is technical in nature or addresses business management practices, professional ethics, quality assurance, codes or other similar topics which facilitate the registrant’s professional development as a professional engineer or professional land surveyor, and/or serves to safeguard life, health, property and promote the public welfare.”
Continuing education credits must also meet the following guidelines:
|Maximum PDH hours to carry over||7 PDH|
|Online courses||No limit on online courses. For meeting the continuing professional competency requirements through online courses, the course must require the participant to show evidence of completion. PDH-Pro courses meet this requirement by providing a certificate of completion after participant passes a quiz.|
|State Board Website||https://www.lapels.com/|
We prepared a detailed summary and review of the Louisiana continuing education requirements (read the article).
Engineering Continuing Education Requirements for Louisiana
To maintain your professional engineer status in Louisiana, you have to keep your license up to date. Thus, when it’s time to renew, you may be wondering: what are the continuing education requirements for Louisiana engineers?
As a Louisiana professional engineer, you are expected to earn 30 professional development hours (PDH) every 2 years. If you earn more than the required 30 PDH, up to 15 PDH can be carried into the next renewal cycle. License renewal dates are either March 31st or September 30th depending on the year you initially received your license.
Should you be an engineer in the Building and Building Systems field, you have to complete a minimum of 8 PDH in courses that focus on building code, accessibility guidelines as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and/or a course on the life safety code. You are also expected to earn 1 PDH a year in ethics, for a total of 2 PDH credits by the time you need to renew your license.
Louisiana Engineering PDH Credits
Engineering licenses are issued by Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying (LAPELS). You have the ability to renew your license online or through the mail.
Every 2 years, you are required to earn 30 PDH continuing education credits. At least 2 PDH must come from ethics courses, and if you are in the Building and Building Systems field, you must earn 8 PDH in specific courses, including those that focus on life safety code, building code and accessibility guidelines.
The Board pre-approves all providers and the courses they offer. You don’t have to submit your certificates of completion when you renew your license, but you must keep them on file for 6 years. Should the Board request them to verify that you completed the continuing education requirements for Louisiana engineers, you must provide them with the documented proof.
Louisiana PE License Renewal Dates
Depending on the year you first received your engineering license, your renewal date will either be March 31st or September 30th.
Louisiana Engineering Ethics and Professional Conduct
Every calendar year, you are required to complete 1 PDH credit in ethics, which means by the time you are ready to renew your license, you will have 2 PDH ethics credits. The details are outlined in Rule 3105(A)(1). The Board’s goal with this continuing education requirement for Louisiana engineers is that you will understand the canon of ethics and your responsibilities as a professional engineer.
Louisiana Engineer Record Keeping Requirements
You are expected to maintain documents that verify you have completed the 30 PDH credits for 6 years. Should the Board ask for copies of the documents, you must provide them upon request.
Continuing Education Activities Accepted by the LA Board
Courses that are accepted by the Board will cover technical subject matter or focus on professional ethics, business management practices, quality assurance, codes or other topics that will expand and improve your engineering knowledge and skills. The courses should also help you safeguard the health, welfare and lives of the public.
Some of the activities that are accepted by the Board include:
- Successful completion of college, correspondence or continuing education courses
- Successful completion of accepted courses that award continuing education credits
- Seminars, short courses and/or tutorials
- In-house programs that are sponsored by corporations or other organizations
- Workshops or technical presentations at engineering-related conventions or meetings that are technical and/or professional in nature
- Teaching a course or seminar
- Giving a presentation at a professional or technical convention
- Being a member of a professional or technical society or association
- Publishing papers or articles
- Obtaining a patent
- Participating in professional exam preparation for the state or the NCEES
- Being a thesis director for students who are pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in engineering
- Being a member of a technical committee
You are also allowed to fulfill your continuing education requirements for Louisiana engineers by taking online courses, attending live webinars and/or taking self-study courses, as long as they meet the guidelines that have been developed by the Board. There are no limits on the amount of PDH credits you can earn from online classes.
Pre-Approval of Continuing Education Activities
The Board does not pre-approve course providers or specific continuing education courses. You are responsible for knowing which courses and providers meet the LAPELS’ requirements for continuing education .
Free Continuing Education Courses
There are a number of sources that you can use to access free continuing education courses to fulfill the required PDH credits to renew your engineer license. If you are a member of a professional engineering society, you may be able to take free continuing education courses as part of your membership benefits.
Louisiana Engineering Licensing
There are four steps you have to complete to become a licensed professional engineer in Louisiana. These include:
Step 1: Earn a 4-year engineering degree from an institution of higher learning that has been accredited by the Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Step 2: Successfully pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
Step 3: Spend at least 4 years working in an engineering field being supervised by a professional engineer.
Step 4: After the work requirement has been fulfilled, you then have to pass the Principles and Practice in Engineering (PE) exam that is administered by the NCEES.
Once you have successfully completed all four of these steps, you can obtain a license and be called a professional engineer.
Engineering Discipline Restrictions
You are not restricted or limited to the type of continuing education courses you can take as a professional engineer to earn your 30 PDH credits for license renewal. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that the courses and providers have been pre-approved by the Board to fulfill the continuing education requirements for Louisiana engineers.
A Better Professional Engineer
The Board believes that by requiring you earn 30 PDH credits through continuing education courses to renew your license, this will make you a better engineer. By pre-approving courses and making it mandatory that you are educated in ethics, building codes, life safety codes and accessibility guidelines that are set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act, you will have an improved and enhanced ability to protect the public’s safety and welfare.