Continuing Education Requirements for MD PEs
The Maryland Board for Professional Engineers regulates the practice of engineering and establishes continuing education standards. Engineers in Maryland must earn 16 professional development hour credits every two years. At least 1 PDH must be in the category of ethics and related to the code of conduct, Maryland engineering laws, and standards of practice. Courses must be taken with an approved provider – PDH-Pro is approved by the Maryland board. License renewal is biennial and is based on the registrant’s date of birth.
Listed below are the Maryland professional engineer (PE) license renewal requirements.
|No of PDH hours required||16 PDH|
|Renewal period||Biennial, based on the licensee’s date of birth|
|Provider approval||The Board pre-approves course providers. PDH-Pro is an approved provider of continuing education for Maryland PEs.|
|Course content approval|
Courses must be from qualified programs described as:
A minimum of 1 PDH must be related to:
|Maximum PDH hours to carry over||8 PDH|
|Online courses||No limit on online courses.|
|State Board Website||http://dllr.maryland.gov/license/pe/|
We prepared a detailed summary and review of the Maryland continuing education requirements (read the article).
Engineering Continuing Education Requirements for Maryland
As a Maryland professional engineer, when it’s time for you to renew your license, it’s beneficial to ask: what are the continuing education requirements?
When it comes to continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers, you are expected to update your skills, acquire new expertise and broaden your knowledge base.
Thus, you are required to complete 15 professional development hours (PDH) every 2 years. You must have an ethics-related topic for at least one PDH. You are allowed to carry a maximum of 8 credit hours forward into the next licensing term. All engineering licenses are renewed on the last day of the month from the date of issue every 2 years.
When it comes to continuing education providers, Maryland pre-approves them.
If you are renewing your license for the first time, you are exempt from needing continuing education credits. You must earn all of your PDH credits during the first renewal cycle. You can’t apply credits if they were completed prior to obtaining your Maryland engineering license.
Maryland PDH Credits
In Maryland, engineering is regulated by the Maryland Board for Professional Engineers. You have to earn 16 PDH credits every 2 years. The courses you take must come from qualified programs and should improve your professional competency as well as improve, extend and enhance your professional engineering knowledge and skills.
Some of the continuing education courses that are accepted by the Board include:
- Courses related to the technical, analytical, research or design of engineering
- Maryland laws and regulations that apply to engineering
- Computer hardware and software topics that are related to engineering
- Standards of care and/or practice
- Engineering ethics
- Courses in risk management, project management or disaster and emergency management
- Other courses that improve, maintain or expand your knowledge and skills in your engineering field
During each 2-year renewal period, you must have at least one PDH credit that is related to ethics. The course must meet the Board’s continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers.
All course providers are pre-approved by the Board, and all of your courses must be taken with one of the approved sponsors. For ease of finding these courses, you might consider checking out PDH-Pro, which is a Maryland-approved provider of continuing education courses.
You have to be able to certify that you have earned the required number of PDH credits. While submission of certificates is not required during each 2-year renewal period, you must maintain your records for at least 4 years. The Board conducts random audits, and if you are audited, you must provide proof that you have completed all of the hours that you claimed. You can submit this information online.
Maryland PE License Renewal Dates
Your Maryland engineering license is valid for 2 years. All engineering licenses are renewed on the last day of the month in which your license was originally issued.
In general, renewal notices are sent 60 days before your license expires. You can renew your license up to 60 days before it expires.
If you don’t renew your license within the stipulated timeframe, it will expire. To get it reinstated, it will cost an additional $100. You are also required to submit proof that you completed the required continuing education credits within 30 days of your license getting reinstated.
MD Engineering Ethics and Professional Conduct
Engineering impacts most aspects of society. Since it plays such a vital role, it is important that engineers not only have technical expertise, but that they also understand and adhere to high ethical standards. To ensure that you are incorporating the code of ethics into your daily work, the Board mandates that you complete at least one PDH credit in ethics to fulfill the continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers.
When it comes to the ethics course you take, it must include the following:
- Ethical conflicts and concerns related to engineering
- Enhanced familiarity with the professional engineering code of conduct
- Engineering standards of practice or care
- Applicable Maryland engineering laws and regulations
Engineer Record Keeping Requirements
You are responsible for keeping track of the documents that say you have fulfilled your continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers. Every year, the Board conducts audits for engineers that are renewing their license. If you get audited, you must provide the correct documentation that proves you have met the conditions necessary for license renewal.
It’s required that you maintain your documentation for at least 4 years from the date you completed the qualifying programs. The documents that can be used to verify you took the required courses include the following:
- Participation certificates
- Publication reprints
- Proof that you gave a presentation
The information that should be included with each record includes:
- Title and description of the course/activity
- Dates and times the course/activity was attended
- The name of the presenter
- Any other information that the Board might require
If you are looking for a record management system that fulfills the Board’s requirement, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has one that you can use. While this is useful for keeping track of the courses you have taken, you are not required to use it.
Continuing Education Activities Accepted by the Maryland Engineering Board
When it comes to continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers, any course or activity that will improve or expand your skills and knowledge in your field of engineering will be accepted by the Board. The Board has the final say in whether a course or activity qualifies for continuing education credit. Some of the courses you can take include the following:
If you take a self-directed or self-study online course, they must have a clear outcome that is measured in the form of a test, report, study, narrative or research paper for the Board to accept it. There is no limit on the number of PDH credits that can be earned online.
While these courses are similar to online courses, they take the activities one step further and allow you to interact with the presenter. As long as the webinar meets the standards set forth by the Board, it will be accepted to fulfill your continuing education requirements.
In addition to the courses and activities that are authorized and pre-approved by the Board, there are other activities that are also accepted. These include:
- Authoring an original paper or book on an engineering topic or similar publication that is intended to be used and distributed by professionals
- Obtaining a patent
- Developing questions that are accepted by the NCEES for use on their exam
- Actively participating in a professional or technical engineering society
- Teaching or lecturing a qualified program
The PDH credits earned for these activities will vary. For example, a published book will earn you 24 PDH, and a research paper will earn you 5 PDH. One college semester hour equals 45 PDH credits.
The regular duties you perform for your job are not considered to be qualifying activities. Other activities that do not meet the continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers include the following:
- Being employed as a professional engineer, expert witness or full-time faculty member
- Business development, sales or marketing
- Demonstrations of equipment or displays at a trade show
- Techniques and strategies related to time management
- Computer-aided drafting
- Taking the same course or activity more than once
- Attending business or committee meetings for any organization
- Conversational language courses that you take for personal use
- Executive coaching
- Courses on basic computer software including Excel, Outlook, Word and others
- Any topic that is not relevant to engineering
Which Engineering Continuing Education Activities Count?
Any course or activity that is related to your engineering field and increases your knowledge and improves your skills are accepted by the Board. The course or activity should have a stated purpose, content that is well defined, and a duration that is clearly stated. The course or activity should not focus solely on business skills or personal use.
Pre-Approval of Continuing Education Activities
The Board pre-approves all course providers, and they offer a complete list so that you know which ones are accepted.
Sources of Free Continuing Education Courses
Due to the advances in technology, the number of courses you can take online has increased exponentially, making live webinars and other interactive courses common. Educational institutions such as Caltech, Harvard, MIT and Stanford provide massive open online courses (MOOCs) led by subject matter experts that are mostly free of charge.
If you are a member of a professional engineering organization such as ASME, NSPE or ASCE, they may offer free courses as a perk of membership.
Maryland Engineering Licensing
To become a professional engineer in Maryland, you have to meet the following requirements for education and/or experience:
Option 1: EAC/ABET Approved Degree
- Graduate from a 4-year engineering curriculum or equivalent that is approved by the Board
- Have at least 4 years of engineering experience
Option 2: Non-EAC/ABET or Foreign Curriculum
- Graduate from a 4-year engineering curriculum or equivalent that the Board has not approved
- Have at least 8 years of engineering experience
Option 3: Work Experience
- 12 years of work experience, of which 5 years you have been in a responsible charge
- You can substitute a complete scholastic year of at least 30 credit hours for each year of experience, as long as the Board finds your grades satisfactory
- If you have completed graduate study from a college or university that the Board recognizes, you may be allowed up to 1 year of credit toward your experience requirement
- Should the Board not recognize the college or university, you may be allowed up to 6 months of credit toward your required experience for each of those years
You must fill out the exam application 120 days prior to the exam date. You must also pay a $50 fee for the NCEES exam.
Once you have passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam given by the NCEES, you can apply for an engineering license in Maryland. You have the ability to fill out the application online.
Engineering Discipline Restrictions
The continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers mandate that any course or activity you take should improve, maintain or expand your skills and knowledge as they pertain to your field of practice, as defined in the Maryland Department of Labor Subtitle 23 Board for Professional Engineers Chapter 06 Continuing Professional Competency Requirements.
Today, there is a lot of overlap when it comes to the engineering disciplines. Since many projects are multidisciplinary in nature, the Board recognizes that engineers must have knowledge in a wide range of technical areas.
Thus, they do not restrict taking courses in fields that are different from what you earned your degree in. However, you need to ensure that the courses you take satisfy the continuing education requirements for Maryland engineers that are explained in Regulation .04 of the above-mentioned chapter. Mainly, the courses can’t be taken for personal use.