New York Professional Engineer Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing Education Requirements for NY PEsNY State Continuing Education Course Package

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) regulates the practice of engineering and establishes continuing education standards. Engineers in New York must earn 36 professional development hour credits every three years. Ethics courses are accepted but not required. New York pre-approves course providers. License renewal is triennially, based on the last day of the month of the licensee’s birthday.

PDH-Pro is approved by the New York State Board for Engineering, Land Surveying and Geology as a
provider of continuing education for professional engineers (#274).

Listed below are the New York professional engineer (PE) license renewal requirements.

No of PDH hours required 36 PDH
Renewal period Every three years, on the last day of the month of the licensee’s birthday.
Provider approval The Board pre-approves course providers.
Course content approval Technical, managerial and ethical related to the profession of engineering. Courses must have is a clear purpose and objective which will maintain, improve or expand skills and knowledge obtained prior to initial licensure or to develop new and relevant skills and knowledge.
Maximum PDH hours to carry over No PDH hours can be carried to next period.
Online courses Online courses are Accepted by the board. All 36 hours can be online or self-directed. 
The previous requirement that at least 18 PDH must be earned through live courses is no longer applicable.
State Board Website http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pels/


We prepared a detailed summary and review of the New York continuing education requirements (read the article).

Engineering Continuing Education Requirements for New York

Part of your responsibilities when you are a professional engineer in New York is to renew your license. When that time comes, you might be asking: What are the continuing education requirements for New York engineers?

According to the state governing board for engineers, you are required to earn 36 professional development hours (PDH) every 3 years. You are not allowed to carry over any hours from the previous renewal period, but credits can come from a variety of courses and other educational activities. One PDH must come from an ethics course.

New York Engineering PDH Credits

As a professional engineer in New York, you have to register with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and this is the department that also renews your license every 3 years. Your license is renewed based on your birth month, and you have the ability to renew your license online.

The NYSED pre-approves all sponsors that offer continuing education courses and activities. The courses don’t have to be pre-approved, but it is your responsibility to determine if the courses are relevant and appropriate to renew your engineering license. One of the PDH credits you earn has to be in ethics, and you can obtain this by taking a self-paced course provided online by the state. It is mandated that you obtain and maintain certificates of completion for all of the PDH hours you claim.

New York PE License Renewal Dates

Every engineer will have a different license renewal date, and it is based on your birth date. Due to this, the first time you have to renew your license may be less than the normal 3 years. Should this occur, you are expected to calculate the amount of PDH credits you have to earn for this renewal period. The continuing educations credits you need to earn will be equal to the number of months that exist within your first renewal cycle.

Every engineer has to maintain certificates of completion for continuing education credits for a period of 6 years. You don’t have to submit these certificates when you renew your license, but if you are audited by the NYSED, you are expected to present them as proof that you fulfilled your continuing education requirements for New York engineers.

New York Engineering Ethics and Professional Conduct

During each renewal cycle, the NYSED requires that one PDH credit be earned from an ethics course. You can find a self-paced course on their website, and it includes the state’s expectations for the professional conduct of a professional engineer.

It’s also possible to earn this PDH credit from an outside source, which might include foundational ethics courses. You can also earn your ethics credits by participating in a separate continuing education course. If this is the route you take, the course must adhere to the NYSED guidelines, which include:

  • The ethics content should be 60 minutes long
  • The title, syllabus and certificate of completion should indicate that the course contained an ethics component

Record Keeping Requirements for New York Professional Engineers

You are expected to obtain and maintain records of the PDH credits you earn each license renewal period for at least 6 years. Certificates of completion are the only documents that the NYSED accepts for proof that you fulfilled the continuing education requirements for New York engineers.

You don’t have to submit these certificates when you apply for license renewal, but if you get audited, you must be able to supply them in a timely manner. The information that needs to be on the certificates includes:

  • Course title, subject area and course number (if applicable)
  • How many course hours were completed
  • The name and identification number of the sponsor
  • Verification of attendance from the sponsor
  • Date
  • Location

If you teach or present a course and you are hoping to earn continuing education credits, the sponsor of your course will need to provide you with a signed letter. All of the information that is required on certificates of completion should also be included in this letter. The NYSED will not accept self-reporting as proof that you acquired the necessary continuing education credits for license renewal.

Continuing Education Activities Accepted by NYSED

When it comes to the continuing education requirements for New York engineers, you have to obtain 18 PDH credits from courses and 18 PDH credits from educational activities. The NYSED will never accept independent or self-reported study.

To be able to claim continuing education credits for course hours, the course must allow you to interact immediately with the instructor. To accomplish this, you’ll need to take courses in traditional classrooms or by attending live webinars. The course must also be relevant to engineering. Topics that don’t count include real estate, marketing or personal financial planning.

When it comes to PDH credits that are earned from education activities, these don’t have to be taken in a live setting. You can earn these from online classes and webinars, as long as there is a testing instrument at the end that shows you successfully completed the activity. Some of the educational activities that can be used for license renewal include:

  • Teaching an approved course
  • Writing an article on an approved topic or subject area
  • Giving a technical presentation that has been sponsored by an approved provider in an approved subject area
  • Obtaining a patent (counts for 9 PDH)
  • Taking online classes and webinars that have been pre-approved

You get to choose if your ethics credit will count toward your course or educational activity hours. No matter which one you choose, remember that the NYSED has to approve the sponsor, subject area, and format. You can find a comprehensive list of approved sponsors on the NYSED’s website.

Pre-Approval of Engineering Continuing Education Activities

The NYSED pre-approves certain sponsors and issues them a Continuing Education Provider number. Even if a sponsor has been pre-approved, this does not mean that all of the courses or activities they offer will qualify for PDH credits. It is up to you do determine what courses will count toward your continuing education requirements for New York engineers.

Sources of Free Continuing Education Courses

You can take a free, self-paced ethics course that is offered by NYSED. There is also a list of other free continuing education courses on their website.

New York Engineering Licensing

To become a professionally licensed engineer in New York, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering and have a minimum of 4 years of field experience. To take the necessary exams, you have to have 12 total years of credit, including education. How much practical work experience you need to get an engineering license will depend on your highest level of relevant education. To figure out this calculation, you can visit the NYSED website.

Every professional engineer in New York has to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice Examination (PE) exams that are administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

After you have passed both exams, you must then fill out and submit an application form, which is available on the state department website. Every application you fill out requires a fee of $377. You can either fill these applications out online or send them to the address that is listed on the form. It takes up to 12 weeks to hear from the state department on the status of your application.

Engineering Discipline Restrictions

The NYSED requires that to fulfill your continuing education requirements for New York engineers, you must attend courses and educational activities that are relevant to engineering and have sponsors that have been pre-approved.

If you allow your engineering license to become inactive, you need to check the specific requirements found on the NYSED website to get it renewed. If you are in your first renewal cycle, this is the only time that you are not required to earn 36 PDH. To remain active and successful in your industry, you must ensure that you can renew your license with the state.