North Carolina Professional Engineer Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing Education Requirements for NC PEs

The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCBELS) regulates the practice of engineering and establishes continuing education standards. Engineers in North Carolina must earn 15 professional development hour credits every year. A maximum of 15 hours can be carried over to the next renewal period. Ethics courses are accepted but not required. North Carolina pre-approves course providers. PDH-Pro is an approved North Carolina CPC Sponsor (S-0695). License renewal is required annually, on December 31st.

Listed below are the North Carolina professional engineer (PE) license renewal requirements.

No of PDH hours required 15 PDH
Renewal period Annually, by December 31st.
Provider approval The Board pre-approves course providers. PDH-Pro is a North Carolina approved Approved Sponsor #S-0695.
Course content approval

Although the Board does not have specific acceptance rules, its website states that one or more of the following criteria should be used to make the determination of acceptable material:

  • The course or activity is taken through an “Approved Sponsor.” PDH-Pro is a North Carolina Board “Approved Sponsor.”
  • The licensee can substantiate that the course or activity has maintained, improved, or expanded the skills and knowledge relevant to his/her field of practice.
  • The activity will enhance the licensee’s ability to provide engineering/surveying services in a professional and competent manner and better protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
  • The subject matter of the course or activity is related to the licensee’s professional practice.
  • The course or activity is aimed at engineers/surveyors and is of a technical nature.
  • Advanced computer courses to be used in professional practice.<sup)1
Maximum PDH hours to carry over 15 PDH
Online courses No limit on online courses.
State Board Website www.ncbels.org/cpc.html


We prepared a comprehensive review of the North Carolina continuing education requirements (read the article).

Detailed Review of Engineering Continuing Education Requirements for North Carolina

If you are a professional engineer in North Carolina and you are getting ready to renew your license, you may be wondering what the continuing education requirements are.
When it comes to the continuing education requirements for North Carolina professional engineers, you are required to have 15 hours of continuing education courses and activities (also known as Continuing Professional Competency) every year.

All engineering licenses expire on December 31st of each year. There aren’t any required courses you must take, and you can carry forward as many as 15 professional development hours (PDH) into the following renewal cycle.

When it comes to completing your PDH credits, you have the ability to do this by taking online classes or by attending live webinars or seminars.

North Carolina PDH Credits

Engineering licensing in North Carolina is regulated by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCBELS).

You are required to complete at least 15 PDH credits every year. When it comes to the continuing education requirements for North Carolina professional engineers, the NCBELS doesn’t mandate that specific courses have to be completed, and they don’t pre-approve courses. However, the NCBELS Board does have to approve sponsors and providers.

After you have completed a continuing education course, the provider or sponsor should provide you with an evaluation form, a certificate of completion, or verification of attendance for each class you take. It’s advised that you hold onto this documentation for at least 3 years. Some of the other information you’ll need after completing a course includes:

  • The course subject
  • Title of the course
  • Date
  • Course duration
  • Name of the presenter
  • Number of credit hours earned

License Renewal Dates

Since all engineering licenses expire on December 31st in North Carolina, the license renewal date is December 1st of every year. It is your responsibility to keep a log of the courses you’ve completed and proof of attendance for 3 years.

Engineering Ethics and Professional Conduct

When it comes to continuing education requirements for North Carolina professional engineers, the NCBELS does not require that you take any courses that pertain to state rules or law, engineering ethics, or professional conduct as part of your 15 PDH credits. However, you can choose to take continuing education courses that cover these topics and it will count towards your license renewal, but they are not mandated by the Board.

Record Keeping Requirements for Engineers

Professional engineers in North Carolina are required to maintain records and logs of the courses they take to fulfill their annual 15 PDH credits. You’ll need to keep an accurate log of the specific courses you took, the dates the courses were taken, the name of the course presenter, where the course or activity was held, who sponsored the course/activity, proof that you attended the course and took any exams, and if you received a certificate of completion.

You’ll need to hold onto the verification of attendance for 3 years. The Board may conduct an audit, and you’ll need to be able to prove that you fulfilled the continuing education requirements for North Carolina professional engineers.

Continuing Education Activities Accepted by the Board

Even though the NCBELS doesn’t pre-approve continuing education courses or activities, there are certain criteria that must be met to be accepted for license renewal. These include to following:

  • It’s possible to fulfill all 15 PDH credits by taking online courses
  • Live webinars must provide information specific to engineering
  • Self-directed courses should be based on your knowledge and expertise
  • Courses/activities have to be given by approved sponsors
  • You have to be able to prove that the course/activity improved, maintained, or expanded your engineering knowledge or your ability to do your job or that the course/activity enhanced your ability to provide engineering services that can better serve and protect the public’s safety, health, and welfare
  • The course should be designed for engineers and technical in nature
  • You can take courses that are used for professional engineering practices

Unacceptable PDH Activities

Courses or activities that will not be accepted by the Board include the following:

  • College courses that are not specifically designed for engineers
  • Training programs offered by a business that focuses on company policy and/or procedures
  • On-the-job training or refresher courses
  • Any activity that you already completed for PDH credit during the current renewal period
  • Non-technical topics that you can use for self-improvement, financial gain, or to search for another job
  • General first aid or safety courses
  • Conference or trade show attendance
  • Memberships in professional societies or clubs

Pre-Approval of Continuing Education Activities

The Board does not pre-approve the continuing education courses you take for your PDH credits, but they do pre-approve the providers or sponsors of the course or activity. If you are looking for an online site with a variety of courses to help with your license renewal, PDH-Pro has been pre-approved as a North Carolina CPC Sponsor (S-0695).

Sources of Free Continuing Education Courses

If you are looking for free courses to fulfill your continuing education requirements for North Carolina professional engineers, there are several organizations that provide them. If you are part of a professional society such as the ASME, ASCE, AIA, or the NSPE, they may offer free courses as a benefit of being a member.

North Carolina Engineering Licensing

Becoming a licensed professional engineer in North Carolina requires you to complete a four-step process. These include the following:

Step 1: Earn an engineering degree from a university, college, or other educational institution that has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
Step 2: Earn a passing grade on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam
Step 3: Spend 4 years working as an engineer
Step 4: After accumulating the requisite engineering work experience, you must then pass the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Professional Engineering exam. The NCBELS has to certify your engineering experience before you can take this exam.

Engineering Discipline Restrictions

When it comes to the continuing education courses you take to renew your license, the Board requires that they are offered by approved sponsors and that the courses improve, maintain, and expand your professional engineering knowledge. They want to ensure that the skills and information you obtain allow you to protect and enhance the safety, health, and welfare of the public.

Improving Engineers and Engineering

The NCBELS has guidelines that are in place to ensure that all engineers are properly trained so that they can receive their professional licenses and provide the highest quality engineering services. The goal is to make sure that the work every professional engineer does creates products, services, infrastructure, and buildings that contribute to public safety. These guidelines also apply to the continuing education requirements for North Carolina professional engineers and the 15 PDH credits that are required every year.

Packages for North Carolina Professional Engineers

Complete continuing education packages built specifically for engineers registered in the State of North Carolina. Designed to fulfill the entire continuing education requirement.

North Carolina engineer continuing education

North Carolina Rules and Regulations

This course provides an overview of the rules and regulations for practicing engineering in the state of North Carolina.

north carolina professional engineering rules and regulations