Civil Engineer License Renewal | Top Strategies for Earning CEUs

Civil Engineering Continuing Education RequirementsCivil Engineer License Renewal | Top Strategies for Earning CEUs

An important consideration for all professional engineers is how best to satisfy the continuing education requirements of their state engineering board.

Civil engineers must earn an average of 15 hours of continuing education credits annually as part of their license renewal. Many states require courses in ethics and some pre-approve the courses and course providers. Topics must be technical in nature and relevant to the engineer’s practice.

In this article, we review the myriad of ways in which civil engineers can earn PDH credits, satisfy their state board’s requirements, and avoid disciplinary penalties in the 42 states that require continuing education.

Training Requirements for Civil Engineers

Civil engineers comprise the majority of professional engineers in the United States, and, like all PEs, are required to earn continuing education units (CEUs) to satisfy the continuing education requirements for license renewal. Due to the large number of civil engineers who hold professional engineer licenses, a variety of training options are available. Many engineering course providers offer PDH courses specifically for civil engineers. Most professional societies offer training opportunities for their members. Colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate courses that can be used to meet the continuing education requirements for civil engineers. If you are a civil engineer who must complete continuing education as part of your license renewal, the following information can make the process much simpler and less stressful.

Which Continuing Ed Course Topics Should a Civil Engineer Take

Civil engineers looking for continuing education courses often wonder what type of training they should take. Suitable continuing education course topics for civil engineers include the stormwater management, environmental remediation and assessment, roadways, paving, and construction management. In addition to technical engineering courses in the civil engineering discipline, professionals can also take courses on ethics, state rules and laws, and project management (check that your state accepts this subject). General engineering topics are also popular with civil engineers as they complete their license renewal requirements.

We have a variety of packages for civil engineers that are designed to meet your state engineering board’s requirements. We have packages for every state – see them here.

Can Civil Engineers Take Courses in Another Discipline

Many civil engineers are interested in expanding their knowledge base and would like to take continuing education courses in another engineering discipline. A common question is – Will my state engineering board approve the engineering PDH courses if they aren’t related to civil engineering? Although each state has its own requirements, most state boards WILL ACCEPT engineering continuing education courses in a discipline besides civil engineering as long as the material is technical in nature and expands your skills and knowledge of the engineering profession. The goal of continuing education is to ensure that professional engineers are knowledgeable about new technologies and informed about current best practices. If you are uncertain about a particular class, check with the course provider or your state engineering board.

Which Continuing Education Course Format is Best for CEs

Civil engineering professionals also must decide which format is best when selecting CEUs for their license renewal. A very popular course format is live webinars. This type of course is similar to the traditional classroom setting except it is delivered online with the subject matter expert presenting the course materials live and the students can interact with the instructor and other participants. Online courses are the most commonly used format – this type of continuing education training, also known as self-directed courses, allows the engineer to complete the course at his/her own pace with the course materials delivered in an electronic format such as a recorded lecture or a document with the technical materials. Many civil engineers earn their PDH courses by attending seminars and conferences. Another popular way to earn CEU credits is by actively participating in an engineering society or organization.

State Engineering Board’s Perspective on Civil Engineering

State Engineering Board's Perspective on Civil EngineeringIf you are looking for online civil engineering continuing education courses, it is important to remember that PDH courses must maintain, improve and expand the technical knowledge of your engineering practice. Many online continuing ed providers have online CE and PDH courses for Professional Civil Engineers. You may want to consider civil engineering webinars and civil engineering seminars for your PE license renewal as well. Many civil engineering seminars and civil engineering webinars overlap with continuing education courses designed for PE Structural Engineers.

Although there are no specific civil engineer continuing education requirements, professional engineers looking to renew their PE Professional license must comply with their state engineering board’s requirements. Professional engineers have a lot of options for civil engineering continuing education courses, and most of these options meet the state engineering law standards. Ultimately, it is your responsibility as the PE to determine which continuing education courses are appropriate for your civil engineering license renewal and which options meet your CEU goals.

Does Your State Engineering Board Accept Webinars

Every state engineering board accepts live webinars for continuing education credits. A webinar must still meet the state board requirements related to the topic, and pre-approval (for those states that pre-approved continuing education providers). Some states, such as New York, Ohio, and Nebraska, impose additional restrictions that you will want to understand before purchasing an engineering webinar course.

The New York State engineering board accepts engineering webinars as a way to satisfy their live course requirement. The webinar must come from an approved continuing education provider. If you are an Ohio professional engineer, webinars from PDH Pro meet the Ohio board requirement for a timed and monitored CEU. The Wisconsin board requires engineers to obtain live courses, and engineering webinars meet this requirement. The Iowa board has a similar requirement – some engineering CEU’s must be live and interactive, and live webinars from PDH Pro meet this requirement. The Nebraska engineering board limits the number of eligible engineering CEU credits, but live webinars are exempt from this limit.

What Do Civil Engineers Do

Civil engineering is one of the most overlooked fields in engineering. Civil engineers plan public works projects, supervise the implementation of infrastructure projects, and manage a wide variety of construction activities. These projects are integral to the normal function of our society as showcased by their work. They are responsible for the infrastructure that facilitates the movement of people and goods around the country. One of the most respected civil engineers, Joseph Bazalgette, highlights the tremendous importance of civil engineering – during the Victorian age, this great engineer saved London from cholera by constructing new sewers.

Civil Engineering: Crash Course Engineering #2 [8:45]
PBS Digital Studios discusses the facets of civil engineering, including structural and construction engineering, city planning, transportation, and sanitation.

What Types of Projects Require Civil Engineers

Civil engineers are responsible for designing and supervising the construction of major public works projects such as:

  • Buildings
  • Highways
  • Airports
  • Bridges and dams

These professionals work for government organizations as well as private industry. Those who work in the private sector often compete for government contracts, especially civil engineers who design and build highways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. Whether a civil engineer is employed in the public or private-sector, their contributions to society are substantial and are a key reason the United States is the leading economic force in the world.

Civil engineering is a versatile profession because there are many different projects they are qualified to undertake. These projects may include aspects of transportation, structural or geotechnical engineering.

A civil engineer is mostly based in an office. They work from the field when they visit project sites to check on the progress.

Characteristics of Civil Engineers

A civil engineer must have a broad set of skills and characteristics to navigate the rigorous requirements of their work. These skills and characteristics include:

  • Being a good project manager
  • Leadership
  • The ability to communicate their plans, goals, and vision clearly
  • Accountable and time conscious
  • Team player
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Proficiency in mathematics, geometry, and calculus

A civil engineer uses their diverse skill set to ensure that team members’ work together to achieve the same goal.

Civil Engineering CoursesCivil Engineering Packages Learn More

As the leader in continuing education for professional engineers, PDH-Pro offers a range of civil engineering courses for engineers looking to renew their license. Our comprehensive library of online and live webinar training courses are prepared by top industry leaders who share their knowledge in an intuitive and interactive manner. Select from a variety of topics including storm water management, highway safety and design, wastewater treatment, and construction management.