Pennsylvania Engineer Continuing Education Rules You Need to Know
Technology, codes of practice, and industrial engineering standards are continually evolving.
So, to ensure engineers remain at the top of their game, they’re required to complete 24 hours of mandatory training.
This has to be undertaken once every two years. Otherwise, they risk losing their license (no matter their specialty or experience).
This commitment to:
- Continual learning
- The constant refreshment of existing skills
- The receipt of up to date instruction on new equipment and machinery
- Understanding modern approaches to things like management and ethics
…ensures customers receive the safest and most competent service whenever they hire an engineer.
The specific requirements for this training vary from state to state and specialism to specialism. But, training programs across the country have one thing in common.
They’re geared towards safeguarding life, health, and property, and promoting public safety.
Read on to find out more about Pennsylvania engineer continuing education…
Pennsylvania Engineer Continuing Education: The Requirements
In the State of Pennsylvania, this mandate is called the upkeep of Continuing Professional Competency (CPC). It’s overseen by the Pennsylvania State Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.
To meet the requirements specified by the Board, engineers registered in the State of Pennsylvania must complete at least 24 hours of training by September 30th every other year. This is imperative if they want to renew their professional certifications.
If you exceed 24 hours of study in any given period, a maximum of 12 professional development hours (PDH) can be carried into the next renewal period.
It’s important to note that you, as the engineer, are responsible for arranging and maintaining your own development.
The Board specifies that CPC credits must “maintain, improve or expand skills and knowledge obtained prior to initial licensure.”
For the educational content to cover, it should cover applicable laws and ethics, and help you develop new skills and knowledge.
But, the Board cannot recommend any particular providers. No matter which course you choose, you’ll need to assess whether it meets the required mandates.
But, education courses delivered online, and face-to-face are deemed acceptable.
How to Earn PDH Credits
You can earn PDH units by completing college courses relevant to your field of expertise. For example, you might want to study for an MS in Chemical Engineering.
Or, perhaps you want to top up your knowledge with distance learning courses on something science or math-related? The choice is yours. Physics and pre-calc are good places to start. But, biology, geometry, and algebra are also worth considering.
But, if sitting behind a library desk studying isn’t for you anymore, consider a course that’s a little more “hands-on.” For instance, a professional workshop or work experientially related discipline.
If you can obtain a patent for something relevant to your discipline, too, this will also count towards your PDH quota for this period.
What About Teaching?
Are you doing any of the following? Or, are considering any of the teaching-style jobs below?:
- Providing professional instruction to college students
- Acting as a tutor for a correspondence course
- Presenting lectures and seminars
- Publishing papers in reputed academic journals in your area of special interest.
If so, it’s always worth checking with a professional body to make sure that your hard work counts towards your continual development for the two-year period—and that you do enough of it to fulfill the equivalent of 24 hours of study.
Other Ways to Earn Credits
The breakdown for less conventional types of credit and their conversion into PDH units can be understood as follows:
- One college or unit semester hour is equal to 45 PDH units.
- One college or unit quarter hours is equal to 30 PDH units.
- One continuing education unit is equal to ten PDH units.
- One hour of professional development spent in course work, seminars, or technical presentations made at meetings. Or undertaking employer-sponsored courses, conventions, or conferences is equal to one PDH unit.
- Each paper, article, or book you’ve published is equal to 10 PDH units.
- Each patent obtained is equal to 10 PDH units.
Teaching any of the activities associated with professional development equals double the amount of PDH units.
Teaching credits are awarded for teaching a course or seminar. But, be aware, if you’re a full-time faculty member at an educational institution, you can’t earn these credits in the commission of your regular duties.
Exceptions to Requirements
You may only be exempt from completing the 24 PDH for one or more of the following reasons:
You’re serving on temporary active duty in the US armed forces for a period exceeding 120 consecutive days in a year.
Or, you may also be exempt if you’re experiencing:
- Physical disability
- Suffering from another extenuating circumstance as reviewed and approved by the Board.
Please note, you’ll be required to submit supporting evidence to the Board as proof.
Lastly, you may be exempt if you’re an individual applying for initial licensure.
Do You Need Help Selecting a Course?
We hope having read this article you now know a bit more about Pennsylvania engineer continuing education.
At PDH-PRO, we have a whole range of continuing education packages. All of which are explicitly created for engineers of all disciplines registered in the State of Pennsylvania.
Our courses are designed for engineers looking to complete their 24 hours of professional development to comply with the Board’s requirements. Industry leaders deliver them with decades of real-world experience under their belt.
With immediate certification and regulatory approval guaranteed, what are you waiting for? Get in touch and book today.