Illinois engineers looking to renew their license may be wondering – What are the continuing education requirement for Illinois professional engineers?
Illinois Professional Engineers are required to complete 30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) every two years. The board does not allow engineers to carry forward any credits to the next renewal period. The renewal date for all professional engineers is November 30 of every odd year.
Illinois Engineers can meet their continuing education requirements with one of our Illinois Packages. These packages include all courses required by the board and are guaranteed to be accepted.
We prepared a summary of the Illinois license renewal requirements (check out our Illinois PE renewal page).
Illinois PDH Credits
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Division of Professional Regulation regulates the profession of engineering in Illinois.
The board allows the engineer a wide latitude in selecting courses for continuing education purposes. They recommend that a course must “contribute to the advancement, extension or enhancement of the professional skills and/or scientific knowledge of the licensee in practice of professional engineering” and “foster the enhancement of general or specialized practice and values of professional engineering, related sciences, and engineering ethics”.
Engineers are required to keep and maintain PDH completion records for a minimum of 6 years. There is no limit to the number of online courses that can be earned for continuing education credit in Illinois.
Illinois License Renewal Dates
Professional engineers in the State of Illinois are required to renew their license every two years. Beginning in 2005, the renewal comes up on the 30th of November of every odd year. To qualify for license renewal, the engineer must have completed 30 PDH in the preceding 24 months. Failure to meet up with this requirement can cause refusal of license renewal, disciplinary action, or both.
In general, when renewing for the first time, applicants are not required to complete the professional development conditions . However, Illinois-licensed professional engineers practicing in another state are required to satisfy all PDH conditions for renewal.
All professional engineers who choose to place their license on inactive status are required to write to the division to that effect. During this period, the applicant will be excused from payment of renewal fee until he/she is willing to resume/reactivate the license. Also, a professional engineer whose license is on inactive status is not allowed to practice engineering in the State of Illinois.
Engineering Ethics and Professional Conduct
The IDFPR does not require engineers to complete courses in the area of engineering ethics and professional conduct. However, they do accept these courses towards the continuing professional competency requirement.
As a professional Engineer in the State of Illinois, you are expected only to;
- recognize that your primary duty is to protect the safety, health, property, and welfare of the public
- only accept projects within your area of specialization, expertise or education
- may also accept projects or assignments comprises of tasks within and outside your field but only execute those within your area of specialization, education, and expertise and leave the rest for professionals licensed in such fields
- avoid conflicts of interest between yourself and client/employer
- publicly express a professional opinion on technical issues only when you have verified facts about the incidence
More so, as part of the professional conduct, you are not allowed to;
- reveal confidential facts, data or information obtained through your professional capacity unless required by the law
- shall not partner with, use your name or brand name with another party who is believed to engage in fraudulent activities
- shall only append signature of seal on plans designed by you or under your supervision
Records Keeping Requirements for Engineers
As a licensed professional engineer in the State of Illinois, you are required to keep and maintain your records for a minimum period of 6 years for auditing purposes. Examples of records you should keep include the name and address of sponsor, logs of PDHs, or transcript records.
Continuing Education Activities Accepted by the Board
In the State of Illinois, one PDH equals a minimum of 50 minutes of activity. However, if the CEU-awarding program is taken instead of the PDH, one CEU equals 10 PDHs in an approved continuing education course.
Online Courses: The IDFPR allows engineers to complete online courses for continuing education credit. There is no limit on the number of hours for this type of course in Illinois.
Live Webinars: Illinois engineers can use live webinars for continuing education credit. Webinars are delivered through an online service where the instructor and students can interact with each other in “real time”. This course format is one of the most popular among engineers.
Professional engineers must determine if a particular course is suitable for meeting their continuing education requirements. The Illinois board does not pre-approve courses.
Pre-Approval of Continuing Education Activities
The board does not pre-approve any continuing education provider or course. However, the board recommends that the course must “contribute to the advancement, extension or enhancement of the professional skills and/or scientific knowledge of the licensee in practice of professional engineering” and “foster the enhancement of general or specialized practice and values of professional engineering, related sciences, and engineering ethics”.
Sources of Free Continuing Education Courses
There are many CEU online courses out there but most are paid. PDH-Pro offers a free course for engineers who are interested in evaluating their content..
If you are a member of an engineering society such as ASCE, ASME, or NSPE, you may be eligible to participate in free courses as a benefit of membership.
Illinois Engineering Licensing
Engineers must have completed at least 30 PDH over the preceding 24 months (2 years) to qualify for the license. PDH activities include, but not limited to;
- Successful completion of college or university course in the related professional field,
- One semester hour completed shall equal 15 PDHs and one-quarter hour shall equal 10 PDHs
- Participating actively in professional engineering programs, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and short courses, on-line or in-house courses.
- Self-study courses will only count if an examination was conducted and graded by the sponsor.
- Active participation on a committee or holding an office in a professional or technical society
PDH-Pro offers complete continuing education packages for Illinois engineers. We developed these 30-hour packages to provide everything required by IDFPR for license renewal. You can select a package that matches your engineering discipline – chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, geotechnical, mechanical, and structural. We guarantee they will be accepted by IDFPR without question.
Engineering Discipline Restrictions
Illinois engineers are required to practice within their competency. This is a universal requirement in the United States. However, the Illinois engineering board does not restrict engineers from earning continuing education credits in another discipline. For example, a civil engineer can complete a continuing education course in the areas of mechanical or electrical and will be allowed credit by the board. The rationale given is that engineering design requires an understanding and knowledge of a broad range of topics, and completing courses outside your area of expertise makes you a better engineer.
The State of Illinois has set aside a comprehensive guide for professional engineers who want to practice within the state. Such engineers must complete at least 30 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) within 24 months. Renewal of licenses is also done on the 30th of November of every odd year.