We are frequently asked “What are the continuing education requirement for North Carolina professional engineers?”
Professional engineers in North Carolina are required to take 15 hours of continuing education, known as Continuing Professional Competency (CPC), courses and activities each year. The hours can be completed by taking online continuing education courses to fulfill the license renewal requirements. All engineering license expire on December 31st of each year. There are no required courses and as many as 15 professional development hours (PDH) may be carried forward into the following renewal cycle.
Fortunately, North Carolina engineers can complete their PDH credits by taking online classes, attending seminars, or live webinars.
We prepared a summary of all license renewal requirements for North Carolina PE renewal page.
North Carolina PDH Credits
The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCBELS) regulates engineering licensing for the State of North Carolina.
NCBELS requires engineers in North Carolina to complete at least 15 PDH credits through continuing education courses every 12 months. No specific courses are required, nor must courses be pre-approved. However, sponsors or providers of the CPC courses must be preapproved by the board. CPC sponsors must provide engineers with evaluation forms, completion certificates or attendance verification for each course they take. A copy of each completed form along with the subject, title, date, duration, presenter’s name, PDH credits earned and all other pertinent information must be kept in the engineer’s records for 3 years. Some engineers may renew their licenses electronically.
North Carolina License Renewal Dates
In North Carolina the license renewal date for engineers is December 1 every year. The old license expires on December 31. Engineers must keep a log and proof of attendance and completion of their CPC hours for 3 years.
Engineering Ethics and Professional Conduct
The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors does not require professional engineers working in the state to take continuing education courses on state rules or laws, professional conduct or engineering ethics as part of the 15 personal development hours they must complete each year. Engineers can choose to take continuing education courses in professional conduct and engineering ethics should they so decide. But the board does not mandate it.
Records Keeping Requirements for Engineers
In North Carolina, engineers are required to keep careful records and logs of the continuing education courses they take to fulfill their annual need for 15 Continuing Professional Competency credits. The engineers must keep an accurate log of the specific courses they took, the dates on which they were taken, the name of the course’s presenter, where it was held, who sponsored the course, proof they attended the course, took exams and received a certificate of completion. The engineer must keep the attendance verification information for 3 years in case the board needs it for an audit or to verify the engineer fulfilled their PDH requirement.
Continuing Education Activities Accepted by the Board
Although the board does not pre-approve continuing education courses and activities, the courses and activities must meet certain criteria for acceptance by the board. The following are some of those activities.
- Online courses can make up all 15 pdh
- Live webinars that provide engineering specific information
- Self-directed courses based on the engineer’s knowledge and expertise
- Courses or activities taken through “approved” sponsors
- PE can prove activity or course improved, maintained or expanded their engineering knowledge or ability to do their job, the activity enhanced the engineers ability to provide engineering services to better protect the public’s health, safety and welfare.
- The course or activity is technical in nature and designed for engineers
- Advanced computer courses used in PE practices
Unacceptable PDH Activities
- College courses not designed specifically for engineers
- Company business policies and procedures orientation or training programs,
- Refresher courses and on-the-job training
- Educational activities already completed for pdh credit in that renewal period
- Non-technical topics for financial gain, job search or self-improvement
- General safety and first aid courses
- Attending conventions or trade shows
- Membership in a club or professional society
Pre-Approval of Continuing Education Activities
In North Carolina the board does not require the continuing education courses engineers take for PDH credit be pre-approved. However, pre-approval is required for the sponsors or providers of the course or activity. PDH-Pro is an approved North Carolina CPC Sponsor (S-0695).
Sources of Free Continuing Education Courses
There are several organizations through which engineers in North Carolina can get free continuing education courses. Many engineering and technical societies, such as ASME, ASCE, NSPE, and AIA, offer free courses as a membership benefit.
North Carolina Engineering Licensing
To become a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina, candidates must complete a four step process. It begins by earning an engineering a degree from a college, university or other educational institution with an engineering program that’s accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The candidate must then get a passing grade on the Fundamentals of Engineering or FE examination. The candidate must then spend four years working as an engineer.
When they have accumulated the requisite engineering work experience, engineers must then take and pass the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) created, administered and scored Professional Engineering (PE) examination. The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCBELS) must certify the candidate’s engineering experience before they can take the PE exam.
All-In-One Engineering Packages for North Carolina
PDH-Pro checks the engineering laws and regulations in all states, including North Carolina. Based on our research, we developed Continuing Education Packages for North Carolina PEs. These packages include all PDH credits necessary for license renewal. They are guaranteed to be accepted by NCBELS. We off packages for chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, geotechnical, mechanical, and structural engineers.
Engineering Discipline Restrictions
The North Carolina engineering board requires engineers to take continuing education courses from approved sponsors that help improve, maintain and expanded their professional engineering knowledge and skills so the can better protect and enhance public health, safety and welfare.
Ensuring Better Engineers and Engineering
The NCBEL provides guidelines to ensure engineers are properly trained in order to receive and maintain their Professional Engineer licenses and provide top quality engineering services. This is to make sure that the engineering work they do results in buildings, infrastructure, products and services enhancing public safety. This includes the continuing education courses and activities in which they participate for their 15 required PDH each year.