CEU Requirements for Electrical Engineers
Table of Contents
Electrical engineers are required to obtain continuing education units (CEUs), also known as professional development hours (PDHs), during every engineering license renewal cycle.
The continuing education requirements for electrical engineers include 15 hours of technically-focused courses each year on average. Several states require additional courses on engineering ethics, state engineering laws, and professional behavior. Engineering boards sometimes pre-approve courses and course providers.
The electrical engineering continuing education requirements vary from state to state, but there is a lot of overlap and similarity among the state programs. Fortunately, professional engineers have a lot of options available for their electrical engineering courses. Good sources for these CEU credits include colleges and universities, professional engineering societies, and most online continuing education providers. This article provides a summary of the continuing education requirements for electrical engineers to simplify your PE license renewal.
Suitable Continuing Education Topics for Electrical Engineers
A frequent question engineers have is which topics are best for satisfying the electrical engineering continuing education requirements. Typical continuing education courses that electrical engineers seek are related to the National Electric Code, power and control wiring, electrical transmission, substation design, and electrical engineering standards. Electrical engineers also enjoy engineering courses in peripheral topics like project management, state engineering laws, and engineering ethics. Continuing education courses in the General Engineering category are also suitable for electrical engineers.
Interesting Online Courses for Electrical Engineers
EE’s have a lot of options for online PDH credits. The following list of courses from PDH-Pro is an example of the wide variety of topics available.
- Smart Grid System Report
- Introduction to PLCs
- Recent Trends and Innovations in Arc Flash Assessments
These online courses provide just a small sampling of choices in the electrical engineering discipline. There are also courses that are general in nature, such as ethics, state engineering laws, project management, and sustainability.
You should also consider if the classes you’re taking line up with your career goals. Many engineers have areas of specialization within their discipline – a sub-discipline that is focused on a particular industry or service line. For example, many electrical engineers are subject matter experts in process control and automation. This field covers things like robotics, factory production lines, and water and wastewater treatment plants. Engineers working in this field need to know about programmable logic controllers (PLCs), analog instrumentation, HART protocol, and all of the associated control technologies.
Continuing Education Courses in Other Engineering Discipline
Electrical engineers are not restricted to taking engineering continuing education courses within their discipline. Most states have only general requirements about which engineering courses are appropriate for license renewal. A common requirement is that the continuing education materials must be technical in nature and expand the skills and knowledge of the professional engineer. It is the responsibility of the engineer to determine if the CEU is suitable, so it is a good practice to check with your state engineering board or the specific course provider if you have any questions about a particular engineering course. Your engineering license renewal is an opportunity to expand your skills and expertise beyond the electrical engineering discipline.
Continuing Education Course Formats for Electrical Engineers
Many of the available electrical engineering continuing education courses are offered in a variety of formats which provides options for professional engineers. Currently, live webinars are a very popular format for obtaining electrical engineering PDH credits. This format is similar to the traditional classroom setting with the instructor lecturing to students, but it is delivered via the internet to participants located in their home or office. The reason webinars are popular is the engineer can interact with the professor and the other students. Electrical engineers can also complete self-directed engineering courses, also known as online courses, to satisfy their continuing education requirements. This type of course offers the most convenience because the engineer can learn the course material at their own pace and on their own schedule. Besides electrical engineering webinars and electrical engineering PDH courses, licensees also enjoy attending engineering conferences and seminars to satisfy their CEU requirements. State engineering boards also accept active participation (e.g. serving as an officer) in engineering societies for PDH credit. Authoring a paper on an engineering topic and obtaining a US patent are other acceptable methods for earning electrical engineering continuing education credit.
Other CEU Considerations for EEs
For professional engineers looking for online electrical engineering continuing education courses, there are some general requirements and guidelines to keep in mind. Although there are no specific continuing education requirements for electrical engineers, the PDH courses you select must be technical in nature and improve and expand your knowledge of engineering. As a service to their customers, most continuing education providers have developed online CE and PDH courses for electrical engineers that include electrical engineering webinars to satisfy your PE license renewal. Professional engineers looking to satisfy the electrical engineer continuing education requirements have many options when it comes to renewing their engineering licenses.
What Do Electrical Engineers Do
Electrical engineers represent a crucial discipline in the field of engineering. They design electrical systems for residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. They design, manage, and construct critical components of the world’s electrical power generation and distribution systems. Electrical engineers work with high and low voltage power systems as well as electrical control systems. Many of the products we use include electrical components and systems that were developed by electrical engineers. The automotive industry is heavily dependent on electrical engineers, especially as electric vehicles become more mainstream.
The History of Electrical Engineering: Crash Course Engineering #4 [9:24]
PBS Digital Studios explores the history of telecommunications, electric power and lighting, and computers. They introduce topics like magnetism, electrical conduction, telegraphy, lighting, and computers.
What Kind of Work Requires Electrical Engineers
Electrical engineers design a wide range of products and systems. Examples of projects that require electrical engineers include:
- Residential and commercial buildings
- Power plants and electric grid
- Alternative energy systems
- Consumer electronics
- Computers and microprocessors
Most electrical engineers are employed in the private sector as design consultants or in the manufacturing sector. The utility industry also employs a significant number of electrical engineers.
Electrical engineering is a critical element of our modern society. Most of our economic activity is tied directly to energy production, and large segments of industrial activity rely on electrical power. As our nation and the world move away from fossil fuels towards renewable sources of power, electrical engineers will have an even greater role to play.
Key Traits of Electrical Engineers
An electrical engineer must understand the laws of Physics and general electrical theory to practice their chosen discipline. In addition, they must also have a broad set of skills and expertise to design and manage electrical systems and devices. Examples of useful skills and characteristics for electrical engineers include:
- Project management and organizational skills
- Good communication skills
- Time management
- Problem solving capabilities
- High level of proficiency in physics, mathematics, and calculus
Electrical engineers must possess a keen understanding of basic principles of electricity as well as the broader engineering disciplines to perform their duties and meet their responsibilities.