Engineering Continuing Education Requirements
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Have you completed a degree in engineering? Have you passed licensure for your state? By this time, you know that this is a competitive career path.
According to the Princeton Review, the 10-year point is very significant in an engineer’s career. By then your academic education reaches the end of relevancy due to rapid industry changes. This signals the need to keep up with advances or be left behind.
Thus, to remain on the cutting edge, you must focus on educational and career goals. This article discusses the reasons why it’s vital to continuing your engineering education.
Path to Licensing
Once you have passed the two exams to become a licensed engineer, your study isn’t complete. Continuing education is vital to maintain your license and achieve career advancement.
Many states now require completion of Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) hours for licensure. You must document the completion of certain activities before renewing your engineering license.
CPCs are awarded according to approved professional development hours (PDHs). Most states define a set number of PDHs that engineers must complete every one to two years. A PDH describes a one-hour learning activity that adheres to established standards.
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) sets a nationwide standard that qualifies an activity as a PDH. It also determines the number of PDHs a learning program may award. This decision considers the time and level of commitment needed to complete the training.
For example, attending or presenting a lecture at a conference is often worth one PDH. Completing a semester-long course at an accredited college will give you 45 PDHs. The NCEES also decides which activities do not count for PDHs.
Setting Educational and Career Goals
Why is it important to establish educational and career goals? Without a career plan, you can become stagnate and miss out on upward job growth. Today’s workplace is a competitive environment where top performers succeed.
CPC helps you remain current on technical skills. It also increases your professional knowledge of topics related to engineering.
Key Reasons to Keep Up with Your CPC
Competition is fierce for contracts and positions. New graduates with more current knowledge continue to enter the workforce. You must practice lifelong learning to remain relevant and competitive.
Consider the following rationale for focusing on educational and career path goals.
1. The Knowledge Race
The knowledge race is being fought by most professionals. Experts report that 100 years ago, it took 35 years for half of all engineering knowledge to be replaced or disproved.
By 1960, that knowledge half-life was only 10 years. Today, it’s estimated that the engineering knowledge half-life between 2.5 and 5 years. Half of what you learn in college may change several times before you pay off student loans.
2. Skill Maintenance and Acquisition
Completing skill-focused CPC provides opportunities to hone and maintain skills rarely used. You also learn about new skills and technology that’s now part of your field.
Engineering jobs, professions, and career paths continually evolve. Being able to adapt to the moving target of job skills and requirements is key. You must also provide proof that your education is relevant to the current market.
3. Upward Mobility
To advance in the corporate world, you must show the solid skills and knowledge needed to perform the job. Engineering skills have a high level of difficulty. Higher-level positions often require a vast array of qualifications beyond basic skills.
Ensure that your CPC is providing a breadth of knowledge. This will help ensure that you’re qualified to succeed in your next position.
4. Job Security
In engineering, failure to maintain cutting-edge skills and knowledge can signal the end of your career. Once you get behind the curve, it’s very hard to catch-up. Many individuals end up committing full-time to re-education when they lose their position.
Life is less stressful when you aren’t worried about losing your job. By working to steadily fine-tune your skills, you can relieve that tension. Establishing a routine method for CPC allows you to keep a balance between life and professional needs.
5. Employee and Corporate Benefits
CPC not only benefits the engineer but the corporation as well. When employee teams participate in CPC together, positive team dynamics result. Weaker team members improve their skills and knowledge to become more productive.
Employee bonding occurs when successful projects reach fruition. This increases job satisfaction. Each team member feels that they’re a valued part of the process.
A corporation comprised of high-producing teams increases the company’s marketability. This can help to improve the business position in the competitive marketplace.
6. Increased Salary
The engineering profession offers many high-paying jobs. Many positions require only a bachelor’s degree. If you choose to pursue a master’s degree, your career options increase.
Employers may prefer to hire someone with a master’s degree. The advanced degree also comes with higher salary packages.
Some companies offer tuition reimbursement for full-time employees pursuing advanced degrees. This can provide you with the financing needed to get your master’s or PhD.
Would You Like to Grow Professionally?
In today’s ever-changing world, all professionals must engage in lifelong learning. Advancement in your field depends on evidence of overt upward mobility. Setting and completing educational and career goals shows superiors that you’re dedicated to your profession.
PDH PRO offers online continuing education (CE) courses for professionals in the field of engineering. Our mission is to offer quick, easy, and cost-effective avenues for you to meet your CE requirements. We offer course material that is relevant in today’s workplace.
You may complete all educational offerings as soon as you buy the program. After passing the exam at the end of the course, you have immediate access to a certificate of completion.
Contact us today to ask questions and learn more about our courses.