CEU Requirements for Mechanical Engineers
Most states require professional engineers to earn professional development hours, also known as continuing education units (CEUs), as part of their license renewal.
Mechanical engineers must earn 10 to 15 hours per year of continuing education credits, or 24 to 30 biennially. Depending on the state of registration, they may also need courses in ethics, professional conduct, and state engineering laws. The majority of courses must be technical in nature and provide additional skills or knowledge to aid in the practice of engineering.
The mechanical engineering continuing education requirements are essentially the same as the CE requirements for other disciplines. However, there are differences between the various state programs that professional engineers licensed in multiple states should be aware of as they renew their license. Registered engineers have a lot of choices for their mechanical engineering CE courses. State engineering boards will accept CEU credits from colleges, online continuing education providers, and professional engineering societies that offer PDH courses. The following sections provide additional information about continuing education requirements for mechanical engineers.
Continuing Education Subjects for Mechanical Engineers
We receive many questions from professional engineers every year asking about the mechanical engineering continuing education requirements for their state. Although there are no specific requirements for mechanical engineers, all engineers are required to select CEUs that are relevant to their area of practice and impart technical knowledge that enhances their skills. Some of the most popular continuing ed courses for ME’s include materials science and technology, the International Building Code, and fire protection. Mechanical engineers also enjoy general topics such as engineering ethics and professional conduct, state engineering rules and laws, and project management. Almost all state engineering boards leave the final decision as to what continuing education courses are suitable up to the individual.
Are Continuing Education Courses in Other Engineering Disciplines Acceptable
Many professional engineers consider the continuing education requirement as an opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge about engineering, and many mechanical engineers take CE courses in other engineering disciplines. This practice is acceptable to most state boards, as long as the continuing education courses meet their general CEU requirements. Generally, the only requirement is that the PDH credits must be in a technical subject and should expand the knowledge and skills of the applicant. With few exceptions, the state engineering boards leave the decision about which continuing education courses are suitable up to the individual engineer. A good strategy is to confirm with the state board or the continuing education course provider. Engineering boards understand that engineers work on projects that often require skills and expertise from more than one engineering discipline, and they encourage professional engineers to expand their knowledge and learn about these other subjects.
Choosing a Format for Mechanical Engineering Continuing Education Courses
Professional engineers have many options when it comes to continuing education courses. One choice is the format of the PDH course. For example, mechanical engineers can choose from live webinars, recorded webinars (also known as On-Demand Webinars), or self-directed online courses. Webinars are very popular for obtaining mechanical engineering PDH credits because this style of course is based on the traditional classroom setting where the instructor lectures to students. Live courses are popular with engineers because they can interact with the instructor and the other participants. The most commonly selected type of course for mechanical engineers is the self-directed engineering courses, also known as online courses – much of their popularity is due to the convenience they offer and ability to learn the course material on their own schedule. Mechanical engineering webinars and mechanical engineering PDH courses offer licensees flexibility when renewing their PE license. Although not as popular, engineering conferences and seminars provide acceptable CEU credits for mechanical engineers. Most state engineering boards follow the NCEES guidelines for continuing education requirements which allow credit for engineers who serve as an officer in an engineering society, author an engineering paper in a peer-reviewed journal, or obtain a US patent.
Other Considerations for MEs – State Engineering Boards
Here are some guidelines to consider when evaluating online mechanical engineering continuing education courses. In general, there are no unique continuing education requirements for mechanical engineers. All engineering boards generally expect the PDH courses you select will be technical in nature and improve and expand your knowledge of engineering. You can also find online CEU and PDH courses for mechanical engineers that include favorites such as mechanical engineering webinars. Between online continuing education providers, engineering societies, colleges, and conferences, engineers seeking mechanical engineer continuing education courses have a lot of options that are acceptable to state engineering boards.
What do Mechanical Engineers Do?
To millennials, the most successful and famous mechanical engineer is fictional cinematic character Tony Stark – a mechanical engineer who owns a tech firm that builds Iron man armor among other technological hardware. Stepping away from the cinematic universe, mechanical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, production, and operation of machinery. Mechanical engineers are involved throughout every phase of the product lifecycle. They provide insights and opinions on the design, development, installation, and testing of the product. A mechanical engineer is also involved in the maintenance stage of the product’s lifecycle.
Mechanical Engineering: Crash Course Engineering #3 [9:38]
PBS Digital Studios looks at mechanical engineering, beginning with the steam engine. They discuss aircraft, the development of aerospace engineering, and take a look into the future of robotics and biomechanics.
What does a Mechanical Engineer do?
Mechanical engineers typically do the following:
- Come up with designs and devices that might help solve or get solve problems
- Create blueprints that will make the production of devices possible
- Develop and test prototypes
- Make changes to the design and prototype based on the results
- Supervise the manufacturing process
Mechanical engineers use many types of tools, components, and technologies to achieve their visions. These include:
- Power-producing machines such as electric generators and internal combustion engines
- Cooling and heating systems such as refrigerators and air-conditioning
- Industrial production equipment
Like all other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. They use them to create and analyze designs of devices. They also use computers to simulate and test how a device is expected to work.
Skills and characteristics of mechanical engineers
A good mechanical engineer should be:
- An innovator
- A critical thinker who enjoys complex problem-solving.
- Have excellent communication skills (both oral and written)
- A team player.
- Curious and excited to learn.
- A visionary
- Naturally curious
- Creative and practical
- Have a desire to help make the world better.
A mechanical engineer makes an average of sixty-eight thousand dollars annually. According to a report released by the BLS, mechanical engineers should look for jobs in industries that deal in oil and gas extraction.