Continuing Education for Texas Professional Engineers
Engineering isn’t a job where you can kick back your feet after getting hired. It requires yearly updates to your education and knowledge.
For the state of Texas specifically, it is necessary to renew your license annually, and there’s a variety of other requirements to keep in mind.
Sound like a drag? Actually, it gives you an opportunity to brush up on your engineering knowledge and learn a new thing or two.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s all available in one place: everything you need to know about Texas engineer continuing education requirements!
The Basics of Professional Developing Hour (PDH)
Every year, the state of Texas requires 15 PDH hours (about education, technical areas, managerial improvement, or ethical content). One of those hours must be about ethics.
The good news: you can pretty much decide whether a continuing education course or conference is useful for you. The state of Texas doesn’t require you to attend or take part in specific courses, so you’re free to choose what works best for you.
If you’re feeling lost, there’s a variety of free online webinars and courses available to help you start your search for PDH-appropriate courses.
The Ethics PDH Requirement
As said before, one of your engineering PDH hours must relate to ethics. This should be relevant to the professional ethics or roles and responsibilities required in professional engineering.
The ethics PDH requirement is actually pretty useful. Learning new ethical practices for the workplace will help keep you, your team, and your supervisors accountable.
It’s important to stay up-to-date about engineering laws in Texas. This includes brushing up on the Texas Engineering Practice Act with the Texas Board, as well as case studies of engineering ethics in practice.
PDH-Pro also offers different ethics courses at low prices, including one free Engineering Ethics course! Definitely worth it to get a peek at what the ethics courses will be like.
You can also check out the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors free ethics webinars to help you get started on finishing your yearly PDH hour for ethics.
Proof of Your Texas Engineer Continuing Education
Remember: you’ll need to provide some documentation to show that you did in fact complete 15 PDH hours.
There’s no need to worry. The Texas Board wants this process to be simple. As a license holder, you will need to verify your Continuing Education Program hours on a renewal sheet. You’ll turn this in alongside your renewal payment, but you don’t need to send any in. Convenient, right?
You will need to keep documentation of your PDH activities in case of an audit. If audited, you will need to provide all valid PDH documentation for the past three years. However, you do not need to send it in with your renewal sheet to the Texas Board.
Valid documentation of your Texas PDH includes:
- certificates of completion
- proof of attendance for a course or lecture
- grade reports
- flyers passed out at meetings
- any document that shows date, location, duration, or the type of activity you completed
- email or paper confirmations of registration for courses or seminars
Have some trouble keeping track of everything? The Texas Board also provides a continuing education log sheet to help you stay organized.
Is Self-Study an Option?
Yes! Self-study allows you more flexibility. You can decide what you want to study for continuing engineering education. The Texas Board recognizes the importance of an individualized study.
Keep in mind that only 5 of your 15 PDH can be for self-study. Despite this, self-study can consist of many different kinds of activities to meet PDH requirements. Intensive reading,
Self-study can be hard to keep track of and document, so why not use this continuing education self-study log sheet to help you out?
You can carry hours over from the previous year, but this only applies to 14 PDH hours. The ethics PDH hour is an annual requirement, so you’ll have to do that every year you renew your license.
That means if you’re feeling productive, you can do more than your required 15 continuing education PDH hours per year and have those carry over!
There aren’t many reasons you would be exempt from completing your 15 PDH hours per year. If you fit into any of the following categories, however, you may be exempt:
- currently in inactive status
- have a disability
- deployed for military service (at least 120 days per year)
- brand-new license holders (but only if you took your NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering exam within 1 year of your issued license date)
In any case, it’s better to stay in contact with the Texas Board if you fall into these categories to make sure you’re in compliance with their PDH policies.
What About PDH During COVID-19?
Don’t worry: you can take as many courses or attend as many webinars on the Internet as you want. In fact, the whole renewal process is online, so you don’t have to worry.
If a course or conference was canceled due to COVID-19, the Texas Board is understanding. If you end up being audited this year, the Board asks that you provide proof your PDH activity was canceled.
That said, the online options make it easy to still achieve all 15 PDH this year despite COVID-19.
Don’t Forget Deadlines
The state of Texas has regular, quarterly deadlines for renewing your engineering license and completing your PDH hours. The deadlines are March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, or December 31st, depending on your original license registration date.
You have a lot of freedom in deciding what your PDH hours for Texas engineer continuing education looks like. With so many different options for professional development, you’ll find many course offerings.
Still feeling stuck about where to start? Let’s make it easy: here’s a list of course packages for all engineering specialties in Texas to help you complete your Professional Development Hours.