|States that require continuing education to maintain professional engineering licensure (Source: NCEES)
As reported in Structural Engineer’s Annual Compensation Survey (June 2008), 61 percent of permanent, full-time structural engineers that responded to our survey are currently required to obtain continuing education credits—or professional development hours—to maintain their professional registrations. According to a recent survey by The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) of state licensing boards, 33 states require continuing education credits to maintain professional engineering licensure; see box below for states. While the most common number of required credit hours is 15 per year (or 30 every two years), each state’s criteria are unique, and many states have specific requirements regarding continuing education qualifications such as what, when, and how credits can be obtained. It is each engineer’s responsibility to know the criteria to maintain his or her professional license.
What constitutes continuing education as well as how to obtain credits can be overwhelming and confusing to practitioners, especially to those 51 percent of structural engineers who are licensed in multiple states (according to our survey); but there are resources to help. NCEES is a tremendous source for determining and comparing individual state requirements, visit www.ncees.org.
Additionally, Structural Engineer is proud to be able to provide sources for you to obtain credits. Our Professional Development Hours (PDH) Series continues this month with a specially focused article sponsored by Tekla. "Structural Steel Shop Drawing Review: The Present—the Future," by Michael Gustafson, P.E., is an educational article that discusses shop drawing process improvements that can benefit every firm. In addition, engineers who need to may obtain one professional development hour by reading the article and successfully completing the quiz.
Another commonly accepted mechanism to earn continuing education is attending a conference. In addition to a stellar line-up of conference faculty, the 2008 Structural Engineers’ Buildings Conference and Expo will offer the opportunity to earn 10 credit hours. The event is scheduled for Oct. 2-3 in Atlanta; visit www.sebuildings.com.
Structural Engineer and publisher ZweigWhite are working hard to provide you with avenues for obtaining continuing education. All articles in our PDH Series are valid for two years and are available for download from www.gostructural.com (click on "PDH Series" under "Resources" on the left-hand side of the page). Look for more PDH Series articles in Structural Engineer to come this year as well as other online opportunities in the near future!