As summer ends and we approach the start of the fall season, the kids are back at school (at home), football is back (no fans), and the World Series is coming up quickly. Now that summer vacations are over and we fall back into a more normal routine over the next few months, it is a good time to take account of any continuing education requirements that are associated with your professional license.
In Pennsylvania, all licensed professional engineers, surveyors and geologists are required to complete 24 professional development hours (PDHs) every two years. 1 PDH is defined as “50 minutes of instruction or presentation relevant to professional practice or any equivalent.” This definition is pretty wide open as to what is considered “relevant to professional practice,” and the state board does not require any course to be preapproved, but the board does list general ways that PDHs may be earned. The PA licensing board allows for the completion of college courses, continuing education courses, workshops, or seminars, as well as teaching or presenting at such events to count towards your total. Additionally, you can author published papers/articles or obtain a patent for something relevant to your profession. Sadly, you do not get credit for authoring company blog posts or any business development type courses you may be taking.
If you are short on continuing education hours and are looking for ways to catch up, there are a number of ways to do so without publishing a research paper. Many professional organizations (such as Chester County Engineers) have monthly offerings to help keep members from falling behind on their credits. State and county regulators also often hold training seminars to educate the audience on any updated regulations, so check out those in your area. Lastly, you can also always enroll in college courses, but there are also many online vendors that you can subscribe to that allow you to complete courses virtually, just like your school students at home.