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Engineering Continuing Education

Engineering Continuing Education

The Essentials of Engineering Continuing Education

Engineering continuing education, or CE, is a necessary part of maintaining a career in a variety of niches including civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering. Out of the 29 states that require CE, 24 state engineering licensing boards do not accredit the CE provider. Instead, it is the engineer's responsibility to verify that the course will pass muster. The other five - North Carolina , New York , Louisiana , Florida and Arkansas - only accept CE credits from approved engineering programs.

Engineers must maintain certain skills to be successful in their competitive professional climate, remaining informed about ever-changing technology and a variety of consumer issues. To help foster a sense of learning awareness, 29 states mandate that professional engineers enroll in, and achieve credits through, specific engineering continuing education programs.

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The requirements for the number and type of CE credits differ according to state regulations and area of engineering focus. Most states require between 12 to 15 'contact hours' of continuing education per year (or 24 to 30 every two years). A CE 'contact hour' is considered 50 minutes of educational time. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are a different form of measurement; one CEU equals 10 'contact hours'.

Some good resources for those looking into engineering continuing education programs:

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a great resource for a number of topics of interest to civil engineers. ASCE provides CE programs via on-site training, distance learning, conferences and seminars. The organization hosts 'more than 275 seminars and computer workshops each year on a wide variety of technical, management, and regulatory topics'. ASCE members receive a discount on CE programs. Find them at www.asce.org.

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) is a non profit organization of 'individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology'. ASEE (www.asee.org) offers membership to engineering students, instructors and engineering professionals.

PDHEngineer.com is a comprehensive site that provides information on state requirements along with its own selection of CE courses for every field of engineering. PDH Engineers says that its CE programs are accepted by all the states that require mandatory engineering CE credits.