If you're familiar with the engineering world or industry, you've probably heard the term "PDH." This three-letter acronym plays a big part in engineering license renewal. If you're wondering what it really means, and how it impacts the engineering community, learn more below:
What is a PDH?
PDH stands for "Professional Development Hour." In the engineering industry, those who are professionally licensed as an engineer in most states need to earn PDHs to maintain an active license.
What Engineers Need to Obtain PDH Credits?
Currently, 42 out of the 50 state boards require some sort of continuing education and PDH for engineers. Engineers in those states who have taken and passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination must participate in some sort of continuing education activity depending on their state board's requirements.
How do Engineers Obtain PDH credits?
In most states, Professional Engineers obtain PDH Engineering credits by participating in continuing education activities. These activities can include attending webinars, going to an engineering conference, or taking a self-study online engineering continuing education course.
Do State Boards Differ in Their Continuing Education Requirements?
Yes. Out of the 42 states that require some sort of continuing education, engineering state boards can greatly differ in their PDH requirements. For example, Texas has an annual renewal period while Kansas has a biennial renewal period. States requirements can also differ in the amount of PDHs an engineer has to obtain in their renewal period. Mississippi, for instance, requires an engineer to obtain 15 PDH credits for license renewal while Nevada requires 30 PDH credits. If you're a Professional Engineer, it's always a good idea to check with your state board to determine your PDH requirements for license renewal.
Why Do Professional Engineers Need PDH Credits to Maintain Their License?
Engineers have a big responsibility in keeping the general public safe. Think about it- engineers design bridge structures, buildings, roadways, etc. By requiring engineers to obtain Engineering PDH credits to maintain an active engineering license through continuing education, states are able to ensure that their licensed engineers are up-to-date with different practices and technology.