5 Easy Ways for Engineers to Earn PDH Credit
Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are required in 42 of 50 states to maintain or renew your P.E. license in that state. Obtaining and tracking these hours may seem daunting, but there is actually an abundance of places to obtain these. I hope the list below helps you to get started.
1. Seminars at Work
Many engineering firms offer seminars (typically with lunch included!) every so often that can count as a PDH. Sometimes, this means an external consultant or sales representative will present to the company, and other times it will be an internal engineer, presenting on lessons learned from a project they've completed. When I used to work at larger engineering firms, I always looked forward to these. An easy and productive way to spend a lunch hour! These are almost always eligible for PDH credits, but be sure to ask, especially if you live in a state where PDH credits are not required for license renewal.
2. Your Local SEA Committee
Most cities and states have a local chapter of Structural Engineering Association (SEA). If your chapter is active check out their events, which are typically eligible for PDH credits. From my experience, these events typically include a seminar that will range from a local engineer on lessons they've learned from a project to updates they've made to the building code. In addition to gaining knowledge and PDH credits, these events are also a great way to network with local engineers. I personally can't wait until these events can be held in person again, but I've been enjoying them in their virtual format in the meantime.
3. National Member Organizations
Looking a little broader, national member organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Institute of Steel Construction (ASIC), and American Concrete Institute (ACI) all offer on demand seminars for PDH credits. I'm sure these are just the tip of the iceberg for national organizations offering these services. I found that ASCE offers 10 free PDH credits with an annual membership, and AISC offers all of their webinars for free, but there is a fee to have them counted as PDH credits. These are great resources for learning more about specific topics!
4. Attending a Conference
Attending a conference is a great way to get a bunch of PDH credits quickly. With the ongoing pandemic, most conferences have gone online, so now you can attend without the potentially expensive travel costs. Even with online seminars, conferences typically charge a fee to "attend" though. One benefit of attending is that the presentations are curated from engineers across the country, so the quality is typically really good.
5. Self-Study Online
With a quick google search, you can find several websites offering a multitude of seminars for varying prices. Check with your state board before purchasing these, as different states have different requirements for approved PDH providers.
The bottom line is there are a ton of ways to obtain your PDH credits at a variety of price points. After reviewing this list, I hope you have a good idea of where to start!