In many engineering careers, continuing education is required to maintain a professional license, even though licensing boards might vary on the amount of continuing education they require. The best continuing education option for you will depend on what your local licensing board requires, where you are in your career and how much time you can devote to continuing education. To choose the best continuing education courses, keep these things in mind.
The most important factor in choosing engineering continuing education is whether your classes will count toward maintaining your license. In many areas, you will be required to take professional development hours (PDH) from an approved source to maintain a professional engineer license. These continuing education courses can cover any aspect of engineering, but it is important for them to be relevant to your career. The best continuing education courses will be useful to you on the job, so make sure and look for PDH courses in your particular field of engineering.
To find the best engineering continuing education courses, you can begin with professional organizations for engineers. Many professional organizations will list continuing education options or approved educational facilities on their websites. If you are already a member of one of these professional organizations, engineering courses offered by them might be your best option. Professional engineering conferences or seminars can also be a great source for engineering continuing education because they also allow you to stay current with research in your field. Conferences are a great option for professionals, and the expenses for attending a conference might be reimbursed by your employer.
Online engineering continuing education courses are a great option for busy professionals, but make sure that you can get a certificate of completion or some other proof to show your licensing agency. Your local engineer licensing board might also be able to provide a list of online continuing education classes that meet the PDH requirements in your area. Although online engineering PDH courses might be a great option because they will fit into your schedule, they must be approved by your local licensing agency to be of any practical use.
Another way to find the best engineering continuing education is to simply ask your professional peers. If you work in an area that requires engineering PDH to maintain a license, then other engineering professionals in your area also will have taken continuing education courses. You can even ask other engineers which courses helped them maintain their licenses or further their careers.