How to Maintain Your PE License?

You prepared for months, enrolled in a PE prep course, and finally took the PE examination. You have spent so much time preparing for the exam and eventually earning a PE license, but what transpires once you pass it?

You must understand how to keep your professional engineering license once you have acquired it and may finally call yourself an engineer. You must be wondering how to maintain your PE license. Well, you are at the right place because we have all the relevant answers you need to have an active PE license.

For ambitious professional engineers, obtaining a PE license is just the beginning. Many state licensing boards require PEs to maintain and enhance their abilities through continuing education classes and other professional development opportunities. These opportunities and participating in them cause you to collect professional development hours (PDHs), something we will cover in detail.

Licensure Reports

Let us now explore some helpful resources and list them to help you understand how and what needs to be done to help you maintain the PE license. First, we have reports on laws and regulations for PE licenses in different states.

  • Professional Engineers’ Continuing Education Requirements
  • Definitions Of Engineering Practices
  • Qualification And Experience Criteria for Professional Engineers
  • Engineering Licensure Law Exemptions
  • Professional Engineers’ State Licensing Fees
  • How Soon Can I Take the PE Exam?

You can also check out Eligibility Requirements for The PE Exam by State for a refresher.

Why Do You Need Continuing Education? 

You must be wondering why you must continue your education to manage your PE license. Also, given that you have already gained the relevant degree and experience and have even passed the PE exam. The reason for that is simple and critical at the same time.

Firstly, it would help if you recognized that you are joining a changing sector. Every year, technology evolves at a tremendous speed throughout the world. As a result, there will be new working methods, and when these changes occur, they may influence the public’s health and safety and the moral considerations of your employment.

Not only that, but these technological evolutions will also impact specifically on the ground and practical practices; therefore, you need to stay connected with the academic side of your profession to be up to date with all the industrial, ethical, and regulatory changes.

State-Specific Requirements for Your PE License  

While this guide has outlined the general roadmap to becoming a PE, it’s crucial to remember that the engineering licensing landscape in the USA operates on a state-by-state basis. Each state has its own engineering licensing board that establishes and enforces specific requirements for PE licensure, which may go beyond the national standard steps we’ve discussed.

To ensure a smooth and efficient licensing process, you must familiarize yourself with the specific regulations of your state’s board. Here’s how to navigate the state-specific details:

Identify Your State’s Engineering Licensing Board:  A quick web search should lead you to the official website of your state’s engineering licensing board. Most state boards have user-friendly websites designed for engineers seeking licensure information.

Explore the Licensing Requirements Section:  Once on your state’s board website, locate the designated PE licensure or applications section. This section will typically detail any additional requirements beyond the national standards, such as:

Reference Requirements: Some states may require you to submit professional references who can vouch for your experience and ethics.

Jurisprudence Exams: A few states mandate passing a jurisprudence exam to demonstrate your understanding of engineering laws and ethics.

Experience Verification Forms: Your state board may require specific forms for your supervisor to verify your engineering work experience.

Fees and Application Procedures: Application fees and submission procedures can also vary by state. Carefully review this information to ensure you submit the correct documents and fees with your application package.

Contact the Board for Clarification:  If you have any questions or uncertainties regarding the specific requirements in your state, don’t hesitate to contact your state’s engineering licensing board directly. They are there to assist you throughout the PE licensure process.

By taking the time to understand and comply with your state’s specific PE licensing requirements, you can avoid delays and ensure a successful application process.

Preparation for the FE Exams

The FE and PE exams are significant gateways on your path to PE licensure. Let’s break down these exams and equip you with resources to conquer them:

Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam: This computer-based exam assesses your grasp of fundamental engineering concepts across various disciplines, regardless of your chosen specialty. Passing demonstrates a solid foundation in mathematics, ethics, engineering economics, and other core principles. 

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) administers the FE exam and offers a comprehensive website with resources to prepare you effectively. ([National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying FE exam ON])

Exam Format and Content: The NCEES website details the FE exam format, typically consisting of multiple-choice questions. Content areas covered can include probability and statistics, engineering mechanics, thermodynamics, and material science.

Preparation Resources: NCEES provides a wealth of resources to help you excel on the FE exam. You can find practice exams to gauge your readiness, a recommended reference handbook outlining essential formulas and concepts, and links to exam preparation materials from reputable publishers.

Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam: This comprehensive exam delves deeper into your chosen engineering discipline (e.g., Civil, Mechanical, Electrical).  It assesses your ability to apply your engineering knowledge to solve real-world problems encountered in your field. Unlike the FE exam, the PE exam format and content areas vary depending on your discipline.

Exam Specificity: Each engineering discipline has its own unique PE exam. The NCEES website provides exam specifications outlining the format, content areas covered (e.g., structural analysis for civil engineers, fluid mechanics for mechanical engineers), and the recommended experience level for each exam.

State Board Resources: Besides NCEES resources, your state’s engineering licensing board website may offer discipline-specific information and links to additional study materials relevant to your chosen field.

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resource for your PE Power exam preparation, explore our PE Power Examination Prep Resource.

Our proven, on-demand content and live training have successfully helped thousands of students pass their PE exam.

The Continuing Education Requirements for an Engineering License Vary by State

You may need to complete an online PE continuing education course or attend engineering conferences in person to ensure your PE license renewal. To continue the process, you must complete a set amount of professional development hours (PDHs) each renewal term.

Each state has various standards for the number of PDHs that an engineer must complete before renewing their license. You must verify your state’s regulations. The frequency you need to renew your professional engineering license varies by state. Many states demand annual license renewal, while others need it to be done bi-annually, or even some ask you to renew your PE license every three years.

Finding Relevant Continuing Education (CE) for Your PE License 

Maintaining your PE license often requires completing continuing education (CE) courses. But with so many options available, how do you ensure you’re taking courses that align with your specific engineering field and enhance your professional development? Here are some tips:

  • Identify Your Needs: Reflect on your current practice area and any knowledge gaps you want to fill. Is there a new technology or regulation you need to learn more about? Are you looking to strengthen your project management skills? Identifying your needs helps target relevant courses.
  • Leverage Professional Societies: Most engineering disciplines have dedicated professional societies that offer CE opportunities, often at discounted rates for members. These courses are typically designed by industry experts and address current trends and challenges within your field. Check societies’ websites like the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for their CE offerings.
  • Explore Online Resources: Numerous online platforms, such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy, offer engineering-related CE courses from universities and industry leaders. Use filters on these platforms to search for courses by engineering discipline and credit hours.
  • Look for State Board Approvals: Ensure the CE courses you choose are approved by your state’s engineering licensing board. Most state boards have a designated section listing approved CE providers and course options on their websites.
  • Consider Employer-Sponsored Programs: Many companies offer financial assistance or in-house training programs for employees to complete their required CE credits. Explore these options with your employer’s HR department.

Following these tips can transform your CE requirements into valuable opportunities to stay current in your field, expand your skillset, and enhance your professional standing.

Obtain Professional Development Hours (PDH)

Obtain Professional Development Hours

Professional Development Hour (PDH) is also known as study credit hour and must be completed in addition to your professional work-related hours. This has become a required prerequisite to keep and renew your PE license.

Your professional engineer license can be at stake without the required professional development hours. Not only will you not be able to renew it, but its maintenance and management will also become an issue.

Let us now look at the PDH credit requirements you must fulfill to maintain and renew your PE license in different states:

1. PDH Credits You Need for PE In Florida

The state of Florida requires 18 hours of PDHs. Out of which, 1 hour must be about  Laws and Rules of the Florida Board of Professional Engineers and 1 hour on ethics, as part of the requirement.

In addition to the 18 hours, Florida requires 4 hours of ongoing education in the licensee’s field of practice, defined as an engineering topic for which NCEES® administers a Principles and Practice of Engineering test. You can spend the remaining 12 hours on any topic related to engineering practice.

2. PDH Credits You Need for PE In NJ

New Jersey needs 24 PDHs every two years, enabling an additional 12 PDHs to be transferred to the following renewal cycle. Two of the 24 PDHs must be on professional ethics. In addition, New Jersey requires providers of PE continuing education to be approved and needs continuous education course criteria to be following NCEES® guidelines.

3. PDH Credits You Need for PE In Georgia

Georgia requires 30 PDHs every biennium and permits 15 PDHs earned more than the statutory 30 to be carried over to the following biennium. Georgia does not accredit continuing education providers or courses but has ultimate approval power over courses and programs for credit.

4. PDH Credits You Need for PE In NY

Professional engineers in New York must complete 36 PDHs throughout their three-year licensure tenure. In addition, a minimum of 18 PDH of “live” participatory courses is required, with the remaining hours acquired through self-study learning programs.

5. PDH Credits You Need for PE In Alabama

Except for the carryover allowed, licensed professional engineers in Alabama must obtain a minimum of 15 PDH credits every year for a yearly license renewal term or thirty PDH credits for a biannual renewal period.

The number of professional development hours you may carry over into the following PE license renewal cycle, whether annual or biannual, should be at most 15.

While you are at it, do check and learn how to transfer your pe license between states.

How Do I Maintain a Record of My PDHs?

Maintain a Record of PDHs

There are multiple methods and ways that you can utilize to keep and maintain a record of your Professional Development Hours (PDH). We shall list some of them below, and you can choose the one that is the most well-suited to your needs.

  • NCEES® offers a paid record-keeping service that you can utilize.
  • Certain states require you to fill out a form at renewal time, which can serve the purpose.
  • You can make your form in Excel and keep updating it for the record. Do remember to back it up on the cloud.
  • Alongside maintaining a digital record, you only keep a record on paper and pencil, but that should be secondary.


If you wish to continue working in the field and signing approval documents as a PE, you must keep your engineering license valid, and now that you know how to maintain your PE license, it should not be an issue.

Just focus on completing your PDHs, in relevance to your state requirements and ensuring that they are completed as a criteria requirement and help you develop your skill set further and increase your knowledge.

With the potential to advance your abilities and stay ahead of the competition by learning about the most recent advances in your industry, the knowledge supplied by professional development hours may prove necessary for you even after you renew your license!

So, what are you waiting for? Start working towards maintaining your PE license today and ensure a long-term and successful career in the engineering industry!


Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas (PE), Florida (PE) and Ontario (P. Eng) with consulting experience in design, commissioning and plant engineering for clients in Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.