INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Jobs

Structural PDHs

Structural PDHs

(OP)
It's (once again) that time of year where I am scrambling for PDH hours. (Along with a lot of other people.)

I was wondering: any good sources out there for PDH hours? As it stands now, I typically get mine from pdhonline.com, ASCE, and AISC. But I am always looking for new (and cheap) sources. Someone who gives live webinars would be good too.

RE: Structural PDHs

We do a lot of webinars. Most not cheap though. Works out when there's several people going but for one person they'd be a bit much.

Cheapest one we've really seen is SE University, costs $800/year and gets you 12 new live webinars a month plus access to the entire catalog of recordings. We also use NCSEA which is $900/year if you're an SEA member. SE University doesn't sell individual webinars, NCSEA does for like $250 each.

The other place to check is with vendors. I know Hilti and Simpson fairly frequently offer webinars. Usually free, though don't know if they make you pay for cert or not. Would assume other vendors do the same.

RE: Structural PDHs

(OP)
Thanks SlideRuleEra. Question: aren't you registered in Illinois? I thought they had a requirement that the Webinar should be live (for at least 20 hrs)? I think New York has a similar requirement.

RE: Structural PDHs

WARose -

Where do you need your PDH's? I recall putting together the training courses for RISA some years ago (3 days / 24 PDH's). There were a lot of hoops we had to jump through for New York and Florida certification. But, the other states seemed to be pretty accepting by default. So, webinars and trade shows and such can count.

Not sure if the current folks over at RISA are keeping up with the New York and Florida certification or not. You could call and ask, of course. If you are interested in RISA training already, getting PDH's for them is pretty good. And, the price isn't bad either... especially if you consider that you're increasing your RISA efficiency and getting your PDH's at the same time. There is "regional training" in New Orleans, Dallas, Boston and Chicago scheduled for 2018. Therefore, you don't have to make your way all the way out to California to take the classes.

You could even have someone fly out to your office to teach the training course as well. Even though I'm no longer a RISA employee, I would be available to do that as well.

RE: Structural PDHs

I sadly find the cheapest ones possible that I can finish quickly. I usually go to PDHOnline.com as the OP stated. I feel I get a better education following this message board than I do anywhere else so I really just do it to satisfy the state req's. At this point in my career (self employed) I am sticking to what I know. Keeps my stress level down and gives me alot of free time.

RE: Structural PDHs

(OP)
@ SRE: Thanks again.

@ JoshPlum: NY and Ill. are the toughest ones I have to satisfy. Although NY won't be up again for quite sometime....Illinois is due in November. I typically build around satisfying those two....taking care of the rest is (then) typically no problem. I've done the ASCE (face to face) seminars in the past....but they can be a bit pricey.

RE: Structural PDHs

@WARose: Where are you seeing that IL requires PDH hours to be live? I looked through their rules and the only difficult one I'm finding is that any self-study courses require that a examination be completed and submitted for grading. The rule below seems to specifically allow for on-line short courses.

Quote (Section 1380.325 Professional Development)

3) Active participation and successful completion of professional engineering programs, seminars, tutorials, workshops, short courses, on-line or in-house courses. Credit will be given for self study courses only if an examination has been completed by the licensee and graded by the sponsor;

In addition, this rule below seems to allow for some flexibility if you're also satisfying another states PDH requirements:

Quote (Section 1380.325 Professional Development)

6) Professional development units used to satisfy the professional development requirements of another jurisdiction may be applied to fulfill the professional development requirements of the State of Illinois if they are substantially equivalent.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Structural PDHs

(OP)

Quote:

@WARose: Where are you seeing that IL requires PDH hours to be live?

Quote:

Section 1480.185 Continuing Education

......

b) Activities for which CE credit may be earned are as follows:

1) Course work relevant to structural engineering completed at an accredited college or university. One semester credit hour of course work is equivalent to 15 hours of CE and one quarter credit hour of course work is equivalent to 10 hours of CE.

2) A maximum of 10 CE credit hours per prerenewal period may be earned for the completion of a self-administered course. Each self-administered course shall include an examination that will be graded by the sponsor.

3) Successful completion of continuing education courses.

4) A maximum of 10 CE credit hours per prerenewal period may be earned for attending in-house courses. Credit for in-house courses will be based on one CE credit for each hour of attendance. For courses presented in‑house by outside individuals, see subsection (b)(3).

http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/068/...

My interpretation of that is that at least 20 Hrs must be from a live instructor and cannot be self-administered (forgetting about teaching, writing journal articles, etc for a moment).

I asked them specifically about webinars once and they said it still qualifies as live hours if there is a instructor (presenting) that you can ask questions/interact with.

RE: Structural PDHs

Ah thanks, I was looking under the PE rules and not the SE rules.

I also interpreted as webinars with Q&A are "live hours" and not subject to that rule good to know you got that confirmation.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Structural PDHs

Florida International University's civil engineering department webinars on accelerated bridge construction, Free.

AECDaily,mentioned by SRE is a good resource, Free.

Hilton, Skyline Steel offer free webinars on a regular basis.

RE: Structural PDHs

The biggest challenge I have is just finding material that is actually worthwhile to learn. What's out there is either the basics of what I've been doing for umpty years, or else stuff related to, but not the same, as what I do.
I do prefer live sit-down-in-a-room-together classes, though.
That said, I've taken courses by ASCE and ASME that were fairly good. I've used API conferences- the main drawback being that you have to track the hours yourself there. Long ago, I took short courses at the local junior college on AutoCAD and Visual Basic. I've taken the weeklong course for CWI certification in the past. I've attended a few local ASME meetings, but for the most part, the topics discussed are completely unrelated to my work, so they fall into the "killing time" category.
Texas and New Mexico both require an hour or two in Ethics, so I've taken several Ethics courses, and have yet to find one that was worthwhile. The Texas ethics webinar mentioned above, I think last year, it was "update on TX rules" type of stuff, which is somewhat informative, although the rules don't actually change that much.
I have learned that with any topic, regardless of how interesting, if it's material you don't actually use, in a year or two, you'll forget it all anyway. That's the problem with the "related to what I do" courses.
I'm registered in a number of states, and I do keep track of hours for each, and more importantly, how many hours I will need and when. That way, I know I need 12 hours by September, etc., and that lets me plan ahead for the most worthwhile item, instead of scrambling and just killing time at the last minute to get it down.

RE: Structural PDHs

Are your jurisdictions that fussy about checking for PDHs?

My jurisdiction just has a box you tick: "Declared PDH compliant" yes, no, or prefer not to say.

An old boss of mine, who's design manuals were from the 1980's, who never attended a single seminar, and who threw his hands up at seismic design methods outlined in the building codes and called it "the fancy stuff you younger guys are doing" would tick "prefer not to say", and enclose a cheque for a few hundred bucks to the benevolent fund. He never had any issues.

Not sure what happens if you tick "no" though.

RE: Structural PDHs

The jurisdictions all vary. Several don't require anything, the majority do. In the ones that do, the rules vary as to what is acceptable. "Self Study" or similar non-verifiable activity is an issue, acceptable some places, not others. I think all the jurisdictions that I'm registered in do spot-checks on continuing ed. Or, if you're late renewing.

It's occurred to me that "Continuing Ed" might be a good name for a Dilbert character.

RE: Structural PDHs

Anyone realizing that its a farce? How about 8 hours a year of stuff that is 'technically relevant' to what you are practicing. Not getting 2 hours credit for a rail sensor that can predict the wear on a bearing in a wheel? yea, fascinating stuff if you are a railroad wheel bearing engineer, but for a guy that designs houses, not sure how that is technically relevant, yet it works to 'check the box'

Somehow its a revenue stream, so everyone bought into it.

RE: Structural PDHs

It's only a farce if you make it a farce. If you try to find topics more applicable to your area of practice then it's very practical. Of course you might not be able to get all "free" PDH credits doing this but depending on the topics and cost it's likely worth it.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Structural PDHs

Also ACI at concrete.org is a good choice. Less expensive than ASCE and more worthwhile than PDHonline.

and New York has a free online ethics PDH at their site

RE: Structural PDHs

(OP)

Quote:

Are your jurisdictions that fussy about checking for PDHs?

Some states I am in randomly audit.

Quote:

My jurisdiction just has a box you tick: "Declared PDH compliant" yes, no, or prefer not to say.

Most of the states I am in have something similar. Except there is no "prefer not to say".

Quote:

An old boss of mine, who's design manuals were from the 1980's, who never attended a single seminar, and who threw his hands up at seismic design methods outlined in the building codes and called it "the fancy stuff you younger guys are doing" would tick "prefer not to say", and enclose a cheque for a few hundred bucks to the benevolent fund. He never had any issues.

Not sure what happens if you tick "no" though.

In the states I am in....you will be looking at issues at renewal. Eventually your license will be suspended if you fail to fulfill the CEU requirement.

RE: Structural PDHs

The continuing education requirements should be looked at as a way to raise the professional status of the engineering profession. You wouldn't want a doctor or dentist who never tried to learn new techniques and treatments beyond medical or dental school, would you? So they're required to go to seminars to keep their licenses. Sometimes the seminars are on cruise ships with a unlimited buffet, but if you wanted that, you should of went to medical school.
So the engineering profession has come up with a somewhat non intrusive way to say we're advancing our technical knowledge. Basically, they pretend to ask for further education, and we pretend to get it. I've used lunchtime presentations by vendors (I actually learn quite a bit from them), discipline group meetings and preparing presentations to the office for PDH credits. On rare occasions, I go to 8 hour ACI seminars. I work for a pretty big company, but I understand that not everyone has access to as many opportunities to earn PDH's as I do. But that doesn't stop me from attending Hilti or Skyline free webinars.
I've been audited several times, so ignore this at your own risk. I have to keep records, which is a pain, but try going through an audit without them.

RE: Structural PDHs

If I worked for a big company, i would be all over getting as many PDH's as needed. I am self employed and at the end of the day, a $400 all day seminar will cost me $1,600 in lost revenue. Let's see, new motorcycle suspension or a boring seminar that will likely have no impact on my career.... PDHonline it is.

RE: Structural PDHs

@XR250: I understand and obviously there is a cost-benefit to everything. However, I imagine there are some ways you can find less wasteful PDHs than a "boring seminar". For example, Josh had a great point of using things like software training or similar as PDH credits. I did this for my first ever license renewal; we has just purchased some non-linear FEA software and boss sent me to a 2 day seminar to learn the non-linear aspects and bring that knowledge back to the company. Got almost all my PDH hours done in those 2 days and we easily made up the lost revenue in faster adoption of the new software.

Obviously this can't be practically achieved every 2 years but I'm sure many times you can find PDHs that the lost time can be made up with seminars that provide greater efficiency and general self-improvement in your field. As a younger engineer I have a number of topics I've thought of that I want to audit a university course on or take a seminar on that would greatly improve my value to my company and simultaneously fulfill much of my PDH requirements in the near or far future.

Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Structural PDHs

@TMH,

I appreciate the advice.

RE: Structural PDHs

The "farce" is about 3/4 true in my experience. The boards have mandated continuing education, but they haven't made any effort to make worthwhile continuing education available themselves, or to determine if it was available elsewhere. So if something's out there and you find it, great. And if not, you're stuck spending time and money on something of no real benefit because the board didn't do their homework before making that rule.

My impression is that the more mainstream your work is, the easier it is to find courses related to it; it's not uniform in all topics.

RE: Structural PDHs

Adding to the comments from JoshPlum and TehMightyEngineer, Bentley Institute also offers PDH.

To review your Bentley Transcript/Learning History, go to http://learn.bentley.com/app/Public. There, you can self-report your professional development efforts to the respective organization, licensing board, or professional association. Requirements may vary and acceptance of Bentley Institute PDHs is ultimately at the discretion of the those organizations. Bentley recommends that you confirm board or association terms and conditions.

Also agree with MrHershey that SE University is good.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close