Here in the US, continuing education credits (CEUs) help architects remain registered to practice within a particular state once they have already attained their license. Depending on the state where you're registered to practice architecture and what professional organizations you may belong to, the number of credits you need each year will vary.
Why are CEUs important? Well, if you fail to complete the number and type of credits required for your state within a certain time frame (usually 1-3 years), your registration for that state expires. In other words, if you don't get your CEUs, you've got a lot of work to do before you can get back to work.
Finding CE Requirements for Your State(s)
If you're not sure what the CE requirements are for the state where you're registered to practice, you can learn the details on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) website. Just select your state from the drop-down menu on this page, and it'll fill you in on what you need to know.
If you're registered in multiple states, keeping track of and fulfilling all your required CE credits can get a little more complicated. Fortunately, most CE activities can count towards more than one license renewal. For example, if you're licensed in three states, and they require 24, 12, and 5 hours per renewal period respectively, you should be able to complete 24 hours that cover you for all three states. Just make sure they satisfy any content requirements specific to certain states. California, for example, requires CE in the topic area of ADA/accessibility while New York requires 24 of 36 CE hours be in the subject area of Health, Safety and Welfare.
Lastly, if you're a member of the AIA, you'll also need to fulfill a continuing education requirement of 18 hours per year (including 12 hours of HSW) to maintain membership.
Earning Your Credits
So, as the year draws to a close, what are the easiest ways to complete your CE in time? Here are a few tactics:
- Visit the AIA Course Directory at AIA.org/education.
- Take online quizzes based off the material in Architect magazine.
- Contact your local AIA chapter for CE opportunities nearby.
- Make up your own CE. Some states will allow you to apply your volunteer, guided tour, or study/research activities toward CE credits. Contact your local AIA chapter to see if any of your personal projects fulfill CE requirements.
- Complete courses online through the AIAU website. This is where you can find VELUX's courses regarding natural light and skylights in designs!
You likely won't have time for the last option for earning your CEUs this year, but it's something to keep in mind for the future: move somewhere that doesn't require CEUs. Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and the US Virgin Islands don't require continuing education credits to stay licensed. However, if you live in one of these states and are a member of the AIA, you'll still need to complete CEUs for the AIA requirement.
VELUX Continuing Education Seminars
To get those credits in, VELUX offers live online CEU courses that take your learning digital! With five course offerings - four commercial and one residential - you're sure to find just the right class to earn your CEUs this year. Check out the course titles and descriptions over on our website.