March 19, 2024 7 min read

Architecture Continuing Education Requirements




Architecture and DesignCompliance and Certification

Many AEC firms let their architects handle their own continuing education (CE) requirements. But as the industry becomes more competitive, a critical employee retention strategy will be investing in your people, their training, and their career development. In this blog, we’ll review everything you need to know about architecture continuing education and how you can turn it into a competitive advantage.

Understanding Architecture Continuing Education Requirements

Architects must complete ongoing continuing education to maintain their license. This training helps architects stay current with the latest advancements in the field and evolving safety and sustainability regulations.

The specific CE requirements for architects vary between different jurisdictions and architectural licensing boards. Architects are typically required to earn a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) or professional development hours (PDHs) over a specific renewal period, which is often measured in years.

CEUs or PDHs can be obtained through various educational activities, including workshops, conferences, or by taking online courses.

Architects must keep detailed records of their continuing education activities and submit documentation to their licensing board as part of the license renewal process. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the suspension or non-renewal of their architectural license. Since 1 in 5 architects get audited every year, it’s crucial to keep up with CEUs and stay in compliance.

Architecture, Engineering and Construction Training Course Catalog

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CE Requirements for Architects

As we mentioned, each U.S. state and Canadian Province has different requirements for architect continuing education. The requirements vary by hours required, how often CEUs must be completed, and when they’re due. So, it’s very important for you to understand what your architects are expected to complete each year to avoid fines and penalties.

State Requirements (U.S.) 

State  Hours Required  Renewal Cycle  Deadline 
Alabama  12  Annual  12/31 
Alaska  24  Biennial   12/31 (odd years) 
Arizona  None     
Arkansas  12  Annual  12/31 
California  10  Biennial  Last day of birth month (odd years) 
Colorado  24  Biennial  12/31 (even years) 
Connecticut  12  Annual  4/30 
Delaware  24  Biennial  12/31 (odd years) 
District of Columbia  24  Biennial  4/30 (even years) 
Florida   24  Biennial  12/31 (even years) 
Georgia  24  Biennial  6/30 (odd years) 
Hawaii  16  Biennial  4/30 (even years) 
Idaho  12  Annual  12/31 
Illinois  24  Biennial  11/30 (even years) 
Indiana  24  Biennial  12/31 (odd years) 
Iowa  24  Biennial  6/30 
Kansas  30  Biennial  6/30 
Kentucky  12  Annual  12/31 
Louisiana  12  Annual  12/31 
Maine  None     
Maryland  12  Annual  12/31 
Massachusetts  12  Annual  8/31 
Michigan  24  Biennial  10/31 
Minnesota  24  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Mississippi  12  Annual  12/31 
Missouri  24  Biennial  12/31 
Montana  12  Annual  12/31 
Nebraska  24  Biennial  12/31 
Nevada  8  Annual  12/31 
New Hampshire  24  Biennial  Last day of birth month 
New Jersey  24  Biennial  7/31 (odd years) 
New Mexico  12  Annual  12/31 
New York  36  Triennial  Licensure Date 
North Carolina  12  Annual  12/31 
North Dakota  None     
Ohio  24  Biennial  12/31 (odd years) 
Oklahoma  24  Biennial  6/30 (odd years) 
Oregon  24  Biennial  12/31 
Pennsylvania  None     
Rhode Island  24  Biennial  12/31 (odd years) 
South Carolina  24  Biennial  6/30 (odd years) 
South Dakota  30  Biennial  Licensure Date 
Tennessee  24  Biennial  Licensure Date 
Texas  12  Annual  12/31 
Utah  24  Biennial  12/31 (odd years) 
Vermont  24  Biennial  1/31 (odd years) 
Virginia  16  Biennial  Licensure Date 
Washington  24  Biennial  Birth Date 
West Virginia  12  Annual  12/31 
Wisconsin  24  Biennial  7/31 (even years) 
Wyoming  24  Biennial  12/31 

 Province Requirements (Canada) 

Province  Hours Required  Renewal Cycle  Deadline 
Alberta  70  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
British Columbia  36  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Manitoba  70  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
New Brunswick  70  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Newfoundland  70  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Northwest Territory  70  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Nova Scotia  35  Annual  12/31 
Ontario  36  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Prince Edward Island  36  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Quebec  40  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 
Saskatchewan  70  Biennial  6/30 (even years) 

Architecture and Design Certification Training Requirements

In addition to state and provincial requirements, many architects may also want to maintain professional certifications. There are many different certifications that might be of interest to your workforce, but a few main ones include:

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI): LEED Accredited Professional and LEED Green Associate
  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES)
  • Building Performance Institute (BPI)

All these institutions have their own continuing education requirements as well. While there can be overlap in training requirements (check out our license requirements tool!), each of these certifications may specify that CEUs much cover specific topics.

For example, the LEED certifications focus on sustainability. For general CE hours, architects must complete courses on these topics:

  • Green Building
  • Health
  • Wellness
  • Resiliency
  • Net Zero
  • Decarbonization
  • ESG
  • Social Equity
  • The Circular Economy

And for more specific LEED credentials (e.g., LEED AP BD+C) their study should focus on water efficiency, indoor water use reduction, and optimizing energy performance.

Why Providing Best-in-Class CE Training is a Game Changer

Many architectural firms are used to letting their employees manage their own continuing education requirements. But the truth is, there are a lot of reasons why it might be in your firm’s best interest to start providing better CE training.

  1. It’s costing more than you realize. Companies save an average of 30 – 60% on continuing education costs when they’re able to consolidate all employee training with one provider. And consider that all your architects aren’t receiving the same quality of training. Some are just checking the box to get it over with, while others might be spending a lot of money traveling to conferences or paying for eLearning courses individually.
  2. Retention is becoming an issue. Less than one third of architects feel like they have growth opportunities at their current firm. Showing your architects that you value them and want to help them grow in their career and at your firm is a great retention strategy.

If you’re interested in providing your architects with a training plan, but don’t know where to start, download our free learning path for architects, landscape architects, and interior designers.

A Learning Path Template for Architects, Designers & Engineers

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Vector Solutions’ Architecture Continuing Education

“We have a lot of professionals who are licensed in eight states. If we didn’t have Vector Solutions, they would spend half their career traveling and attending outside continuing education sessions.”

— Christina Urciuoli, HR & Training Specialist, Colliers Engineering

Vector Solutions has been providing world class training to AEC firms since 1999. We set the standard for accredited online training and continuing education courses for architects.

We offer online training to help your workforce fulfill their requirements to maintain licenses and stay compliant. But we also offer an award-winning LMS that was built specifically to meet the needs of licensed professionals.

Ready to learn more? Request a demo today.

The ROI of Consolidating Continuing Education for Architects and Engineers (Infographic)

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