If you work in any number of professions that require licensing in the state of Texas, odds are you’ve heard of the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation, or TDLR for short. From their headquarters in Austin, this state agency oversees licensing for a wide range of industries. Whether you’re an electrician, AC and refrigeration technician, barber, massage therapist, podiatrist, or another licensed professional in Texas, you’re going to have to work with the TDLR to get — and keep — your license. And that means completing the Texas continuing education they require.
What does that entail? It depends on your line of work. But before we start digging into the CE requirements laid out by the TDLR, let’s first get clarity on what they are and what they do.
The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation is a state agency that oversees a pretty wide range of industries across the state. (They’re also responsible for regulating certain facilities and equipment and overseeing court-ordered education programs.) Throughout Texas, the TDLR oversees almost 40 business and occupational licensing programs. What’s more, they maintain records for over 800,000 people who have licenses through them.
In their own words, the agency “protects the health and safety of Texans by ensuring they are served by qualified, licensed professionals.” And they monitor the licensing of those professionals in dozens of industries. Some of the industries the TDLR regulates licenses for include:
If you want to keep up with the latest from the TDLR, they’ve got you covered. They have a Facebook page you can follow that has tips and tricks, the latest industry news, and more.
If you work in an industry the TDLR oversees, just getting your license isn’t necessarily enough to work in your chosen field. You also need to take steps to maintain that license. And for some industries, that means completing some Texas continuing education. Find your license type and read the requirements the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation sets out to know what you need to do.
Let’s look at two specific instances where Texas continuing education is required: TDLR continuing education for electricians and TDLR continuing education for HVAC professionals (air conditioning and refrigeration contractors).
Say, for example, that you’re a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor and you want to maintain your HVAC license in Texas. It’s not enough to simply renew your license annually. Before you can renew, you also need to take a specific number of continuing education hours.
The TDLR requires that you take eight hours of approved Texas continuing education coursework. Make sure you choose a state-approved course for your CE hours or the hours you complete won’t count towards your renewal.
Good news: you can take your Texas hvac continuing education online. Check out the list of approved HVAC continuing education on the TDLR website. You can click the button at the top to show only providers who offer online classes. That way, you can complete the state-approved continuing education you need to maintain your air conditioning and refrigeration contractor license at your pace and at any location where you have a computer with internet access.
When you’re finished with your CE courses, your class provider issues you a certificate of completion. The state requires you to keep that certificate for one year at minimum so you can provide them with a copy of it should they request it.
Similarly, if you’re an electrician, there’s some Texas electrical continuing education you need to take on a routine basis. Every year, you need to complete four hours of Texas electrical license continuing education. The TDLR mandates that your hours address state law and rules, workplace safety, and relevant changes to the National Electrical Code.
Again, it’s important that you choose a continuing education provider that’s approved by the state. The TDLR maintains a list and you can click the “Offers Internet Courses” button at the top to find providers who offer the electrical continuing education you need online. Choosing an online course lets you complete your four hours at any point during the year renewal period that works for you. Plus, you can finish the courses at your own pace.
Keep the certificate of completion you get once you’ve finished your courses for at least one year.
It’s your continuing education provider’s responsibility to tell the state that you’ve finished your course hours. They have seven days to get this info to the TDLR.
The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation has an online system you can use to track your hours. Check it out and make sure your education provider is accurately filing your hours with the state.
While your CE provider is responsible for reporting your hours to the TDLR, make sure you cover yourself. Save the certificate of completion you get when you finish the continuing education required for your license. The TDLR can ask for a copy of it at any time and you need to be able to provide it at their request.
In short, the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation oversees the continuing education requirements for a number of different occupations. Their goal is to ensure you have the training required to work safely in your field and to provide quality service to your customers. Look up your license type and find out what Texas continuing education requirements (if any) apply to you.
Even if it’s a number of hours, don’t be alarmed. You can find a state-approved online education provider so you can complete your courses from the comfort of your own home or office whenever is convenient for your schedule. Keep yourself informed about the CE requirements for your license type and you’ll have no trouble keeping your license active.