Belonging to a professional organization may be optional while a student and mandatory after graduation. Becoming a "professional engineer" or a "professional geologist" or a professional land surveyor may mandate joining a state or national or international professional organization, like the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), or the American Association of Geographers (AAG), or the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).
Some fields require professionals to continue to build upon their education by accruing Continuing Education (CE) units through professional development and training. These professional organizations provide a means for professionals to network, stay on top of developing trends, and to continue their educational efforts.
Most professional organizations offer reduced membership rates for students. There membership typically convey all the benefits of being a full member, such as subscriptions to magazines, or reduced rates for conferences, as well as discounts on published materials.