We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about:
1. How do I become a member of Engineers Canada?
Engineers Canada does not offer membership to individuals or groups. Our only members are the 12 provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies that regulate the engineering profession in Canada and licence the country’s professional engineers.
2. What is an engineer? What is a professional engineer?
An engineer is an individual who has been issued a licence to practise engineering by a provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body after demonstrating that they have the requisite education, skills, knowledge and experience. An engineer is sometimes referred to as a licensed engineer, a registered engineer or a professional engineer.
3. Can a person with an engineering degree call themselves an engineer in Canada?
No. Individuals with an engineering degree are known as engineering graduates, and a licensed engineer must take responsibility for their engineering work.
Visit About Engineers for more information on the steps that engineering graduates must take to become licensed.
4. Can a person with an engineering degree practise engineering in Canada?
Engineering graduates can practise engineering only if a licensed engineer assumes responsibility for the work.
No one can sign off on engineering work without a licence.
5. Does an engineering licence give permission to practise anywhere in Canada?
Licences are valid only in the province or territory where they are issued.
6. Do the engineering regulatory bodies issue different licences?
The following links show all the licences issued by the engineering regulatory bodies and their associated titles and abbreviations:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
7. Can I call myself a professional engineer because I graduated from a Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board-certified university?
To become an engineer in Canada, you must be licensed in the provincial/territorial jurisdiction in which you are employed.
An engineering graduate must have between three to four years of on-the-job engineering work experience (depending on the jurisdiction) under the supervision of a licenced engineer, as well as pass a professional ethics exam- to obtain a P.Eng. (“ing.” or “Eng.” in Quebec) designation. The best way to ensure all the required steps are taken is to register as an engineer-in-training with the engineering regulatory body in the province or territory where you are working.
8. How do I become a licensed professional engineer in Canada?
The licensing of engineers is the responsibility of the provincial and territorial regulatory bodies. You will need to contact the association of the province where you intend to work for its specific requirements.
Visit About Engineers for more information on the steps to become licensed.
9. Can I work in Canada before I become a licensed professional engineer?
Yes, but only if a licensed engineer takes responsibility for your work.
10. How many examinations will I have to write to receive my licence as a professional engineer in Canada?
Your provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body will tell you what examinations you have to write to become a member. They will assign you exams based on your academic background and work experience. Exams are offered in most provinces and territories in English only (French in Quebec and French or English in New Brunswick).
11. If I get a licence in one province, can I work in another province?
Yes, you can work in another province or territory as long as you obtain a licence from that province’ or territory’s engineering regulatory association to do so. And you do not have to live in that province or territory to get that second licence. The process to secure this licence is facilitated by the Agreement on Internal Trade.
Contact your provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body for further information.
12. What are the requirements for licensure in the United States?
Registration is done on a state-by-state basis. There are variations in applying requirements and some states have their own exams that you must write. Visit the following websites for more information:
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
13. Can a licensed engineer in the U.S. get licensed in Canada while still working in the U.S.?
Yes. Several of Canada’s provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies have temporary licenses for foreign engineers working in Canada on a temporary basis.
Please contact the engineering regulatory body in the province or territory you plan on working in for more information.
14. How does an engineer from a foreign country become licensed to work in Canada?
In Canada, engineering licensureis the responsibility and legal requirement of the provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies.
Contact the provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body where you intend to work for specific licensing requirements.
15. Can an engineer from a foreign country be licensed to work in Canada on a temporary basis?
Yes. Several of Canada’s provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies have temporary licenses for foreign engineers working in Canada on a short-term basis.
Contact the provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body in the province or territory where you want to be licensed to find out more.
16. I just arrived in Canada. How do I find out if I am qualified to become an engineer?
Several of Canada’s provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies have temporary licenses for foreign engineers working in Canada on a short-term basis.
Contact the provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body in the province or territory where you intend to work to find out more.
Note: Our Roadmap to Engineering in Canada website has an Academic Information Tool that allows international engineering graduates to compare their undergraduate engineering degree information to that of a Canadian undergraduate engineering degree. It provides valuable educational information to make an informed decision about immigrating to Canada. It also helps international engineering graduates find comprehensive information about the Canadian engineering profession and licensure process before and after immigrating.
To learn more about the tool, please visit the International Engineering Graduates page of this website.
17. Has Engineers Canada signed any international agreements that help Canadian engineers get licensed to work in foreign countries (including the United States)? If so, do the agreements help foreign engineers get licensed in Canada?
Yes. Engineers Canada's international activities include negotiating mutual recognition agreements with other engineering organizations. Agreements facilitate international mobility for Canadian engineers, and help to protect the public’s safety by ensuring that non-Canadian engineers seeking licensure in Canada are fully qualified.
International agreements are intended to simplify the evaluation process of an applicant's credentials. They do not override the provincial or territorial engineering regulatory bodies’ authority to evaluate and grant licences in Canada- according to their legislation.
Visit the International Mobility page of this website for more information.
18. I received my education in a foreign country that is not a signatory to the Washington Accord. Subsequently, my qualifications were accepted by a Washington Accord economy and I was licensed there. What must I do to be licensed as an engineer in Canada? Can I claim a waiver of written academic exemption?
While one Washington Accord signatory may have accepted your education as adequate for licensure in their country, others may not. The Washington Accord recognizes the equivalency of education accreditation systems from programs only within the signatory countries, and from the year that the signatory was first recognized by the accord.
For detailed information, contact the engineering regulatory body in the province or territory where you would like to practise.
19. I am a licensed engineer in a Washington Accord signatory with many years of professional experience. Do I have to start over again in my career to be licensed in Canada?
No, you will not have to start over again. Licensing in Canada is done at the provincial and territorial level through Engineers Canada’s provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies.
As a first step, accredited education is accepted by all provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies through the Washington Accord. Many engineering regulatory bodies will accept signed proof of previous acceptable work experience to meet the experience requirements for registration. However, most engineering regulatory bodies require one year of experience in Canada supervised by a licensed Canadian engineer before you can be licensed. For that year, applicants are called members-in-training.
For specific details, contact the provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body where you intend to register.
20. Do some foreign applicants for licensure in Canada receive preferential treatment based on international agreements?
No one receives preferential treatment. Everyone who applies to become an engineer in Canada must meet the same criteria. This includes applicants born and educated in Canada.
However, international recognition agreements signed by Engineers Canada have simplified the registration process for applicants from signatory countries. Proof of graduation from an accredited engineering program in one of these countries satisfies the educational requirement for licensure in Canada.
But, in addition, all applicants must satisfy the remaining non-educational requirements before they can be licensed.
21. Do American engineering firms require a Canadian P.Eng. on staff to perform work in Canada, or can the firm work as a subordinate to a Canadian P.Eng.?
To perform work in Canada, American engineering firms require either a Canadian engineer on staff or someone to work as a subordinate to a Canadian engineer.
22. Can Canadian engineers register with FEANI (the European Federation of National Engineering Associates) and obtain the European Engineer (Eur Ing) designation?
No, they cannot. FEANI is an organization made up of engineering bodies from 32 European nations. Regarding application for the Eur Ing designation, FEANI guidelines stipulate “application is open only to individuals if they are members of an engineering association or ordre represented in FEANI through a National Member.” (The Eur Ing Designation, 1.2)
FEANI is an observer at the Engineers’ Mobility Forum. Established by the Washington Accord signatories, the forum is exploring international engineering mobility at the professional level.
23. How can I apply to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Engineering Mobility Forum Registers of Professional Engineers?
Canada’s engineering regulatory bodies welcome applications from members for the Canadian Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Engineering Mobility Forum Registers of Professional Engineers.
You are invited to apply if you:
- Are registered as an engineer (P.Eng.) in Canada
- Are registered and currently practising in the chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, mechanical, mining, or structural engineering disciplines
- Have a minimum of seven years of practical experience since graduation, with at least two years being responsible for significant engineering work
- Demonstrate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at a satisfactory level
Contact your provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body for more information.
24. Is there such a thing as reciprocity for an American professional engineer (PE) to work in Canada?
No, in Canada you are required to be licensed by a regulatory body to practise engineering. Please contact the provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body in the area you intend to work for more information.
25. How do I know if the degrees I take are transferable to Canada or if I would have to take any equivalency exams?
Engineers Canada`s Roadmap to Engineering in Canada website has information about how to obtain a professional engineering licence, immigration and about working in Canada. The Academic Information Tool is a resource available to you on this website. It will help you compare your education to a Canadian education. Visit the International Engineering Graduates page of this website for more information.
26. How can I find out if the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board accredits my program?
The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board publishes an annual listing of the accreditation history of all programs that are, or have ever been, accredited.
27. Can you provide me with information about how to find a job in Canada, including employer lists, engineering job prospects in different provinces and cities, and expected salaries?
Engineers Canada is not an employment agency, and does not maintain lists of companies.
Below are some government resources of information that may help you with your job search:
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Government of Canada
- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
You may also wish to connect with local immigrant services or groups representing your own country. Contact the provincial or territorial government and ask for referrals to settlement organizations.
Skills International is a free on-line service. Register with an employment preparation agency in your community that has partnered with Skills International to have your skills and experience profiled on their website.
28. What is a P.Eng.?
The P.Eng. (“ing.” or “Eng.” in Quebec) is the designation on your licence to practise engineering in Canada. Once acquired, you are an engineer and can take responsibility for the engineering work you do.
For more information, visit the About Engineers page of this website.
29. What does substantial equivalency mean?
In Canada, undergraduate engineering programs are evaluated on an ongoing basis by Engineers Canada’s Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board to ensure they deliver a consistent and relevant level of engineering education.
From time to time, other nations request that the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board evaluate one or more of their university programs against the Canadian model. When a foreign undergraduate engineering program has received a favourable evaluation from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, meeting the same standards as a Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board considered that foreign program is to be substantially equivalent.
For more information on substantially equivalent programs, visit the Substantially Equivalent Programs page.
30. Is the P.Eng. recognized in the United Kingdom?
No. There is no agreement between Engineers Canada and the Engineering Council in the United Kingdom in recognition of the P.Eng. designation. However, the two organizations agree that, under the Washington Accord, their accreditation processes are substantially equivalent.
31. I have encountered a person who places the letters "CE" after their name and tells people that this indicates an engineering degree, i.e. "Computer Engineer". Is this a legitimate designation?
No. The proper designation for an undergraduate degree is either B.A.Sc. for Bachelor of Applied Science in a certain discipline or B.Eng. for Bachelor of Engineering in, for example, Computer Engineering. Individuals may not state that they are a computer engineer unless they are registered as an engineer with a P.Eng. designation (ing. or Eng. in Quebec).
32. Do you need to keep yourself current through courses to remain an engineer?
Yes. Engineers are required to remain competent. As stated in the Code of Ethics: “Engineers shall keep themselves informed in order to maintain their competence, strive to advance the body of knowledge within which they practise and provide opportunities for the professional development of their subordinates.”
Contact your provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body for more information on continuing professional development.
33. Is there a Canadian university that offers correspondence courses as part of a Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board-certified engineering degree?
Many Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board-accredited programs include some correspondence studies, although perhaps only two to three courses within an entire program. The courses cannot be on subjects that require time in a laboratory, unless arrangements are made for the student to take the laboratory part of the course on campus. Furthermore, these courses must adhere to the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board criteria, as would any on-campus course. At the present, there are no Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board-accredited programs offered entirely by correspondence studies.
For a list of Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board-accredited programs, click here.
34. If someone had been convicted of a crime under the Criminal Code, but had fulfilled all requirements for licensure, can he/she still become a licensed professional engineer?
Good character is a requirement for licensure as an engineer in Canada. Provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies seek the answers to questions like: “Have you ever pleaded guilty or been found guilty of any offence under any statute whether in Canada or abroad?,” and “Are there any outstanding civil judgments against you or any civil or criminal actions outstanding against you?”
Answering “Yes” does not mean an immediate refusal of granting a licence. Each application is handled on a case-by-case basis. If you answer “Yes” to questions like these, you will be asked to provide more details. The engineering regulatory bodies are concerned with your character at the time of registration, as opposed to past misdemeanours. You can find more information in Engineers Canada’s Good Character Guideline.
Contact your provincial or territorial engineering regulatory body for more information.