Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between an engineer and a professional engineer?

Professional engineers (P.Eng.) are licensed to practise engineering, take responsibility for their work, and officially use ‘professional engineer’ or ‘engineer’ as a title. Individuals who have trained as engineers but have not yet received their P.Eng. designation cannot use either title, or any other title that suggests he or she has a P.Eng. designation. Until you receive your P.Eng., you cannot apply for any jobs that require a P.Eng. designation and any engineering work you do must be supervised by a professional engineer.

To become a professional engineer (P.Eng.), you have to earn your P.Eng. designation by meeting the academic requirements, work experience requirements, demonstrating good character, being competent in English or French, and successfully completing your Professional Practice Examination.


Why does Citizenship and Immigration Canada say I can immigrate as an engineer, but Engineers Canada or a provincial/territorial engineering association says I am not an engineer?

Immigrating to Canada and becoming licensed to work as an engineer are separate processes. Qualifying to immigrate to Canada does not mean your engineering credentials and work experience will be recognized. Even if Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) says you can come to Canada because you were trained as an engineer, you will still have to be licensed by a provincial or territorial engineering association to work as a professional engineer.


What job titles or positions should I look for during my job search?

The most common title or position to look for during your job search is ‘engineer’, although there are exceptions. Some engineering jobs may not have ‘engineer’ in their title, such as project manager, quality manager, production supervisor, field supervisor, designer and specialist. And some jobs with ‘engineer’ in its title have little to do with engineering, like locomotive engineer and sound recording engineer.

To find out which job titles in Canada match your specific engineering training and skills, use the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. Engineering job titles are grouped under Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations (Occupational Structure 2). Read the descriptions of these job titles to find what they involve.


Do I need one year of Canadian engineering experience before I apply for licensure?

No, you can apply to become a professional engineer (P.Eng.) and work on your year of Canadian engineering experience at the same time.  You can also work in engineering in Canada before you receive your licence or register with a professional engineering association—as long as you are supervised by a professional engineer (P.Eng.).


Can I work as an engineer in Canada without being licensed?

Yes, you can do engineering work in Canada without being licensed, but only under the direct supervision of a Canadian professional engineer (P.Eng.). However, without being licensed by a provincial/territorial engineering association, you cannot call yourself an engineer, hold the job title of engineer, be recognized as an engineer or work independently as an engineer.


What kind of engineering work experience do I need for my licensure application to be approved?

Generally, to earn full credit, your engineering work experience should allow you to demonstrate that you possess the seven core engineering competencies required for licensure. The core engineering competencies are:

  • Apply engineering knowledge, methods and techniques
  • Use engineering tools, equipment or technology
  • Protect the public interest
  • Manage engineering activities
  • Communicate engineering information
  • Work collaboratively in a Canadian environment
  • Maintain and enhance professional knowledge and skills

You will need at least one year of Canadian work experience in engineering.

Depending on which provincial/territorial engineering association you are applying to for licensure, specific requirements for your engineering work experience may vary.


Do I need to work full time to earn my one year of relevant Canadian engineering work experience?

No, but it will take you longer than one year to earn your Canadian engineering work experience if you do not work full time. Generally, a full-time job in Canada consists of five eight-hour days per week.


If I have applied for licensure in an engineering association in one province but find a job in another province, can I move to and work in that other province?

Yes, you can move to and work in another province.  However, you must apply for membership with the engineering association in the province/territory where you will be working.  For more information, please contact the engineering association in the province/territory where you will practice engineering.


I’m a professional/chartered/registered engineer from another country. Do I need to get a licence to work in Canada temporarily?

Yes. A number of the 12 provincial/territorial engineering associations offer temporary licences for engineers coming to Canada to work temporarily. Contact the engineering association in the province or territory you want to work in for more information.


I had my academic qualifications assessed by a Credential Assessment Service. Why do I need to have my academic qualifications assessed again by the provincial/territorial engineering association I’ve applied to?

The provincial/territorial engineering associations do not use evaluations by Credential Assessment Services in their licensing process. Credential Assessment Services provide information only and do not guarantee that your academic qualifications will be recognized for certification purposes in Canada. In this country, engineering licences are granted by professional engineering associations that operate in the provinces and territories. These associations regulate every aspect of the engineering profession in their jurisdiction. You must apply for your P.Eng. licence with the professional engineering association in the province or territory where you want to work. The association will answer your questions about its regulations or admission policies.

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