Engineering is a regulated profession in Canada. This means that, by law, you must have a licence from a regulatory body in Canada in order to work as an engineer and use the term “engineer” in your professional title. In Canada, provincial and territorial regulatory bodies (“regulators”) have the responsibility for licensing engineers.
You must apply for your professional engineering (P.Eng.) licence with the regulator in the province or territory where you want to work. You should contact that regulator to answer your questions about its admission policies and application process. (Regulator List).
Engineers Canada has published Public guideline on admission to the practice of engineering in Canada, available in English and French, which outlines P.Eng. admission requirements.
To apply, regulators will require you to demonstrate that you have an engineering education and that you have relevant work experience. (How to apply for licensure).
Requirements for registration as a P.Eng. in Canada are:
- Academic: You have obtained an engineering education.
- Work experience: You have supervised work experience that demonstrates your ability to apply engineering knowledge.
- Language: You communicate competently in at least one of Canada’s two official languages. Be sure you are competent in the language of practice used in the province or territory where you want to work.
- Good character: You have demonstrated truth, honesty and trustworthiness in your conduct.
- Professionalism and ethics: You have knowledge of professional practice issues, including law and ethics.
Documents you will need to provide are:
- A completed application.
- Degrees, certificates, diplomas, and transcripts (course descriptions may also be required). Most regulators require a specific type of credential assessment done by a credential assessment agency. Please check with the regulator for specific requirements as it may be different than those for immigration purposes.
- A record of your engineering work experience in a format acceptable to the regulator. You will be required to demonstrate that you possess the core engineering competencies.
- Professional references, in the regulator’s prescribed format.
Regulators will also require that you pass a Professional Practice Examination (PPE) before becoming licensed. This is an exam about professional practice in Canada, focused on law, ethics, and professionalism; it is not a technical exam about engineering.
It is important to note that the assessment process to obtain a P.Eng. licence can be lengthy and expensive. Some individuals may spend months or even years trying, and not everyone succeeds. Therefore, it is good to be prepared and to have interim (or alternate) career options in mind, as necessary. When you have been licensed by one of Canada’s regulators, you are allowed to call yourself an engineer and use the reserved title for your licence type (e.g. P.Eng.). Use of an engineering title without a licence is prohibited.
More information about the licensure process in Canada is available on the EngineerHere.ca website. This site is specifically set up to provide you with all the basic information you need to know about working in Canada as an engineer. The site includes information about immigrating to Canada, practising engineering in Canada, and working in engineering in Canada. It also contains important tips and resources.