Career Map: Engineer
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This document was developed in collaboration with the Government of Ontario in March 2011. Requirements may have changed by the time you apply. Please contact Professional Engineers Ontario before completing your application.
Copyright in this career map is held jointly by the Queen's Printer for Ontario and Professional Engineers Ontario, © 2011. This career map may be used or reproduced by any third party for non-commercial, not-for-profit purposes, provided no fee, payment or royalty of any kind is charged by the third party for any further use or reproduction of the career map by any person. Any proposed commercial or for-profit use or reproduction of this career map requires a written licence from the Queen's Printer for Ontario and Professional Engineers Ontario.
The Engineering profession is regulated in the Province of Ontario by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), a regulatory body that ensures public safety by setting standards for admission, issuing licences to practise professional engineering, and regulating the practice of engineering in Ontario. The rules concerning the licensing of professional engineers in Ontario are contained in provincial legislation – the Professional Engineers Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter P28 and Regulation 941, R.R.O 1990.
By law, no one is authorized to practise as a professional engineer without a licence, (see Note).
NOTE: Not all engineering graduates in Ontario are professional engineers. A professional engineer must have satisfied the requirements set by PEO to earn a licence. However, you can work in engineering without a licence, if a professional engineer supervises and takes responsibility for your work. You cannot use the title "professional engineer", the abbreviation "P.Eng.", or any similar title that may lead to the belief that you are qualified to practise professional engineering unless you are a licensed professional engineer.
There are about 74,000 professional engineers in Ontario and about 200,000 in Canada. Professional engineers use the abbreviation "P.Eng." after their names. In Ontario, professional engineers specialize in a wide range of engineering activities, in areas including:
- agricultural/biosystems/bioresource/food engineering
- biochemical/biomedical engineering
- building engineering
- chemical engineering
- civil engineering
- computer engineering
- electrical engineering
- engineering physics
- environmental engineering
- forest engineering
- geological engineering
- geomatics engineering
- industrial engineering
- manufacturing engineering
- marine engineering
- mechanical engineering
- metallurgical engineering
- mining and mineral engineering
- naval architectural engineering
- nuclear engineering
- petroleum engineering
- software engineering
- structural engineering
- transportation engineering
- water resources engineeering
Professional engineers work as employees of large or small companies, in education or government, or as independent practitioners in the various fields of engineering.
PEO licenses professional engineers for practice only within Ontario. However, there is an agreement among Canadian provinces and territories that will normally allow you to transfer your licence or obtain another provincial/territorial licence if you need to practise in another province or territory of Canada, or choose to move to another province or territory and become licensed. Each province or territory regulates the practice of professional engineering within that jurisdiction.
Right to Practise in Ontario
Only those who are granted the "professional engineer" licence have the right to practise professional engineering in Ontario.
To become licensed by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be of good character.
You will be requested to answer questions and make a written declaration on your application form, attesting to the absence of any past conduct that would afford grounds for the belief that you will not practise professional engineering with honesty and integrity. In addition, PEO will solicit opinions about your suitability for PEO membership from referees whose names you provide.
- Meet PEO’s stipulated academic requirements for licensure.
This may include writing technical examinations. See below.
- Pass the Professional Practice Examination. See below.
- Fulfil engineering work experience requirements. See below.
While You Are Still Abroad (Before You Immigrate to Ontario)
You may apply to PEO to begin the licensing/registration process from your country of origin.
You will be required to provide documentary evidence of your qualifications, which PEO will assess, such as:
- notarized transcript(s)
- detailed course descriptions
- an experience record
- include the appropriate fees to initiate your application for licence
You will receive information:
- to help you determine whether you will be able to obtain a licence to practise professional engineering in Ontario
- about how long it may take you to get a licence
- which explains the number of technical exams you may have to complete and the associated costs
To download our application for licence, visit PEO’s website or contact our office at the address provided on page 12, of this career map.
You must submit the following:
- the completed application form with the required supporting documentation
- a fee of $339.00 Cdn, payable to “Professional Engineers Ontario”. (Please check the PEO website for the current fee schedule.)
If your academic documents are not in English, you must submit a notarized English translation, as well as the original documents. You must also provide your detailed course descriptions and an experience record for PEO’s review.
The academic qualifications assessment should take no longer than two months to complete after PEO has received all the required documents.
Once your documents have been assessed, PEO will advise you concerning what examinations you will be required to write, in the event your assessment reveals any gaps in your academic qualifications for licensing purposes, or in order to confirm that they are equivalent to PEO’s academic requirements for licensure. If you do not have the minimum academic requirements, PEO will advise you that you may not be able to qualify to work as a professional engineer in Canada.
As soon as you arrive in Ontario you may continue the licensing process without being required to pay any additional application for licence fee.
When You Arrive in Ontario
There is no guarantee that you will find employment in the engineering field upon arrival in Ontario.
If you have already had your academic qualifications assessed as described above, you should contact PEO when you arrive to continue the licensing process. You will be asked to provide proof of:
- your full legal name
- your PEO file number (this appears on all PEO communication to you)
- PEO acceptable proof of identification
You must also re-submit an official English translation of your documents, certified by a translator from the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO), or prepared and certified by a professional engineer.
You will then receive a detailed update on the status of your application and information on the next step in the licensing process.
If you have not already applied to PEO for a licence, follow these steps:
Step 1 — Apply for a Licence
Contact PEO and request an application (see contact information below). If you have access to the Internet, visit PEO’s website at www.peo.on.ca to download a copy of the Application Guide and Application for Licence form.
Please note, International Engineering Graduates (IEG) with a Bachelor of Engineering or Applied Science Degree may be able to apply for PEO’s professional engineer licence at no cost, if they qualify under the Engineering Intern Financial Credit Program (FCP), for more information please visit: www.peo.on.ca/FCP/FCP1.html
Step 2 — Assess Academic Qualifications
If you do not hold a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited Canadian undergraduate degree program, your academic qualifications will be assessed by PEO to determine if you possess equivalent qualifications. You will be asked to submit the following documents and information:
- original, certified diploma(s), degree(s), and full transcript(s), showing courses completed and marks
- detailed description of each course taken
- the full address of the educational and professional institutions relevant to your engineering qualifications
- If your academic documents are not in English, you must submit notarized English translations prepared by a service that is certified by the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO), or by a professional engineer
If your academic qualifications are not accepted by PEO as equivalent, PEO may assign you technical examinations. These examinations are assigned to:
- give you an opportunity to confirm the equivalency of your degree; or
- help you remedy identified deficiencies in your academic qualifications.
When technical exams are assigned, PEO will provide you with a list of recommended textbooks on the subject matter to help you prepare. (Special arrangements can be made with PEO’s Admissions Department to have technical exams written abroad.)
If you are assigned a confirmatory examination program, you may be required to write and pass up to four examinations. If you are assigned an individual (specific) examination program, you may be required to write and pass up to 18 examinations, which you must complete in eight years. For information on the costs for writing examinations, see the section of this career map on Fees and Costs.
If you do not pass your technical examinations, you may be permitted to rewrite them, under certain circumstances. You may also appeal the grade received in an examination. If you appeal your grade, your examination will be re-marked by another examiner. There is a fee for appealing your examination grade (see Fees and Costs).
Individual (specific) examination program candidates may be asked to submit an Engineering Report as part of their academic requirements. This report should demonstrate to the Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) your ability to define an engineering problem, devise a solution, draw conclusions and make recommendations using engineering principles, consistent with well-established engineering practices. This report must be your own work and must be of an acceptable professional level.
PEO may grant you an exemption from technical examinations (and the Engineering Report) if:
- you have an engineering degree conferred outside Canada that PEO believes to be equivalent to one from an accredited Canadian engineering degree program and you have also completed postgraduate studies in engineering at a Canadian university, in the same discipline as that of your foreign undergraduate engineering degree; or
- you have an undergraduate engineering degree from an institution in a country that has a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. These countries are: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States (after 1989), Hong Kong (1995), South Africa (1999), Japan (2005), Singapore (2006). Chinese Taipei (2007), South Korea (2007), Malaysia (2009). (Please note that to be recognized as equivalent, the degree must have been granted during or after the year indicated after the name of the country.)
In both cases, however, if your academic qualifications are not deemed to be equivalent to those required for licensure by PEO, technical examinations will be assigned.
Step 3 — Professional Practice Examination
Once you have met the academic standards, whether by successfully completing assigned technical examinations or being exempted from exams, the next step is to write the Professional Practice Examination (PPE).
You will be advised when you are eligible to write the PPE and you will be notified of the next opportunity to write it. The exam is offered three times each year in 16 different Ontario cities/towns, and you may choose to write in either English or French. (If you wish to write the exam in French, you must indicate this at the time of applying to write.) You must complete the PPE within two years of the date you become eligible to write it. (Special arrangements can be made with PEO’s Licensing and Finance Department to have the PPE written abroad.)
The PPE has two parts: Part A covers professional practice and ethics; Part B is on engineering law and professional liability. You must pass both parts in order to pass the PPE.
PEO will provide outlines of the subject matter for both parts of the exam and recommend textbooks to help you prepare. Copies of previous PPEs are available from PEO at a nominal cost (and one previous exam is available at no cost from PEO’s website). There are also some institutions in Ontario that provide preparatory courses to help applicants prepare for this exam.
If you do not pass the PPE, you will be permitted to rewrite it. You may also appeal the grade you receive on the examination. If you appeal your grade, your exam will be re-marked by another examiner. There is a fee for appealing your examination grade (see Fees and Costs).
Step 4 – Practical Experience
Under Ontario law, you must complete four years of verifiable, acceptable engineering work experience, of which at least 12 months must be experience gained in a Canadian jurisdiction under the supervision of a professional engineer, before you will be granted your licence as a professional engineer. The mandatory requirement for Canadian experience ensures that you are conversant with Canadian engineering codes, legislation, technical standards and regulations as they pertain to engineering practice in your field.
Your engineering experience will be assessed against the following five criteria:
- application of theory
- practical experience
- management of engineering
- communication skills
- awareness of the social implications of engineering
If your academic qualifications satisfy PEO’s licensing requirements, all of your engineering experience gained from the date your engineering degree was awarded is eligible for credit toward PEO’s four-year experience requirement. In addition, you may receive a one-year experience credit for the successful completion of a postgraduate degree in engineering in the same discipline as your undergraduate degree.
Step 5 - Language Proficiency Assessment
There is a legislative requirement for PEO to ensure that all applicants for a licence to practise professional engineering are able to demonstrate good English language proficiency.
Engineering Internship (EIT) Program
If you apply for a P.Eng. licence, you may also be eligible to be registered in PEO's Engineering Internship (EIT) Program. The EIT Program is designed for applicants who are employed in an engineering capacity. It is not a job search or placement program.
PEO’s EIT Program:
- helps you to understand the licensing requirements, particularly the experience required to qualify for a P.Eng. licence
- offers you the opportunity to obtain detailed, confidential work experience reviews from the EIT Program Manager. At your request, PEO will review your experience upon changing jobs, upon completion of any temporary work assignment, and after obtaining your first six months of engineering experience in Canada
- helps you demonstrate to employers your commitment to becoming a licensed professional engineer
- encourages you to become involved in the profession and to participate in PEO’s chapter activities, insurance and investment plans
PEO’s EIT program provides:
- access to the password-protected sections of the PEO website for questions and answers of concern to PEO’s engineering interns
- on-line discussions with other engineering interns and with professional engineers
- advice on reporting work experience
- examples of legal and ethical issues
- specialized EIT assistance
The annual fee for the EIT program is $84.75. You must complete the EIT section in the P.Eng application or notify the EIT program Manager if you wish to be recorded in the EIT Program.
Labour Market Information
To assist you with finding employment, working on your career development, and learning more about the labour market, please visit the following websites:
Labour Market Information: www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/ojf/index.html
Fees and Costs(in Canadian Dollars)
Make cheques or money orders payable to Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO).
|PEO application fee||339.00 ($300.00 + HST)|
(must be included with application)
|Technical Examination Programs|
|One-time administration fee||$580|
|Professional Practice Exam||$165|
|Engineering Internship (EIT) Program||$84.75 ($75.00 + HST)|
|Final Registration Fee||282.50 ($250 + HST)|
|Annual Membership Fee||248.60 ($220 + HST)|
All fees are non-refundable.
For More Information
For more information on how to become a licensed professional engineer in Ontario contact:
Professional Engineers Ontario
40 Sheppard Ave. West, Suite 101
Toronto, ON M2N 6K9
Telephone: (416) 224-1100
Toll Free: 1-800-339-3716 (only in Ontario)
Fax: (416) 224-8168
Toll Free Fax: 1-800-268-0496 (only in Ontario)
For more information on advocacy and services for engineers contact:
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
4950 Yonge Street, Suite 502
Toronto, ON M2N 6K1
Telephone: (416) 223-9961
Toll Free: 1-866-763-1654
Fax: (416) 223-9963
Toll Free Fax: 1-866-763-1655
For information on finding a certified translation service, contact:
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1202
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: (613) 241-2846
Fax: (613) 241-4098
For information on Ontario university programs in engineering, contact:
Professional Engineers Ontario (see above)
180 Elgin St., Suite 1100
Ottawa, ON K2P 2K3
Telephone: (613) 232-2474
Fax: (613) 230-5759
For information on where and how to get help with settlement in Ontario visit: www.settlement.org
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
110 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M4R 1A3
Telephone: (416) 322-4950
Fax: (416) 322-8084
For a government contact about accessing professions and trades in Ontario:
Government of Ontario
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Global Experience Ontario (GEO)
Tel: 416-327-9694 or 1-866-670-4094
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf:
416-327-9710 or 1-866–388-2262
Copyright in this career map is held jointly by the Queen's Printer for Ontario and Professional Engineers Ontario, © 2011.