Working in Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

If you're thinking about working in Australia or need more information about the requirements for working there, we've put together a brief guide to help you.

Explore the sections below to learn more about opportunities available to you in Australia.

Migration and visas

If you're considering moving to work in Australia, you will first need to ensure that you meet the relevant migration requirements for the role you intend to do. Australia’s migration criteria for civil engineers place a high emphasis on your engineering academic qualifications and their relevance to the field in which you intend to practise.

If you hold an accredited engineering degree which should be recognised under the Washington, Sydney or Dublin Accord, please make sure you state this explicitly in your visa application.

For UK courses the entry in the Engineering Council Course Search specifies under which Accord it can be recognised. Please note that if your course is listed as “CEng (requires further learning)”, then you must also hold a further learning course listed as “CEng (is further learning)” in order for it to be recognised under the Washington Accord.

For non-UK courses, please check the website of the relevant national engineering accreditation body.

If you hold one or more unaccredited courses, or your course(s) are not accredited for the level or in the area in which you intend to practise, you should expect to have to pass a Migration Skills Assessment before a visa would be granted. This assessment must be conducted by an authority approved by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. For the occupation of Civil Engineer, this assessment has to be done by Engineers Australia. Assessment for the occupations of Civil Engineering Draftsperson or Civil Engineering Technician can be done by VETASSESS.

Please note that your MICE status or the result of an ICE academic assessment or experiential learning assessment is not recognised for migration/visa purposes.

Registration to practise

It is a requirement of the Professional Engineers Act (Qld) that professional engineering services in Queensland — or professional engineering services carried out interstate or overseas for a Queensland-based project — are carried out by engineers registered with the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland as an RPEQ. The only exceptions are if an unregistered person carries out a professional engineering service under the direct supervision of a RPEQ who takes full professional responsibility for the service, or if the service is carried out only in accordance with a prescriptive standard.

Before you can apply for RPEQ, you must obtain a letter of assessment from an authorised assessment organisation. Engineers Australia and/or Professionals Australia are authorised to assess for most areas within the field of civil engineering , while the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (Queensland) is authorised to assess for the area of “Civil (public works)”. Membership of the relevant assessment organisation is not a prerequisite for RPEQ assessment.

As of July 2021, a similar requirement will be introduced in Victoria and in New South Wales. Western Australia is now consulting until 3 December 2020 on the registration of building engineers. Registration to practice is not required in South Australia, Tasmania, or the Northern Territory.

  • Find out more about registration in Queensland
  • Find out more about registration in Victoria
  • The parliamentary bill for registration in New South Wales was passed in June 2020. Details about the registration requirements and process for registration are not yet available.
Engineers Australia

While not formally required for employment purposes, we recognise that many ICE members may wish to join our sister institution Engineers Australia. ICE and Engineers Australia hold a long-standing Mutual Recognition Agreement which provides for a streamlined route to CPEng MIEAust for Chartered Civil Engineers. Please note however that without a Washington Accord qualification you may still have to apply additionally for a stage 1 competency assessment or migration skills assessment if you are not already resident in Australia). Please seek advice from Engineers Australia’s Member Services team about this before applying. Reciprocally, ICE welcomes applications from CPEng MIEAust in the civil college for CEng MICE under our Mutual Recognition route.

In addition, Engineers Australia maintains a National Engineering Register (NER) which some employers may specify for particular job roles. Engineers on the NER may be registered as a Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist or Engineering Associate. All Chartered members of Engineers Australia are automatically eligible to join the NER at the relevant grade, for an additional annual subscription fee. Alternatively, ICE members can apply to join the National Engineering Register directly as a non-member, without Engineers Australia membership.

If you have any questions about applying to ICE for recognition, or need any advice or assistance in making an application to Engineers Australia, please get in touch with us at [email protected] .

ICE presence in Australia

ICE has over 2000 members living and working in Australia, a dedicated Australasia Manager based in Melbourne, and a network of volunteer members to support you. We work closely with Engineers Australia to jointly support the wider civil engineering community. Please visit our dedicated ICE Australia page for more information on the latest events and activities.

Although Engineers Australia is the national engineering body, many of our members will continue to work towards ICE professional qualification or progress to other ICE grades whilst living and working in Australia, particularly those who only plan to stay for a limited period or intend to return to the UK or home country in due course. If you need any support or advice to progress your membership whilst in Australia please contact [email protected].

If you are currently on an ICE training agreement and have any questions about partially completing or transferring your training whilst working in Australia, please get in touch with us at [email protected] .

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