Canada - working in Canada

Calgory Light Rail system

Find out more about working as a civil engineer in Canada, including who the professional bodies are, how you can register, and what ICE can do to help you.

Becoming a professional engineer (PEng)

In Canada, only a professional engineer (PEng) is licensed to practise engineering and to take responsibility for their work and that of others. This includes signing and sealing design documents. Unlicensed engineers have to be supervised by a professional engineer.

PEng status is similar to chartered engineer (CEng) status in the UK.

PEng status is similar to chartered engineer (CEng) status in the UK and is awarded by the relevant provincial or territorial engineering association (see below).

Before becoming a PEng, you may need one full year of experience in Canada, supervised by a licensed engineer. While you're working towards becoming a PEng, you may be able to register as a 'member-in-training', a 'temporary PEng', or 'non-resident licensee PEng'.

Generally, to become a PEng you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. If you intend to work in Quebec, you should be able to write and speak in near fluent technical French.

Before you can work in Canada you must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or hold a temporary work visa. Find out how you can get a visa:

Engineering bodies

The national engineering organisation is Engineers Canada.

However, each province or territory has its own engineering association, which awards the PEng license.

The national civil engineering organisation is the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. This is a learned society but can't give licenses.

Recognition of existing qualifications

Calgory Light Rail Transit
Calgory Light Rail Transit

Unfortunately, Engineers Canada and the Engineering Council in the UK don't recognise each other's professional qualifications. This means that even if you have a UK professional qualification, you'll have to start at the beginning if you want to get PEng status.

However, both institutions have signed the Washington Accord which means academic qualifications are recognised. So, if you have a degree that's been accredited by the Engineering Council for CEng level you shouldn't have to sit any other exams for the PEng.

If you have problems getting your degree recognised, or are asked to give more information, please get in touch with ICE Representative for your region for advice.

ICE in Canada

ICE has representatives in four regions of of Canada. Please visit the ICE Canada webpage for contact details.

Our representatives are volunteer qualified members and are not immigration or employment agents. However, they are able give you advice on working as a engineer in their regions.

Canada is a vast, sparsely populated and particularly beautiful nation to work in as an engineer, and has many opportunities.

Find out more

Engineers Canada has produced some useful guidance for people thinking about working as an engineer in Canada:

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Hear Robin Lovelace discuss how we can improve investment decisions surrounding cycling infrastracture

Podcast: How can we provide evidence to support cycle infrastructure investment?

  • Author: Adam Kirkup
  • Date: 12 October, 2016
In this podcast, ICE's Adam Kirkup interviews Dr. Robin Lovelace, Professor at the University of Leeds, discussing the development of the Propensity to Cycle Toolkit (PCT), and how it can be used to prioritise investments and interventions which promote cycling.

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