Given the impact and consequence of error that an engineer's work has on the health and safety of individuals and society, the profession is regulated to guarantee technical competence and is governed by a code of ethics. The process and requirements for registration vary depending on the jurisdiction – province, state or country. In Canada, anyone who claims to be an engineer must be registered as an engineer or an engineer-in-training.
Professional Engineering Regulatory/Licensing Associations
The licensure and regulatory responsibilities for the engineering profession in Canada is the responsibility of the 12 provincial/territorial associations which represent more 234,000 Professional Engineers. Engineers Canada is a national body which supports the provincial/territorial professional associations in their roles and works with these associations to establish minimum academic and experience qualifications for registration, and accreditation standards for engineering degree programs.
Find answers to your general questions about Canadian professional designations at P.Eng.: Your license to engineer and Engineer-in-Training Programs in Canada.
Provincial and Territorial Professional Engineering Associations
Still a Student?
The professional associations can offer excellent networking, career development and job search resources. A number of the associations offer a free undergraduate student membership, which entitles students to various benefits including discount insurance.
Looking to work in the United States?
The United States has “industry exemption” which means that the only engineers who are required to obtain registration as a PE are those in the consulting field. Registration is not a requirement for claiming to be an engineer. These are two very distinct differences between the Canadian and US systems.
Regulation and registration is a State responsibility managed by a State board. The measurement of technical competence for registration is passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and the Professional Engineering (PE) exams which are administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering (NCEES). Visit NCEES for information on the licensure process and evaluation of credentials, as well as links to each State licensing board. Arrangements can also be made to write the FE and PE exams in Canada through provincial professional associations.
In partnership with the various State PE Societies, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is the association of licensed Professional Engineers (PEs) and Engineer Interns (EIs) in the United States. This organization works to enhance the image of its members and their ability to ethically and professionally practice engineering. You may find the NSPE helpful if you are looking for career opportunities or links to any of the State Societies.