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Information for foreign-trained civil engineers

(2131) Verified: 2011 10 24

Information on requirements to practise

The engineering profession is regulated in Canada. It is illegal to practise as an engineer or to use the title “engineer” without being licensed as a professional engineer with a provincial or territorial association. However, individuals can do engineering work under the direct supervision of licensed professional engineers.

Provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies are responsible for setting the standards for entry into the profession and for issuing licences to those who meet established standards of qualifications and practice. Therefore, once you know where you will settle and work in Canada, you should contact the appropriate regulatory body for details on licensure procedures (See list below).

Engineers Canada established the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) in 1965 to accredit undergraduate engineering programs at Canadian institutions which provide aspiring engineers with the academic requirements necessary for registration as a professional engineer in Canada. The list of accredited academic programs can be consulted on its web site, as well as the Engineers Canada Examination Syllabus.

Information on assessment of qualifications


The Roadmap to Engineering in Canada Web site is dedicated to providing information to international engineering graduates on the steps to obtain a licence to practise as a professional engineer in Canada. Roadmap to Engineering in Canada Web
For details, click here.

While not part of the registration process to become a licensed professional engineer in Canada, the Roadmap includes the on-line Academic Information Tool, which provides valuable information on how an undergraduate education in engineering obtained outside Canada compares to a Canadian undergraduate education in engineering.

This is important, as the definition of engineering varies from one country to the next. Work and training that in some countries are called engineering and are linked to the job title of engineer may fall into a different job category in Canada. The Academic Information Tool assists applicants in making an informed choice about immigrating to Canada.

Please note that the Academic Information Tool provides general information on how international academic credentials compare to those issued in Canada. It is not part of the formal immigration selection process, nor is it part of the engineering licensure process.

For more information, contact:


Engineers Canada
Foreign Credential Recognition Program
180 Elgin Street, Suite 1100
Ottawa ON   K2P 2K3   Canada
Phone : 613-232-2474
Phone (alternate): 1-877-408-9273
Fax : 613-230-5759
Email : newcomers@engineerscanada.ca


For immigration to Quebec, you should contact the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) directly:


Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ)
Gare Windsor, bureau 350
1100, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
Montréal QC   H3B 2S2   Canada
Phone : 514-845-6141
Phone (alternate): 1-800-461-6141
Fax : 514-845-1833
Email : info@oiq.qc.ca


You should note that if you are already licensed to practise as an engineer, and later wish to work in a non-regulated occupation, employers may request that you provide them with a formal assessment of your academic credentials.

If that is the case, or if you wish to have your credentials assessed for a purpose other than practising a regulated occupation in Canada, you may consult our Fact Sheet No. 2, “Assessment and recognition of credentials for the purpose of employment in Canada” and contact an academic credential evaluation service. Although evaluation services offer expert advice on how qualifications obtained abroad compare with academic credentials obtained in Canada, their evaluations are advisory only and do not guarantee recognition of your qualifications for employment or certification purposes in Canada. Please note that evaluation services charge a fee for their assessments.


Information on assessment for immigration purposes, under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is an immigration program administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the department responsible for immigration to Canada.

CIC has listed the priority occupations (NOC 2131, 2132, 2134, 2143, 2144, 2145, 2146, and 2147) under the FSWP. To apply for immigration to Canada under this program, one of the requirements* is to obtain an “Educational Credential Assessment” (ECA) for immigration purposes from a CIC-designated organization. We invite you to communicate directly with one of the designated organizations to begin this process from outside Canada.

*It is important to note that this requirement is for immigration purposes only. It is separate from the process to obtain a license to practice from the relevant regulatory body listed below. Obtaining a license to practice is not required to apply for immigration.

Other relevant information

The following occupational profiles for specific engineering disciplines may also be of interest:


Specific Provincial/Territorial Information



flechevertehaut.gif List of engineering regulatory bodies



Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton AB   T5J 4A2   Canada
Phone : 780-426-3990
Phone (alternate): 1-800-661-7020
Fax : 780-426-1877
Email : email@apegga.org

British Columbia

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC)
Suite 200, 4010 Regent Street
Burnaby BC   V5C 6N2   Canada
Phone : 604-430-8035
Phone (alternate): 1-888-430-8035
Fax : 604-430-8085
Email : apeginfo@apeg.bc.ca


Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba (APEGM)
870 Pembina Highway
Winnipeg MB   R3M 2M7   Canada
Phone : 204-474-2736
Phone (alternate): 1 (866) 227-9600
Fax : 204-474-5960
Email : apegm@apegm.mb.ca

New Brunswick

Engineers and Geoscientists New Brunswick
183 Hanwell Road
Fredericton NB   E3B 2R2   Canada
Phone : 506-458-8083
Phone (alternate): 1-888-458-8083
Fax : 506-451-9629
Email : info@apegnb.com

Newfoundland and Labrador

Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL)
P.O. Box 21207
10 Fort William Place, Suite 203
St. John’s NL   A1A 5B2   Canada
Phone : 709-753-7714
Fax : 709-753-6131
Email : main@pegnl.ca

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists
201, 4817-49th Street
Yellowknife NT   X1A 3S7   Canada
Phone : 867-920-4055
Fax : 867-873-4058
Email : napeg@napeg.nt.ca

Nova Scotia

Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street, P.O. Box 129
Halifax NS   B3J 2M4   Canada
Phone : 902-429-2250
Phone (alternate): 1-888-802-7367
Fax : 902-423-9769
Email : info@engineersnovascotia.ca


Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists
201, 4817-49th Street
Yellowknife NT   X1A 3S7    Canada
Phone : 867-920-4055
Fax : 867-873-4058
Email : napeg@napeg.nt.ca


Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO)
40 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 101
Toronto ON   M2N 6K9   Canada
Phone : 416-224-1100
Phone (alternate): 1-800-339-3716
Fax : 416-224-8168
Fax (alternate): 1-800-268-0496
Email : MSaldanha@peo.on

Prince Edward Island

Engineers PEI
135 Water Street
Charlottetown PE   C1A 1A8   Canada
Phone : 902-566-1268
Fax : 902-566-5551
Email : info@EngineersPEI.com


Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ)
Gare Windsor, bureau 350
1100, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
Montréal QC   H3B 2S2   Canada
Phone : 514-845-6141
Phone (alternate): 1-800-461-6141
Fax : 514-845-1833
Email : info@oiq.qc.ca


Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS)
2255-13th Avenue, Suite 104
Regina SK   S4P 0V6   Canada
Phone : 306-525-9547
Phone (alternate): 1-800-500-9547
Fax : 306-525-0851
Email : apegs@apegs.sk.ca


Association of Professional Engineers of Yukon (APEY)
312B Hanson Street
Whitehorse YT   Y1A 1Y6   Canada
Phone : 867-667-6727
Fax : 867-668-2142
Email : staff@apey.yk.ca
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Foreign professionals need ‘soft skills’ to find success .

Classic view of a cloudfree Peyto Lake, Banff ...Image by Alaskan Dude via FlickrBy Shaun Polczer, Calgary Herald

Engineers like to think of mathematics as a universal language.
So the biggest challenge for skilled engineers immigrating to Canada isn’t the ability to run calculations, it’s often the ‘soft skills’ that go with finding a job on top of adjusting to a new culture and a new way of life.
Before coming to Canada four years ago, Tony Onyeka was an electrical engineer in Nigeria, designing power grids and electrical systems. Now he’s working in IT — not a bad job, but not his chosen field of expertise.
“This is not what I was qualifi ed for,” he says. “I was trained in electrical engineering. Right now I work for an engineering company but I’m trying to get into the same field.”
According to Lionel Laroche, skilled immigrants often find themselves doing menial jobs when their skills and experience have far more value for themselves and for society as a whole.
“That’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid,” he says.
The problem is made more acute by the recession, especially for immigrant workers who’ve found less demand for their skills since the downturn.
“In 2006 and 2007 when Alberta was booming it was much easier at that point to find jobs. What we’ve seen is a number of immigrants during that period of time found jobs and lost them when the recession came.”
Laroche, a private consultant, was in Calgary this week to host a seminar for the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta aimed at helping immigrant engineers transition into the Canadian workplace by developing interviewing and job search skills. The program is a joint effort between the association and Bow Valley College.
The one-day workshop is followed up by a series of personal coaching sessions aimed at helping the participants find work in Alberta.
Laroche is a chemical engineer and an immigrant to Canada who recognized a void, both inside corporations and professional agencies, when he was working for Procter and Gamble and Xerox, large multinational firms that employ people from around the world.
“In both companies I was working with engineers from all around the world. We all spoke English but we were not getting anywhere and I could see that cultural differences were a big factor. I could see that a lot of qualified immigrants — technically qualified with good education — were not getting the kind of positions that I thought were in line with their education. I tried to research where the mismatch was coming from.”
Laroche says immigrants often have less trouble finding friends and establishing a sense of community in their adopted country than finding jobs in their chosen fields.
“Most immigrants are good at creating a support network relatively quickly, from an emotional and practical perspective,” he explains. “The problem is that network does not help you on the professional side.”
The federal government makes about 20,000 skilled worker visas available each year. Before skilled applicants such as engineers can work in Canada, they have to be certified by a professional association such as APEGGA and meet several criteria to be eligible for the skilled worker designation.
Applicants need a university degree and an offer of employment or a minimum of one year of professional work experience in addition to the ability to communicate in English or French.
Although Onyeka has seven years’ experience as an engineer in Nigeria, he doesn’t have the prerequisite Canadian work experience that would allow him to become an APEGGA member and become certified in his country.
After the initial shock of arriving in Canada in the middle of winter, it’s one of the last and possibly toughest hurdles before he makes Canada his home and native land. Despite an admission of occasional bouts of homesickness, Onyeka has decided to formalize has commitment to this country by applying for citizenship.
“Having survived a year or two of it, you get used to it, you acclimatize,” he says.

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