Becoming an engineer in Canada

Learn how to become a professional engineer in the Canadian province of Ontario.

In Canada, the P.Eng. designation represents the highest standards of engineering knowledge, experience and professionalism in the country. It tells employers that you’re committed to engineering excellence; that you have the right skills, education and attitude; and that you’re a responsible professional with the proven problem solving abilities to help their business.

To become a professional engineer (P.Eng.) in Canada, you must be licensed in the provincial/territorial jurisdiction in which you are employed.

In Ontario, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) governs its licence and certificate holders and regulates professional engineering practice to serve and protect the public. Under the Professional Engineers Act, PEO establishes the educational, experience and other requirements for licensing. PEO also provides leadership to the profession and raises public awareness of its role and of the value of licensure. To take responsibility for professional engineering work in Ontario, an individual must be licensed by PEO. 

More than 200 engineering programmes offered at 35 Canadian universities - nearly half of which are in Ontario - have met the demanding standards set by the profession and been accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). Graduation from one of these nationally accredited programmes means you have earned the academic qualifications required to apply for a licence as a P.Eng. with any of the twelve provincial and territorial engineering licensing bodies.

Engineer with clipbaord

“Graduation is just the first step to 
obtaining the licence and becoming a professional engineer”

With graduation from a Canadian engineering programme, comes a unique and memorable event: the Iron Ring Ceremony. A tradition since 1925, the ring is worn on the little finger of the working hand to symbolise the pride engineers have in their profession and to remind them of their obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct. Although the 
ring represents an enormous achievement, it does not make the wearer an engineer. Graduation is just the first step to 
obtaining the licence and becoming a professional engineer.

To be granted a licence to practise professional engineering in Ontario, an applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be of good character
  • hold an undergraduate engineering degree from a CEAB-accredited programme (or possess equivalent qualifications)
  • successfully complete PEO's Professional Practice Examination (PPE), and
  • demonstrate at least 48 months of verifiable, acceptable engineering experience, at least twelve months of which must be acquired in a Canadian jurisdiction under a licensed professional engineer (P.Eng.)

Recent changes to the Professional 
Engineers Act have eliminated a previous requirement that an applicant be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, making it easier for an applicant from outside of Canada to apply for and obtain a licence.

In addition, engineering graduates and newcomers to Canada may be eligible to apply for their Ontario engineering licence at no cost. For more details, please visit - www.peo.on.ca  

As a licence holder in the province, Ontario P.Engs are part of a community of more than 80,000 professionals committed to enhancing the quality of life, safety and well-being of all Ontarians.

 

Written by David Smith (2011)
Manager, Communications
Professional Engineers Ontario

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