Civil engineering is the engineering discipline whose practitioners apply physics and mathematics to design, construct, and maintain our built environment. The overall discipline is comprised of various sub-disciplines each based on knowledge of structures, materials science, geography, geology, soils, hydrology, mechanics and other fields Examples of civil engineering works include roads, bridges, buildings, harbours, airports, water distribution systems, dams, tunnels, and reservoirs. The greater part of the physical infrastructure that is in place around us has been designed by a civil engineer. He or she has played a key role planning, investigating, estimating, scheduling, costing, and managing construction projects of all kinds. Moreover, civil engineers are also responsible for critical works that are not immediately visible: mitigation of groundwater contamination, flood forecasting, shore protection, soil assessment, landfill design, offshore exploration, and urban traffic control, to name but a few areas of civil engineering design that do not entail physical construction. Most importantly civil engineers employ theory, experiments, experience and judgement to address human needs globally.
Requirements for Engineering Licensure in Canada
If you are not licensed to work as an engineer in Canada you must be prepared to work under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer. To work independently you must obtain a P.Eng. designation awarded by one of the provincial or territorial engineering authorities whose role it is to govern the engineering profession in Canada. Although they differ slightly among the provinces and territories, the basic requirements for licensure are:
- An engineering degree awarded by a Canadian or Canadian equivalent university;
- A minimum of four years of relevant engineering experience of which one year must have been gained in Canada;
- Successful completion of a Professional Practice Examination;
- Canadian citizenship of proof of permanent residency in Canada;
- Be of good character as vouched for by three referees.
The process of obtaining your P. Eng. can start even before you arrive in Canada. Visit the Roadmap to Engineering in Canada at newcomers.engineerscanada.ca. This takes you to the Engineers Canada website. There you can link to the provincial or territorial body where you plan to work and obtain the necessary application forms and list of required documentation.
Alternative Careers in Engineering Technology
Engineering technicians and technologists may offer non-regulated engineering and technical services directly to the public. They must, however, work under the supervision of a Professional Engineer when providing professional engineering services to an employer or the public.
Technologists apply theoretical and practical methods to design, plan, develop, test, manufacture, construct, install, commission, operate and maintain engineered products, processes, systems and services. Technicians apply theoretical and practical methods to assist with the design, development, manufacturing, testing, construction, installation, commission, operation and maintenance of engineered products, processes, systems and services.
If your training and or work experience is in engineering but you chose not to become licensed as a professional engineer you may be qualified to work in a wide range of technology occupations as a professional technician or technologist. Discover the many alternative career pathways to rewarding and well paid occupations in engineering technology.