Geological engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering practice that brings in geology, civil engineering as well as mining, geography and forestry—to name but a few of the added areas of expertise that are brought to bear on the design and construction of structures, buildings and facilities. Beyond geological engineering, the overall discipline three other formal subdisciplines: engineering geology (the application of geology to engineering analysis and design); geotechnical engineering (the study of soil and rock mechanics in preparation for engineering projects); and geo-environmental engineering (the resolution of environmental problems using geological and engineering principles). Geological engineers apply this extensive skill set to the design of complex foundations for large buildings, to mining and hydroelectric projects, to the assessment of groundwater quality, and to ensuring the safety of major infrastructure such as dams, reservoirs, roads, and railways. There is also a significant management component to this engineering discipline. Geological engineers provide services in project financing, insurance assessments, land-use planning and the preservation of cultural and historical heritage sites.
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.