One of the oldest of the engineering disciplines, mechanical engineering employs the principles of engineering physics and material science to design and manufacture a product with a particular function. Mechanical engineers are engaged in the life cycle of a product from initial concept to design, development and testing of prototypes, to final manufacture and installation. Most industries as well as the services sectors rely on the skills of mechanical engineer to identify viable solutions to production or service delivery challenges while keeping to budget constraints and maintaining quality standards. Mechanical engineers work either independently or as members of engineering teams when their project is focused on complex systems. Typically such projects entail mathematical modeling and computer aided design; planning and designing new production processes; implementing cost-effective equipment modifications to help improve safety, reliability or throughput; and providing complete project management services. While mechanical engineering became a recognized engineering discipline during the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth early nineteenth centuries, it hard to imagine that is was not someone with mechanical engineering attributes who figured out how to get those large stone blocks onto the tops of the pyramids.
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.