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Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

(OP)
Good day, people.

I'm about to graduate in Industrial Engineering in Brazil, but I often do researches about career and studies abroad because there are better oportunities and quality of life in other countries.
I've been recently doing some research about getting licensed in the US, Canada and UK, but information comes quite dispersed and I'm a little confused about it, so I came here to seek for some help.
How do I get my degree to be acknowledged in these countries? If I get a master degree in mechanical engineering in one of these countries, can I get a license to work as a ME, or would I have to get a bachelor degree? What else should I know about becoming licensed?
I'm not expecting to get all answers at once, but anything you can do to help me would be much appreciated!

Best regards,

Jorge

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

Jorge

Regarding America (no experience with Canada or UK), foreign degrees can lead to licensure. It will vary greatly between different states (each state has there own engineering practice laws). Generally, to obtain licensure a four-year ABET accredited (or equal) (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) engineering degree and four years of work experience are required. Also, a fundamentals of engineering and a principal and practice exam needed to be taken and passed. Once this is accomplished, a professional engineering license is awarded.

Once licensed, it is usually possible to be reciprocity to another state with little difficulty.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

In Canada, well Ontario as each province is different, getting a Masters would be a path to professional license. I don't think they recognise any university outside of Canada, but universities do (through the accreditation route) and then you have a Canadian degree to the PEO is happy. You can get a PEO license with a foreign degree, I did, just takes more hassle.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

There's a few differences in the way its administered in the UK.

First up, there's no PE licence. The closest thing to an equivalent is registration with the Engineering Council as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). This registration is recognised nationally (the country not being big enough to indulge in the luxury of regional registration).

Although the Engineering Council owns the register and sets the standard in broad terms, registration is actually administered through the individual professional institutions. This means that Mechanical Engineers need to join the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), to satisfy their education, training and experience requirement and ultimately register through them. Similarly, Civils go through the ICE, Chemical Engineers through the IChemE while Production Engineers (I think that's our equivalent of Industrial Engineering - someone correct me if I'm wrong) and Electricals both go through the Institution of Engineering & Technology (The IET - a merger of the old IEE and IProdE. Those are the big ones, though there are about thirty others as well.

You could start looking somewhere about here on the IET website or, for its equivalent with IMechE, here. Although the routes to registration that involve accredited UK degrees are inevitably less complex than the alternatives, all the UK institutions have droves of overseas members, so building on a degree from overseas is a well-trodden path.

A.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

While any engineer who qualifies can be registered, the US model has generally been only to require that practicing engineers offering engineering services that impact the public welfare, safety, safeguarding of life, health, or property to be licensed, while engineers working in private industry without a direct offering of engineering services to the public or other businesses, education, and government need not be licensed.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

(OP)
So I don't need any registration or license to get a job to work as an engineer in Canada or the US, only an acreditted bachelor degree? I also wanted to know whether the technical activities are regulated in accordance with which degree you have. I'm emphasizing this point because everything in Brazil has lots and lots of regulations, including professional activities. Eg.: If you have a mechanical engineer's license, you cannot design or even do maintenance on electric motors, doesn't matter if you have a master and a doctoral degree on electrical engineering. Electric motors are EE's concern, and if other kind of professional does this type of work, he/she may lose his/her license.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

Quote (jorge Paciullo)

So I don't need any registration or license to get a job to work as an engineer in Canada or the US, only an acreditted bachelor degree?

Correct. Here is the US we have millions of "engineers" that are not licensed. As stated above, if you work for a consultant doing design work, you will most likely, eventually need to get licensed. But if you work at say a refinery or power plant as a plant engineer, you typically do not need a license. I will say though, a PE license will open up a lot more opportunities for you here in the US. You will find a lot of advertisments that say "PE required or PE preferred" for certain roles, eventhough realistically, one does not need a PE to function in the position being filled.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

Come to Germany... we do not have licence for engineers..


best regards
Klaus

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

rb1957 has it wrong I'm afraid, in relation to getting a license in Canada. But don't believe us: go to the website for the province you're considering, i.e. www.peo.on.ca for Ontario, or OIQ for Quebec etc. Here's a start: http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php?ci_id=1848&la_i...

A couple points:

1) You don't need a P.Eng. license to work as an employee engineer in Canada. In fact, you don't even need to have an engineering degree. The only person you need to convince of your abilities is your employer. That said, those with a license will get obvious preferential treatment in competition for an engineering job over those who don't. Having a license is no guarantee whatsoever of getting a job of any kind, much less an engineering job.

2) If you want to sell your professional engineering services directly to the public, you not only need a P.Eng. license, but you also need a Certificate of Authorization (more hoops, more money after getting the P.Eng.). You're not going to do that as a recent immigrant.

3) To get a P.Eng. in Ontario, you need to have your education and your work experience reviewed. You can (and SHOULD) do that before you immigrate. Of the THOUSANDS of engineering programs offered by the THOUSANDS of academic institutions worldwide, some are taken as being 100% equivalent to or superior to the education one would obtain by passing a CEAB-accredited engineering program at a Canadian engineering school, so all you have to do is prove that you have graduated from that program and you'll have met the academic requirement. There isn't a simple list that you can look up- you need to apply.

4) Getting a Master's degree in Canada is of ZERO VALUE in having your academic qualifications recognized for licensure. What matters is your Bachelor's degree, and only that. Many have learned that the hard way.

5) Once you have your education accredited, you'll also need four years of engineering work experience- at least one of which is obtained under the supervision of a Canadian licensee. Those who meet all the other requirements but haven't yet obtained their year of mentored experience can obtain a Provisional License in Ontario. This lets employers know that you've jumped through all the hoops except this last one, which helps employers a lot.

Best of luck to you, but I suggest before you decide to come to Canada, you read this:

https://www.ospe.on.ca/public/documents/advocacy/2...

Engineering is a massively over-supplied profession in Canada and has been for over a decade. It's getting nothing but worse. Thousands of immigrants succeed in Canada out of the 300,000 or so who come every year, but many thousands end up losing their profession too. If you take a taxi from the airport in Toronto, you are very likely to be driven by an immigrant engineer who came in the 1999-2001 timeframe.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

(OP)
Thank you all very much. You clarified me a lot!

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

Quote (rb1957)

I don't think they recognise any university outside of Canada

They certainly recognise overseas degrees covered by the Washington Accord without need for further review (not a factor for the OP as Brazil isn't a signatory). Otherwise, you need to go through the process mentioned by moltenmetal.


Quote (moltenmetal)

1) You don't need a P.Eng. license to work as an employee engineer in Canada. In fact, you don't even need to have an engineering degree. The only person you need to convince of your abilities is your employer. That said, those with a license will get obvious preferential treatment in competition for an engineering job over those who don't. Having a license is no guarantee whatsoever of getting a job of any kind, much less an engineering job.

This is not the case across Canada, and varies by province.

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

moltenmetal,

quote
Engineering is a massively over-supplied profession in Canada and has been for over a decade. It's getting nothing but worse. Thousands of immigrants succeed in Canada out of the 300,000 or so who come every year, but many thousands end up losing their profession too. If you take a taxi from the airport in Toronto, you are very likely to be driven by an immigrant engineer who came in the 1999-2001 timeframe
unquote

If I may ask, what province would you suggest as a "less saturated" job market?

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

Jorge, suggest you to check in the NCEES website. They administer the P.E. exams. I am not American but was able to get my education evaluated/approved and get my US P.E. license. GOOD LUCK!

RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

rotw: the problem exists across the country. The 30% figure is across the country. Alberta was a safe haven for a while, but low oil prices have changed that. The last data analyzed in this fashion was from the 2011 census- prior to the upheaval in Alberta and Sask resulting from plummeting oil prices:



mgtrp: please name me one province in Canada where a unlicensed engineer cannot practice engineering as an employee under a Certificate of Authorization or as an "engineer in training" etc. I'm not talking about the right to call yourself an engineer on your business card, or the right to offer services directly to the public, or to stamp drawings for submission under a piece of secondary demand side legislation- all those absolutely require a license. No, I'm talking about getting a job as an employee doing engineering work. If there's a province which prevents that, it's news to me, and begs the question how someone would be able to accumulate their required 4 years of experience in that province.

See the FAQ from Engineers Canada's website, item # 9
https://engineerscanada.ca/frequently-asked-questi...

"9. Can I work in Canada before I become a licensed professional engineer?

Yes, but only if a licensed engineer takes responsibility for your work."

Note that it makes no mention of any province where that is NOT possible.

The OSPE report doesn't contain this figure, but I do recall noting that per the 2011 census, a substantial fraction (on the order of 20-30%) of engineering jobs were occupied by people without engineering degrees, those people including engineering technicians and technologists, scientists and others. Recently, some of those people have been issued their own limited licenses to practice engineering. In Ontario it is clear that a lot of people working as engineers are not licensed. For instance, there were about 80,000 engineering jobs in Ontario per the 2011 census but only about 70,000 P.Eng. licensees- and we know that there are many licensees who no longer practice engineering but keep the P.Eng. title because doing so is a) possible and b) very inexpensive- fees are only $220 plus tax per year...




RE: Questions about getting a P.E. license in the US, Canada or UK

For the US, and possibly other countries, licensure is actually a second step. You need to get a work visa, which may, or may not, be a challenge to get. Unless you have a peculiar or particular skill that's in demand, it's unlikely you'd get sponsored for a work visa by a potential employer.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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