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Students Click Here

How to start?

How to start?

How to start?

I need some info, and any help is welcome.
In next few months I will finish studying and become mechanical engineer. I’m living in Croatia, but I’m planning to move to Canada.  
I have no work experience, but done some projects at the University. So my question is: can anyone tell me how hard will be for me to find first job in Canada?

RE: How to start?

I am in the US, but I think having been under similar circumstances (coming from overseas) you can approach the situation similarily.
First and most important (as soon as possible) get your degree, grades and university programme accredited (if that is the right word). There are institutions that sort of try to equate your degree with that of Canada's. You may even want to do this before leaving your country.
Secondly, get affiliated with engineering societies in your country, become a member.
Third, make preparations to write the EIT (Engineering in Training) exam as soon as you get to Canada. This is the first step towards a professional engineer's license. (Even if you do not want to be a PE), that EIT can open doors.
Lastly, attempt to get into an engineering company at the entry level. You may even want to do some volunteer work  which can help start your Canadian experience.
Good luck.   

RE: How to start?


RE: How to start?

I am a mechanical engineer in Quebec, Canada and there are many jobs here. In the province of Quebec it is good to speak english and french but you can make it in english only, especially in the city of Montreal.
Having your EIT is a good idea. You can get infos about that at www.oiq.qc.ca
I don't know any unemployed engineer here. There are lot of job offers on many websites.
Good luck.

RE: How to start?

Thank you very much!

RE: How to start?


I live and work in Alberta. There is a staffing company here started by a engineer from Croatia which places engineers in jobs. The name of the company is called The Design Group. You can contact them at www.dgstaff.com. Beyond that if you want to work in Alberta you must get your degree from Croatia accredited and apply for EIT status with our provincial engineering association called APEGGA (www.apegga.org). Right now Alberta is the place to be for an engineer. There as so many jobs, even lots of entry level jobs. If you would prefer to go to the U.S. try searching for entry level jobs on the American Soceity of Mechanical Engineers website (www.asme.org). Their website is fantastic.

If you any more questions let me know.

Best Regards,

Felix Menu  Felix Menu
DMI - PRPD Engineering

RE: How to start?


I am a mechanical engineer who moved to BC,Canada from Switzerland last year and I thought my personal experience can give you an idea of what to expect.

I have a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering and three years experience. My wife being Canadian, we decided to move to Canada. Several people, engineers and non-engineers, also told us that I would have no problem finding work as an engineer. It's now a year and I am still looking for a position. So be ready! It won't be as easy as some people might tell you.

As Langhal mentionned, the best way is to get registered as an Engineer in Training at the Association of Professional Engineers of the province where you are living. Many companies, especially big ones, have the policy to hire only engineers eligible as P.Eng. or EIT.  Notice that, from my experience, the association won't accept any application until you are a landed immigrant, which means that you won't be able to apply from Croatia. As Croatia has no agreement with Canada for the recognition of engineering degrees, you probably will have to pass confirmatory exams, which will be assigned by the association. Note that in my case, the exams sessions are held only twice a year, in May and December, and the inscription deadline is resp. end January and end August. I mention it, because the administrative process can be slow and timing can be important: I received the response to my application at the beginning of February and therefore I couldn't be registered for the exams session of May!

About the job search: as you don't have a lot of experience, it might be tough. It's true that there are a lot of job offers on the net, but there are also a lot of experienced people looking for jobs. It also seems to me that most companies and recruiters in Canada are more interested in engineers with at least five years experience, which I can understand as it reduces their training cost. That's why being registered as EIT is important. The provincial associations, through their services and networks, will help you to make contact and find a job.

So, even if it might seem tough to find a job and I think it is, I still recommend you to move to Canada. It's a great country and I have met a lot of nice and friendly people.

I wish you good luck!

Rolando Zanella

RE: How to start?

I am in also in the USA, but I came from the overseas as a political refugee, therefore already with a work permission. It took me 10 years to get a real engineering job. Here is an important point, which was not stressed by the other folks in their replies: Do not try to work in Canada or anywhere else without the proper work permitting visa. And to get one now, as far I know is not easy at all, at least in the USA. If you want to be honest with the country where you want to live (what is highly recommended), legalize all your steps. The embassy in Zagreb can give you proper information how to do it.
Good luck and a lot of patiency.

RE: How to start?

I'd like to know how difficult the job will be for european once you got the job. I mean drafting standards, units etc. which are diffenrent in Europe. Canada has more common with europe(metric system, am I right?) but in USA must be even more different. So how hard will it be to coupe there for one who is used to ISO?

RE: How to start?

Good question, Linqur!
I do not have experiences from Canadian companies, and in the US I only worked for two.
Drafting standards are similar to what I used in the Europe. GD&T standard is almost exactly the same here as the ISO standard. In general I can say, that the standardization is here not enforced as strictly as it is in the Europe. The companies here usually have their own drafting rules, what they developed in years of their existence.  
Many companies here are using inch based system and many of them like the fractions of the inch. It is not hard to learn it, harder is to force the brain to think in this new dimensions. I mean, that if you used metric for many years, you can imagine what the dimension actually means. The problem is not the inch, but it's the fractions, especially the small ones and the tolerances, usually in thousandths of an inch or in the microinches. It is necessary to keep a calculator ready.
The automobile industry here is using the metric system. Unfortunately, it is very different way of using it than in the Europe. It is impossible to change to metric overnight. All tooling would have to be doubled - metric for new design, inch based for old design, what would be extremely expensive. Therefore most of the time the designers use "soft metric" - dimensions converted from inches. The result is that on the drawings there is a lot of dimensions with 3 decimal places (thousandths of a millimeter), something what in metric countries would look very strange.
What I am missing here most is the ISO system of fits. The system has it's ANSI standard, compatible with ISO, the charts are in some books (including the Machinery Handbook) but it is used very rare and the symbols (like "50H6" etc.) are usually not shown, only the numerical value. And the most engineers here like the + and the - tolerances to be equal. It obviously complicates calculation of the actual fit.
As I mentioned, I have no personal experience from Canadian companies, but I expect that the situation therewill be very close to what we see in automobile industry here. The companies in both countries collaborate a lot.
 To switch from Euro metric to inch or to US metric is not that hard; there are another at least as hard problems for a newly arrived people here. They are not necessarily engineering problems, therefore let me finish this info here.


RE: How to start?

My $0.02

Drawing standards are pretty much ISO based in whatever design environment you are in. I've worked in Metric and English units, and every company has there own "drafting standard" that usually changes with each company and/or boss. I've found that it really doesn't matter, 1 or 2 marked up drawings will have you back on track.
In the US no one cares, (at least anywhere I've worked) about being a PE or EIT, or that you even took or passed the FE exam. I took and passed it and am an EIT, but when I told employers on an interview that I had passed the FE exam, they imediatly asked if wanted to be a PE and that that wasn't something they were looking for. Employers don't want to pick up the PE insurance, and most don't want the liabilty. So unless the job you are looking for specifically asks don't worry about it.


RE: How to start?

I am a Mechanical Engineer from India having over around 10 years of working experience in my field and am looking for a job in Alberta. But most of the companies ask for a P.Engg of Alberta. Now, how much time will it take for a landed immigrant to get the P.Engg? Do please advise.

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