Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Practicing in Canada

Practicing in Canada

Practicing in Canada

My firm is looking into doing some work in Canada (not sure which province) and I was asked to look into the engineer practice requirements in Canada. My firm is located in the US and I have never done any work before in Canada, so I have not much of an idea of where to start looking.

If any US engineers have worked or are working in Canada, I would appreciate any pointers or direction you can give me.

RE: Practicing in Canada

It's fairly seamless in that if you come from an accredited school in the states, your educational background won't be an issue.

Each province has their own association just like each state. Although all similar, you may find there are some different intricacies to getting registered in certain provinces. Check out each provincial association's website and they should have some guidance for how to become registered. Quite possibly they may even have specific guidance for those coming out of the US.

RE: Practicing in Canada

I've got some experience with this. I'm a Canadian SE who got started in WI and then returned to Canada. And when I returned, I imported a wife who was/is a US SE. Here's what I know.

1) It does vary a bit by province but not too much.

2) Some, if not all provinces require a year of Canadian experience which may be a pain. It's our nod to protectionism/xenophobia.

3) I think at least one province requires demonstration of community service? Needless to say, I don't have that one.

4) Often you can quickly obtain "provisional licensee" status with a basic application procedure. Then you have some limitations to your practice though. And one may be working with a full fledged Canadian P.Eng. Regardless, after they take some additional time to regard your application, and maybe ask for a little more info, they'll eventually switch you over to a full license. My junior engineer, from the Philippines, just finished this process. My wife had one of these provisional licenses as well. It was funny because our Alberta licenses have a beaver on them (Official provincial animal as cliche as it is). But the provisional licenses don't have the beaver on them. So contractors used to tease my wife about not having a beaver. Yeah... that happened.

5) There are some shortcuts between specific provinces and specific states. For example, there is direct reciprocity between Alberta and Texas and Alberta and Nevada. It's worth asking.

If I can do anything additional to help, feel free to contact me via email. with a little puzzle solving, you can find that here: Link

When I get to 1000 stars, I get to meet BAretired for lunch. Current start count = 790. Just sayin'...

RE: Practicing in Canada

Ash: I work in northern new england. I recently started doing some sub-consulting work in Canada working for another engineer (basically working as another body doing engineering calcs with them reviewing my work and being the stamping EOR). I may end up just getting a Canadian license at some point but can't speak to that process yet.

The biggest thing I see is a lot of Canadian engineering practice is very similar to US practice, but with just enough tweaks to make it different so you'll need to spend some time reviewing each standard or reference to find the differences between your usual practice. Biggest thing of course is it's often metric, so that can be a hurdle at first but it's mostly just a work efficiency loss.

As for specific differences; so far I've mostly been looking at the precast box culverts and bridge components and it's very similar to US AASHTO standards. I can see almost identical provisions in almost everything but there are different design vehicle load requirements and different soil lateral load requirements. Simple stuff that's relatively easy to implement in your normal designs. Basically you'll just have to plan on a lot of extra pain on those first jobs where you go through all the relevant Canadian references and play a game of "spot the difference".

The only other hassle I'm finding is a lot of software and helpful references is geared toward US standards and doesn't have Canadian equivalents. For example I'm still struggling to find a good software package for precast concrete bridge girders. Plenty of US options for this but very light to nil for software to design precast concrete girders to CSA S6-14.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL, HI)

RE: Practicing in Canada

On thing that kinda sucks about Canadian licenses relative to US is that they're wildly expensive. To the tune of $350/yr. That, as opposed to my IL license which I think is $65 biannually or something. That cost disappears in a hurry with ongoing Canadian work but isn't much fun to maintain just for sport.

When I get to 1000 stars, I get to meet BAretired for lunch. Current start count = 790. Just sayin'...

RE: Practicing in Canada

You should try having a CT license, KootK. :P

But, yes, there's definitely I reason I haven't picked up a Canadian license for sport myself even though it would be fairly practical at this point and would be hilarious to get my professional suffixes longer than my actual name.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL, HI)

RE: Practicing in Canada

The most cost effective (time & money) thing to do is likely to hire a consultant P.Eng. registered in the province to review & approve your data.

If you do find it is worth your time, find the Provincial Association that is easiest &| quickest. For example, APEGA takes well over 200 days to process internationally trained applicants (likely less on average for US). Link

However, thanks to a relatively recent inter-provincial trade deal, registering in another province takes less than a couple weeks. Link

Anecdotally, the people at APEGS (Link) are extremely helpful and fast relative to others.

RE: Practicing in Canada

For a firm to work in Canada they typically need the following for the province

certificate of authorization for the company with officer engineer
professional liability insurance for the company
Engineer licenced in province

Do not recommend getting engineers registered initially in Ont, BC, Alberta or Quebec. These have longer timeframes and more red tape. The smaller provinces may be easier to get licenced, once you have a license in one province you are able to be licensed in all the rest through transfer agreements. Each province has different requirements for foreign engineer equivalents. One of the hurdles is the Canadian experience time,so I see foreign PhD engineers with 20-30 year experience wait 2 years before they are allowed to stamp there work in Ontario. Then they have to wait longer as the evaluation process backlog is over a year for a current EIT I know.

The longest step in the process will be to get an engineer licensed in the province you want to work in, the company authorization and insurance is usually a quicker process.

RE: Practicing in Canada

Partner with a firm in the territory where the work is being done.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close