Tips | Engineering

1. Engineering Overview

Engineering is a science and technology-based profession that focuses on the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, software, devices, systems, processes, and organizations. There are many areas of practice within engineering, such as mechanical, chemical and robotics engineering.

Becoming a Professional Engineer

To use the title Professional Engineer (PEng) and work as a professional engineer in Canada, you are required by law to be licensed by a provincial association, such as the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO). Registration as PEng reflects the highest standard of proficiency in the field and is in place to assure that quality and safety standards are met to protect the general public.

Graduates of engineering programs and other science and technology programs may do engineering-related work such as drawings, research, prototypes, and testing but their work must be supervised by a PEng who assumes ultimate responsibility for the work. Although with the right skills and knowledge base, many work in engineering-related positions, only those with the title of PEng are able to offer engineer services with public safety implications. Working in industry, those with a PEng are more likely to advance in their careers to supervisory and higher project leadership levels.

Before they are eligible to register with a provincial body such as the PEO, engineering graduates must have a number of years of work experience supervised by PEngs and then write a professional ethics exam.  Learn more here: Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Those who have graduated from other undergraduate science programs can still work in the field of engineering but cannot use the title Engineer.

 

2. Engineering Schools in Ontario

UTM does not have an undergraduate engineering program, however, there is a program at the St. George campus. Some students are motivated to transfer into this program after first year. Learn more about the requirements and process for transferring here. You’ll be required to complete a number of steps and apply through OUAC. See the section called “University of Toronto Internal Application” for more details.  

 

3. Other Ways to Qualify as a Professional Engineer

There are several alternate routes to attaining registration as a PEng such as a Master's of Applied Science in Engineering that accepts graduates from non-engineering programs. To identify such programs, check this search engine: using ‘engineer’ as the keyword and ‘master's’ as the level. Go to the website of each program and check the application requirements. Check with the programs you are interested in and the provincial licensing bodies to ensure the program is accredited – that it meets the educational requirements for licensure as a PEng.

Here are some examples:  

Ryerson University Biomedical Engineering 

McMaster University Manufacturing Engineering 

 

4. Engineering Technology/Technician Careers

This career is highly engineering-related and works closely with engineers on their projects. It has its own professional association, the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT). Find more information on this career here.

There are many two-year post-diploma programs for Engineering Technology and Technician that combine with a science undergraduate degree. Here is an example from Conestoga College. 

Find more programs like this at the Ontario Colleges website. Use ‘engineer’ as the keyword and set the level to ‘Post-diploma’.

An engineering technologist with years of experience can register for a limited license with the PEO to undertake engineering of a limited scope. For more information, visit Professional Engineers Ontario.  

Some engineering technology programs at Ontario colleges also allow for conversion to a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering with additional study and some are accredited by the PEO - meaning they can cover the educational requirements for registration as a PEng. Here is an example from Conestoga College

Find more programs like this at the Ontario Colleges website. Use ‘engineer’ as the keyword and set the level to ‘Degree’.

These less typical paths to careers in engineering require careful investigation with both the institutions offering the education and the provincial regulating associations.

 

5. Useful Links

To explore different fields within engineering (including engineering technology careers), visit this site:

Try Engineering 

For engineering degree programs across Canada and to get a sense of the breadth of engineering specialties, visit:

Engineers Canada  

To learn about professional licensing (by province), visit: 

Engineers Canada  

Information is subject to change. Please consult original sources.

Updated July 2021