Engineers in Canada are well-respected and are in high-demand for their knowledge and valuable experience in their fields. The Canadian government understands that engineers play an important role in the country’s infrastructure, environmental sustainability, manufacturing, information and communication technology, and more.
If you are an engineer fresh out of college or have a few years of experience under your belt, Canada has a wide variety of opportunities waiting for you. In this article, we will cover what all immigration programs you can explore if you are an engineer, all about the provincial licensing process, as well as in-demand engineering jobs in Canada.
In this article, we will cover:
- Top reasons to move to Canada as an engineer
- Immigration programs if you are an internationally qualified engineer
- How to get licensed if you are a foreign-trained engineer
- List of in-demand jobs
- How much money do engineers make in Canada?
- How to find engineering jobs in Canada?
- Should you move to Canada as an internationally qualified engineer?
- Who can help me migrate to Canada?
Top reasons to move to Canada as an engineer
Recently, Canada has seen an influx of highly qualified engineers with handsome packages in their home country come to Canada in search of better quality of life. As an internationally trained engineer, here are the few reasons moving to Canada could be a great opportunity for you:
- Shortage of skilled engineers across fields
According to a report by Engineers Canada’s Labour Market the country will have 44,000 job vacancies for engineers across 14 engineering fields between 2020 and 2025 to meet the increasing demand. As Canada’s skilled professionals are ageing and getting retired, there is a growing shortage of mid-level and intermediate-level experienced engineers. This skills gap cannot be filled by the Canadian education system leaving a large room of opportunities for internationally trained engineers.
- Engineering is an in-demand profession in most provinces
Demand for civil, electrical and electronic, mechanical, and software engineers, is continuously growing in provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba. Jobs in specialised fields such as metallurgical and materials engineering, aerospace engineering, mining engineering, and petroleum engineering, are also increasing in the provinces where these industries are present thereby creating an overall gap between the demand and supply of engineers pushing Canadian government to take measures and bring skilled individuals to the country who can start contributing to their economy from day one.
- Engineers get high salaries in Canada
The average salary for civil engineers in Canada is around $75,000 per year, with some fields paying as high as $150,000 annually. In addition to this, there are plenty of growth opportunities in this field making engineers all over the world leave their well-paying jobs to come to Canada and settle here.
Immigration programs if you are an internationally qualified engineer
With the ageing population and economy growing at a fast pace, critical skill gaps have started to come up and the Canadian government needs to bring qualified individuals to work and settle in Canada as permanent residents of the country.
There are a number of immigration programs for engineers to migrate to Canada and be a part of a thriving economy.
Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is an Express Entry stream inviting skilled internationally qualified workers to get permanent residence. The applicants are selected based on their Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) that is calculated keeping several factors such as your age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and so on in mind.
If your CRS score is less, you can also take a few steps or get professional help to improve your chances of getting selected.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
This is one of the most sought-after routes to move and settle in a province of your choice. Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec and Nunavut, nominate permanent residence applicants to move and settle in their particular province. The eligibility criteria for each PNP varies and depends heavily on the labour needs of that province.
Each PNP has various streams and a lot of provinces have special streams for qualified professionals – engineers, doctors, teachers and so on.
|Province||PNP streams for engineers|
|British Columbia||– B.C. Skilled Worker Stream – For applicants with a permanent job offer in B.C. in a NOC 0, A, or B job.|
– Express Entry BC Skilled Worker – For applicants in the Express Entry pool with a job offer in B.C. in a NOC 0, A, or B job.
– BC PNP Tech stream – For applicants with a full-time job offer from a B.C. employer in one of 29 eligible NOCs.
|Alberta||– Alberta Express Entry Stream: For applicants from the Express Entry pool.|
– AAIP Accelerated Tech Pathway: For applicants working with or having a full-time job offer from an Alberta-based tech company in one of 23 eligible NOCs.
|Ontario||– Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream: For applicants with Express Entry profiles and relevant work experience, education, and language skills.|
– OINP Employer Job Offer – Foreign Worker Stream: For skilled foreign workers with a full-time offer for a NOC A, B, or 0 job in Ontario.
|Manitoba||– Skilled Workers in Manitoba: For skilled workers with a long-term, full-time ongoing job in Manitoba from the past six months.|
– Skilled Workers Overseas: For experienced workers with in-demand skills and an established connection with the province.
|Nova Scotia||– Nova Scotia Express Entry Labour Market Priorities: For skilled foreign workers whose profiles are already in the Express Entry system and they fulfil Nova Scotia’s labour market needs. |
– Skilled Worker Stream (Skilled Workers Pathway): For skilled workers and recent graduates who have a full-time, permanent job offer from an eligible Nova Scotia employer.
|New Brunswick||– NB Express Entry: For qualified applicants whose profiles are present in the Express Entry system and are already working for a New Brunswick employer in a NOC 0, A, or B job.|
– Skilled Workers stream: For experienced applicants with relevant skills, education, and work experience needed to bridge the gap in the local labour market.
|Saskatchewan||– International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry: For qualified applicants whose profiles are present in the Express Entry system and have at least one year of Canadian work experience.|
– International Skilled Worker – Occupations In-Demand: For applicants with in-demand skill but no job offer.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||– Priority Skills NL: For applicants with work experience in in-demand occupations in NL and a high level of education and language ability. |
– NL Express Entry Skilled Worker: For applicants doing a full time job or have a valid job offer from an NL employer.
|Prince Edward Island||– PEI PNP Express Entry: For applicants with Express Entry profiles.|
– Skilled Worker Outside PEI Stream: For applicants with a job offer from a PEI employer in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation.
Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)
The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is one of the new immigration pathways allowing newcomers to migrate to Canada’s four Atlantic provinces that is Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador as a permanent resident (PR).
This new PR pathway is an extension of the successful Atlantic Immigration Pilot which ended on December 31, 2021. Just like the pilot, the Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven pathway that aims to address the problem of labour shortage by inviting skilled candidates for the positions that can not be filled locally.
Please note: Selection under the AIP is independent of occupation. However, you may qualify if you have a minimum of one year of full-time paid work experience that is 1,560 hours in the last five years and meet language requirements. Having a job offer from an eligible employer is a mandatory requirement to migrate using this pathway.
How to get licensed in Canada as a foreign-trained engineer
Engineering is a regulated occupation in Canada. In other words, you need to get a license from your provincial or territorial regulator to work independently as a Professional Engineer (PEng). You will have to work under the supervision of a licensed engineer to get your license. The only exception is for software engineers.
Understanding engineering licenses in your province
Most provinces allow you to start the licensing process before you arrive in Canada. The overall process depends upon the province or the territory you are applying for. So before applying, do a thorough research to understand what kind of licenses your province offers, along with their requirements and restrictions.
A Full License allows you to practice without supervision. To qualify for a full license, you need –
- Have a minimum four to five years of engineering experience
- Minimum of one year of Canadian experience
A Provisional License can be granted if you meet all other licensure conditions except the Canadian work experience requirement. To be eligible for a provisional license,
- You need to have three or four years of foreign engineering experience.
- You will have to work under the supervision of a licensed PEng who takes responsibility for your work until you get your PEng license.
If you are a fresher or have less experience, you can apply for the Engineer-in-Training (EIT), Member-in-Training, or Engineering Intern program and gather the necessary work experience by working under the supervision of a licensed PEng.
Applying to the regulator for an engineering license
Once you’ve determined your eligibility, you need to submit an application to the regulator, submit the required documents, and pay a licensing fee. Although the exact licensing requirements vary from province to province, the process typically involves the following:
Your academic credentials and documents, including your degrees, transcripts, certifications, and course description or syllabus, will be reviewed to determine if you require additional education, work experience, or examinations.
You will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) in case you have studied outside Canada.
Please note: You must submit a certified translation if your original documents are not in English (or French, if you’re applying for a license in Quebec).
You will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, or equivalent, with a specialization in the field in which you wish to practice.
Work experience assessment
Work experience is one of the key requirements for licensure. You need to have four to five years of relevant work experience, including at least one year of Canadian experience.
Internationally qualified engineers can initiate their licensing process before they arrive. you can either get a provisional license or enrol as an Engineer-in-Training, Member-in-Training, or Engineering Intern with your provincial regulator and gain the required Canadian experience by working under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer.
Once you fulfil all the requirements, you will have to submit a work experience record approved by your supervisor. In some cases, you might have to appear for a competency-based assessment and prove your technical engineering knowledge.
Language competency assessment
Depending on the province you intend to work in, you must demonstrate language proficiency in either English or French.
For this, you need to provide character references, including at least one from a licensed engineer in Canada and answer a few questions to help the regulator assess your trustworthiness and character.
Professional Practice Examination (PPE)
You must pass a Professional Practice Examination (PPE) to get your license. This exam tests your knowledge of engineering as well as topics such as contracts, patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
In-demand jobs for engineers in Canada
According to recent provincial and territorial data, the following engineering jobs are most in-demand across Canada:
|Province||PNP streams for engineers|
|British Columbia (B.C.)||– Civil, electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineers (NOC 2131, 2133, 2132)|
– Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)
– Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
|Alberta||- Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2232)|
– Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers (NOC 2262)
– Information systems analysts and consultants, and software engineers (NOC 2171, 2173)
|Ontario||– Engineering managers, computer and information systems managers (NOC 0211, 0213)|
– Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
– Database analysts, software engineers and designers (NOC 2172, 2173)
|Quebec||– Civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, industrial and manufacturing, metallurgical and materials, mining, geological, petroleum, aerospace, and computer engineers (NOC 2131 to 2134 and 2141 to 2147)|
– IT systems managers (NOC 0213)
– Computer analysts and consultants, database analysts, software engineers and designers (NOC 2171, 2172, 2173)
|Manitoba||– Engineering managers (NOC 0211)|
– Civil, mechanical, electrical, electronic, industrial, software, and computer engineers (NOC 2131, 2132, 2133, 2141, 2173, 2147)
– Information systems and database analysts (NOC 2171, 2172)
– Engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2231, 2232, 2233, 2241)
|Nova Scotia||Civil engineers (NOC 2131)|
|New Brunswick||Civil and aerospace engineers (NOC 2131, 2146)|
|Saskatchewan||– Information system analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)|
– Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||– Electrical, mechanical, infrastructure and biomedical engineers (NOC 2133, 2132, 2148)|
– Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173), including UI/UX developers, AI developers, Python, Web, NET developers
– Data analysts (NOC 2172)
|Northwest Territories||– Northwest Territories — Express Entry Stream: For qualified candidates with an Express Entry profile.|
– Skilled Worker Stream: For qualified individuals with the training, qualifications, and experience to bridge labour market shortages.
|Yukon||– Yukon Express Entry (YEE): For Express Entry applicants who have a full-time and year-round job offer from an eligible Yukon employer.|
– Skilled Worker: For applicants with a full-time job offer from an eligible Yukon employer.
How much money do engineers make in Canada?
Engineering is a highly paid and respectable profession in Canada. Average salaries for engineers depend on province, field of expertise, and years of work experience.
According to the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, civil engineers earn a median hourly wage of $41.20 with salaries being the highest in Alberta ($45/hour) and lowest in Prince Edward Island ($31.79/hour). In some parts of Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia, experienced civil engineers earn as high as $70 per hour.
For other engineering occupations, median wages in Canada are as follows:
Mechanical engineers: $42 per hour
Electrical and electronic engineers: $45 per hour
Chemical engineers: $43.37 per hour
Industrial and manufacturing engineers: $40.87 per hour
Mining engineers: $46.67 per hour
Petroleum engineers: $52.88 per hour
Aerospace engineers: $47.30 per hour
Computer engineers (except software engineers): $46.39 per hour
Software engineers: $48.08 per hour
Engineering managers: $55.29 per hour
How to find engineering jobs in Canada?
You can start your job search even before you land in Canada. Here is what you can do:
- Check job descriptions to understand local job market requirements: The skill set required varies in different job markets and so it is always a good idea to identify skills gaps and narrow down suitable job opportunities and research what employers are looking for.
- Craft a Canadian-style resume: There are three main typ. s of resume formats in Canada: reverse chronological, functional, and hybrid. Most Canadian employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to shortlist resumes, so always try to customise your job resume for the opportunity you are applying for.
- Explore job search platforms and company websites: There are a number of job portals such as Job Bank, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed that list job openings for a wide variety of roles. You can also check out companies’ career pages and get an idea of various job opportunities.
- Skill building: Identifying skill gaps and bridging them with courses can be an amazing way to build a strong profile. For instance, if you are a civil or electrical engineer a certification in AutoCAD or other CAD software may be useful.
- Build your professional network: Connect with fellow engineers on LinkedIn, through professional associations, and at industry events and get access to job opportunities that may not be available publicly. Through networking, you can land associate opportunities as well and kickstart your Canada career in the right direction.
Should you move to Canada as an internationally qualified engineer?
Qualified engineers are in really high demand in all provinces of Canada opening up a plethora of opportunities for the outsiders to come and make Canada their home. Canada’s immigration programs offer you an exciting, lucrative opportunity to move to Canada and settle permanently. Even though the licensing process is time-consuming, once you have found your ground and get licensed, you can land a well-paying job easily.
Who can help me migrate to Canada?
Keel’s team of expert Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you figure out everything you need to know about various Canada immigration pathways. Our streamlined immigration services will take care of the entire process from the day you decide to change your life until settling in Canada.
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