Engineering is a highly specialized field, and many Canadian employers are searching for experienced professionals with qualifications. This can make it difficult for international students and U.S. citizens to find employment.
Fortunately, it is possible to secure an engineering job in Canada. The key is understanding the job market and creating a plan for finding employment.
1. Know the Job Market
Engineers are in high demand across Canada, working in various industries such as construction, manufacturing, public power generation and utility companies, mining operations and various levels of government.
If you are moving to Canada for a career change or the purpose of starting your own business, it is essential that you become acquainted with the labour market and what opportunities exist there. You can do this by visiting labour market information websites, talking with settlement agencies and attending job fairs.
Many engineering positions are not advertised publicly, so it’s essential to uncover if there is a hidden job market in your chosen sector. Often these opportunities come about through referrals from internal staff and professional peers; taking advantage of such employment can be an excellent way to expand your network and secure a well-paying engineering job in Canada.
2. Get a Canadian Professional Engineer License
Engineering in Canada is strictly regulated, and you cannot practice professionally without obtaining the appropriate license from your provincial or territorial regulator. To become eligible, applicants must meet educational qualifications, work experience requirements and pass the Professional Engineers’ examination in order to earn your P.Eng.
International engineering graduates can obtain their P.Eng. through various routes, such as graduating from an engineering program accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), earning a degree through an international agreement, and passing technical exams.
The licensing process varies by province, but newcomers must demonstrate their academic credentials, work experience, language competency and character. Furthermore, they must take a Professional Practice Examination which tests their knowledge of Canadian ethics and engineering law.
3. Search for Jobs
No matter if you’re just out of college or have years of experience under your belt, engineering jobs are plentiful across Canada. Demand for civil, mechanical, electrical/electronic engineers as well as software developers and engineering managers exists in nearly all provinces.
Canada is increasingly in need of internationally qualified engineers due to a growing skills gap in the labour market. To meet this demand, Canada is recruiting more international graduates than ever before.
To become a professional engineer in Canada, you must possess either a Canadian bachelor’s degree that has either CEAB accreditation or meets PEO’s acceptance criteria* and pass one or more technical exams (depending on which regulatory association). This process can be lengthy and laborious, so be sure to plan your move carefully.
4. Prepare for Interviews
Engineering is one of Canada’s fastest-growing sectors, offering many opportunities for foreign professionals. However, finding an appropriate engineering job can prove challenging for newcomers with little work experience in Canada.
Due to this, they often need to acquire new skills or sharpen existing ones. This can be accomplished through ongoing education and training or by obtaining professional qualifications.
No matter your engineering experience or lack thereof, it is essential to prepare for interviews. Doing so will make you stand out from other candidates and boost your chances of landing the job of your dreams.
5. Apply for Jobs
Engineering is a rapidly-evolving sector in Canada, offering job prospects in information technology, environmental sustainability and manufacturing. For internationally trained engineers, moving to Canada opens up an entirely new world of opportunities in this rapidly-expanding nation.
If you want to pursue a career in engineering, it is essential to begin building your professional network early on. This could involve using LinkedIn to connect with alumni from your engineering school.
Once you’ve built a strong network, it’s time to find your first job as an engineer in Canada. Many employers will require technical assessments, case studies and coding tests during the hiring process; thus, being prepared is highly recommended.