In order to practice in Canada, you must be licensed by the relevant professional provincial or territorial authority. You will be required to complete an accredited program of study, supervised work experience, and an examination in professional ethics. Bridging programs and other skills upgrading courses and workshops help you to obtain licensure.
We have prepared a Pre-Arrival Checklist of valuable information that will make arriving in Canada as smooth a process as possible.
You may have strong technical skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterwards. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially in regards to your soft skills.
Employers in Canada expect engineers to have advanced math and science skills, strong communication and interpersonal skills, business writing and report writing skills, teamwork, critical thinking problem solving skills and project management. It is advisable to learn or improve your knowledge of MS Office and AutoCAD as they are among the software engineers use most in Canada.
Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French –is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you live. You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies. There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as Enhanced Language Training (ELT) and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT). And if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you better employment opportunities.
Success Story: It took only five months for Iranian engineer R. Abri to find a job that perfectly matched her education and professional background after moving to Toronto in 2010. But, in those first five months, Abri experienced plenty of culture shock, similar to many other immigrants after arriving. Read more.
Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some even want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D or MBA.
Click here for links to Universities and Colleges across Canada where you can find the courses and subjects that interest you.
Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities and immigrant-serving agencies offer engineering related bridging programs or workshops. You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program that’s suitable for you.
Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) – Calgary
Engineering and Technology Upgrading Program
The Engineering & Technology Upgrading Program is an integrated training program that provides upgrading and Canadian work experience to help foreign educated professionals integrate into the local engineering industry. This program promotes employability and career development in the participants’ related engineering discipline.
Bredin Centre for Learning
Building Information Modeling (BIM) Program
The Building Information Modeling (BIM) program is designed to bridge internationally educated engineering professionals into professional jobs as Engineering Designers/Drafters.
The program is a 28 week course that integrates language training with different levels of computer software training, culminating with comprehensive training in the suite of Revit BIM software programs.
Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN)
Engineers’ and Technologists’ Integration Program (ETIP)
The program facilitates the professional accreditation and labour market access of internationally educated engineers through training which meets local business demand by developing participants’ English language proficiency and assisting in their adapting and improving of previously learned skills to Canadian Standards.
University of Manitoba
Internationally Educated Engineers Qualification Program
This program provides a pathway for immigrants with engineering credentials obtained outside of Canada to meet part of the licensing requirements for professional engineering practice in Manitoba.
University of Winnipeg
English for Engineering Professionals
This 12 week course is for internationally educated engineering graduates who live in Manitoba and are planning to resume their engineering career in Manitoba. Participants should also be in the process of having their credentials recognized by the regulatory body in Manitoba. It is offered in the Fall, Winter and Spring sessions. An online course is also available for participants who are unable to attend the classroom course due to special circumstances.
Technical Communication for Engineering Professionals
This 12-week course is for internationally educated engineering graduates who are permanent residents of Canada with Canadian Language Benchmark levels of 7 or higher. It focuses on English skills needed for success in practicing engineering in Manitoba. It is a 12 week classroom program and is offered in the Winter. There is no fee for this program. The pre-requisite for this course is the ESP course, “English for Engineering Professionals,” which is also offered at the University of Winnipeg.
This program helps internationally trained engineers learn about the engineering labour market and the licensure process in Ontario. Participants study effective job search strategies, workplace communication and employer expectations. In addition, the program provides workshops on project management, software for engineers and Canadian Engineering Codes.
Internationally Educated Engineers Qualification Bridging (IEEQB) Program
This program provides internationally educated engineers with an opportunity to meet the academic requirements for professional engineering licensure in Ontario. It is offered in collaboration with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO).
Engineering Software Skills Enhancement Bridging Program
This is a 15-week bridging program for internationally educated mechanical, electrical or civil engineers and architecture professionals with training in the latest technical and software skills in demand by Ontario employers. More than 85% of program graduates have secured jobs such as Engineers in Training (EIT), Project Managers, Structural Engineers, Estimators, and Design Engineers within six months of graduation. There is more to the success of these Bridging Programs than their impressive statistics. In a short time, they can enable you to integrate into the country, and most importantly, into a meaningful job.
Mobile Systems Integration Bridging Program
This bridging program is for internationally trained immigrants with education and experience in information technology, computer science or engineering (computer, electronics or electrical). Over 15 weeks, you will learn advanced concepts and gain skills in computer networking, information security, installation and configuration of servers in a virtualized environment with an emphasis on operating systems. Graduates from this program are now working as Systems Analysts, IT/Network Administrators, Network Analysts, and more.
Occupation Specific Language Training: Project Management
This FREE occupation-specific language training course in project management provides immigrants with the workplace culture and language skills to communicate effectively on the job. OSLT Project Management is an intensive program for immigrant professionals who have training and/or experience in Project Management from outside Canada. This program provides you with the technical work-related training which you require to enter, and be successful, in your profession in Canada. All Humber OSLT graduates earn a certificate.
Success Story: Aracelli Abramov’s Canadian dream was to continue working as an Engineer, but obtaining her professional license proved to be a long and tedious process. Getting a job within her field was even harder. Her cold-calling efforts to secure an interview proved fruitless. Read more.
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE)
Examination Skills Preparation for Internationally Trained Engineers
This program helps internationally trained engineers seeking licensure in Ontario to prepare for the Professional Practice Examination. Participants learn about the role and context of exam writing in Canada as well as legal and ethical practices in the workplace. Participants will also be prepared with the technical information needed to pass the exam.
University of Toronto
Licensing International Engineers into the Profession
This program helps internationally trained engineers get the training needed to get licensed and employed as professional engineers in Ontario.
The one-year program offers Civil, Electrical and Mechanical engineering courses at the University of Toronto in lieu of PEO’s Confirmatory Examination Program. It also offers engineering-specific language training, workplace culture and communication training, technical engineering courses and preparation to write the Professional Practice Examination (PPE). Participants are also provided with the opportunity to obtain Canadian work experience through mentoring, internships or work placement. Financial assistance covering tuition and textbook costs is available for eligible participants.
University of Waterloo
Bridging programs for internationally trained professionals
The Faculty of Engineering offers a coursework-based Master of Engineering program (MEng) that lets internationally trained engineers upgrade their qualifications. Programs are available in chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and systems design engineering, and in management sciences, where the degree is the Master of Management Sciences.