Engineering in Canada

Engineering Team

What is the difference between an engineer, a technologist and a technician in Canada?


The Engineering Team

In Canada the engineering field is divided between three groups of professionals:


Engineering Technologists

Engineering Technicians

They are all important members of an engineering team.

Engineers need a minimum of four years of study.  Professional engineers use the designation of P. Eng. (Professional Engineer).  Engineers use theoretical knowledge to develop ways to use materials and forces of nature for the benefit of humankind.  They are involved in a wide range of activities from design and development to implementation, production and operation.

Technologists do not need a license to practice in Canada.  However, to work in the engineering field, it is important that they hold a certified designation such as a CET (Certified Engineering Technologist).  Technologists use engineering and scientific knowledge along with technical skills to support engineering activities.

Technicians also do not need a license to practice in Canada.  But as with technologists, it is important to hold a certified designation such as CTech (Certified Technician).  Technicians are practical specialists who generally work with equipment.


International Designation

Many countries do not separate these groups of professionals and therefore consider all of them to be engineers.  It is important to understand that you may be an engineer in the country where you obtained your engineering degree, but here in Canada you may be considered an engineering technologist or engineering technician.  If you are unsure about whether you are considered an engineer in Canada, see information under the heading Licensure.

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    Source 1: Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists