The Journey to Becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer

No one said the road to becoming a licensed professional engineer would be an easy one. There are complex processes, systems, and technologies that you need to become aware of and well-acquainted with—a daunting task at first glance. But you can take on this ambitious goal with confidence when you know where to begin and have the right support system in place.

To start your journey, you must enroll in an academic program aligned to your interest and continue on by earning the required credentials for your program. From there, it’s important to apprentice with the right engineering firm. Choosing an appropriate workplace, like CSI, will ensure that you find a group that will support your professional growth, and push you to build a specialized experience that will set you apart in the field.

Beginning Steps

Your first step to becoming a professional engineer is meeting the academic requirements of the licensing body you’re applying for. Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) requires you to obtain an engineering degree from a Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) approved undergraduate program, or have equivalent qualifications.

From there, you need to fulfill the engineering work experience required for the province or territory you’re applying from. Applicants need 48 months of experience, with at least 12 months experience required to be done in Canada. PEO provides an Engineering Intern program to provide assistance in this process, including yearly reviews of the experience required to make sure an applicant is on the right path.

You must pass the National Professional Practice Examination (NPPE) which tests your knowledge of ethics and professional standards, engineering law, and professional liability. This exam can be written while you acquire your work experience and is encouraged to be done early to reduce the time it takes to be licensed.

You must also show good character, be above the age of 18, and have the ability to work in either English or French.

What Are the Licensing Requirements?

Each area of jurisdiction has its own licensing requirements that allow a professional engineer to work. For example, in Ontario, you need a certification from the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to become an engineering technology professional. Similarly, without licensing by PEO, you cannot work as a professional engineer in the province.

Things to Consider for Workplace Experience

Choosing an engineering firm that is right for your workplace experience is a decision that should be made judiciously. This company will provide the tools to upgrade your skills, train you under skilled professionals, and offer hands-on experience.

Not all firms support their engineers in pursuit of their credentials, and so it is important to pick a workplace that will be a good fit. This guarantees that you start off your career on the right foot, with a strong knowledge base and a company that supports and encourages your growth.

Why CSI?

CSI offers mentorship opportunities by partnering newly graduated engineers with seasoned industry veterans, allowing them to excel and grow in their professional skillset. We encourage and support our team towards becoming members of the PEO and OACETT, as well as apprenticing towards a Red Seal trade license. We also encourage skill-building like learning different programming languages and newly emerging technologies.

Given the responsibility of choosing an appropriate workplace to apprentice with, CSI is excited to be the ideal candidate for future graduates. To learn more about our careers, please reach out today.


For over 20 years, CSI has provided expert engineering services as a control systems integrator in both Canada and the United States. Our automation and electrical system designs reach throughout industries and across the world. With experienced and knowledgeable engineers and skilled workers, we’re a key component in our customers’ automated control solutions.

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