Do you have the right qualifications?
As a general rule, many of the higher paying jobs require some kind of diploma or certification. Here are some general guidelines to help make sure you have the right skills for the job.
WHAT KIND OF CERTIFICATION DO I NEED TO WORK AS AN ENGINEER?
Engineering jobs as a minimum require a bachelors degree in Engineering or Science. Engineers working in the province of Alberta are regulated by APEGA - The Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Alberta. In order to obtain Professional Engineering (P.Eng.) status in Alberta, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- they must have a bachelors degree in Engineering or Science from an accredited university
- they must have at least 4 years of relevant work experience as an Engineer-in-Training
- they must complete an ethics exam & receive positive feedback from 3 references
- foreign candidates may also need to complete an English competency exam.
In order to maintain P.Eng. status in Alberta, all members must complete an annual Continued Professional Development (CPD) report & maintain a minimum number of CPD credits. This can be accomplished through regular course of work, by attending formal or informal training sessions, presenting research papers & generally staying up-to date with the latest industry standards. More information on the APEGA CPD program can be on the APEGA website.
DID YOU KNOW? APEGA has over 60,000 registered Professional Engineers & Geoscientists. That's almost 2% of Alberta's population!
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF APEGA?
- If you are a new graduate or do not have P.Eng. status in another province, register with APEGA as a member-in-training (EIT).
- If you've received your engineering degree outside of Canada, make sure your transcripts & school related documentation are translated to english.
- Keep a record of all engineering related work, including work done as part of a Masters or Ph.D. thesis. It is strongly advised to keep a dated log-book of all technical activities. Don't forget to include all additional training courses, seminars, conferences and research papers.
- Be sure to maintain a updated contact list of work or school related references. References are required to validate technical competency, professionalism and a strong work ethic.
- Once you have all your documentation in place, register for the ethics exam. Be sure to read all the required documentation. You must successfully complete the ethics exam in order to receive P.Eng. status. Candidates who completed their studies in a foreign language may be required to complete an English competency exam.
- If you are already a P.Eng. in another province, you can transfer your status to Alberta by providing work references. Note that Engineers can be registered as Professional Engineers in multiple provinces.
- Once you've obtained your P.Eng. status in Alberta, remember to continue to keep a work log of all engineering-related activities & make you maintain the minimum number of CPD credits per year. Also note that many Alberta employers will reimburse the cost of APEGA annual dues.
DO TRADES PEOPLE NEED CERTIFICATION?
Some trades are designated as compulsory, where the individual must pass a provincial exam in order to legally work in that trade. In Alberta, individuals must also complete the Red Seal exam. In order to work in Alberta in one of the compulsory trades, a tradesperson should be one of the following:
- A registered apprentice
- An Alberta-certified journeyman
- Someone who holds a recognized trades certificate.
Workers with a recognized trades certificate from any province can legally work in Alberta without further certification. To check if your certificate is valid in Alberta, click here for a link to the province of Alberta Tradesecrets website.
JOURNEYMAN (or JOURNEYPERSON): A certified Journeyman is recognized as a qualified and skilled person in a specific trade and is therefore entitled to the wages and benefits of that trade. Only a certified Journeyman is allowed to train and act as a mentor to a registered apprentice.
DO ALL TRADES REQUIRE CERTIFICATION?
Only compulsory trades require certification. Certification is not required to practice voluntary trades. Individuals can legally practice voluntary trades without certification. However, certification is often viewed as a indication of achievement by employers and can help make you more employable.
DID YOU KNOW? 13% of Alberta's working age population holds a trades certificate!
WHAT IS THE RED SEAL PROGRAM?
The Red Seal Program is a Canada-wide designation that covers a number of the most common trades. Red Seal Certification helps facilitate mobility of journeypersons across the country. Journeymen who carry an Interprovincial Standards Program Red Seal on their provincial certificate would not have to write any further examinations to qualify for certification in any other province in Canada. For more information on the Red Seal Program, click here.