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Engineering Career and Engineering License in Canada

How to start and stay ahead in an Engineering Career in Canada


2007 Edition Ramadoss Srinivasan, P.Eng.

Engineering Career and Professional Development in Canada

Engineering Career and Engineering License in Canada

CONTENTS
Preface Introduction PART ONE: I. Engineering Career Overview II. What Employers Look For When Hiring III. How Technical People can find jobs IV. Resumes and Cover Letters V. Proactive Networking What is Networking? Why Networking? How Do You Network? VI. Interviews Facing Interviews Types of Job Interviews Face-to-face Interviews Why Job Interviews? Preparing for the Interview General Questions and Suggested Approaches During the Interview My Past Interview Experiences The Canadian Job Interview Experience How to Land and Prepare for Interviews VII. The Canadian Experience 27 27 28 28 29 31 34 35 35 36 38 15 18 19 20 21 21 22 23 9 11

Engineering Career and Professional Development in Canada

PART TWO: I. Obtaining an Engineering License What is an Engineering License in Canada? Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Engineer (P.Eng.) Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Engineer Record of Engineering experience ERC Interview Example- Record of Engineering experience Professional Practice Exam(Law and Ethics) II. Critical Factors for Finding Engineering Jobs III. Alternate Careers: Self-Employment IV. What One Should Do When Employed V. Real Life Examples: How People Find Jobs and Adapt to Their New Careers VI. My Canadian Experience VII. Professional Development PART THREE: I. Potential Immigrants to Canada II. New Graduates III. Concluding Thoughts Useful Websites 99 102 107 110 51 51 53 54 56 62 64 73 78 81 84 86 91 95

Engineering Career and Engineering License in Canada

Preface
The engineering profession is a very interesting one. As technical and engineering people, we have many choices with regard to what we can do. We have diverse disciplines and functional aspects (such as technical, management, teaching, research, etc.) A few years ago while in the engineering field, I discovered my passion for teaching engineering. As a practicing engineer, I chose to stay in the electronic component manufacturing field, the very same field in which I had started. I had to communicate by various means and to different audiences (customers, suppliers, associates, and staff). But I did not enjoy the experience as much, until a few years ago when I was asked to share, in a workshop, my experience of settling in Canada. I found it extremely satisfying to hear feedback from engineering and technical people who attended the workshop, particularly when they told me that the workshop and the tips they had received gave them confidence, as they were in various stages of searching for jobs and developing themselves professionally. I could not give them jobs, money, or shelter, but I could share my experience, give my time, and provide them with tips and approaches that generally work. This satisfaction drives me to carry on sharing my experience and knowledge. It inspired me to design workshops for engineering and technical people in my local community despite my demanding full-time engineering job and my role as the father of two daughters. During those workshops, the idea for writing a book was born. I wanted to create a handy, useful guide for engineering and technical people, especially for those who are searching for jobs or are in the process of applying for a P. Eng. (Professional Engineering license). I also wanted the book to be useful to all engineering and technical people who are in various stages of their careers and professional development. I thought the book would be helpful to engineers and technical students coming out of engineering school, as well as those who were new to the country.

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Engineering Career and Professional Development in Canada

I have managed to cover all the relevant topics and included some useful websites for people in the engineering field. Writing a book is time consuming and demands a great deal of concentration. We may have many ideas in our heads, but putting them down on paper is something else altogether. Such a project needs determination and commitment. This book wouldnt have been possible without the encouragement of Ms. Sofia Alim, who had also encouraged me to talk in my first workshop. From then on, hundreds of technical and engineering people with whom I have interacted, gave me the opportunity to share my experience. I have also learned from them. I am thankful to organizations like Access, MicroSkills, YWCA, PCPI, OSPE, the Toronto Reference Library, Centennial College, Richmond High School, and the Bangladesh Engineers Association for giving me the opportunity to conduct workshops at their centers. My special thanks go to Ms. Hazel Webb, director of community service, MicroSkills, for her constant encouragement and Krystina Manowiec of the Toronto Reference Library for her advice and guidance. Dr. Santosh Gupta P.Eng. is my mentor. I am very fortunate to know him and very thankful for his guidance. My sister Revathy Ramadoss constantly gave me the encouragement and suggestions Finally, thanks to my wife Umarani, who has been an excellent source of support for me in whatever I do, including this project. Ramadoss Srinivasan, P.Eng www.focussedconsulting.com

Engineering Career and Engineering License in Canada

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Introduction
This book aims to provide useful information to engineering and technical people, which will help in your job search and professional development. All aspects of job search, strategy, and professional development are covered. Chapters for graduating students, potential immigrants, and employed engineering and technical people can also be found in this book. While writing this book, I kept asking myself, What are the most important information and knowledge that will help readers to meet their objectives? I wanted to provide as much information as possible and share my experiences (what I have seen at work or heard), and combine all this information into one book, so that readers will get the necessary insight to refer to and act upon. This book is divided into three parts. Part one focuses on job search. Here you will find resources for finding engineering jobs, information on what employers look for when hiring technical and engineering people, networking, interview skills, the Canadian experience, real life stories, and critical factors for successfully finding jobs in the engineering and technical fields. In part two, professional development, how you obtain an engineering license (detailed step by step approach), what you do when youre employed and self-employment are all covered. Engineering licensing topic is covered in detail. How to prepare record of Engineering Experience, an example to look at, professional practice exam are all covered in detail. The final section consists of a chapter for potential immigrants, graduating students, concluding thoughts, and a list of useful websites. It is not necessary to read the book in the order in which it is presented. You can jump to whatever topic you think you need to know right away, and return to other chapters at a later time. I

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Engineering Career and Professional Development in Canada

have put together many details for you to use in your job search and career development. I have spent a great deal of time assembling this work. I am confident it will meet your objectives. Best wishes, Ramadoss Srinivasan P.Eng. www.focussedconsulting.com

Engineering Career and Engineering License in Canada

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PART ONE

The well being of the world largely depends upon the work of the engineer. There is a great future and unlimited scope for the profession; new works of all kinds are and will be required in every country, and for a person of imagination and keenness I cannot conceive a more attractive profession. Imagination is necessary as well as scientific knowledge. ~ Sir William Halcrow

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Engineering Career and Professional Development in Canada

Engineering Career and Engineering License in Canada

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I. Engineering Career Overview


Engineering and technical people get into engineering careers through different ways. Engineering jobs exist everywhere; they are needed to maintain current engineering projects and to support new development. Because of this, engineering talents are required. You can get into an engineering career through by pursuing short-term studies, gaining relevant engineering and local experience, starting your own consulting business or operation, or getting a professional license like a P.Eng. (Licensed Engineer). Throughout this book various aspects of settling into an engineering career in general and Canada, in particular, are discussed. Engineering, like any other field, is constantly changing. Because of this, knowledge and practice need to constantly improve. For engineers this represents an opportunity to learn constantly. This is why I discuss professional development in this book. Becoming a licensed engineer (P.Eng.) is important for individuals who wish to establish engineering careers in Canada. We need to spend time reviewing our career status and do things which will help us achieve our overall career goals, (both short-term and long-term) even while employed. We will cover this later on in the book. (Part 2 Section VI) The small business sector of engineering is another interesting area. This includes self-employment or contract jobs. These are becoming more popular today because of current trends in corporate businesses, such as outsourcing, company downsizing, and the impact of the global village. As more economies open up in countries like Russia, India, and China, small engineering businesses can successfully involve themselves in global engineering sectors. This topic alone can be a book in itself. Engineers should not ignore this possible career path. The single most attractive feature of this sector is the opportunity to learn

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Engineering Career and Professional Development in Canada

continually. Tax incentives are also an attractive factor in choosing this path. No matter what stage of your career you are in, it is up to you to take your career to the next level and continue on your journey. Engineering is a very wide, interesting discipline that is needed everywhere. You have an advantage in being in Canada because Canada has a highly developed infrastructure, and a great deal of engineering activity is required to maintain energy, the highways and telecommunications. Among other things, Canada is strong in automotive parts, minerals, and the service industries. As it is close to the United States, Canada enjoys getting the latest technical developments quickly compared to other parts of the world. This is an advantage for engineering professionals who would like to work on the latest technology in their field. As engineering involves making and improving designs, process, procedures etc and solving problems, engineering jobs can be found in all these areas. Developments take place all the time and where that occurs, engineering services which are needed to maintain utilities, highways, and control pollution, etc. Certain regions are highly industrialized compared to other regions, e.g., southern Ontario is strong in the automotive industry while Alberta is rich in oil. You need to take these factors into account while pursuing your engineering career.

How to start and stay ahead in an Engineering Career in Canada


You need to read this book if you are looking for a job in your engineering field, planning to apply for P .Eng., in the middle of licensure process and professional development. You will benefit from the first hand experience of the author who went through the process Topics covered include Canadian Experience, Proactive networking, Successful interview skills, Professional Engineering license, Potential immigrants, New graduates and Professional Development. Depth of the experience rather than breath is valued" are very true and if people read your book it will be very helpful for them. You have tried to put most relevant things in the book, covering people trying to come to Canada up to successful candidates trying to do their P .Eng. Raj Shankar, Internationally trained Engineering person working in his field in Canada. Ramadoss Srinivasan P .Eng. is an internationally trained Engineer who is working in his Engineering field. He has coached hundreds of Engineering and technical people guiding in the area of job search, P .Eng. License process. His seminars on these subjects gets excellent feed backs.

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