The Road to P.Eng. in Ontario

Over the course of the last 12 months, I’ve been working on attaining my P.Eng. designation with Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO). As of October 2018, I’ve obtained the designation and wanted to make a post covering the process.

The Process

The first step was to mail in an application. I printed and filled out the documents and mailed them to PEO, then received confirmation of my application as well as a file number about a week later. Two weeks after that, I received instructions to submit a university transcript to PEO and register for the Professional Practice Exam (PPE). The PPE is only offered a few times a year, so I ended up writing it a couple months after registering for it.

Because I went to a Canadian university accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, I was not required to write any technical exams or perform any in-person interviews. This may/will differ if you hold a degree from a non-Canadian university.

The PPE itself wasn’t too bad – certainly not in comparison to other engineering exams – but definitely required remembering how to study (it’s been a few years since university) and putting in at least 10 hours of study, writing practice responses and reviewing old exams. I would recommend others to write the exam as soon as practicable after university, as the longer time goes on, the more time you’ll need to put in to remember how to absorb information effectively. I found an invaluable resource to be Professor Douglas Harder’s website:

https://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~dwharder/PPE/

The exam itself is split into two sections, Part A: Professional Practice and Ethics and Part B: Engineering Law and Professional Liability. Professor Harder’s website describes what is covered in each section very well, so I won’t go over it in this post.

After writing the exam, it then took over four months (!) to receive confirmation that I had passed. At this point, I was given instructions to write and submit an experience record detailing all my engineering experience in a prescribed format. This 10 page document took me at least 5-6 hours to compile over the course of many weeks, working in small bursts as I found the process of preparing it to be quite dry. I began work on it in parallel with studying for the PPE and ended up submitting it a couple weeks after receiving the exam results.

The experience record then took about three months for review, after which I received an email indicating it was accepted and the application had proceeded to final review. About one month later, I received a P.Eng. registration package in the mail along with the final bill for about $530. Once paid, I was finally entitled to use the P.Eng. designation.

You can choose to attend a ceremony to accept the certificate, but as I don’t plan to attend, the certificate and stamp should be mailed to me in another 6-8 weeks.

The Timeline

Nov 22, 2017 – Mail initial P.Eng. application
Nov 28, 2017 – Receive confirmation of application via email
Dec 13, 2017 – Receive instructions to submit transcript and register for PPE
Jan 12, 2018 – Receive confirmation of PPE registration
Feb 7, 2018 – Write PPE
Jun 15, 2018 – Receive PPE results and instructions to submit experience record
Jun 24, 2018 – Submit experience record and list of referees
Sep 27, 2018 – Receive email stating experience record has been accepted and application has proceeded to final review
Oct 22, 2018 – Receive registration package
Oct 25, 2018 – Paid registration fee online and listed on P.Eng. member directory webpage

The Costs

Initial Registration: $300.00 + HST = $339.00
PPE Registration: $165.00
Final Registration: $470.00 + HST = $531.10
Total: $1035.10 CAD

Final Words

In my field of electronics engineering, a P.Eng. designation is typically neither required nor terribly useful. Outside of certain highly regulated industries like aerospace and medical, a P.Eng. does not do much for your career path. That being said, the opportunity to attain this designation presented itself at my current place of employment, and my company actually actively encouraged pursuing it. Considering the efforts involved in attaining it, as well as the cost, I believe it’s worth attaining if you have the opportunity. You never know where your next job will take you, and in the event you need a P.Eng. for a career move, it won’t be something you can achieve in less than about a year. It also adds a level of credibility to your name, as you are then entitled to use the term “engineer” in your title. I believe the process is worth the effort, time and cost.

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