Licensing Questions: Graduate Degree & Canadian Experience

Welcome back to the third instalment of licensing questions answered by Gavin Simone, owner of

As always, Gavin has kindly agreed to answer some of your questions himself. While these answers come from a true expert, the licensing process is constantly evolving; therefore the site-wide disclaimer applies.

Gavin is an expert in the licensing process for all Canadian licensing bodies, having helped thousands of aspiring engineers overcome licensing hurdles. The reviews of his help from satisfied customers speak for themselves.

I wish we could answer all of your questions in this manner, but unfortunately both Gavin and myself are a tad too busy to do that. That said, keep your questions coming and we’ll try to feature one every so often.

Masters degree & semi-related work experience

Reader: I am going fo my P.Eng. licence with PEO. I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I have 1 year of experience as Manufacturing Engineer and 1 year as CNC programmer. Will my experience as CNC programmer be considered towards 48 months of experience? Will master’s degree be considered towards 48 months experience? If yes to these Qs, then I will have to gain 1 year experience in Canada under P.Eng license holder and I will be eligible to apply for the license. Is my understanding correct? Please correct me if I misunderstood.

Gavin: Great question. If your bachelor’s degree is from an accredited Canadian university, then you’ll meet the education requirement for the P.Eng. If your Master’s degree is also from an accredited Canadian university, then yes, that will gain you 12 months of experience towards your 48 months of experience – since it is in the same field.

If we look at job posts for CNC programmer positions, employers usually ask for a diploma or certificate. As a result, this type of work will likely not give you an opportunity to apply many of the university-level engineering theories learned and perhaps was not under the supervision of a P.Eng. either. Also, you might not be gaining the practical experience (e.g. using codes and standards) in the way that an engineer-in-training (EIT) working in a more mechanical design capacity might. Your best bet would be to enroll with PEO and an EIT to submit your work experience each year. PEO will review it and let you know if you are on track.

If you discover that the experience is not eligible, then you can consider changing companies or roles within the company. If changing companies, it is a good idea to look for a company with an active Certificate of Authorization as that is an indication that they may carry out engineering design work and you may have an opportunity to put your engineering theory to use. They will also have one or more P.Eng. staff that can supervise you to allow you to earn the 12 months of Canadian experience under a P.Eng.

Best of luck!