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Engineer: Alternative Careers

You may find that your international training and experience as an engineer are not immediately accepted in B.C. The analytical and math skills you have already acquired along with your problem-solving and communication skills and hands-on experience can be used in alternative careers.

You may wish to investigate certification as either an Applied Science Technologist (AScT) or Certified Technician (CTech), or Provisional Member in these designations. You can also consider alternative careers in other technical fields.

Engineering Technologist / Technician

Technologist:

If your education included college-level physics, chemistry or biology, and calculus, statistics or other math specialties beyond Grade 12, and you are able to research and write comprehensive reports and to exercise the essentials of Project Management, you may be eligible for professional recognition as an Applied Science Technologist with ASTTBC (Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia ASTTBC).

Technician:

If you have at least a year of post-secondary technology based education, and you can install, commission and maintain complex technical equipment, and can assist with the planning and design of technical systems, you may consider applying to ASTTBC for registration as a Certified Technician, CTech.

See: ITTP British Columbia

Disciplines include:

  • Civil engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2231)
  • Drafting technologists and technicians (NOC 2253)
  • Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2241)
  • Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians (NOC 2233)
  • Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2232)

For complete list, see: ASTTBC: Disciplines

Requirements:  two to three year diploma program for technologists, one to two year program for technicians, plus two years of related work experience

Skills:

  • aptitude for science, math and computers
  • ability to draw conclusions from data and communicate technical information clearly
  • precise and detailed work habits
  • practical, hands-on approach
  • good interpersonal and problem solving skills
  • skills in organization and teamwork

Wages:  median hourly wage $28.00

Certification:  see Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC): Internationally Trained Professionals

Source:
WorkBC Career Profiles, NOC 2231 [civil engineering technologist]
WorkBC Career Profiles, NOC 2253 [drafting tech.]
WorkBC Career Profiles, NOC 2241 [electrical & electronics eng. tech]
WorkBC Career Profiles, NOC 2233 [industrial engineering tech.]
WorkBC Career Profiles, NOC 2232 [mechanical engineering tech.]

Engineering Inspectors and Regulatory Officers (NOC 2262)

You inspect transportation vehicles such as aircraft, watercraft, automobiles and trucks, and weighing and measuring devices such as scales and meters, as well as industrial instruments, processes and equipment for conformity to government and industry standards and regulations.

Requirements:  University degree or college diploma in an appropriate engineering field

Skills:

  • aptitude for science, math and computers
  • ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently
  • thorough, detail-oriented, highly organized
  • good oral and written communication skills

Wages:  median hourly wage $38.46

Production Logistics Co-ordinators  (NOC 1523)

Also referred to as logistics specialist, logistics assistant, logistics clerk, production clerk, scheduler. You co-ordinate and monitor logistics of the movement of parts, supplies and materials, ensuring that they are shipped and received on schedule, prepare work and production schedules and monitor the progress of production and construction projects.

Requirements: secondary school plus relevant experience

Skills:

  • ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently
  • thorough, detail-oriented, highly organized
  • good oral and written communication skills needed to effectively communicate with engineers, architects, trades people, clients, and suppliers.

Wages: median hourly wage $20.00

Technical Sales Specialist (NOC 6221)

Technical sales specialists sell a range of technical goods and services (scientific and industrial products, electricity, telecommunications and computer services) to government, commercial and industrial establishments. You provide product information, prepare cost estimates and negotiate sales.

Requirements:  university degree or college diploma in a program related to the product or service, or experience in sales or in a technical occupation related to the product or service or a combination of business and technical training

Skills:

  • ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently
  • thorough, detail-oriented, highly organized
  • good oral and written communication skills needed to effectively communicate
  • sales and customer service

Wages: median hourly wage $23.20

Other Job Titles to Investigate

  • Engineering Aid(e) / Assistant
  • Field Services Technician
  • Materials Expediter / Handler
  • Project Controls Technician
  • Project Expediter
  • Project Management Technician
  • Quality Controller
  • Quantity Estimator

Employment Outlook

Engineering Technologists & Technicians

Civil, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Technologists & Technicians:

Expansion in construction and municipal and resource based infrastructure drives the demand for engineering technologists and technicians. Areas of urban growth or industrial activity will likely see the most demand for these occupations in upcoming years. Industry sources expect the demand from the energy and environmental fields will drive job growth in regions outside the Lower Mainland. Industry sources expect there will be a significant shortage of skilled trades people to meet the demand in the HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) mechanical systems industry. Upcoming retirements will increase demand for new technologists and technicians in both private industry and government.

Job Openings Outlook in BC
Civil (NOC 2231)

job openings outlook for civil engineering technologists & techniciansSource: WorkBC

Mechanical (NOC 2232)

job openings outlook for mechanical engineering technologists & techniciansSource: WorkBC

Industrial (NOC 2233)

job openings outlook for industrial engineering technologists & techniciansSource: WorkBC

Drafting Technologists & Technicians:

Drafting technologists and technicians work mainly for architects, engineers, and related services firms. Others work in the construction sector and a small number work in specialized design services. There are many job opportunities in this field.

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 2253)

job openings outlook for drafting technologists & technicians
Source: WorkBC

Electrical & Electronics technologist & technicians:

There is presently a shortage of graduates available to fill the jobs available. Industry sources report that technically-skilled graduates are in very high demand.

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 2241)

job openings outlook for electrical & electronics technologist & technicians
Source: WorkBC

Engineering Inspectors and Regulatory officers

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 2262)

job openings for engineering inspectors and regulatory officers
Source: WorkBC

Production Logistics Co-ordinator

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 1523)

job openings outlook for production logistics co-ordinatorSource: WorkBC

Technical Sales Specialists

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 6221)

job openings outlook for technical sales specialistsSource: WorkBC

Retraining

You may want to consider upgrading your skills to increase your employment options in this field. The following courses may improve your current skill set:

Engineers Canada has extensive information for internationally trained engineers at Roadmap to Engineering in Canada

Engineering in BC – Langara

Introduction to Engineering in BC at Langara College. Courses are designed to prepare internationally trained engineers, technicians and technologists with industry specific skills to gain employment in an engineering environment as well as promote strong awareness of Canadian workplace culture.

Also, see the following resources developed by Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia:

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials has information on accreditation for internationally trained industrial engineers.

International agreements between professional engineering associations

Searching for Jobs

Volunteering in the Field

Volunteering can help you to explore a new career and learn more about engineering and technical work in B.C. You will meet new people and build a network of contacts that may lead to information on job openings and an inside connection at a potential employer.

Helpful Resources

Choose the following links for further assistance: