Our Title

The value of the title Engineer and even P.Eng has deteriorated over the years. Simply put, Engineers have a branding problem – we have not effectively protected our brand.   The passage below is the guidance the PEO provides on the subject, however more so than ever we routinely see our title misused.

Under the Professional Engineers Act, the title “engineer” is reserved for professional engineers (meaning full licence holders and temporary licence holders), except for certain applications such as hoisting engineer and stationary engineer. Examples of recently revised job titles where the word “engineer” has been replaced include:
• Project engineer changed to project manager, project coordinator, project analyst, project leader, project operator, or project specialist.
• Software engineer changed to software developer, software designer, or software analyst.
• Technical engineer changed to technical officer.
• Junior engineer changed to engineering trainee or junior designer.

For more information refer to the Professional Engineering Practice.

In 2018 I advised a member to report an individual who was on the internet calling themselves an engineer while not being a P. Eng.  This member was told the issue was not ‘actionable’.  When I questioned PEO staff about this I was advised that currently there is an equivalent two-person staff group that handles enforcement inquiries and seeks compliance as an overarching and Council approved policy.  In actioning files, staff must prioritize open files on a weekly basis and practice violations, and individuals improperly using the title ‘engineer’ and ‘P.Eng.’ for some personal outcome or benefit (such as for employment, election etc.), are of a higher compliance priority.  Simply put we do not have enough staff in this area to deal with protecting our brand.

You might ask yourself why does protecting our brand matter? My opinion is that our brand is intimately tied to the public’s perception of engineers.  Companies have long understood the importance of protecting their brand. You can imagine the swift and effective reaction from Walmart or McDonalds if someone were to try to use their branding.

A few depressing minutes with Google turned up these gems (click on the image to see the full version)

It is unclear if any professional qualification is required for this position at all.

A safety significant role, however no professional designation or university degree required

The natural inference here is that CETs are Engineers

It appears that in the minds of this recruiter PEng, EIT & CET all mean the same thing!

Where to even begin . . .