Environmental Engineers. A guide for newcomers to British Columbia

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2 Contents 1. Working as an Environmental Engineer Skills, Education and Experience Finding Jobs Applying for a Job Getting Help from Industry Sources Working as an Environmental Engineer Job Description Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies to evaluate the significance of such hazards, advice on treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. Environmental engineers also design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems as well as produce studies on the environmental impact of proposed construction projects. Environmental engineers perform some or all of the following duties: Work with clients and members of the engineering team Conduct research to determine project requirements Ensure project plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other environmental regulations Conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, environmental impact studies, or other investigations Monitor air, water, and soil quality and develop procedures to clean up contaminated sites Prepare contract documents and review and evaluate tenders Supervise technicians, technologists, and other engineers, and review and approve designs, calculations, and cost estimates. Source: Industry Overview Environmental engineering is a new type of engineering that draws upon aspects of civil engineering, chemical engineering, environmental sciences, and other related disciplines. Although Environmental engineers all share this focus, individual engineers are involved in a wide variety of projects and activities. The environmental engineering sector is one of the most promising areas for employment opportunity growth. Protecting the environment has become a major concern that has triggered new activities and job openings. Source: Last updated: April 02,

3 Job Outlook in BC In British Columbia, environmental engineers are considered to be a specialization within the field of civil engineering. The job prospects for civil engineers (including environmental engineers) in BC are: Source: The Regional Employment Projections for provides job openings projections for civil engineers, including environmental engineers, within all BC regions: Region 2010 Estimated Employment 2015 Estimated Employment Avg Annual % Change, 5 Years, 2010 to 2015 Vancouver Island % Lower Mainland / Southwest % Thompson-Okanagan % Kootenay % Cariboo % North Coast & Nechako % Northeast % Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions. gionalemploymentprojections.aspx You can learn more about this engineering sector from Work BC Career Profiles at [search NOC 2131] Last updated: April 02,

4 Types of Employers Many environmental engineers are employed by the government, either on public works projects or to help draft and enforce laws relating to the environment. Some engineers are employed by companies to deal with problems such as oil spills and toxic chemical leaks. Other engineers work for engineering consulting firms. These firms provide engineering services on a contract basis to companies and government agencies that don t have their own in-house engineers. Some will also find work with companies in specific resource industries such as forestry, mining, pulp and paper, and petroleum. Source: Career Cruising, profile for Environmental Engineer Salary Across Canada, salaries for environmental engineers vary, depending on experience, education, and employer. Engineers with graduate degrees generally earn more than those with only a bachelor s degree. In BC, the average annual salary for environmental engineers is between $66,000 and $95,000. In some cases senior engineers who take on extra responsibilities or move into management positions can make upwards of $120,000 a year. Engineers who work as consultants, rather than as salaried employees of large companies or government agencies, have much more variable incomes. Their yearly earnings depend on the number and size of the contracts they have. Salaried engineers typically receive benefits, such as paid sick days and vacation time, dental coverage, and pension plans. Exact benefits vary by employer. Source: Career Cruising, profile for Environmental Engineer In B.C. the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) provides salary figures in its 2012 Report on Members Compensation and Benefits. Mean Lower Quartile Median Upper Quartile Engineering Consulting $86,186 $69,000 $82,000 $105,000 Environmental Bachelor s degree Base $76,866 $68,250 salary Environmental Source : https://www.apeg.bc.ca/careers/compensation-survey Last updated: April 02,

5 Across B.C. regions, civil engineers, including environmental engineers can earn: Source: Job Bank Canada, Wage Report Working Hours Engineers work between 8 and 10 hours a day, 40 to 50 hours a week. However, they may have to work nights and weekends if an important deadline is approaching, or if an urgent construction problem arises. Most engineers receive between three and four weeks of vacation annually. 2. Skills, Education and Experience Skills Critical thinking Project management Team project work Proposal writing Making presentations Financial management Committee work on industry ethics Engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail-orientated. They should be able to communicate well in writing and orally, and be able to work well individually and as a part of a team. Source: Career Cruising database (Profile for Engineer). Available from the VPL Online Articles, Encyclopedias & More page: Education and Experience Bachelor's degree in civil engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required. Master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required. Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports, and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.). Last updated: April 02,

6 Qualifications Entry level engineering positions do not require professional designation in BC Licensing Requirements for Civil Engineers The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) (http://www.apeg.bc.ca/) oversees the engineering profession in British Columbia. APEGBC sets the standards for education, experience, and practice for all members. Individuals licensed by APEGBC are the only people legally allowed to undertake engineering and geoscience projects in the province of BC. Licensing is required to approve engineering drawings and reports, and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.). Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination and completing the law and ethics seminar. Internationally trained engineers who have completed their supervised work experience abroad may qualify as a Provisional Member with APEGBC. This designation recognizes and provides member status to internationally trained engineering or geoscience graduates who have completed the academic, experience, professionalism, character, law and ethics seminar and residency requirements for registration as Professional Engineers. Engineers Canada has extensive information for internationally trained engineers at A Roadmap to Engineering in Canada For more information contact APEGBC https://www.apeg.bc.ca/become-a-member Also, see the APEGBC's Online Resource for Internationally Trained Engineers and Geoscientists for assistance with career development, including a personalized Career Development and Job-Search Plan and First-hand advice : Self assessment tool: https://www.apeg.bc.ca/news/articles/apegbc-makes- Self-Assessment-Tool-Available-for-In Resources: https://www.apeg.bc.ca/resources For Job Mentoring Programs for Foreign Trained Engineers, see: https://www.apeg.bc.ca/for-members/mentoring-program The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials has information on accreditation for internationally trained environmental engineers at International agreements between professional engineering associations Last updated: April 02,

7 3. Finding Jobs You ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations publications. Local Newspapers You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays. Job White Pages Available in print at the Central Library or online at NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library. Online Job Postings BCJobs.ca Search by category Engineering or job title; can focus search on BC regions Earthworks Engineering Central Canada Indeed.com Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards TechJobs.ca Can search by province, and by engineering category, Civil Engineering - Construction, or by job title Skilled Workers.com Search by Province and employment category, Civil Engineers Workopolis Professional Associations Career Resources Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) Employment Centre Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia https://www.acec-bc.ca/resources/job-postings.aspx Last updated: April 02,

8 Engineering Institute of Canada For additional tips on job hunting see: Networking for Employment Identifying the Right Position When you browse job advertisements, you ll find a wide range of different job titles that are relevant. For Environmental Engineers, look for these related job titles: Engineer, Municipal Purification Engineer Engineer, Solid Waste Management Sanitary Engineer Irrigation and Drainage Engineer Sanitation Engineer Irrigation Engineer Sewage Control Engineer Land Drainage Engineer Water and Sewer Engineer Municipal Engineer Water Management Engineer Ocean Engineer Water Resources Engineer Pollution Control Engineer Water Systems Engineer Public Health Engineer Water Treatment Engineer Creating a List of Potential Employers You can use directories to produce lists of employers who work in the civil engineering industry in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they re hiring. You can photocopy from the print directories at Central Library, or use the online directories from a computer connected to the Internet. Association of Canadian Engineering Companies (ACEC) Directory of member companies Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) https://www.apeg.bc.ca/member-directories Directory of members and firms BC Environment Industry Association (BCEIA) Directory of member companies Business in Vancouver. Book of Lists. Biggest Engineering Firms in BC Available at the Central Library B97b and online at Canadian Construction Association Membership Directory Available at the Central Library, 380 Bu9Cc Last updated: April 02,

9 Consulting Engineers of British Columbia (CEBC), Directory Pacific Northwest High Technology Directory See BC section, especially Industry & Products Categories Available at the Central Library, 380 EL3ad Reference Canada Go to the "Reference Canada" database, choose the "Custom Search" button, and select both "Keyword/SIC/NAICS" under Business Type and "City" under Geography. In the top search box enter environmental engineering" and click LOOKUP. Select the appropriate headings. Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the "View Results" button. Available from the Online Articles, Encyclopedias & More page. NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number). 4. Applying for a Job In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience. Use the library catalogue, to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry. To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following pathfinders which are available in print at the Central Library or online at Writing Resumes and Cover Letters Getting Canadian Work Experience Networking for Employment Learn More About Working in BC and Canada further.pdf Last updated: April 02,

10 5. Getting Help from Industry Sources Industry Associations These associations provide assistance to organizations and individuals working in engineering sector. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) Provincial association that licenses registers and regulates professional engineers BC Environment Industry Association (BCEIA) Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (Vancouver section) National society that promotes the exchange of knowledge in the field of civil engineering Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC BC) ACEC BC members number nearly 100 firms across the province constituting a sizeable portion of the industry in BC. Member firms range from the sole proprietor to the large multinational corporation. Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) Federation of technical societies that promotes continuing education and technical professional development in the Canadian engineering community Engineers Canada, Canadian Council of Professional Engineers' (CCPE) National organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country's professional engineers Society of Internationally Trained Engineers of British Columbia (SITE) An independent, non-profit society founded in 2004 to represent the interest of British Columbia s internationally trained engineering community Last updated: April 02,

11 Industry Journals & Books Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals or books related to your profession. Examples at Central Library: Canadian Environmental Resource Guide Available at VPL Central Library C21 Canada's most complete listing of environmental associations and organizations, government regulators, product and service companies, and more. Canadian Consulting Engineer / Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, ACEC news Available at the Central Library, C212 and online at: Environmental Science and Engineering Magazine Available at VPL Central Library E61 and online at: Innovation / Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC Available at the Central Library, B86 and online at: https://www.apeg.bc.ca/resources/news-and-publications/innovation- Magazine/Innovation-Past-Issues Questions? Please ask the Information Staff in the Central Library, Vancouver Public Library or telephone Please note that the information in this guide is also available online through the Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre website at Last updated: April 02,

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