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Take A Look At Engineering

What is Engineering?

Everywhere you look throughout the world, you can bet that Engineering has played a significant part in the development, design, construction and implementation of almost everything we see and use, every day.

Engineers plan communities, provide clean drinking water, build bridges, develop new technology for hearing aids, manage state-of-the-art plants, or design automobiles. With engineering, you can use your knowledge of science and math to creatively solve problems and make our society a better place to live.

Engineering is a well-paid profession, with many new engineers starting at a minimum of $40,000 to $60,000 per year. Some engineers choose to branch out into different areas such as teaching, research, law, or management. With engineering, there’s almost no limit to what you can do.

What are the different areas of Engineering?

Although there are many fields of engineering, here are some that are more common:

Aerospace Engineering Aerospace engineers help design and create military fighter jets, commercial airplanes, satellite communication systems, and spacecrafts.

Agricultural Engineering Agricultural engineers may devise ways to make sure crops get the proper nutrients, design state-of-the-art harvesting equipment or figure out ways to make more environmentally friendly disposal methods for agricultural waste.

Chemical Engineering Chemical engineers develop methods to transform raw materials into products we use every day such as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, soaps, paints, soft drinks, or makeup. They may cross over into other areas of engineering such as Materials Engineering or Environmental Engineering.

Civil Engineering Civil engineers work on buildings, bridges, roads, dams and other key public structures and can plan, design and supervise the construction of facilities like airports and water treatment plants. This is one of the largest and oldest fields of engineering.

Computer Engineering Computer engineers deal with the design, construction and operation of computer systems. They may focus on operating systems, computer networks, software, or hardware.

Electrical Engineering Electrical engineers think of sustainable ways to bring energy to homes, factories and businesses. They may also design components that involve the transfer of digital information through computers, cell phones, satellites, and televisions.

Environmental Engineering Environmental engineers deal with anything related to the environment. This could include designing and running systems to control water and air pollution, developing recycling systems, dealing public health issues, or managing environmental assessment processes.

Geological Engineering Geological Engineers study earth materials in order to understand their impact on structures likes roads, tunnels, dams, and buildings. Some design underground and above ground mines, while others work to supply groundwater for human consumption.

Industrial Engineering Industrial Engineers organize materials, machines, information and people to ensure that industrial processes run smoothly in the most efficient and economic ways. This makes them ideal for managing projects in nearly every workplace including banks, hospitals, retail stores, and factories.

Mechanical Engineering Mechanical engineers design and develop everything that’s considered a machine – from automobiles to bicycles to toasters to aircraft engines and railway locomotives. Many mechanical engineers specialize in certain areas such as manufacturing, robotics, and automobiles.

What kinds of jobs can I have as an Engineer?

An engineering degree is flexible since it offers opportunities for you to work in a variety of positions throughout the world. Depending on which field you study, there are many possibilities. For example, engineers can design and work with theme parks, roller coasters, movie special effects, medical equipment, lasers, sports equipment, food packaging, automobiles, bicycles, airplanes, cell phones, space stations, iPods, computers, recycling systems, bridges, roadways, lighting systems and much, much more.

Engineers work in different locations, ranging from the outdoors, to large factories, to offices. Some engineers work for hospitals, banks, accounting firms, even retail stores like The Bay. As an engineer, your possibilities are endless.

What prerequisite high school classes should I take to make sure I have the qualifications to get into Engineering?

This is one of the most important questions you need to ask! As of 2009, you need to have the following courses or their equivalents to be accepted into an engineering program.

- Grade 12 university track Chemistry (SCH4U).

- Grade 12 university track Physics (SPH4U).

- Grade 12 university track Advanced Functions (MHF4U).

- Grade 12 university track English (ENG4U).

It is also recommended you have Grade 12 university track Calculus (MCV4U) although it may not be mandatory.

If you are seriously considering pursuing a degree in engineering, it may be best to take as many math and science courses as you can! Remember that your Guidance Department should have information from all the Ontario Universities offering engineering programs and can help ensure you are taking the right courses to meet all the minimum requirements needed to pursue engineering at the university level.

What grades do I need to get accepted into an Engineering program at a University in Ontario?

In Ontario, every University has different minimum grade requirements for each engineering degree they offer. Depending on the school you are interested in attending, it is best to check their website for their grade and admission requirements.

The admission average is usually calculated using your top six grade 12 U/M courses. However, universities may calculate a second average, which considers the specific math and science courses you took. In either case, you need to meet a minimum grade requirement. Depending on the University, this can be an average anywhere from the mid-70s to much higher. Websites of Ontario Universities that offer engineering programs are listed below.

What is the difference between taking engineering at university or at college?

If you take an engineering technology course at a community college, you’ll attend school for three years, instead of the four years you’ll spend at university. Engineering technologists often work in the same areas as engineers. However, in order to get your Professional Engineer (PEng) status, you must attend university. Professional Engineers normally supervise engineering technologists and the projects they are working on. Professional Engineers usually earn more than technologists.

What Universities in Ontario offer Engineering?

Carleton University Ottawa

University of Guelph Guelph

Lakehead University Thunder Bay and Orillia

Laurentian University Sudbury and Barrie

McMaster University Hamilton

University of Ottawa Ottawa

Queen’s University – Kingston

Royal Military College of Canada Kingston

Ryerson University Toronto

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa

University of Toronto Toronto and Mississauga

University of Waterloo Waterloo

University of Western Ontario London

University of Windsor Windsor

York University Toronto

For More Information

The University of Windsor

Faculty of Engineering

401 Sunset Avenue

Windsor, Ontario

N9B 3P4


Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO)

25 Sheppard Avenue West

Suite 100

Toronto, Ontario

M2N 6S9


(Toll Free) 1-800-339-3716

Your Potential for a Career in Engineering

Helps young people determine if engineering is the career for them with an online test.

Legend has it; this note was found, pinned on a construction hut during the construction of the Konkan railway, in western India:

I take the vision which comes from dreams and apply the magic of science and mathematics, adding the heritage of my profession and my knowledge of nature's materials to create a design. I organize the efforts and skills of my fellow workers employing the capital of the thrifty and the products of many industries, and together we work toward our goal undaunted by hazards and obstacles. And when we have completed our task all can see that the dreams and plans have materialized for the comfort and welfare of all. I am an Engineer I serve mankind by making dreams come true. From the University of Bristol Department of Civil Engineering website,