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Engineering Physicist

Engineering physicists use scientific and engineering principles to solve problems and develop new processes, products and technologies.

  • Avg. Salary $88,938.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.60
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,300
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Engineer, Professional Engineer

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Engineering Physicist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Engineering Physicists and Engineering Scientists
NOC code: 2148.3

Interest in synthesizing information to develop processes, programs and equipment


Interest in precision working with technical equipment when conducting experiments


Interest in consulting to advise senior officials on the implications of advanced engineering and scientific applications; and in supervising the work of technologists and technicians

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 14, 2016

Engineering physicists solve challenging problems and develop practical applications for scientific discoveries in fields that are typically multidisciplinary. For example, they may apply new knowledge about lasers, optics, robotics, imaging systems, superconductors, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, nanotechnology or nuclear science to develop new engineering methods and principles, or design solutions to technical problems in the electronics, communications, aerospace, biomedical or energy industries.

Engineering physicists work with other engineers and scientists on advanced and emerging technologies to integrate new discoveries into manufacturing and other technological processes. Because engineering physicists often are involved in research and development, or in competitive high technology industries, their work is constantly evolving.  

Engineering physicists may be involved in the development of instrumentation, measurement techniques or prototype systems related to:

  • acoustics (for example, sound reproduction, hall design, speaker research)
  • communications (for example, fibre optics, lasers, antenna design, wireless communications)
  • electronics and computer technologies (for example, amplifier design, logic circuits, computer peripherals, detectors)
  • environmental science (for example, oceanography, pollution detection and control, meteorology, climatology)
  • instrumentation and control systems (for example, medical instruments and equipment, sensing equipment)
  • lasers and optics (for example, holography, non-linear optics, photonics, telecommunications)
  • materials science (for example, biomaterials, magnetic thin films, semiconductor devices, superconductivity)
  • medicine (for example, medical imaging techniques, radiation treatment, prosthetics)
  • microelectronics (for example, component and circuit design, sensors, novel processes)
  • nanotechnology (for example, high resolution imaging, structured engineered materials)
  • nuclear or plasma science (for example, reactor design and waste management, radiation detection)
  • space science (for example, instrument design for satellite or ground based observations).

Engineering physicists must constantly update their knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advances in technology.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Engineering physicists work in office, industrial plant and laboratory environments. They may work long hours or under pressure to meet deadlines and define procedures and standards.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Engineering physicists need the following characteristics:

  • natural curiosity and good observation skills
  • critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • a strong aptitude for physics and mathematics
  • the ability to pay close attention to details
  • creativity and persistence
  • the ability to visualize complex processes and equipment
  • excellent oral and written communication skills
  • the ability to work independently and in a team of people from different backgrounds
  • a desire for continual learning in a variety of disciplines.

They should enjoy synthesizing information, working on tasks that require precision, and consulting with and directing the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

The minimum education requirement for engineering physicists is a four year bachelor's degree in an appropriate engineering discipline. A master's or doctoral degree usually is required for specialized work and advanced research positions.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016


Professional Engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes and structures.


Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a professional engineer. You do not have to be registered if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a professional engineer or use the word engineer in your job title.

What You Need

Registration as a Professional Engineer requires: (1) a 4-year bachelor's degree in a recognized engineering program and at least 4 years of acceptable work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, (2) a minimum of 3 acceptable references and (3) successful completion of an approved examination in law, ethics and professionalism. A new Provisional Member category has been introduced. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit APEGA's website or contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered engineers in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Licensing Process on

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 4A2
Phone number: 780-426-3990
Toll-free phone number (within North America): 1-800-661-7020
Fax: 780-426-1877

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Engineering physicists are employed by:

  • engineering consulting firms
  • university and other research and development facilities
  • governments
  • manufacturing and other private sector firms
  • resource and high technology industries (for example, the telecommunications, microelectronics, nuclear power and aerospace industries).

Engineering physicists often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to move into associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.

Engineering physicists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2148: Other professional engineers. In Alberta, 86% of people employed in this classification work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 5,300 Albertans are employed in the Other professional engineers, n.e.c. occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 95 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As engineering physicists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for engineering physicists.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Other professional engineers, n.e.c.
NOC code: 2148

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $28.85 $47.92 $34.27 $28.85
Overall $33.65 $62.23 $43.60 $35.91
Top $36.06 $89.83 $48.49 $40.32

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


2015 Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website:


For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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