Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up Search

Engineering Physicist

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

  • Avg. Salary $112,155.00
  • Avg. Wage $55.72
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Engineer, Professional Engineer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Engineering Physicists and Engineering Scientists (2148.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Professional Engineers, n.e.c. (C048) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other professional engineers, n.e.c. (2148) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other professional engineers, n.e.c. (2148) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

14%
14%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Engineering Physicist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Engineering Physicists and Engineering Scientists
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to develop processes, programs and equipment

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with technical equipment when conducting experiments

DIRECTIVE

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

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Engineering physicists solve challenging problems and apply scientific discoveries in a practical way. They do this in fields involving many disciplines . They may help to develop new knowledge about lasers, optics, robotics, imaging systems, superconductors, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, nanotechnology or nuclear science. They may use this knowledge to develop new engineering methods and principles. They may also use it to design solutions to technical problems in the electronics, communications, aerospace, biomedical, or energy industries. The work may include numerical simulation methods to study complex multi-physics problems.

Engineering physicists work with other engineers and scientists. They integrate new findings on advanced and emerging technologies into processes for making and using other technology. The work that engineering physicists perform is constantly evolving. They often work in research and development or competitive high-tech industries.

Engineering physicists may help develop instruments, measurement techniques, or prototype systems related to:

  • acoustics (such as sound reproduction, hall design, speakers)
  • communications (such as fibre optics, lasers, antenna design, wireless communications)
  • electronics and computer technologies (such as designing amplifiers, logic circuits, computer peripherals, detectors)
  • environmental science (such as oceanography, pollution detection and control, meteorology, climatology)
  • instrumentation and control systems (such as medical instruments and equipment, sensing equipment)
  • lasers and optics (such as holography, non-linear optics, photonics, telecommunications)
  • materials science (such as biomaterials, magnetic thin films, semiconductor devices, superconductivity)
  • medicine (such as medical imaging techniques, radiation treatment, prosthetics)
  • microelectronics (such as designing components and circuits, sensors, novel processes)
  • nanotechnology (such as high-resolution imaging, structured engineered materials)
  • nuclear or plasma science (such as reactor design and waste management, radiation detection)
  • space science (such as designing instruments 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 settings, industrial plants and labs. They may work long hours. They may work 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 to have:

  • natural curiosity and observation skills
  • critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • expertise in physics and math
  • attention to detail
  • creativity and persistence
  • the ability to see how complex processes and equipment go together
  • speaking and writing skills
  • the ability to work on their own and in a team of people from different backgrounds
  • a desire for ongoing learning in a variety of disciplines.

They should enjoy:

  • synthesizing information
  • working on tasks that require precision
  • consulting with and directing the work of others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

The minimum education requirement for engineering physicists is a 4-year bachelor's degree in a related engineering discipline. Those wishing to specialize or do advanced research usually need a master’s or doctoral degree.


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

Engineer

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

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf], you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a Professional Engineer or engage in the practice of engineering. You do not have to register 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 in Alberta requires successful completion of:

  • 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
  • a minimum of 3 acceptable references
  • 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, contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada are eligible for registration in Alberta if the 2 jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies.

For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and APEGA.

To learn about certification for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Registration Process.

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4A2
Canada

Call: 780-426-3990
Toll-free in North America: 1-800-661-7020
Email: email@apega.ca
Website: www.apega.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Engineering physicists work for:

  • engineering consulting firms
  • universities and other research and development facilities
  • governments
  • manufacturing and other private sector firms
  • resource and high-tech industries (such as telecommunications, microelectronics, nuclear power, aerospace).

Engineering physicists often work with people from many other disciplines. The knowledge and skills they gain as they work may allow them to move into other areas of science and engineering. They may also move into 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 industry.

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

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

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

In Alberta, the C048: Other Professional Engineers, n.e.c. occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 95 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016
Other professional engineers, n.e.c.

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $32.16 $60.75 $47.14 $47.11
Overall $40.50 $71.16 $55.72 $54.79
Top $51.49 $93.32 $72.17 $70.56

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

14%
14%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

0%
0%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
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: www.apega.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 15, 2018. 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.

Was this page useful?
Top