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In Ontario, and all other Canadian provinces, the title "Engineer" is protected by law and any non-licensed individual or company using the title is committing a legal offense, and can get fined.

Despite this many companies and individuals add engineer into job titles, the most common example is "Software Engineer" but I've seen many examples. I've never actually heard of anyone getting into legal trouble for it so I'm not sure the law is enforced.

The advise I've seen in other questions is that you should put the exact title on your resume that the company has given you, but I don't feel comfortable doing that in the case of a regulated word that I don't meet the legal requirements for.

What would be the best way to handle putting the title on a resume, changing it to an approximate title or keep it the same?

  • Is your resume in french? – DarkCygnus Aug 1 '18 at 15:53
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    If so, this is an exact situation to yours: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/116256/73791 – DarkCygnus Aug 1 '18 at 15:54
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    @DarkCygnus How to handle this in France and Canada may differ. – Ben Mz Aug 1 '18 at 15:57
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    @BenMz that is why I didn't flagged or VTC, I shared an useful link to OP for them to consider :) – DarkCygnus Aug 1 '18 at 15:58
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    I like being wrong, because I learn something. So I'm sharing the link you provided, and removing my answer. peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/2266/la_id/1.htm – user7360 Aug 1 '18 at 16:37
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The advise I've seen in other questions is that you should put the exact title on your resume that the company has given you, but I don't feel comfortable doing that in the case of a regulated word that I don't meet the legal requirements for.

What would be the best way to handle putting the title on a resume, changing it to an approximate title or keep it the same?

I agree with the advice you have already read - put the exact title that you were given by your employer. I've never personally witnessed anyone get in trouble for doing so. As long as you aren't making misleading claims regarding licensing or professional membership within your resume, I suspect you'd be fine.

That said, if you don't feel comfortable using the exact title you were given, changing it to something like "Software Developer" (or whatever best fits your situation) on your resume likely won't cause any problems. Just be ready to explain why if a background check turns up the actual title and it isn't the same as what you wrote on your resume.

  • While not related to resumes, there was the case in Oregon in 2017 where authorities tried to punish Mats Järlström for "unlicensed practice of engineering". – Peter M Aug 1 '18 at 18:16
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Don't sweat it. There are a million other software engineers they will need to prosecute before they get to you.

The laws are intended to prevent an unqualified person from representing themselves as qualified to build critical structures like bridges or designing electrical systems in large buildings. The authorities recognize that there are many types of engineers (like "train engineers") that do not fall into this category.

  • @DavidThornley, There is no need to go that far. If the OP only follows the advice of providing "the exact title on your resume that the company has given you" (without using the term 'engineer' anywhere else in his resume). Then any legal implication will fall to that former employer who gave that title to him. And unless that former employer contacts him to retroactively change that former title, or unless someone contacts the OP directly with a formal cease and desist letter, then I think the OP shouldn't needlessly worry about this. – Stephan Branczyk Aug 1 '18 at 20:23

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