Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage life, public welfare, safety, well-being, then environment and other interests of the general public  and to define the licensure process through which an engineer becomes licensed to practice engineering and to provide professional services and products to the public.
As with many other professions and activities, engineering is often a restricted activity.  Relatedly, jurisdictions that license according to particular engineering discipline define the boundaries of each discipline carefully so that practitioners understand what they are competent to do.
A licensed engineer takes legal responsibility for engineering work, product or projects (typically via a seal or stamp on the relevant design documentation) as far as the local engineering legislation is concerned. Regulations require that only a licensed engineer can sign, seal or stamp technical documentation such as reports, plans, engineering drawings and calculations for study estimate or valuation or carry out design analysis, repair, servicing, maintenance or supervision of engineering work, process or project. In cases where public safety, property or welfare is concerned, licensed engineers are trusted by the government and the public to perform the task in a competent manner. In various parts of the world, licensed engineers may use a protected title such as professional engineer, chartered engineer, or simply engineer.
It is often illegal for a practicing engineer to jeopardize public safety in any way.  This means that an engineer must hold herself or himself to the highest level of technical and moral conduct reasonable or suffer litigation if an engineering system fails causing harm to the public, including maintenance technicians. Breaches of engineering law are often sufficient grounds for enforcement measures, which may include the suspension or loss of license and financial penalties. They may also include imprisonment, should gross negligence be shown to have played a part in loss of human life.
An engineering licence provides the public with the assurance that qualified persons are doing or overseeing engineering work. An unlicensed worker or manager has no specific liability, as this is borne by the employer through tort law or engineering legislation, and there is no regulatory authority to enforce that good engineering practice is applied in relation to the work. 
In cases of gross negligence, an engineering firm may not be considered vicariously liable for an individual engineer's offence.
Becoming a licensed engineer is a process that varies around the world but generally requires a four-year engineering degree and four years of engineering experience. In some regions, use of the term "engineer" is regulated, in others it is not. Where engineering is a regulated profession, there are specific procedures and requirements for obtaining a registration, charter or license to practice engineering. These are obtained from the government or a charter-granting authority acting on its behalf and engineers are subject to regulation by these bodies.  In addition to licensure, there are voluntary certification programs for various disciplines which involve examinations accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards. 
Due to occupational closure, licensed engineers enjoy significant influence over their regulation. They are often the authors of the pertinent codes of ethics used by some of these organizations.  Engineers in private practice most often find themselves in traditional professional-client relationships in their practice. Engineers employed in government service and government-run industry are on the other side of that relationship. Despite the different focus, engineers in industry and private practice face similar ethical issues and reach similar conclusions.  One American engineering society, the National Society of Professional Engineers, has sought to extend a single professional license and code of ethics for all engineers, regardless of practice area or employment sector. 
China has two parallel systems for evaluating professional engineers, one as part of the "Professional Title" and the other as part of the "Occupation Qualification".
Under the "Professional Title" system,  engineers are divided into Assistant Engineer, Engineer, and Senior Engineer. Professional titles are awarded based on educational background, work experience, performance, participation in training programs, and awards received.
Under the "Occupation Qualification" system,  engineers are classified by their specific profession, such as "Registered Architect," "Registered Structural Engineer," "Registered Civil Engineer," "Registered Electrical Engineer," "Registered Public Equipment Engineer," etc. To obtain a registered engineer title, in addition to having a certain amount of work experience in a specific profession, one must pass a series of specific exams organized by the government.  
The registered engineers in the "Occupation Qualification" system in China are considered to be of higher value, as those who obtain it are required to pass notoriously difficult exams, with a pass rate typically below 10% per year. Depending on the province, some design drawings in certain professions must be signed by registered engineers.
In India, engineers with a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering or technology from a university are allowed to practice as consulting engineers—They must be licensed or registered with municipalities in order to submit public plans, designs or drawings for approval and record. The Institution of Engineers (India) was granted British Royal Charter in 1935 and admits engineers holding the above degrees as a corporate member (AMIE) or chartered engineer [India]: CEng [India].
IE(India) also offers registration as a professional engineer (PE [India]) and international professional engineer (PE [Int'l]) to member-engineers having seven years of active practical engineering experience after achieving their degrees. IE(India) is a member of IPEA (International Professional Engineers Agreement) with bilateral agreements with many national, foreign and international engineering institutions. Many municipalities exempt chartered engineers (PE[India] or PE [Int'l]) from their licenser or registration, by reciprocity ( comity). All such consulting engineers must be licensed, registered or chartered regardless of their discipline or area of practice.
In Iran, registration or licensure of professional engineers and engineering practice is governed by Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (Iran). For standardization, FE and PE exams are written and graded by a central organization, the National Organization for Examination and Training (NOET) which is known as Sanjesh in Persian. 
Requirements for licensing are as follows:
Graduate from accredited four-year college or university program with a degree in engineering (e.g., Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Complete a standard Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) written examination, which tests applicants on breadth of understanding of basic engineering principles and, optionally, some elements of an engineering speciality. Accumulate a certain amount of engineering experience requirement is at least four years. Complete a written Principles and Practice in Engineering (PE) examination, which tests the applicant's knowledge and skills in their chosen engineering discipline ( civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, computer, etc.), as well as engineering ethics. 
In Pakistan, engineering education and profession is regulated by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) via PEC Act 1976.  PEC is a federal government organization. Any person with an engineering degree ( BE/BS/BSc Engineering) from PEC accredited universities/institutes is legally allowed to register with the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) as a Registered engineer (RE). Previously, every engineering graduate registered with the PEC and at least five years of relevant work experience was eligible for the title of professional engineer (PE) without any exam. To improve the quality of engineering profession, this two-tier system has been enhanced via PEC CPD Bye-Laws 2008.  This system was realistically implemented starting 10 July 2010. Graduate engineers now enroll and practice as registered engineer (RE) in their general discipline of work. After at least five years of relevant work experience and accumulation of at least 17 CPD (Continued Professional Development) points, they may attempt the Engineering Practice Examination (EPE) conducted by the PEC. EPE is held by PEC biennially in major cities across the country. Those who pass the EPE are given the prestigious title of professional engineer (PE) in their specialized discipline of work.
To improve the quality of engineering services, engineers with professional engineer (PE) status are also required to engage in CPD activities in order to be able to retain their PE license. CPD points are awarded for various developmental activities such as formal education (e.g. Postgraduate diploma, master or PhD), on-job experience, participating in conferences/workshops as audience, speaker or organizer, publications in technical journals, part-time teaching activities, serving as guest lecturer (other than full-time teaching) and serving as external examiner for master/PhD thesis.
For CPD points system, upper limit of points has also been implemented to prevent abuse of the system and encourage balanced participation in various CPD activities. In case of on-job work experience which is the primary engagement of engineering profession, one CPD point is awarded for 400 hours of work. Upper limit of 2 credit points per year has been established for on-job work experience. Rewarding only 800 hours (~4 months full-time) of work per year has many benefits including inherent tolerance for bouts of unemployment, in-built allowance for sickness/disease/injury, discouraging workaholism, enabling full-time engineering teachers to gain relevant field experience with reduced time commitment (e.g. part-time consulting engagement) and encouraging participation in other CPD activities which further the engineering profession (e.g. guest lectures, publishing research, authoring a book and social work for engineers under recognized engineers' associations).
To avoid confusion, PEC CPD Bye-Laws 2008 introduced the legal term "registered person". Registered person is a term distinct from registered engineer (RE). It is a blanket term used for all persons enrolled with PEC in any capacity – whether as registered engineers (RE) or professional engineers (PE).
In Pakistan, engineering is regulated at the federal level. Engineers recognized as registered engineer (RE) or professional engineer with PEC need not go through further process once they move to another province or territory within Pakistan. For structural engineers, registration with local building authority may be a further requirement depending upon the jurisdiction and local building code.
Washington Accord: Pakistan gained Observer status in Washington Accord in 2009, Provisional member in 2010 and became Full signatory on 21 June 2017.  Pakistan was the 19th signatory ever to achieve this status.   
IPEA & IntPE: Through clause 13 (h) of PEC CPD Bye-laws 2008, PEC was unilaterally honoring the Engineers Mobility Forum (EMF)/International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA) since 10 July 2010.  An engineer already registered as a professional engineer with EMF/IPEA would be exempt from EPE & CPD points requirement and will be awarded professional engineer (PE) title on submission of application. On 29 June 2018, International Engineering Alliance (IEA) bestowed on PEC the authority to award IPE (IntPE) status to qualifying candidates.  PEC developed the application framework and, since September 2020, began accepting applications through a dedicated IPEA portal on the PEC website. 
In Sri Lanka, the title "engineer" is not regulated. However, as per the Engineering Council Act No 4 of 2017, all engineering practitioners in Sri Lanka needs to be registered with the engineering council to practice. Failing to do so would result in an offence and can be convicted by a summary trial before a Magistrate with imprisonment period not exceeding one year and/or a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees.
The European Engineer (Eur Ing, EUR ING) is an international certificate for engineers used in many European countries.  The certificate is granted after successful application to a national member of Engineers Europe (previously named the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI)).  Engineers Europe includes representation from many European countries, including much of the European Union.
Engineers Europe lobbies and strives to establish the EUR ING as a guarantee of competence for professional engineers. It is not a government or supranational (European Union) authority, but recognized by the EU as an example of self-regulation.
Because of that it can be problematic to add EUR ING to ones name in some states. Especially those who regulate the use of the term Engineer, abbreviations of it, and translations. And where the title Engineer can only be granted by recognized institutions (like universities). Of which Engineers Europe is none. The title EUR ING, if used, is supposed to be " pre-nominal," i.e., it is placed before rather than after the name as in the case of a post-nominal title such as those for academic degrees. However, this clashes with the practice in some EU countries where academic degrees are also pre-nominal.
Ultimately national law, not the EUR ING certificate from Engineers Europe, defines if an engineering degree and usually an engineering professional qualification from one member country is recognized by another. For EU members the EU directive Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications provides the legal framework and needs to be implemented in national law.
Another association in Europe is the Eureta. The professional title "Ing. EurEta" is used as a pre-nominal (similar to Dr. or Prof). An engineer registered with EurEta "European Higher Engineering and Technical Professionals Association" is called an "EurEta Registered Engineer," and has the right to use this title in Europe. 
The use of the job title engineer (Ingenieur in German) was not regulated until the 8th of July 1965.  It was estimated that at this point there were 105 000 Engineers with academic degrees, 225 000 engineers with an academy or engineering school degree, and 30 000 self-styled engineers.  Self-styled engineers could apply for an exception to continue to use the job title or had to cease to use the title within a certain time frame.
From that point on the typical ways to be allowed to use the job title engineer were to obtain the academic title of a diploma engineer Diplom-Ingenieur (abbreviated Dipl.-Ing.) or doctor engineer (Phd, Dr.-Ing.) from an academic institutions, or to obtain a graduated engineer title (Ingenieur (grad.)) from an engineering school or engineering academy. Earlier graduates from engineering schools or academies could continue to use the title or in some cases could change their title to Ingenieur (grad.). Mining schools were granting some engineer titles, too.
In the 1970th German converted its engineering schools and academies into universities of applied sciences and founded new such universities. With this change the Ingenieur (grad.) was no longer granted. Instead universities of applied sciences awarded the academic title of diploma engineer Diplom-Ingenieur, too. Over time, and depending on the actual state of the infighting between universities and universities of applied sciences, universities of applied sciences granted the title with a suffix Diplom-Ingenieur (FH).
Around the same time the federal states (Bundesländer) established their own engineer laws, because in Germany education is a matter of regulation for the federal states, not the federal government. These laws are all very similar and describe who is allowed to use the job title of an engineer.
Today (2023) the number of engineers with the academic title Diplom-Ingenieur, with or without a suffix, is on the decline. Germany adopted the Bologna Process and changed to a bachelor/master system with the respective academic titles. Only very few universities still provide diploma degree courses and grant an academic title with the word engineer (Ingenieur) in the title. For a doctorate the Dr.-Ing. is still awarded.
However, the use of the term Ingenieur continues to be protected even after the implementation of the bologna process. This also applies to translations and abbreviations. The group of people allowed to use the job title was actually widened. Typically since 2013 the engineer laws of the states allow persons who completed scientific or engineering studies of at least three years (e.g. bachelor, or the older diploma studies) at a German academic institution to use engineer as a job title. Also a lot of grandfather cases are covered, like engineers with a Ingenieur (grad.) title.
Further, the laws of the states contain provisions for the authorities to grant persons who obtained their engineering degree or title from a foreign institution or otherwise the right to use the job title. With special provisions for EU member states.
The state laws typically regard the unauthorized use of the job title engineer as a misdemeanor. § 132a of the criminal code of Germany makes the unauthorized use of an academic degree title a criminal offense. Punishable by up to one year of imprisonment or a fine.
Engineers offering certain engineering services need to be a member of an engineering chamber (Ingenieurkammer) by law. This is most commonly the case for freelance consulting (Beratender Ingenieur) activities in construction, but can also be required for other engineering work. A voluntary membership is also possible.
Engineering chambers are self-governed and provide services for their members.
"State-certified engineer" (German: staatlich geprüfter Techniker) is a clarification needed] for a professional engineering technologist (not to be confused with an engineering technician or "Dipl.-Ing").[
The certificate is granted to engineering technologists upon successful completion of a technical college and it is also granted by an international organization with headquarters in Germany, the "BVT", Federal Association of Higher Professions for Technology, Economy and Design (Bundesverband höherer Berufe der Technik, Wirtschaft und Gestaltung e.V.).
Techniker certificates have been grouped on the same level as academic bachelor's degrees in national (DFQ) and EU qualification frameworks (EFQ).
EU Directive 2005L0036-EN 01.01.2007
ANNEX III List of regulated education and training referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 13(2) 
A member of the BVT is entitled to use the initials "BVT" after his name. To achieve this qualification, it is required to complete a 42-month apprenticeship program, a minimum 2,400 hour college diploma in engineering or technology, two years of relevant experience and pass the state examination. The academic requirement to be a state-certified engineer is a degree equivalent to level 6 on EQF = bachelor on the European Qualification Framework. A bachelor's (honours) degree in engineering or engineering technology from an accredited university is also equated to level 6 on EQF. A state-certified engineer is not required to complete a university degree. Before Jan. 31, 2012, a state-certified engineer certificate usually qualified the holder to proceed to bachelor's level education at a university of applied science. In the past, this led to wide and controversial discussions between bachelor's and master's degrees engineers and state-certified engineers.
Today, this is on the same level as a bachelor's degree. One can continue to study to a master's degree with the SCE qualification. The academic requirements for qualification are similar to incorporated engineer qualification/registration by EC UK. State-certified engineers now assist engineers with only a diploma or master's degree. They are also holding full engineering positions as systems engineers, integration engineers, test engineers, QA engineers, etc.
State-certified engineer, business manager and designer levels are now a level 6–Bachelor on DQF and EQF, as of Jan. 31, 2012. The following top representatives and agents institutions were involved: federal government (Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology), standing conference and economic ministerial meeting of countries, the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, German Trade Union Federation and the Federal Institute for Vocational Application. They agreed on a common position on the implementation of the EQF, as a German qualifications framework (DQR).
"In general there is no restriction on the right to practise as an engineer in the UK. However there are a small number of areas of work, generally safety related, which are reserved by statute, regulations or industry standards to licensed or otherwise approved persons."  The title "engineer" is not regulated, but certain engineering titles are. There is no system for licensing, but registers are held of qualified persons. The Engineering Council is the UK regulatory body for its engineering profession. It holds the national registers of 235,000 engineers registered as EngTech (engineering technicians), ICTTech (information and communications technology technicians), IEng (incorporated engineers) and CEng (chartered engineers). These titles are fully protected under law by means of the Engineering Council's Royal Charter and By-Laws. In order to protect these titles, action is taken through the courts against their unauthorized use.
To receive designation as a CEng, it is required to have approved education (typically to Master's level) and also demonstrate significant technical and commercial leadership and management competencies. 
A chartered engineer is entitled to register through the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) as a European Engineer and use the pre-nominal designation: Eur Ing. 
The practice of engineering in Canada is highly regulated under a system of licensing administered by a self regulated engineering association in each province. In Canada the designation "professional engineer" and "engineer" (including titles containing the word engineer and abbreviations such as P. Eng.) can only be used by licensed engineers and the practice of engineering is protected in law in all provinces.  The regulation and licensing of engineers is done through each province's own engineering association which was created by acts passed by that province's legislature. There is also Engineers Canada which regulates undergraduate programs for engineering. The process for registration is generally as follows:
Professional engineers are not licensed in a specific discipline but are bound by their respective provincial engineering legislation (e.g. in Ontario: Professional Engineers Act R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 941, Section 72) from practicing beyond their training and experience. Breaches of the code are often sufficient grounds for enforcement measures, which may include the suspension or loss of license and financial penalties. It could also result in serving time jail, should negligence be shown to have played a part in any incident that causes loss of human life.
Engineers are not tested on technical knowledge during the licensing process if their education was accredited by the CEAB. Accreditation of schools and their accredited degree granting status are monitored and controlled. This accreditation process is governed by Engineers Canada through their active group CEAB.
The accreditation process is continuous and enforced through regular accreditation reviews of each school. These reviews typically include the review of the school's curriculum (including marked final exams and assignments), interviews of current students, extracurricular activities and teaching staff as well additional areas the visiting board may feel need addressing. The specific areas considered are curriculum content, program environment and general criteria. The associations are granted both an exclusive right to title and an exclusive right to practice. A professional engineer is legally required to be licensed in most provinces. The level of enforcement varies depending on the specific industry but often a complaint needs to be filed for regulatory action to commence.
The professional engineer's license is only valid in the province of delivery. There are, however, agreements between the associations to ease mobility. In 2009, professional engineers Ontario led an initiative to develop a national engineering licensing framework.
The term "engineer" is often used loosely in some Canadian industry sectors to describe people working in the field of engineering technology—not professional engineering—as engineering technologists or engineering technicians and trades names such as stationary engineer. For example, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Navy often calls its technicians "marine engineers," "power engineers" and "military engineers" internally, but not in the public domain. The term "locomotive engineer" has been an integral part of the Canadian railroad since its inception. " Stationary engineering" is a trade whose technicians operate heavy machinery and equipment that provide heat, light, climate control and power.
In the United States, registration or licensure of professional engineers and engineering practice is governed by the individual states. Each registration or license is valid only in the state where it is granted. Some licensed engineers maintain licenses in more than one state. Comity, also known as reciprocity, between states allows engineers who are licensed or registered in one state to obtain a license in another state without meeting the ordinary rigorous proof of qualification by testing. This is accomplished by the second state recognizing the validity of the first state's licensing or registration process. 
Licensure in the United States began in the State of Wyoming when lawyers, notaries and others without engineering education were making poor quality submissions to the state for permission to use state water for irrigation. Clarence Johnson, the Wyoming state engineer, presented a bill in 1907 to the state legislature that required registration for anyone presenting themselves as an engineer or land surveyor and created a board of examiners. Charles Bellamy, a 52-year-old engineer and mineral surveyor then became the first licensed professional engineer in the United States. After enactment, Johnson would wryly write about the effect of the law, saying, "A most astonishing change took place within a few months in the character of maps and plans filed with the applications for permits." Louisiana, followed by Florida and Illinois, would become the next states to require licensure. Montana became the last state to legislate the licensing in 1947. 
Requirements for licensing vary, but generally are as follows: 
For standardization, FE and PE exams are written and graded by a central organization, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). However, each state's board of professional engineers individually sets the requirements to take the exams, as well as the passing score. For example, applicants in some states must provide professional references from several PEs before they can take the PE exam. There is a fairly large range in exam pass rates for FE and PE exams, but the pass rate for repeat test takers is significantly lower. 
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have engineering boards that are represented on the NCEES, which administers both the FE and PE examinations. 
Degree requirements in the United States are evolving. Effective January 1, 2020, the NCEES model will require additional credits beyond a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree. NCEES is developing the types of creditable activities that will satisfy the additional educational requirement. This has received some support from civil engineers.  
As of 2023, it is still possible for an individual to bypass Steps No. 2 and 4. In Texas, for example, FE exam waivers are still available to individuals with several years of creditable experience. 
In a few states, it is still possible for an individual to bypass Step No. 1 and apply to take the registration examinations—as long as a PE sponsors the applicant—because work experience can be substituted for academic experience. The requirement for years of experience may also vary. For example, in California it is possible to take a PE examination with only two years of experience after a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree or one year of experience after a Master of Engineering. In other states candidates may take one of the PE exams directly through NCEES, in some cases immediately after graduation, but they still must wait until obtaining the required experience before obtaining a license. Some states also have state-specific examinations. California requires two additional exams in land surveying and earthquake engineering for civil engineering candidates and many states have exams based on their individual laws and ethics requirements.
Some states issue generic professional engineering licenses. Others, known as "discipline states", issue licenses for specific disciplines of engineering, such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering. However, in all cases engineers are ethically required to limit their practice to their area of competency, which is usually a small portion of a discipline. While licensing boards do not often enforce this limitation, it can be a factor in negligence lawsuits. In a few states, licensed civil engineers may also perform land survey work.
In addition to the person's license, most states require that firms providing engineering services are authorized to do so. For instance, the state of Florida requires businesses offering engineering services to be registered with the state and have a Florida licensed professional engineer qualify the business. 
Civil engineers account for a large portion of licensed professional engineers. In Texas, for example, about 37 percent of licenses are for civil engineers, with civil engineering exams making up more than half of the exams taken.   Many of the remainder are mechanical, electrical and structural engineers. However, some engineers in other fields obtain licenses for the ability to serve as professional witnesses in courts, before government committees or just for prestige—even though they may never actually sign and seal design documents.
Areas that include much of mechanical, aerospace and chemical engineering may be specifically exempted from regulation under an "industrial exemption". The industrial exemption varies from state to state. An industrial exemption covers engineers who design products such as automobiles that are sold (or have the potential to be sold) outside the state where they are produced, as well as the equipment used to produce the product. Structures subject to building codes are not covered by an industrial exemption, though small residential buildings often do not require an engineer's seal. In some jurisdictions, the role of architects and structural engineers overlap. In general, the primary professional responsible for designing habitable buildings is an architect. The architect signs and seals design plans for buildings and other structures that humans may occupy. A structural engineer is contracted to provide technical structural design ensuring the stability and safety of the overall structure, however, no states currently allow engineers the ability to perform professional architecture without also being licensed as an architect. 
Many private companies employ non-degree workers in technical positions with engineering titles such as "test engineer" or "field engineer". At the company's discretion, as long as the company does not offer engineering services directly to the public or other businesses, such positions may not require an engineering license.
However, it is important to make a distinction between a "graduate engineer" and a "professional engineer". A "graduate engineer" is anyone holding a degree in engineering from an accredited four-year university program, but is not licensed to practice or offer services to the public. Unlicensed engineers usually work as employees for a company or as professors in engineering colleges, where they are governed under the industrial exemption clause.
Letters after or before a person's name (post-nominal or pre-nominal letters) are commonly used to denote the holder of an engineering license in various jurisdictions:
In many countries, laws exist that limit the use of job titles containing the word "engineer".
In Canada it is illegal to practice engineering or use the title "professional engineer" or "engineer", without a license. There are two exceptions— stationary engineer and power engineer. Engineering in Canada is regulated in the public interest by self-governing professional licensing bodies. These bodies were established by Canada's 13 provincial and territorial governments through legislation. The provincial and territorial governments have delegated their constitutional authority to regulate engineers and engineering in Canada to professional licensing bodies that are maintained and governed by the profession, creating a system of self-regulation.
The first law related to professional engineering in Ontario was created in 1922 and allowed for the creation of a voluntary association to oversee registration of engineers. The Act of 1922 was "open", meaning that membership in the association was not mandatory for practising engineers. In Ontario, regulation of engineering practice dates to 1937, when the Professional Engineers Act was amended and the engineering profession was "closed" to non-qualified individuals; that is, licensure was made mandatory for anyone practising professional engineering. The provincial government determined that it would be in the public interest to restrict the practice of engineering to those who were qualified and the right to practice was "closed" to non-engineers as a result of the failures of bridges and buildings, which had been designed by unskilled individuals.
Canadian provinces legally allow engineers to self-regulate their profession. The licensing bodies fulfil this mandate by ensuring standards of engineering practice and education in Canada, by setting standards for admission into the profession, by disciplining engineers who fail to uphold the profession's practice and ethical standards and by preventing the misuse of the title professional engineer by individuals who are not licensed members of the profession. They also take appropriate action to prevent the illegal practice of engineering by unlicensed individuals. Each licensing body's mandate and obligation to undertake this role is laid out in the act that created it. Although each act is slightly different, most also define a scope of practice for engineers and specifically restrict the use of the title professional engineer to individuals who have been licensed by the engineering licensing body in the province or territory where the act applies.
The use of the term engineer was an issue between professional bodies, the IT industry and the security industry, where companies or associations may issue certifications or titles with the word engineer as part of that title (such as security engineer or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). Microsoft has since changed the title to "Microsoft Certified IT Professional". Several licensing bodies for professional engineering contend that only licensed professional engineers are legally allowed to use the title engineer. The IT industry, on the other hand, counters that:
Court rulings regarding the usage of the term engineer have been mixed. For example, after complaints were lodged by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, a court in Quebec fined Microsoft Canada $1,000 for misusing the "engineer" title by referring to MCSE graduates as engineers.  Conversely an Alberta court dismissed the lawsuit filed by The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) against Raymond Merhej for using the title "system engineer," claiming that, 'The respondent's situation is such that it cannot be contended that the public is likely to be deceived, confused or jeopardized by his use of the term...'"  APEGGA also lost the appeal to this decision. 
The Canadian Information Processing Society,  and in particular CIPS Ontario,  have attempted to strike a balance between the professional engineering licensing bodies and the IT industry over the use of the term engineer in the software industry, but so far no major agreements or decisions have been announced.
Additional confusion has taken place over similarly-named occupations. One such example is power engineers or stationary engineers. Graduates of a two-year college level power engineering technology program in Nova Scotia may use the title power engineer or stationary engineer. This conflicts with the title often used in the electrical industry for professional engineers who design related equipment and can cause confusion.
There is no restriction on anyone describing themselves as an engineer or working as an engineer in the UK. The word engineer has a broad sense and can refer to multiple different jobs associated with engineering.  Specific titles, however, are protected. In addition to professional engineering titles, these include Registered Gas Engineer  and Chief Engineer Class 1 [or 2] Fishing Vessel.  
The Engineering Council grants the titles Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Engineering Technician and Information and Communications Technology Technician under its royal charter. These titles are protected under civil law.  The Engineering Council is also the UK member of the International Professional Engineers Agreement and awards the title of International Professional Engineer (UK). 
Various engineering institutions grant their own professional titles in addition to those granted by the Engineering Council. These include Chartered Chemical Engineer ( Institution of Chemical Engineers), Chartered Mechanical Engineer ( Institution of Mechanical Engineers), Chartered Civil Engineer ( Institution of Civil Engineers), Chartered Energy Engineer and Chartered Petroleum Engineer ( Energy Institute), Chartered Gas Engineer (Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers), Chartered Marine Engineer ( Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology), Chartered Structural Engineer ( Institution of Structural Engineers), and Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology ( Institution of Engineering and Technology). 
In the United States, the practice of professional engineering is highly regulated and the title "professional engineer" is legally protected, meaning that it is unlawful to use it to offer engineering services to the public unless permission, certification or other official endorsement is specifically granted by that state through a professional engineering license. Also, many states prohibit unlicensed persons from calling themselves an "engineer" or indicating branches or specialties not covered by the licensing acts.    Employees of state or federal agencies may also call themselves engineers if that term appears in their official job title. The IEEE's formal position on this is as follows: "The title, engineer and its derivatives should be reserved for those individuals whose education and experience qualify them to practice in a manner that protects public safety. Strict use of the title serves the interest of both the IEEE-USA and the public by providing a recognized designation by which those qualified to practice engineering may be identified."
Every state regulates the practice of engineering to ensure public safety by granting only Professional Engineers (PEs) the authority to sign and seal engineering plans and offer their services to the public.  There are additional requirements to include at least one professional engineer within the firm for these type of companies to include the word engineering in the title of the business, although these requirements are not universal.
In the United States an "industrial exemption" allows businesses to employ employees and call them an "engineer", as long as such individuals are under the direct supervision and control of the business entity and function internally related to manufacturing (manufactured parts) related to the business entity or work internally within an exempt organization. Such person does not have the final authority to approve or the ultimate responsibility for, engineering designs, plans or specifications that are to be: (A) incorporated into fixed works, systems or facilities on the property of others; or (B) made available to the public. These individuals are prohibited from representing an ability or willingness to perform engineering services or make an engineering judgment requiring a licensed professional engineer, engage in practice of engineering, offer engineering services directly to the public and/or other businesses; unless the business entity is registered with the state's board of engineering and the practice is carried on/supervised directly only by engineers licensed to engage in the practice of engineering.  Examples are sanitation engineer, production engineer, test engineer, network engineer, project engineer, systems engineer and sales engineer. These are often seen in engineering job advertisements online and in news papers. Most of the advertisements and employers don't require licensing because these positions do not pose a direct threat to public health or pose a liability danger.
The US model has generally been only to require the practicing engineers offering engineering services that impact the public welfare, safety or safeguarding of life, health or property to be licensed, while engineers working in private industry without a direct offering of engineering services to the public or other businesses, education and government need not be licensed.
In the United States, use of the title professional engineer is restricted to those holding a professional engineer's license. These people have the right to add the letters PE after their names on resumes, business cards and other communication. However, each state has its own licensing procedure and the license is valid only in the state that granted it. Therefore, many professional engineers maintain licenses in more than one state. Comity, also known as reciprocity, between states allows engineers who are licensed or registered in one state to obtain a license in another state without meeting the ordinary rigorous proof of qualification by testing. This is accomplished by the second state recognizing the validity of the first state's licensing or registration process.
Other uses of the term engineer are legally controlled and protected to varying degrees, dependent on the state and the enforcement of its engineering certification board. The term is frequently applied to fields where practitioners may have no engineering background or the work has no basis in the physical engineering disciplines; for example sanitation engineer. 
With regard to the term "software engineer", many states, such as Texas and Florida, have introduced license requirements for such a title that are in line with the requirements for more traditional engineering fields.[ citation needed]
Generally engineering regulatory bodies will not launch an investigation without a complaint form being filled out by an individual.  The complaint will be the basis of an investigation into professional misconduct, breach of contract or negligence.
California law dictates disciplinary proceedings by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists against a licensed engineer who has committed deceit, misrepresentation, negligence or a violation of contract.  The Professional Engineers of Ontario have a disciplinary committee that hears complaints of professional misconduct and incompetence.  A discipline committee may suspend a certificate of authorization (firm license) for an engineering corporation, an engineering license or issue a fine for violations of the local engineering legislation for professional misconduct, deceit, misrepresentation, negligence or violation of contract.
The skills and knowledge required to deal with costs (e.g., cost estimating, planning and scheduling, etc.) are quite different from those required to deal with the physical design dimension. From that difference, the field of cost engineering was born. Cost engineering practitioners work alongside of and are peers with engineers, software analysts, play producers, architects and other creative career fields to handle the cost dimension, but they do not necessarily have the same background. Whether they have technical, operations, finance and accounting or other backgrounds, cost engineering practitioners need to share a common understanding, based on "scientific principles and techniques," with the engineering or other creative career functions.