As society and technology have advanced, so has the practice of engineering. Today, more areas of human endeavour are touched, created or consolidated by engineering than ever before. This has driven the development of new and specific subgroups of engineering across a wide range of industries.
These subgroups are also known as areas of practice. Most people are familiar with five engineering areas of practice – chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and structural engineering. Today there are 26 areas of practice and they’re constantly evolving.
An area of practice isn’t the activities or projects someone does that are incidental to their work’s main purpose, an area of practice is the purpose of and forms the bulk of an engineering professional's work. Most engineers don’t work across more than one or perhaps two areas of practice.
If you’re applying for a Chartered credential, you can apply across a maximum of three areas of practice. You’ll need to reference the relevant areas of practice when you complete your Chartered application and ensure you have covered the competencies related to each.
Adding an area of practice
You can add an area of practice to your Chartered credential, however you need to be able to demonstrate that the new area of practice forms a significant proportion of your work. You also need to be able to demonstrate a reasonable length of experience in the new area of practice. Experience of a few weeks or months is not enough. If you aren't sure, email us to check.
Full descriptions of each of the areas of practice are saved in our professional standards library. Areas of practice are listed in alphabetical order and can be searched.