What’s the Difference Between CEng, IEng and EngTech…..Really?

Personal Development

Becoming professionally registered is a great way to develop your career, drive your continuing professional development (CPD), while demonstrating to society and employers your commitment to the discipline. But what are the differing standards (levels) of registration, and what are the differences…..really?

In this short article I’ll briefly summerise what I think the main differences between CEng (Chartered Engineer), IEng (Incorporated Engineer) and EngTech (Engineering Technician) are, from both my own experience of professional registration and supporting others doing the same. I’ve identified four main themes to explore and hopefully this will be of help you deciding which is the standard for you, within your career and professional registration journey.

Knowledge and Experience

A CEng is expected to have a broad and/or deep level of knowledge in a discipline, they should have 5-10 or more years of experience of which they can demonstrate. You’ll require at least Bachelors degree (with Honours) in Engineering or Technology and further learning to Masters level or alternatively differing qualifications, assuming you are able to demonstrate the required professional competences and commitment through other means.

An IEng is expected to have a good level of knowledge in a discipline typically 3 years or more of experience. A Bachelors or honours degree in Engineering or Technology or alternatively HND (or HNC), these requirements can be more complex, so to avoid repetition please see the Engineering Council guidance.

The EngTech is for those who are new to their careers and/or the discipline of Engineering or Technology, with around 1 year or more of experience, obviously knowledge and experience is required, but not to the level of the other two standards. You’ll also require a Level 3 qualification in Engineering or Technology, but again there are many options, its best to see the Engineering Council guidance.


Novelty, in terms of the development of new technology or techniques, alternatively the application of new technology or techniques to an engineering problem is the second of the key themes. At CEng standard there is a requirement to have demonstrated novelty in your work, i.e. innovation, something new.

If you compare this with say IEng, there isn’t the same expectation to demonstrate novelty, instead the focus is more on development and contribution to what is already there. Whilst EngTech is more about the application of these techniques in a suitable way.

In summary think EngTech as “application of pre-existing techniques”, IEng as “the application and contribution to the development of pre-existing techniques”, while CEng is “the application and development of pre-existing techniques, coupled with the development of new ones”.

Leadership and Development

At the EngTech standard you’ll not be expected to lead or develop other staff, but you will need to demonstrate supervisory or some form of technical responsibility certainly of your own work, but sometimes of others.

IEng builds upon this further, you’ll need some sort of leadership which may or may not include line management, but will be perhaps contributions to projects and their planning. Within this contributing to the development of more inexperienced staff.

Finally CEng again expands on this more. You’ll need to be a leader in terms of technology but additionally and to differing extents of people. You’ll need to be lead projects and be responsible for their delivery, tasks and financial aspects. You’ll also be developing (more inexperienced) staff through management, mentoring and coaching; being CEng I feel has a strong sense of duty to develop those around you both professionally and personally to grow and be successful.

Management and Responsibility

Although touched on in the previous theme and not conflating leadership with management which are different things, for CEng you’ll need to have demonstrated management in some form, either technical, people, projects or a mix of all three. Through management you’ll have demonstrated responsibility, so articulating what you have done and where is key.

At IEng standard there is not the same focus on management and responsibility as CEng, but you may supervise the work of others, line manage, or possible manage projects or tasks of projects, so need examples that demonstrate this in your application.

Finally, with the EngTech standard, there is not a requirement of management, but instead you’ll be expected to have shown some form of technical responsibility in your work; an example might be taking responsibility for complete tasks yourself based on pre-existing standards or procedures.


Hopefully the above has given you some guidance on what is expected of each of the three standards, based on those four themes, as you can see each standard builds upon the required competences of that which came before it.

It is worth noting that everyone’s (work) experiences and career are different, as is every application. If you are not sure, you can ask your Professional Body for the Engineering Council for additional clarification on what knowledge, experience, training, qualifications are relevant and can be used to demonstrate the required competences.

However, there are a few competences that are very much the same across all the standards, those being commitment to uphold sound professional engineering values, operating in accordance with safe systems of work and effective interpersonal skills of which irrespective of the standard you’ll need to be able to demonstrate.

Additional Information

If you’d like to learn more check out the Engineering Council’s Comparison table for EngTech, IEng and CEng Standards for more information.

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