Areas of Engineering

RPEQs are registered in an ‘area of engineering’ and must only practise engineering in the area that they are registered in.

BPEQ recognises several areas of engineering including major disciplines such as Civil, Electrical, Mining and Structural engineering and specialist areas such as In-service Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices, and Petroleum engineering. The area of engineering (or areas – RPEQs can be registered in multiple engineering areas) a RPEQ is registered in will depend on their qualification and competency and be determined during the assessment process.

Current areas of engineering

Below are the current areas that engineers can apply for registration in. Expand the sections below or use the search function to find out more about the areas.

  • Areas of engineering
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  • 1. Aeronautical*

    Obtained by having a Civil Aviation Safety Authority Instrument of Authority

    Aeronautical engineering concerns the theory, technology, and practice of flight within the Earth's atmosphere, the design of aircraft and propulsion systems and study of the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials.

    *The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is the Commonwealth Government body that regulates Australian aviation safety. CASA personnel who hold an Instrument of Authority from CASA may be eligible for registration as a RPEQ in the area of Aeronautical engineering.

  • 2. Aerospace

    Assessed by Engineers Australia

    Aerospace engineering involves the development of aircraft and spacecraft. The purpose of aerospace engineering is to achieve optimal integrated aerospace systems.

  • 3. Biomedical

    Assessed by Engineers Australia

    Biomedical engineering deals with combining design and problem-solving skills in applying engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes.

  • 4. Chemical

    Assessed by Engineers Australia, Institution of Chemical Engineers and Professionals Australia

    Chemical engineering helps to manage resources, protect the environment, and control health and safety procedures, while researching and developing the processes that make the products we desire/depend on.

    Chemical engineers understand how to alter the chemical, biochemical or physical state of a substance, changing raw materials into useful products used every day, such as food, pharmaceutical products, petrol, plastics, paints, paper, ceramics, minerals and metals. The operation of plants where these  every day products like are processes is also part of chemical engineering.

    Engineers working in this field may specialise as combustion engineers, petroleum engineers, principal chemical engineers, smelting engineers, water treatment engineers or environmental engineers. There is also scope for chemical engineers to move into related areas including biotechnology, food engineering and mineral engineering.

  • 5. Civil

    Assessed by Engineers Australia, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institute of Civil Infrastructure, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland and Professionals Australia

    Civil engineering involves the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, e.g. dams, bridges, pipelines, roads, towers and buildings, transport systems, gas and water supplies, sewerage systems, harbours, airports and railways. Civil engineering also involves assessing the impact large scale projects have on the environment, and the collection and treatment of sewage and industrial wastes. Other environmental areas include pollution control, environmental control, transport, urban development and municipal services, resource protection of building and construction of other infrastructure and service industries.

  • 6. Electrical

    Assessed by Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Engineers Australia and Professionals Australia

    Electrical engineering involves the research, design, development, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and management of equipment, plant and systems within the electrical, electronic, communication and computer systems areas.

    These activities can apply to electricity generation, transmission, distribution, electrical installations in buildings and on industrial sites, electrical equipment manufacturing, instrumentation and control systems applications in industry, communications networks, electronic plan and equipment, and also the integration and control of computer systems.

  • 7. Environmental

    Assessed by Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Engineers Australia and Professionals Australia

    Environmental engineering is concerned with protecting the environment by assessing the impact a project has on the air, water, soil and noise levels in its vicinity. This is done by studying the project’s design, construction and operation, and minimising any adverse effects that it may have on the environment. Environmental engineering is also involved in removing problems caused by past activity, such as cleaning contaminated industrial land, so it can be used for housing. Environmental engineering helps predict what problems may be caused by accidents and assess what may cause problems for the environment in the long term. Environmental engineering is also involved in research and development of alternative energy sources, water reclamation, waste treatment and recycling.

  • 8. Fire Safety

    Assessed by Engineers Australia

    Fire safety engineering deals with the protection of life, property and environment through the application of engineering principles, rules and judgement to the fire phenomenon, the effects of fire and the reaction and behaviour of people.

  • 9. Geotechnical

    Assessed by Engineers Australia, Professionals Australia

    Geotechnical engineering is involved in the planning, design and monitoring of the process of creating fit-for-purpose mining excavations associated with the surface or underground excavation of an in-situ rock mass, or matters directly associated therewith, including the construction or excavation of in-pit or underground infrastructure, the construction of waste dumps and stockpiles and the placement of backfill.  This discipline does not include geotechnical investigation and design for the construction of civil infrastructure on a mine site, specifically including access roads and rail lines, foundations for the construction of buildings and processing facilities, or tailings dams. The discipline also does not cover civil tunnelling or civil underground storage.

  • 10. Geotechnical (Mining)

    Assessed by Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

    Geotechnical (Mining) engineering investigates plans, designs and monitors the process of creating fit-for-purpose mining excavations associated with the surface or underground excavation of an in-situ rock mass, or matters directly associated therewith, including the construction or excavation of in-pit or underground infrastructure, the construction of waste dumps and stockpiles, or tailings dams, and the placement of backfill.

  • 11. Information, Telecommunications and Electronics

    Assessed by Engineers Australia and Professionals Australia

    Information, telecommunications and electronics engineering deals with scientific engineering design to develop computer modelling tools, broadband capability, improve telecommunications systems, hardware and software, systems for media broadcasting and sound, and sophisticated electronics.

  • 12. In-service Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices

    Assessed by Engineers Australia

    In-Service Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices Engineering involves a thorough understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements, the capability to scope and conduct inspections to AS3533, the capacity to report appropriately on inspections and a commitment to relevant CPD.

  • 13. Mechanical

    Assessed by Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Engineers Australia and Professionals Australia

    Mechanical engineering is a diverse discipline that encompasses the teaching, practice and leadership of others in the development and application of scientific principles to mechanical systems. Mechanical engineering covers the ability to solve problems that deliver and optimise safe, sustainable and ethical solutions for the design, production and operation of devices, machines, structures, processes and systems involving mechanical elements. Mechanical engineering frequently overlaps and/or combines with other engineering technologies to create multi-disciplinary projects/solutions.

  • 14. Mechatronics

    Assessed by Engineers Australia

    Mechatronics Engineering is multidisciplinary and deals with integrating electrical and mechanical systems. It can include a combination of robotics, electronics, computing, telecommunications, systems, control, product engineering, and electronics to create functional, smart products.

  • 15. Metallurgical

    Assessed by Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

    Metallurgical engineering involves the investigation, planning, design and the process of converting minerals produced by mining into primary commodities of economic value in sufficient quantity to be used in the manufacture of economic goods.

  • 16. Mining

    Assessed by Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

    Mining engineering deals with the investigation, planning, design and the process of extracting naturally occurring minerals containing useful commodities from the earth’s crust.

  • 17. Structural

    Assessed by Engineers Australia, Institution of Structural Engineers and Professionals Australia

    Structural engineering deals with the understanding, prediction, and calculation of the stability, strength and rigidity of built structures. Structures can include buildings, bridges, in-ground structures, footings, frameworks and space frames.

  • 18. Petroleum

    Assessed by Engineers Australia

    Petroleum engineering deals with four main sub-disciplines which are reservoir, drilling, production, and formation evaluation engineering. The focus is on achieving optimal integrated exploration, technical assessment, production and development of oil, gas and geothermal resources and reserves upstream of processing plants, refineries and power stations.

  • 19. Naval Architecture

    Assessed by Engineers Australia and Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA)

    Naval architecture deals with the safe design and specification of marine vessels and structures. Naval architecture can also be involved in the construction, repair, refit or operation of such marine vessels and structures.



Updates to areas of engineering

Effective from December 2021, the following areas of engineering have been retired: Agricultural; Building Services; Computer Systems; Fire; Heritage and Conservation; Information, Technology and Telecommunications; Leadership and Management; Marine; Oil and Gas Pipeline; Pressure Equipment Design and Verification. It is important to note that engineers currently registered in these areas still hold registration with BPEQ, will continue to appear on the register and are able to carry out professional engineering services but no new applications for registration in these areas can be made.

The area of Mechatronics engineering was approved as a current area of engineering in December 2021.