Making Strides Towards Two Career Paths

Peyman Tabatabaei pg1Peyman Tabatabaei is always on the go and planning for the future, a mindset that came in handy when planning his family’s immigration to Canada. Born and raised in Iran, he graduated from university and completed his master’s degree in civil/geotechnical engineering. He enjoys teaching and working with people, and taught English in his spare time as a second job.

Peyman’s fluency in English and an unstable job market intrigued him with the idea of immigrating to an English speaking country that would value his skills. He applied to come to Canada and was accepted through Canada’s Skilled Worker program.

Peyman, his wife Elham and daughter Rose chose to settle in Calgary after hearing it might be a good place for engineers. He had researched employment prospects before coming to Canada, and knew the best thing would be to get a job right away. To avoid depletion of his family’s savings he found a job working as a clerk at a drug store.

Since the process to become a registered professional engineer proved to be a lengthy endeavor, he chose to first pursue accreditation for his English teaching experience. In Iran, he did not require specific credentials for teaching English as an additional language. Peyman discovered that getting credentials to teach English in Canada would help his job prospects.

After hearing about IAF, Peyman applied for a loan to take the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages) course, receiving the certification and his Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) Canada Certificate. With these credentials in hand, he was able to market himself and pursue English language teaching positions.

Peyman currently works part time teaching English. He has simultaneously pursued his engineering licensing through the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), and he passed the NPPE exam (Law and Ethics) on his first attempt.

APEGA has accepted his credentials and previous engineering experience, and has recognized him as a Provisional Licensee. Peyman must now complete one year of Canadian equivalent experience with a licensed engineer to get his Professional Engineering Designation (P.Eng.). Due to a downturn in the Alberta economy, engineering positions are difficult to come by, so Peyman is grateful for his teaching positions.

Peyman and his family have adapted well to Canada and they love the family activities and support networks that Calgary has to offer. For those hoping to pursue their professional goals in Canada he believes that they need to “find a job right away to make money (for living expenses and to begin the process for professional licensing) and start as soon as possible getting training or certification in Canada. Employers recognize that.”


Every year, IAF helps hundreds of immigrants by providing loans to help them pay for the licensing or training they need to work in their field in Canada. Now more than ever Canada’s newcomers need our help. Please consider a donation to IAF today.