If you need an engineering job done but you’re not sure who to contact, you can browse our database of highly qualified engineers.

Our membership database lists engineers that are members of Engineering New Zealand, and what class of membership they hold. Our members are held to a high standard of professionalism and follow our Code of Ethical Conduct.

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The register database lists engineers that are Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng) under an Act of legislation.

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How to find an engineer

Before you start looking for an engineer, check with your local council to see if the work you’re planning on doing needs consent.

You may need an engineer if you want to:

  • Design an element of a new building, structure or system
  • Modify the use of an existing structure or system
  • Provide a report that may form input into a design
  • Certify a piece of equipment, such as a fairground ride or a heavy vehicle
  • Review the design of another engineer.

If you need an engineer, you can use our search tool to look up an engineer’s membership or registration status and contact details (if they’ve made them publicly accessible).

Engineers that are Chartered Members of Engineering New Zealand, or have Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) registration, have demonstrated competence in their field of practice.

Types of engineers

There are many different kinds of engineers. Some are employed directly by companies and work on large contracts. Here are the most common disciplines to help you find the right engineer for your job:

Structural engineer

Most structural engineers work as consultants to architects or design-build contractors. It's the structural engineer's responsibility to calculate the loads (like snow, wind and earthquake forces), fit the structure to the architecture, and decide on what structural systems to use (steel, concrete, beams, etc.).

You need a structural engineer to:

  • Provide designs for residential and commercial buildings to ensure they meet the building code
  • Assess the strength of buildings after an event (eg. earthquakes)
  • Assess the safety of a structure such as a retaining wall.

Geotechnical engineer

Every infrastructure is connected to the ground. Geotechnical engineers understand how kinds of infrastructures, such a tunnels, bridges, dams, buildings, and roads, interact with the ground.

You need a geotechnical engineer to:

  • Assess ground conditions to determine suitable foundation design
  • Design foundations for buildings, structures and retaining walls
  • Assess the stability of slopes and embankment.

Mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineers are typically involved with the generation, distribution, and use of energy, the control and automation of manufacturing systems, and the design and development of machines.

You need a mechanical engineer to:

  • Design a ventilation and air conditioning system for a large building
  • Design specialised pieces of machinery
  • Certify, repair or design modifications to machinery.

Software engineer

Software engineers specialise in computer software applications or computer software systems. They design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate the software and systems that make computers or anything containing software work, like computer operating systems and video games.

You need a software engineer to:

  • Design applications that let users perform specific tasks on a computer or other digital or electronic device
  • Design the underlying systems that run the devices or control the network
  • Ensure software continues to function normally through upgrades.

Electrical engineer

Electrical engineers carry out analysis and design of large and small scale electrical systems.  Many electrical engineers are employed in the energy utilities industry. They also work in industrial environments carrying out the electrical design associated with manufacturing processes, manufacturing plant, control systems and telecommunications. Some are involved in research and development and education. Electrical engineers typically work closely with other professionals like civil and mechanical engineers and legal and economic professionals.

You need an electrical engineer to:

  • Analyse your electrical problem and design a sustainable and economic solution that is science-based
  • Manage and oversee the electrical aspects of a large-scale project
  • Provide optimal solutions in the design, management and operation of electrical networks and assets.

Hiring an engineer

We recommend that you prepare a brief for the engineering work you want done. The brief is a document that outlines the scope of work and will help the engineer provide an accurate estimate of the time and cost.

Your brief should include:

  • A description of the problem you want solved
  • The scope of work you want carried out
  • Specific things you don’t want done or included
  • A deadline for completion
  • Items you want produced, such as drawings, reports, or calculations
  • Documentation you require for applications to local authorities.

If you’re unsure of what to include, an engineer can help you prepare your brief. Once you’re both happy with the brief, you should formalise this agreement in a legally binding contract.

Find out more about engineering contracts