Engineers and engineering students are right to be optimistic about the future. Job prospects are bright in their field, according to a recent report from human resources services firm Randstad.
In its most recent analysis of the Canadian labour market for engineers, Randstad found that the fastest growing disciplines by 2025 will be civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. “All disciplines are in demand, and with a professional engineer certification, your job prospects are excellent,” the report says.
Why is there this crying need for qualified engineers? Randstad presents two major factors: the ageing workforce and economic growth.
With 30% of Canadian engineers being aged 55 and over, the massive retirement of many workers, a process already underway, will create a skills shortage for engineering firms. And Canadian universities cannot train enough engineers to replace them.
Randstad says immigration is helping to close the gap for now, but “employers need to do more to encourage young people to continue studying engineering” if they are to address the second factor behind the demand for engineers: economic growth.
This growth, still sustained in Canada despite the gloomy global outlook, is mainly felt in the building and infrastructure sector. The building engineer is therefore at the top of the specializations most in demand in 2020.
Note to future engineers
The Randstad report places the project manager at the top of the list of the best engineering jobs. “Qualified engineers with leadership, planning, and organizational skills” are in high demand, it says. The engineers of tomorrow will therefore have to make sure they acquire management experience to open new professional doors.
With regard to the skills sought, the report is unequivocal that the skill most in demand is proficiency in AutoCAD, which remains the most widely used design software on the market.
Regarding compensation, the median salary of engineers is $75,200 in 2020, equivalent to that of last year. On the other hand, the 10% highest paid engineering professionals will see their average salary increase from $108,000 to $130,000 this year.
Finally, Randstad’s report is reassuring for the future of young Canadian engineers, stating that there are diverse career choices available to new entrants to the job market, and that many decision-making positions are also available to those with more experience.