where engineering jobs in canada are headed

Engineers Canada has an optimistic outlook on the future of the industry, projecting growth in most engineering disciplines through 2025. Disciplines that will see the most growth include civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. However, as we head into 2020, the engineering sector continues to experience a deficit of skilled workers. One of the most pressing issues the industry faces is an aging workforce. Currently 30% of engineers are 55 or older, and 17% are over 65. As the boomer generation marches toward retirement, they'll leave big skill gaps in their wake, as there aren't enough newly-minted engineering grads in Canada to replace them. Currently immigration is helping bridge this gap, however employers must do more to attract young people to get engineering degrees if they hope to keep up with industry growth. On the other side of the coin, if you're a young, up-and-coming engineer, you'll have your pick of job opportunities and will have no difficulty forging a long and successful career in this booming field.


the best engineering jobs in 2020

Engineers of all types are in demand. With a Professional Engineer (P.Eng) certification under your belt, your employment prospects are excellent. Virtually all engineering specialties are experiencing labour shortages in Canada. The list of the best engineering jobs has shifted slightly over last year, with industrial engineer and manufacturing engineer cracking the list of top jobs for 2020. However, all engineering disciplines remain highly employable in 2020.

best engineering jobs

  • 1. project manager

    Project manager takes the top spot on the 2020 list of top engineering jobs. Skilled engineers with leadership, planning and organizational skills who are able to successfully lead a team are in high demand.

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  • 2. project coordinator

    New on the list of top engineering jobs for 2020 is project coordinator. With the intense demand for project managers (see the number 1 spot!) it makes sense project coordinators would also be in demand. Project coordinators are able to provide the same organizational support as a project manager at a more junior level.

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  • 3. project engineer

    Project engineers are the project managers of the engineering sector, so their skills are universally in demand across Canada. Project engineers oversee the direction of engineering projects, keeping fellow engineers on track, as well as managing bids, specifications and materials.

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  • 4. quality assurance technician

    Quality assurance technicians, also sometimes known as quality control technicians typically work in manufacturing and monitor manufacturing processes to ensure that the end product their employer produces meets a pre-determined set of guidelines. The goal is a consistent, high quality end product.

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  • 5. industrial engineer

    Industrial engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering that focuses on optimizing systems and machines. It's often used in fields such as manufacturing, energy, and IT, among many others. The broad applications of industrial engineering make it an adaptable specialty.

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  • 6. engineering manager

    Engineering managers lead engineering projects. Their role overlaps a lot with project engineering, in that they often oversee project requirements and execution. However they have an added leadership component to their role and are expected to supervise other engineers.

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  • 7. manufacturing engineer

    We've been hearing for years about the decline of manufacturing jobs due to automation. Manufacturing engineers are the ones helping shape those automated processes. Manufacturing engineers develop tools, processes, machines and other equipment that increase manufacturing productivity.

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  • 8. electrical engineer

    Electrical engineer drops to the 8th spot after taking the number one spot 2 years in a row. With the dominance of electronic technology in our lives, electrical engineering continues to be an important specialty in the engineering field for 2020.

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engineering salary trends in 2020

The median annual salary for engineers in 2020 is $75,200, which is the same as last year. The lowest-earning 10% of engineers make $45,900 or less, which is also the same as last year. The top 10% of earners can take home in excess of $130,000, which is a sizable increase from $103,000 last year. The skills shortages in this sector may explain the growth of high earners in this sector, as employers are willing to pay more to access the skills they need.

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best engineering skills to have in 2020

In 2020, the engineering skills in demand are focused on software and technology in the engineering discipline. Computer aided design and computer aided engineering software remain dominant year after year. The industry standard AutoCAD is the most popular, though SolidWorks and Autodesk Revit have also cracked into the list of most-sought after skills.

top engineering skills

  • 1. autoCAD

    AutoCAD has long been the go-to computer aided design software in the engineering sector and that dominance shows no sign of slowing. For yet another year AutoCAD remains the number one skill that employers seek out.

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  • 2. quality assurance

    Quality assurance holds steady as the number two skill that employers are looking for. It's pretty self-explanatory. In engineering one small error or mistake can be catastrophic, so it should be no surprise that employers in the engineering sector highly value top-notch quality assurance skills.

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  • 3. instrumentation

    Instrumentation is the engineering specialty focused on measurement. Instrumentation is particularly crucial for engineers who work in the manufacturing sector. Vehicles, electronics, and household systems such as thermostats, appliances and smoke detectors, all rely on instrumentation expertise.

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  • 4. solidworks

    SolidWorks is a popular computer aided design and computer aided engineering software published by Dassault Systèmes. It's used by over 165,000 companies worldwide, so rest assured that SolidWorks skills make you highly employable. 

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  • 5. autodesk revit

    Autodesk Revit is a building information modelling software for architects, structural engineers, designers and other professionals in the engineering sector. It allows users to build and annotate structures in 3D. 

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  • 6. french bilingualism

    French bilingualism might seem a little out of place on a list of top engineering skills, however many engineering projects in Canada require working with the government or in various areas across the country where both French and English may be required. Being able to communicate complex engineering ideas in both English and French is an invaluable asset.

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best engineering certifications in 2020

Top of the list of engineering certifications for 2020 is structural engineer. With the strong economic growth across Canada, buildings and infrastructure are being built at a rapid pace, so the demand for qualified structural engineers is high. Rounding out the top three are the industry-standard professional engineer certification and EIT, the precursor to a P.Eng certification.

top certifications

  • 1. structural engineer (SE)

    The SE certification showcases your skill in the structural engineering discipline. It's only available to those who already have obtained a professional engineering certification. Canada's construction industry is booming and that means talented SEs are in intense demand, so it's no surprise to see this certification make the top of the list.

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  • 2. professional engineer (P.Eng / PE)

    Coming in at number 2 is the professional engineer designation. The professional engineer certification is the gold standard in Canadian engineering and is the official designation of a qualified engineer. It's mandatory to obtain your P.Eng to work as an engineer in Canada.

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  • 3. engineer in training (EIT)

    Engineer in training is the first step in Canada's P.Eng licensing program. You must obtain your EIT before becoming a professional engineer. Most people with this certification go on to obtain a P.Eng, after completing the necessary 4 years of experience.

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  • 4. certified engineering technologist (C.Tech / CET)

    There are two stages to the C.Tech program offered in Canada. Stage one is CET or Certified Engineering Technologist. Stage two is Certified Technician (or C.Tech). Both are recognized across Canada as the mark of a skilled engineer with a focus on technology.

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  • 5. computer aided design and drafting (CADD)

    A CADD certification proves you're knowledgeable and experienced with CAD software and drafting. Unlike several of the other certifications on this list, there is not one single governing body that oversees CADD certifications. Various colleges offer CADD certifications and diplomas.

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  • 6. electronic systems technician (EST)

    An EST certification showcases your expertise in the electrical discipline of engineering. ESTs are able to install, upgrade and service various residential and commercial electronic systems, and are in high demand in today's electronics-obsessed world.

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