the hottest engineering jobs of 2017

the hottest engineering jobs of 2017

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In Canada, engineering is a candidate-driven field. Like many STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), the engineering sector is on the verge of a labour crisis. An estimated 20% of engineers are 55 and over (the average age of an engineer in Canada is 42.) With a large percentage of the workforce nearing retirement, the field is looking for an infusion of fresh, young talent. The good news is that means there’s lots of potential for young engineers to make their mark and rapidly advance into senior roles.

Despite setbacks over the last couple years (like a steep drop off in oil prices, which slowed economic growth in the engineering sector to a crawl) experts predict a stronger 2017. Rebounding oil prices will mean more investment in construction, manufacturing and infrastructure across Canada. With lots of high-profile projects on the horizon, engineers will have plenty of exciting opportunities to choose from.

In terms of emerging engineering trends, the emphasis is on automation and efficiency in 2017. With the aid of technological advances, engineers are seeking out ways to reduce waste, and improve quality and sustainability. Advancements in building materials, automated processes, energy conservation, and advanced drafting and prototyping software (including 3D printing) have made it possible for lean engineering teams to streamline and increase their output, while maintaining a high level of quality.


the hottest engineering careers in 2017

As a whole, engineers are in steady demand. With a post-secondary education in an engineering field and a Professional Engineer (P.Eng) certification under your belt, your employment prospects are excellent. Though virtually all engineering specialties are experiencing labour shortages in Canada, specialties related to mechanical and electrical engineering are currently the most in demand, followed closely by civil engineers.


demand for engineers across canada

Canada is home to just under 250,000 engineers. At any given time there are about 8,300 engineering jobs on the market. It takes recruiters an average of 49 days to fill an engineering position, making them one of the slower jobs to fill. This indicates a candidate-driven market – good news for freshly-minted engineers looking for employment!  

Cities that have a strong manufacturing presence tend to have the strongest demand for engineers. Central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) are currently the top job markets, however Vancouver isn’t far behind. Surprisingly, Alberta is one of the tougher markets to find employment in. The high number of applicants per job indicates intense competition between qualified candidates. The weak job market in Alberta can be chalked up to the sluggish oil and gas market. As oil prices recover throughout 2017, expect to see Alberta’s need for engineers pick up.

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average engineering salaries in canada

The median annual salary for engineers is $72,000, just barely below the average household income in Canada. According to Statistics Canada’s last census, the average family income was $78,870. The nation’s highest paid engineers reside in Alberta, though it’s possible to make a competitive salary just about anywhere in Canada.

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hot engineering skills to add to your resume in 2017

It should come as no surprise that a Professional Engineer (P.Eng) designation is one of the most sought after engineering certifications. P.Eng is a widely recognized, provincially-regulated designation that verifies your skill as an engineer. Educational requirements and several years of work experience are required. While going through the process of becoming a professional engineer, you’ll be considered an Engineer in Training (EIT.) Other in demand skills focus on your knowledge of industry standard software such as AutoCAD and other computer aided design programs.

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industries where engineering professionals are in demand

Though historically engineering has been associated with the construction and oil and gas sectors, the current engineering job market in Canada is dominated by the manufacturing industry.  Manufacturers look for engineers with specialties in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and process engineering, among others, to increase output and productivity. Other industries actively recruiting engineers include: professional services (mostly consulting firms), wholesale, construction and waste management.

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