The construction industry is booming in Canada. The industry didn’t stop during the pandemic. Its resilience shined, creating more demand. This has created great career opportunities for people of all skills, trades, and backgrounds, including engineers. 

The demand for engineers to work in the construction industry is rising. Both civil and commercial construction are experiencing substantial growth, making it one of the hottest sectors in the country. The construction industry is expected to grow at a rate of 5% from 2019 to 2029. For engineers, this means there is a place for you in the construction industry.

there’s a place for engineers in construction
there’s a place for engineers in construction

what are the current construction growth trends?

We asked our expert recruiters to tell us about the top trends in construction engineering. They’ve identified several key trends affecting the construction industry. They include the need for professionals with professional engineering status and experience, prioritizing hiring more women and minority groups to fill labour shortages, the impact of tech and new ways to operate in the digital age.

what are the specific engineering fields currently offering the best job opportunities in construction?

The skills needed in the construction sector can vary significantly between horizontal (e.g., roads, bridges) and vertical (e.g., buildings, hospitals) construction, with little overlap between them. Location is also another consideration. Needs will vary depending on where you’re located in Canada. 

Hard skills have stayed the same, but there is an increasing need for civil design engineers with professional engineering status and those with commercial construction experience.

what are the most in-demand engineering roles and skills in construction? 

Demand is exceptionally high for civil and structural engineers, although there are abundant opportunities across various specialties like project management, estimation, and health and safety. Here, we highlight the most in-demand roles:

project engineers

Project engineers supervise the entirety of the construction process, with a specific focus on its engineering aspects. They monitor construction procedures to ensure compliance with both company and governmental regulations.

In today's job market, there's a high demand for engineers with strong leadership and problem-solving skills and experience in project oversight, budget management, risk assessment, and employee supervision.

  • technical skills: strategic planning, technology integration, risk management, digital literacy, agile methodology, strategic thinking

  • soft skills: emotional intelligence, change management, cross-functional collaboration, stakeholder engagement


There is a severe shortage of estimators across all construction sectors. Estimators create project cost estimates and factors such as materials, equipment, space and labour. Depending on the project size, the estimator may need to oversee the tendering process and make recommendations for subcontractor selection.  During a project, they track costs and make adjustments as necessary.

  • technical skills: project planning, data analytics, risk assessment, strategic thinking, using advanced technology

  • soft skills: communications, collaborative stakeholder engagement, continuous learning and development


Superintendent roles have evolved as the construction industry has changed over time. Today, it requires a broader skill set. Superintendents are essential in managing projects, fostering collaboration among team members, focusing on safety standards, and utilizing technology to streamline processes. Superintendents need to possess a diverse range of skills to excel. 

  • technical skills: safety and compliance, technological advancement, technological proficiency, sustainable construction practices

  • soft skills: leadership, adaptability, emotional intelligence, continuous learning

stand out in the engineering sector with these other tips

Check out our articles to gain new knowledge and skills that will help you stand out in this ever-changing field. 

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the labour shortage gap continues to grow

The ongoing labour shortage will continue to have significant and widespread effects. Its impacts on the construction sector are evident – there's a substantial shortage of skilled workers to fulfill the demand. The number of workers needed only increases as demand grows and the aging workforce retires. In Ontario alone, eighty thousand construction workers are expected to retire over the next decade. So, there is ample opportunity for engineers and other people to make their mark on the industry. 

“Due to a lack of available qualified candidates, 68% of construction firms surveyed are struggling to fill open positions. In order to meet the incoming demand for work, 69% of surveyed firms expect to increase headcount in the next year,” according to the 2024 engineering and construction industry outlook.”

hiring more women will be a crucial strategy to help close the labour shortage gap

Construction is a male-dominated industry. For example, men accounted for 88.8% of Ontario’s construction workforce in 2022. One way to help fill open positions is to focus on hiring more women. Construction companies are getting better at hiring women. According to Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey (LFS) data from June 2023, the number of women in construction increased by over 25,000 compared to June 2022. However, companies are struggling to retain women.

“One of the root causes for this retention issue is when women want to start a family. Looking ahead, we’ll start to see more career pathing and staggered shifts for individuals who are caregivers – with creative opportunities around how businesses support caregiving, and more hiring of returning mothers as part-time workers. In 2024 and beyond, we’ll start to see more meaningful interactions around creating better policies that will enable people to work within a timeframe that allows them to balance their lives a little bit better,” says Nolan Frazier, Regional Sales Director, Canada, Procore, on Electrical Industry News Week

what is the impact of immigration and international talent on reducing the labour shortage?

Newcomers and internationally trained talent are another option that could help close the talent gap in construction. As one of the most lucrative sectors in Canada, it's an attractive option for immigrants, especially those with transferable skill sets. 

However, there are a few roadblocks that need to be worked through. The first is that organizations need to consider more talent from other countries. They want more people with Canadian experience. And there’s a good reason for this. Skill and knowledge gaps exist in the field regarding things like industry standards.

There is an ongoing discussion about the impact of international talent on the engineering and construction field. While talent shortages exist in some specific roles, the ability to hire internationally depends on the role's transferability and compatibility with Canadian standards, such as building codes. Some roles, like design drafters, are more transferable, while others, like roles requiring knowledge of specific Canadian standards, may be more challenging to fill with international talent.

how can engineers distinguish themselves in the job market within the construction sector? 

Yes, there are a lot of open positions in construction. But engineers must still distinguish themselves to beat out other talent for jobs. One key is having professional engineering status. P.Eng status and years of experience can be an advantage. There is less emphasis on designations in specific sectors. 

Additionally, being client-facing is important despite specific areas of expertise. Roles such as project coordinators, site superintendents, project managers, estimators, and many others are all expected to be effective communicators and have client-facing skills. 

Many employers are seeking active experience with Health & Safety initiatives/teams. So experience in this area is an asset. 

work with Randstad, your partner for talent!

As Canada’s leading provider of recruitment solutions for engineering, Randstad works closely with its construction industry partners to understand their staffing needs and opportunities. When you meet with our engineering recruiters, your business gains access to Canada’s top engineering and construction talent.

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