Engineering is a noble profession that comes with prestige and tradition . However, one of the challenges of entering the field or changing jobs is finding employment. Which disciplines will be easier to find employment and where will the jobs be located?
For many, the questions are:
Many disciplines within engineering such as civil and electrical are experiencing high growth across Canada. Mechanical and computer engineers will experience more difficulty finding employment opportunities.
Most engineering jobs are located within the metropolitan areas within Alberta and Ontario. The Geoscientist job market will be average in most of Canada, with the most favorable markets in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
According to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) , the demand for engineers will continue to increase through 2022. The drivers are predicted to be investments in large capital projects and infrastructure improvements along with expected retirement rates.
ESDC predicts a shortage of civil, electrical, and aerospace engineers. However, the current supply will meet the demand for chemical, industrial and manufacturing, metallurgical and materials, mining, geological, and petroleum engineerings. Mechanical and computer engineering are projected to be in a labour surplus due to graduating engineers as well as a surge of immigration.
ALBERTA ENGINEERING JOBS
The employment picture in Alberta is positive for many engineering disciplines. According to Alberta’s Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook for 2013-2023, the shortage of qualified engineers will continue to grow through 2023.
This growth will mostly involve civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering. These are the disciplines that are generally employed in the oil and gas industry. According to the 2014 APEGGA Salary Survey, an engineer or geoscientist in Alberta can expect an average salary ranging from $74,000 for a Member-In-Training to $265,000 for an Executive Management position.
ENGINEERING IN CALGARY
In Calgary, the fields with the greatest growth potential are Civil and Mechanical Engineering. Along with an increase in demand, there are expected to be a significant number of retirees with fewer graduates entering the job market within these disciplines.
According to the Government Job Bank the Aerospace, Electrical, Chemical, and Geological Engineering fields in Calgary employ very few people, and available jobs are limited. For Geologists, Geochemists, and Geophysicists, the job growth will be lower than average, but they will be competing against fewer unemployed workers.
ENGINEERING IN EDMONTON
The Job Bank lists Civil, Electrical, Petroleum, and Mechanical Engineering disciplines as above average job potential in Edmonton for the same reasons as in Calgary. Mechanical Engineering employment opportunities will grow at an average rate but will have fewer people retiring compared to the other categories, leaving fewer positions available.
Chemical Engineering is expected to show below-average growth with few current jobs and a small group of retirees. The projected job market for Geoscientists in Edmonton will be similar to Calgary with weak job growth but fewer unemployed workers.
ONTARIO ENGINEERING JOBS
Due to large investments in infrastructure, transit, and renewable energy projects, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities predicts that Ontario will provide many employment opportunities for Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineers in the coming years.
Not only in Toronto and Ottawa, but small cities and rural areas will be in short supply of experienced and licensed engineers. Low growth is expected for the Geosciences in Ontario with graduating Geoscientists facing high competition. For experienced Geoscientists, it will be easier to find employment opportunities.
Engineers in Ontario make an average of $64,000 for Engineers-In-Training up to $165,000 for Executive positions in 2013 according to the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. Note this survey is a year older than Alberta's and tough to compare.
ENGINEERING IN TORONTO
As with the rest of the province, Toronto will be focusing on infrastructure improvements, making the city a great place for Civil and Mechanical Engineers to find potential employment. With a sizable concentration of engineering, architectural, and construction firms located in Toronto, over 50% of Ontario engineers are employed in the city. Power and energy industries are also well-represented, creating a demand for Mechanical and Electrical Engineers.
ENGINEERING IN OTTAWA
The construction of the light-rail system, stations, and networks in Ottawa will place experienced Civil and Mechanical Engineers in high demand. Ottawa offers a high concentration of tech companies and research facilities, creating a large demand for Computer Engineers. However, with several educational institutions in the area and a younger workforce not soon retiring, there is more competition for the available jobs.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Large projects across Canada will result in growth in demand for most of the engineering fields. The demand growth along with high retirement rates will create many available engineering jobs. However, with new graduates and an influx of immigration, competition in many disciplines will fill the jobs quickly.
Of the disciplines, Civil Engineers will be the most sought after throughout the country, with Electrical Engineers a close second. Mechanical Engineers will be in high demand, but with lower retirement rates and a large number of graduates, the field will be more competitive. Jobs within Chemical, Aerospace, and Geological Engineering in Alberta and Ontario will be harder to find. Computer Engineers will be able to find employment more readily in Ottawa, but will face tougher competition.
I hope that gives you a great overview of engineering employment in Canada. There is of course a lot more than employment to be considered in such a decision. I highly encourage you to talk with as many people as you can.