The high demand for civil engineers, surveyors and construction professionals in Australia will continue until at least early 2026.
2023 will be a year of exceptional employment opportunities for those involved in delivering major infrastructure projects across all Australian states. With most of these projects located in Victoria and New South Wales, large and small construction companies will compete fiercely to attract the best candidates to join their teams.
Engineering job vacancies are at a ten-year high. In 2021, the number of engineering jobs advertised increased by 50% in Australia. The situation for Surveyors is no different. We are in a candidate-driven market, and this is great news for those who are looking to progress in their career, relocate, get a pay rise or better working conditions.
Why are Engineers in demand in Australia?
The high demand for Engineers is driven by unprecedented investment in large and complex public infrastructure projects, maintenance of infrastructure assets such as roads, bridges, and ports, and the increasing need for sustainable solutions in areas like waste management and water supply. Population growth, urbanization, and the rapid development of new industries such as renewable energy are also driving the demand for skilled engineers.
The projected demand growth is primarily driven by major projects, which make up about 70% of demand. The five-year pipeline of major public infrastructure projects is valued at $237 billion – an increase of $15 billion in the last 12 months and equivalent to 6.7% growth. Transport projects account for 63% of spending and are concentrated in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland (84% of spend).
Key infrastructure projects in Australia include:
- Bruce Highway
- Geelong Fast Rail
- Great Western Highway Upgrade – Katoomba to Lithgow – Construction of East and West Sections
- M1 Pacific Motorway Extension to Raymond Terrace
- M80 Ring Road Upgrade
- Melbourne Airport Rail Link
- Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail
- Midland Highway
- Monash Freeway
- Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Precinct
- Northern Australia Roads Program and Northern Australia Beef Roads Program
- North East Link
- North-South Corridor
- Outback Way
- South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication
- Suburban Roads Upgrades – South Eastern and Northern Roads
- Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport
- Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan
Why is there a shortage of Civil Engineers in Australia?
Australia is currently experiencing an acute shortage of infrastructure workforce that includes many engineering professions. This shortage is driven by a number of factors, including an aging population of engineers, strong demand for engineering skills in the construction and mining industries, and a lack of interest among young people in pursuing careers in engineering.
Australia’s engineering workforce has always been reliant on two supply channels: Australians who choose to study engineering and skilled migrant engineers. Unfortunately, fewer young people choose engineering as a career path, and the supply of skilled migrant engineers was severely disrupted when Australia’s borders closed for two years during the COVID pandemic. As a result, the supply from both channels has been decreasing at a time when the demand has been increasing.
Interestingly enough, according to Engineers Australia, there is also a percentage of domestic Engineers (around 35%) who upon graduation choose not to enter the profession.
Finally, Australia has a very low number of women studying and choosing engineering as a career path. While women comprise 48 per cent of Australia’s workforce, only 16% are university-level engineering students, and 13% are working engineers (Source: Engineers Australia). Women are only one of the groups that are currently underrepresented in the construction sector.
According to the latest report by Infrastructure Australia, in 2023, the lack of a skilled workforce will be the single biggest issue faced by construction companies in Australia.
As of October 2022, public infrastructure projects, including small capital projects, face a shortage of 214,000 skilled workers. In 2023 alone, demand is projected to increase by 42,000 workers to a peak of 442,000. This is more than double the projected available supply, which will grow by just 8,000 individuals during the year.
Workforce shortages are placing huge pressure on construction companies. According to Engineers Australia, job vacancies in engineering alone have risen by 176 per cent in the past two years.
What is being done to alleviate engineering skill shortages?
The government of Australia, universities and professional bodies have attempted to address the issue by encouraging more young people and women to consider careers in engineering. The government is also introducing more flexible immigration policies, which will make it easier for engineers from other countries to work in Australia.
It’s worth mentioning that this shortage is not just in Australia but worldwide, as the demand for engineering skills continues to grow in most economies, and the supply of engineers cannot keep pace.
Employment opportunities for Civil Engineers in 2023
In 2022, we had a record number of vacancies to fill. Our Clients ranged from smaller, highly specialist companies to large, international contractors. Most of our jobs were along the East Coast of Australia. We witnessed many clients going to great lengths to secure top talent, offering great pay, flexible working conditions, relocation packages and career progression options. In 2023, we are confident these hiring trends will continue. Great news!
To make the most of 2023’s exceptional employment market, ask yourself the following questions:
✔️ What are my career goals for 2023?
✔️ Is my current job fulfilling?
✔️ Could another job help me advance my career?
✔️ Have I explored the opportunities that exist in the current employment market?
✔️ Could I earn more in the same role but with a different employer?
✔️ Am I ready for a change?
If you are ready to take your career to the next level, you can view our current vacancies here. Alternatively, contact our Recruiters on LinkedIn to schedule a confidential chat.
Please note that we receive a high number of applications from international Candidates. As a result, we are unable to provide feedback to each applicant. If you haven’t received a phone call from us within two weeks of submitting your CV, please accept your application was unsuccessful.
At ConsultANZ we recruit exclusively for the Civil Engineering and Construction industries across Australia and New Zealand. Unlike other recruitment agencies which service many sectors, we focus on finding the best local and international engineering, construction and surveying candidates for our clients.
If you are an Employer struggling to find staff for your current and upcoming projects, we have the answer to your staffing struggles:
- We have pre-vetted, qualified, and pre-interviewed Civil Engineering, Surveying and Construction Candidates from offshore waiting for your offer.
- We know the visa process in detail and have long-term immigration partners to assist you.
- We can help you compete with the big companies in securing top international talent.
We utilise a broad range of advertising and attraction methodologies, both nationally and internationally to source ‘best fit’ candidates for roles and do so irrespective of position or candidate location.
With over 15,000 visits to our website each month, over 115,000 followers on LinkedIn and more than 50,000 newsletter subscribers, we can find the engineering staff you require so you can concentrate on your priority: running your business.
Reach out to our Director Peter Laver on LinkedIn to find out about tailored solutions we can offer you.
Source: Infrastructure Australia Market Capacity Report 2022 © Infrastructure Australia 2022 (changes have been made)
Source: Australian Government
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