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Jobs outlook: Engineering jobs
There’s no doubt that engineering is experiencing a very high level of demand across the country and this growth is being driven by more than the mining and resources sector this time around. Available engineering jobs are therefore numerous, giving those with skills in the sector a huge advantage when it comes to finding a suitable role, and the ability to again negotiate attractive salary packages has returned post the mining boom.
At Michael Page, we pride ourselves on being in touch with a number of the country’s largest engineering employers, and for keeping on top of the latest news and updates in the sector. It’s our goal to match suitable engineering professionals with positions across Australia, and we fulfil that goal every day.
Take a look at some of the current trends in the engineering market, and what the outlook is for the industry.
The current engineering industry in Australia
The Engineering Vacancies Report, published by Engineers Australia, has highlighted key trends in the industry. In June 2018, there were 4308 vacancies recorded for engineers, with recent growth slowing and dropping back slightly. The majority of vacancies in all jurisdictions is for civil engineers, except for Western Australia where it is for mining engineers, and the ACT with ICT support and test engineers.
Engineering job vacancy numbers are still led by NSW, which recorded over 1300 vacancies in June 2018. However, engineering vacancies in the state have fallen 5.4 per cent over the first six months of 2018. This is followed by Victoria, which recorded over 1000 vacancies for June 2018. Queensland had over 900 vacancies, and South Australia had 212 vacancies over this period.
While WA recorded solid growth of 746 vacancies in June 2018, there was a drop in numbers from the 790 vacancies recorded in April. Tasmania’s vacancies grew to 35 and the ACT also experienced an increase with 85 vacancies. The Northern Territory fell to 49 vacancies.
One industry expert suggested that there were more than 12,000 new roles advertised throughout Australia in 2017, driven largely by major infrastructure projects such as Sydney’s WestConnex, which is currently the largest in the country.
With the eastern seaboard experiencing a construction boom which is aimed at delivering much needed infrastructure that is so badly needed across the states after decades of under investment and population growth. This is heavily focused on Road and Rail projects with the major investment being in the Newcastle to Wollongong corridor. South Australia is being driven by demand for engineering professionals in the defence sector while Victoria and Queensland are also undertaking major Rail projects in the Melbourne Metro and Cross River Rail. From a national perspective Inland Rail is the biggest project of its kind in decades which will integrate the entire mainland freight network and provide a key driver of regional based growth.
Queensland and WA have experienced a strong bounce back from the mining sector which has flowed through to equipment suppliers with key skills around mechanical design and project engineering – this is demonstrated in WA where they have recorded 13 months of consecutive growth in advertised roles across the resources sector. Further to this with the Australian dollar sustaining its level and demand from Asia the manufacturing sector has seen strong growth within automation and process improvement
Our own Salary & Employment Outlook shows the major reasons for current engineering professionals moving on to new work included factors such as looking for a new challenge, and finding that remuneration has stagnated in their current roles.
Future forecasts for the Australian engineering sector
So which engineering branch is best for the future and will current booming trends continue?
According to the Australian government’s Jobs Outlook initiative, it’s expected this industry will continue to grow strongly over the coming years. As many as 11,000 new job openings for engineering managers are expected to arise between 2017 and 2022 due to existing workers leaving their roles, and new positions being created.
Our own outlook data suggests the focus for engineering jobs moving forward will be on transport and infrastructure projects with demand in the resources sector coming from areas such as maintenance, reliability and operations areas predominantly.
What engineering fields are in demand?
With so much growth, there’s demand for most engineering jobs in Australia. Interestingly, we’ve seen a greater demand for professionals with soft skills to complement their technical capabilities in the industry, in particular those who can interact comfortably with stakeholders and clients. In terms of specific roles, there’s an extremely high demand for technicians across all sectors – in particular those with automation exposure at this time. Rail engineers across all areas are also in very high demand alongside greater diversity in candidates being represented in order to drive a more balanced workforce.If you’re currently looking for new engineering jobs in Australia, get in touch with Aaron Bambrick or the team at Michael Page today.