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Overview of the Engineering Industry


BC is projected to have approximately 31,150 job openings from 2014-2024 for engineers, geoscientists, technologists and technicians. The supply may lag demand by as much as 10% from 2014 – 2019

Engineers, Geoscientists, Technologists and Technicians in B.C.: Engineering & Geoscience Labour Market Study

BC continues to show a strong economy, forecasting economic growth for the period 2016-2017 and beyond. Growth projections range from 2.4% to 2.8%:

  • Government of BC projects 2.4% growth in 2016, 2.3% in 2017 and 2.3% in 2018
  • the independent BC Economic Forecast Council projects 2.7% in 2016, 2.6% in 2017, and an average of 2.4% over the period 2018-20
  • the Business Council of BC projects growth of 2.8% in 2016

Unlike many other provinces that are suffering from the commodities slump, BC continues to show positive growth across many sectors of a diversified economy and is likely to top the provincial growth rankings for 2016.

In BC, the 25 top growth industries that fuel this strong economy include the following technology driven sectors that need qualified engineering professionals and technologists/technicians:

  • design & technical services
  • waste management & remediation
  • computer systems
  • oil & gas extraction
  • R&D
  • forest products manufacturing

Sources: Business Council of BC: BC’s Fastest Growing Industries [past fifteen years], Government of BC: Balanced Budget 2016

Forecast of Engineering Job Openings (2015-2024) & Projected Employment Gap: Engineers, Geoscientists, Technologists & Technicians

The report, Labour Market Information (2015-2024) Engineers, Geoscientists, Technologists and Technicians in B.C. forecasts that B.C. faces a considerable demand for new engineers, geoscientists, technologists and technicians over the next 10 years projecting a net of 11,555 new, additional jobs by 2024. With the addition of retirement, 31,150 job openings will need to be filled over the 10 years of the forecast (2015-2024).

Engineering/Geoscience Job Openings

From 2015 to 2019, labour market expansion will drive job openings. However, over the course of the 10- year period, retirement will account for the majority of job openings, with one quarter of workers today expected to retire and leave the labour market in the next decade. The rate of supply is expected to lag job openings throughout the entire 10-year outlook – up to 10 per cent in the first five years.

It is projected that by 2024, 52% of these openings will be filled by new graduates, 40% by new immigrants, 1% by inter-provincial mobility and 7% by inter-occupational mobility.

Anticipated Supply for Engineering & Geoscience Job Openings through 2024

Regional Distribution of Engineers*

84% in Lower Mainland, 1% in Northern BC, 6% in Southeastern BC, 9% in Vancouver Island Coast

(*14 engineering occupations)

Regional Distribution of Technologists/Technicians*:

71% in the Lower Mainland; 5% in Northern BC; 12% in Southeastern BC; and 12% in Vancouver Island Coast

(*16 Technologist and Technician occupations)

Source: Labour Market Information (2015-2024) Engineers, Geoscientists, Technologists and Technicians in B.C.: Engineering & Geoscience Labour Market Study
(Jointly published by Engineers & Geoscientists BC (formerly APEGBC), Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC), and the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table)

Occupations in the Engineering Industry

Over the years 2016 to 2025, migrant workers to the province are expected to fill 35 percent of the future labour supply additions.

BC 2025 Labour Market Outlook

engineering occupations

Technologists and Technicians Occupations

Engineering Industry: Top Occupations in Demand across BC regions:

 BC’s Top 100 High Opportunity Occupations, 2016-2025, shows the better 100 career prospects for job seekers in the province. These engineering and technology careers are included in the Top 100:

  • software engineers & designers
  • civil engineers
  • electrical & electronics engineers
  • mechanical engineers
  • computer engineers
  • electrical & electronic technologists & technicians
  • drafting technologists & technicians

The following table shows the projected job openings for these in-demand careers and the approximate percentage of openings that will be filled by migrants moving to BC (both international & interprovincial migrants):

Engineering Occupations Top 100 Better Career Prospects in BC

Sources: British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook [includes the top 100 opportunity occupations], Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2025 [provides the net in-migration breakdown]

Finding Jobs in the Engineering Industry

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in this industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Business in Vancouver. Book of Lists. “Biggest Engineering Firms in BC”
    Available at the Central Library 338.9711 B97b
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter the type of engineering work that is relevant to you, e.g. civil engineersormechanical engineersordrafting” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Additional Resources

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