Job prospects Civil Engineer in Ontario

Job opportunities for Civil engineers (NOC 2131) are fair in Ontario over the next 3 years. This job outlook is also applicable to people working as a civil engineer.

Note that the current 2019-2021 Employment Outlook was published in December 2019 based on information available at that time.

Job opportunities in Ontario

civil engineer
Outlook over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be fair for Civil engineers (NOC 2131) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions.
  • A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Just over half of these engineers work in the professional, scientific and technical services industry mainly in the architectural and engineering field. A smaller number of these professionals also work in public administration or construction. Civil engineers plan and design construction projects across the province.

Workers in the architectural, engineering and related services industry provide consulting services mainly to businesses and the public sector. Overall, there has been favourable demand for these consulting services, especially for high-level engineering needs. This may support job opportunities in this field as companies seek out services specializing in infrastructure rehabilitation, sustainability, geomatics, and natural hazards.

Over the next few years, these engineers should see fairly stable work because of sizeable investments in non-residential construction, particularly as a high share of municipal assets are in need of upgrades. For example, several large infrastructure projects are in the works or planned, such as highway expansions, institutional developments, and new transit systems across a number of municipalities in Ontario. In the residential market, higher population growth will continue to support activities chiefly for multi-unit and mixed-use condominium developments in some areas of the province. Yet regulatory changes, such as the new mortgage rules for federally regulated financial institutions, relatively higher interest rates, and the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), may soften some activities in the housing market and mitigate the potential level of opportunities for these professionals.

Technological changes are also affecting the civil engineering occupation. For example, structural engineers may be required to have new skills to support the development of 'Smart Buildings' which have more sensors, connected devices and are environmentally sustainable.

Generally, 'engineering' is a regulated occupation in Ontario. Individuals must be licensed by the appropriate regulatory body, the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) to practise 'professional' engineering in the province. However, not everyone working in engineering requires a licence, as this depends on the type of engineering work the individual is undertaking and the level of responsibility assigned. Employers though tend to recruit individuals in this occupation who are already licensed or eligible to be registered with the PEO.

Another common requirement is for 5 or more years' experience in a particular specialization such as, highway, municipal or structural engineering. Those with knowledge of drafting software such as AutoCAD, as well as project management experience may have more favourable job prospects. Several positions also seek civil engineers who can supervise staff and travel to various sites across the province. In addition, those with sound communication and soft skills will likely fare better in the labour market.

Bridging programs are available to help international engineering graduates (IEGs) integrate into this occupation in Ontario. An official association such as the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) is one of the sources available to obtain information on opportunities for related professional development, and networking activities.

Here are some key facts about Civil engineers in the Ontario region:

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