Engineers in civil sectors such as highways, bridges, tunnelling are in significant demand across several states within Australia as the boom in infrastructure investment continues to gather momentum, a new report suggests.

In the report, recruitment outfit Hays says demand for engineers remains strong amid high levels of investment in major infrastructure projects.

Leading the way is Queensland, where Hays says steady levels of growth which were apparent in 2016 will continue throughout 2017 as a strong housing market drives subdivision activity and the commercial market remains buoyant whilst the Gold Coast remains busy with Commonwealth Games infrastructure work and the upgrade of storm water council assets.

Heading south, Hays says markets are active in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

In the former two markets, demand is being driven by road and rail projects, with employers in New South Wales demonstrating a willingness to hire candidates without local knowledge.

In Victoria, a significant number of road and rail projects along with a high volume of subdivision activity is keeping civil activity strong. The building services market is also active amid a high number of residential and commercial developments.

Suitable candidates who possess both technical knowledge and client management abilities are difficult to find, Hays says.

Elsewhere, employers in Western Australia are generally holding off hiring until projects are awarded and in some cases, are seconding workers on interstate projects whilst the focus in the Northern Territory was largely around civil and infrastructure design.

In terms of skills, according to Hays:

  • 12d designers are in demand in response to an active market in New South Wales
  • Civil engineers are needed across virtually every state especially in urban development and for work such as roads, pavements and stormwater to go with new building in New South Wales as well as road and infrastructure projects in South Australia and residential subdivision projects in Queensland.
  • Traffic and highway and bridge engineers are needed for major road projects in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia
  • Structural engineers are needed particularly with current REPQs and recent commercial and/or multi-residential experiences in Queensland as well as in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
  • Storm water engineers are needed on the Gold Coast amid commitments on the part of the council there to upgrade stormwater assets.

In terms of candidate trends, Hays advises employers that desire on the part of civil candidates to learn 12d is so strong that some will accept positions which provide training in this over and above those which offer higher salaries but no training.

Whilst some candidates will look for roles which offer exposure to larger projects, meanwhile, the recruitment group says others want to join smaller consultancies whereby they can influence the growth and direction of the practice in question.