Civil and transport projects construction projects have emerged as the primary focus of job opportunities for engineers in Australia, a new report suggests.

In the July to September edition of its quarterly report, recruitment outfit Hays says that whilst resource associated work continues to drop back, opportunities for engineers throughout the nation are continuing to open up amid a good range of road, rail and other infrastructure projects in eastern states.

“The civil market is the main focus of Australia’s engineering sector at present, with considerable infrastructure development already taking place or on the drawing board across the public and private sectors, particularly in NSW but also Queensland, Victoria and the ACT,” Hays said in its report.

“Demand for civil talent is expected to continue for the next three to five years.”

Across Australia, the job market for engineers has been softer in recent times as work associated with the resources boom has dried up.

Over the past year or so, however demand has picked up amid a 74 per cent surge in dollar value of road and projects over the 12 months to March compared with the 12 months to March, 2016.

That has seen job vacancy numbers for civil engineers and draftspeople jump from 161 as at May last year to 286 in May of this year.

Going forward, strong conditions in this area are likely to continue going forward amid a record pipeline of work yet to be done on road transport and a growing pipeline of rail projects. Oopportunities are likely to decline, however, in other areas such as resources, water and electricity. where the pipeline of work is running dry and amid the possibility that work on building projects might slow down if and when the apartment building boom abates.

In its report, Hays said New South Wales was the biggest hotspot, especially with regard to road projects, and that this was creating demand for civil engineers with road and urban development experience as well as demand for 12D designers for work on urban developments.

In terms of building services, hydraulics engineers and consultants are being sought and there is a lack of suitably qualified personnel in this area amid a preference for mechanical and electrical engineering amongst candidates.

Revit drafters who understand how to build and adapt models quickly are also in demand across a range of projects throughout industry, Hays said.

Whilst employers increasing seek candidates with a strong understanding of key client entities and how they function (such as RMS and Sydney Water), suitable candidates from outside Sydney are also being recruited and interest in overseas candidates is growing.

In Queensland, meanwhile, whilst resource related work is dropping back, employers are focusing on civil infrastructure work and are seeking civil engineers, drafters and designers with experience in local or state authority projects – candidates who are often in short supply due to higher levels of salary on offer for these types of roles in New South Wales and Victoria.

Candidates working in civil design and drafting are also sought after as are structural engineers for bridge design, civil refurbishments and residential projects. Building services candidates are also in need for work on commercial and large residential building projects.

In South Australia, meanwhile, opportunities are being created for drafters with skills in 12D and Revit largely for temporary roles as well as senior structural engineers and senior civil engineers with Adelaide consultancy experience.

Finally, in other states, civil and structural design engineers, Revit drafters, CAD operators and 12D operators with relevant infrastructure demand are in high demand within the NT, whilst mechanical engineers and fire protection engineers and fire protection engineers are in demand in the ACT whereby increasing levels of staff turnover have driven opportunities within business services disciplines.

Hays does not give specific reports in this area for Victoria, Western Australia or Tasmania.