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October - December 2015

New South Wales

In New South Wales we’re seeing strong vacancy activity thanks to a busy transport market, civil and structural design projects and major residential development and hospital projects.

Companies are looking for candidates with large projects exposure on their CV as well as a strong network. Typically candidates gain these by working in a large organisation, and consequently experience with a major player is very advantageous.

We’re seeing more outsourcing within the market. From commercial project requirements to specific consulting groups, companies are utilising consulting firms.

Companies are also offering internships, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. In doing so, they can identify strong entry-level talent before they graduate. Similarly to the situation in architecture firms, if an intern performs well they often receive a permanent job offer.

This quarter employers will be focusing their recruitment efforts on the areas of design, mechanical and electrical, as well as civil design for large projects. Candidates who can show strong CAD skills will also be viewed highly.

In terms of skills in demand, we are seeing a great need for Design and Project Engineers due to the large amount of government infrastructure spending currently happening in the state coupled with major overseas investment.

Graduate Engineers are also sought. Organisations have a large pipeline of work which is allowing them to grow their business. As a result they want to develop and train entry-level members of staff.

Team Managers/Leads who can manage design teams are another area of demand. Some employers have won larger work but do not always have the management capabilities to run both their current workload and upcoming projects. This is creating demand for Team Managers and Leads. Employers want candidates with management capabilities and experience.


In South East Queensland commercial construction continues to drive vacancies across building services in consultancies. Due to increased activity, demand is high for skilled engineers and designers across building services and structures for high-rise commercial projects.

However the construction boom in Sydney and across New South Wales has seen a lot of talented candidates from Queensland move south. As a result, employers in Queensland are now undertaking initiatives to coax candidates back.

In Queensland Hydraulic Engineers with QBCC qualifications are needed. Queensland companies continue to seek skilled and licensed professionals to sign-off design and engineering plans for commercial, health and defence projects.

Electrical & Mechanical Engineers with building services experience are in demand from companies due to the large number of commercial and residential tower projects planned for development in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Employers are looking for Engineers with strong interpersonal and communication skills. Strong technical skills are still vital but employers also look for candidates who they can put in a room with clients, Architects and Project Managers and who are articulate and can foster client relationships to continue winning work.

Structural Engineers with experience on high-rise commercial and multi-residential projects are in high demand as the skyline continues to grow and further high-rise developments are approved across SEQ.

Senior Civil Designers and Registered Cadastral Surveyors are also sought due to continued expansions and growth of land development and residential subdivisions across SEQ. Over the past few years many skilled civil engineers, surveyors and designers relocated to NSW and Victoria following the large number of infrastructure projects funded in the southern states. Today 12D, MX, Civil 3D Designers are increasingly in demand as projects are scheduled to commence in Queensland in 2016 and companies are facing skill shortages as these professionals are still engaged on interstate projects.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, there are a number of transport projects in tender stage and state government bids are being submitted. Once these are assessed and awarded vacancy activity will increase.

Until then, building services is seeing some major government buildings moving into commissioning and handover. There is still a lot of detailed design within the government and retail sectors which should run for the next six to 12 months.

Heavy industry is improving with a few movements in the market and some willingness to revisit shelved studies.

In the environmental sector contract roles dominate, while more environmental positions are merging with the health and safety function to create a combined HSE role.

Water is a little busier with tenders being drawn up for a couple of projects. Again, the market has a contract focus. Certain specific design programs within the water and wastewater industry are desirable.

In terms of skills in demand in Western Australia, Civil Engineers with strong highways design experience are sought to work on a number of transport projects in tender stage. For similar reasons, Structural Engineers with a background in bridge design are needed.

Building services Design Engineers with strong post graduate experience continue to be in high demand due to their ability to work autonomously while being highly billable.

South Australia

South Australia’s market is presenting more opportunities than we saw 12 months ago. More projects are gaining approval in civil, while apartment and high-rise projects continue to be strong, although some more significant buildings projects have been delayed.

Consultancies are cautiously reviewing CVs of quality candidates. While contract roles are still utilised heavily, the permanent market will be stronger than it was last year.

In South Australia 12D Civil Designers with highways design experience are in high demand. These candidates are in short supply since many relocated interstate to work on larger projects.

Structural Engineers with forensic exposure are also sought. This is a niche area with a small talent pool, although it is being augmented by people coming out of Western Australia.

The demand for high quality Revit Operators across electrical, mechanical and hydraulics continues. This will remain the case until the number of trained and proficient candidates catches up with the evolving demands of the market.

Hydraulics Designers with Revit and Fire Services Designers with Revit are in extreme demand. Employers in the eastern states offer higher rates and so have attracted these professionals away from the local market.

Civil Engineers across highways and land development are also sought as the market shifts from buildings projects to more civil work.


Vacancy activity is increasing in the Australian Capital Territory. In particular, we are seeing a need for engineers in the building services sector. People are changing jobs, and gaps are emerging in some teams.

Often employers are looking for the same people at the same time. In such a small market as Canberra, this can cause challenges for employers who want to source local candidates.

Overall, Canberra continues to see a major candidate shortage.

In the ACT, Hydraulic Drafters with Revit experience are needed. However there is a candidate shortage and Revit skills are very hard to come by.

Hydraulic Engineers are needed too. The increase in large commercial building projects is creating a need for building services experts, but with a number of consultancies looking for these candidates, and a shortage of suitable talent, demand is high.

Mechanical Engineers are in short supply. These professionals are being poached from other consultancies for their skills and this is leaving gaps in teams.

Civil Infrastructure Engineers are sought given the increased number of projects in Canberra.

Finally, 3D or 12D Civil Drafters are needed since designs are requested by clients in 3D.


Victoria's engineering market continues to grow steadily thanks to continued investment in building related projects, particularly residential, education and healthcare. Victoria’s boom in high-rise apartment buildings is keeping engineering consultancies and builders alike very busy.

In addition, government funding for four major civil infrastructure projects is filtering through and recruitment for the planning and engineering development of these projects is starting to build momentum.

Employers still prefer to recruit contractors rather than permanent staff, but as market confidence builds we will see more permanent positions becoming available.

In Victoria we are seeing a shortage of Transport Engineers, Inroads Designers, Highway/Civil Design Engineers and Structural Engineers as well as registered building practitioners. Demand is also high for Traffic Engineers and Revit Drafters.

Candidate trends

In terms of candidate trends, job seekers are focused on building strong networks. Far more people are attending networking events. The use of LinkedIn is increasing for engineering professionals, and candidates are also focused on improving their CVs. For CV advice and social media tips for your next job search, please visit the career advice page of our website.

In addition, candidates in areas of high demand have regained their confidence and are looking for salary increases. This is most notable for those candidates who are considering short-term contracts.


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