Fast Facts for Hiring Engineering Talent in 2023.


January 5, 2023

In the future there will be greater diversity of engineering work. Solutions will be more holistic as the work becomes more digitally oriented, complex and multidisciplinary. 

Job Opportunities in Engineering

The number of engineering vacancies in Australia is projected to increase by 27 000 over the next 5 years, which is a 14% increase. Much of this growth is expected to be created by population driven economic expansion. But also also by the massive government investment in infrastructure required to rebound from the pandemic. More engineers are also required to respond to climate change, shape a net-zero carbon world and build back in a wiser, more resilient and sustainable way. By 2030, it is predicted Australia will need an additional 100,000 engineers.

The Engineering Talent Pool

Over 340,000 people in Australia have a University qualification in engineering. Of the qualified population, 82% (277 807 people) were in the labour force, either working or looking for work. The number of females participating in the engineering industry is increasing slowly, but currently about 12% percent of working engineers in Australia are women.

Engineering Job Opportunities for Women

Women are one of the largest under-represented pools of talent in engineering and organisations will need to continue to remove the barriers and disadvantages that impact negatively on attracting and retaining women at all levels of seniority in the engineering industry. A gender pay gap of nearly 10% exists for women as compared to men.

Engineering Job Opportunities for Migrant Engineers

Currently, less than 50% of overseas-born qualified engineers living in Australia, are employed in engineering roles. To address the skills shortage facing the engineering profession,  more support is needed for these migrant engineers to break into the domestic employment market. Employers in Australia are increasingly hiring qualified migrant engineers, recognising the many benefits the collective talent pool offers. More work needs to be done. In the future, it’s likely that qualified migrant engineers will benefit from better defined employment pathways and receive more support from employers and industry bodies to secure relevant employment. 

Engineering Jobs are Changing

In the future there will be greater diversity of engineering work. More holistic and systems approaches will be increasingly valued as the work becomes more complex and multidisciplinary. Technical skills, big picture and systems thinking, creativity, collaboration, innovation, resilience, digital intelligence (robotics, AI, digital tech etc), will be among the personal attributes employers will be looking for.

Key Attraction Factors for Recruiting Engineers

Private and public sector employers of engineers should focus on the following key attraction factors when trying to attract engineerting talent:

  • Professional development opportunities
  • Remuneration
  • Location
  • Company culture
  • Social purpose
  • Challenge / job satisfaction
  • Quality of management 
  • Work/life balance
  • Flexibility, including work from home
  • Parental leave
  • Prospects and opportunities for promotion
  • Job security

Engineers’ Remuneration

In 2021-2022, there has been modest wage growth in the engineering industry, at 1.6%, which is ahead of the cost of living. Many engineers from a variety of different sectors, believe that the modest wage growth in engineering does not reflect the level of responsibility undertaken or the important role engineers play in building the nation’s critical infrastructure and growth. This may also be a disincentive for the next generation of women and men to enter the engineering workforce. In 2021, increases in total remuneration have been more noticeable in high demand disciplines, including civil engineering, electrical engineersin and in high-demand industries like defence, education, roads, construction and water.

The engineering challenges ahead require both women and men, who are both equally capable of being the designers, creators, innovators, and leaders of tomorrow.