Job prospects Civil Engineer in Canada

People working as a civil engineer have different job prospects depending on where they work in Canada. Find out what the future holds for them in your province or territory. These prospects are applicable to all Civil engineers (NOC 2131).

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities over the next 3 years

Explore future job prospects by province and territory.

Location Job prospects
Newfoundland and Labrador Fair Fair
Prince Edward Island Good Good
Nova Scotia Fair Fair
New Brunswick Good Good
Quebec Fair Fair
Ontario Fair Fair
Manitoba Fair Fair
Saskatchewan Fair Fair
Alberta Fair Fair
British Columbia Good Good
Yukon Territory Good Good
Northwest Territories Undetermined Undetermined
Nunavut Undetermined Undetermined
Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

Labour market conditions over the next 10 years

Take a closer look at the projected labour demand and supply for this occupation over the 2019-2028 period. For more information on future job trends, go to the Canadian Occupational Projections System.


SURPLUS: This occupational group is expected to face labour surplus conditions over the period of 2019-2028 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.

Employment in 2018


Median age of workers in 2018


Average retirement age in 2018


Detailed analysis

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

Over the 2016-2018 period, employment in this occupational group increased at a pace similar to the national average. This was reflected in a small decline of its unemployment rate, remaining well below the average of all occupations. Investments in government infrastructure (roads, sewers, water systems, etc.) over the past couple of years led to a significant increase in employment in this occupation, following the slump that resulted from the dive of oil related investments in 2014. The number of unemployed workers per job vacancy decreased over the period, due both to the lower unemployment rate and to an increase in the job vacancy rate. However, this decrease was comparable to the improvement in labour market conditions seen across the country. Hence, the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group over the 2016-2018 period.

For Civil engineers, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 18,900 , while 26,500 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

Although this occupational group has had a balanced market in recent years, projected job seekers are expected to be substantially higher than job openings, creating a surplus of workers over the 2019-2028 period. Retirements and job growth are expected to contribute to the majority of job openings. The retirement rate will be similar to the average of all occupations as these workers tend to have a similar age structure to that of all occupations and tend to retire at a similar age. Retirements are projected to represent about 53% of all openings, a proportion that is below the average of all occupations (about 59% of openings). Additionally, employment growth is expected to be similar to the average of all occupations. As a result, job creation will contribute about 33% of the total job openings. The need for road networks and public infrastructure are still significant. It is therefore expected that the level of activity in civil engineering will be sustained over the projection period, although at a slower pace than in the past. Hence, the projected surplus conditions are not a result of weak demand, but rather due to strong projections of labour supply. Indeed, the majority of job seekers are expected to come directly from the school system. Given the increased enrolment in post-secondary programs, the number of school leavers is expected to increase in comparison to what was seen over the 2009-2018 period. In fact, the projected number of engineering graduates alone is projected to be substantially larger than the number of total job openings, given the popularity of engineering programs. Immigrants are also expected to be a major source of labour supply in this occupation. This is largely because foreigners in this occupational group coming from countries with a free trade agreement with Canada might be eligible to work in Canada, simplifying their entry and permanency in the country. Given the oversupply of workers, a significant number of workers will seek opportunities in other related professions, such as in related engineering occupations and managers. However, this negative mobility will not be sufficient to offset the large number of school leavers and immigrants, creating a surplus of workers.

Source Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC

Labour Market Information Survey
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