Technical & Engineering Recruitment Market Commentary – October 2016

Generally, the demand for the recruitment of engineering and technical professionals has been progressing quite well over the past quarter, without “jumping out of it’s skin.” Companies in most industry sectors appear to feel comfortable making investment decisions which will lead to hiring. Interestingly, a 117% increase in the coal price over just 3 months is expected to add 2% to national income over the current financial year, boost the federal budget by $7 billion and re-start wages growth – this is a significant event which should have positive implications for hiring across many industries in Australia.

Following are more specific observations of some of the key engineering and technical markets in which we operate.

Building & Mechanical Services

We have experienced continued strong demand on the contractor side for HVAC and refrigeration service technicians, project engineers and managers. Service technicians with mechanical and A-grade electrical qualifications, known as dual trade technicians are in particularly high demand. This is applicable for both the commercial and domestic HVAC sectors. In the fire services space, we are actively recruiting for experienced and qualified sprinkler fitters. Victorian and New South Wales companies have most of the requirements, closely followed by Queensland.

Building services consulting companies are requesting professional engineers with either mechanical or electrical qualifications combined with around 10 years experience and knowledge of local codes and standards. Any background in services for road or rail tunnels is high on the “wants” list.

Project Management

Project Management – Market Salary **

Engineering & Drafting

In the past few months we have seen a steady increase in demand for skilled CAD drafters. This increase is coming from various industry sectors which have a need for additional drawing and drafting support, ranging from architectural and structural drafters to designers of mechanical systems and even automotive aftermarket applications. The most common CAD packages in demand are still AutoCAD but closely followed by Autodesk Revit for architectural clients and Solidworks for most other industries. Whereas some businesses are looking to hire permanent drafters, the majority of drafting positions are still on a medium term contractual basis. Australia Wide is very keen to talk to any skilled and experienced drafters and designers who are looking for new opportunities.

Our requirements for engineers have spanned across project, process, design and field service engineers and service and R&D managers. The busiest industry sectors requesting engineers from us have been manufacturing, consulting engineering, automotive aftermarket, medical devices and the hardware industry.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering – Market Salary **

Electrical / Electronic Engineering

Electrical / Electronic Engineering – Market Salary **

Engineering Management

Engineering Management – Market Salary **

Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering – Market Salary **

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering – Market Salary **


The highest demand has been for candidates from the food industry which has benefited from improved export markets through most of this year. We continue to see greater demand for a range of manufacturing professionals, particularly manufacturing engineers and production planners. Both Victoria and NSW have seen an increase in this demand, primarily coming from medium-sized manufacturers.


Manufacturing Management

Manufacturing Management – Market Salary **

Production, Planning & Scheduling

Production, Planning & Scheduling – Market Salary **

Software and Hardware Engineering

Demand continues to bubble away nicely for a variety of competencies, especially object oriented programming. However, whatever happened to .Net with C#? Did anyone see it leave? In our space, which is primarily, engineering product design, the upturn in interest has included PCB design but only with true engineering innovation, as opposed to CAD jockeying, while C++ and Java for web services has been a solid requirement.

We now see Big Data and related technologies appearing on wishlists more commonly. FPGA design remains a constant source of need, and we wonder whether the local market is exhausted, hence, we increasingly tap into new seams overseas. If you are still out there as an FPGA designer par excellence, then you know where we are! Contracting has also had a mini surge in demand for test engineers, and some for hitherto rare requirements, such as technical writers, production planners and power electronics engineers. It has been a while since these competencies appeared. The demand for soon-to-be graduates in software end electronics (especially high speed digital) will be quite intense, but as always, employers will expect top marks, relevant uni and hobby projects (a real good hobby project is often valued more than fairly ordinary industry work experience) so if you have designed and built your own transporter or Wonkavision product, make mention of it in your resume. Software graduates should show a Github account with some useful demos and source code. It can make all the difference!

Software Engineers

Software Engineers – Market Salary **

Hardware Engineers

Hardware Engineers – Market Salary **

Programmers and Developers

Programmers & Developers – Market Salary **