There are more opportunities for engineers in Australia with both permanent and temporary jobs available for major projects, according to recruiters.

Civil Engineers, Design Engineers and Rail Engineers are in high demand for highway and rail infrastructure projects in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, says the latest Hays Quarterly Report.

The report also points out that the awarding of major infrastructure projects is generating business for associated industries and services boosting employment demand for certain roles such as transport planners.


But the jobs are not for everyone as the hours can be long and they are not based in major cities where a lot of overseas professionals, for example, like to live.

"We are also seeing more candidates prepared to move out of big cities if it means improving their lifestyle," said Adam Shapley, senior regional director of Hays Engineering.

He warned that salaries are not always at the top end of the scale despite a shortage of skilled workers. "Employers are not in a position to pay top end salaries to attract talent because they have to reduce their profit margin when bidding on work in order to win contracts," Shapley explained.

It is part of a patchwork scenario currently in Australia, according to Megan Motto, chief executive of Consult Australia, the industry association for firms consulting in the built environment.

"While some sections of the industry are suffering from a surplus of skills, firms should not use this as a reason to become complacent in managing their talent," she said. She added that a strong pipeline of work in some States is underpinning a weaker outlook elsewhere.

In terms of skills in demand, Hays Engineering says rail engineers with track signalling or electrification experience are needed at the moment and civil engineers, civil designers and MX designers are in demand too for road and highway infrastructure projects.

Transport planners are in increasing demand as higher traffic and transport volumes create the need for more research and analytics while in the building industry there is a need for structural design engineers, civil engineers and structural engineers.

Employers are also looking for Revit skills for many roles but are struggling to find candidates with the right software skills including self-sufficient architects and drafters. Revit modellers are in particular demand for ongoing building services contracts.

The report also says that design consultancies are on the hunt for design engineers, ideally with road project experience plus strong IT/design systems experience, and there are likely to be more roles associated with renewable energy in light of the Government's more supportive attitude to the sector.