The Daily
|
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Engineering services industry, 2018

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2020-05-21

In 2018, the engineering services industry reported operating revenue of $28.0 billion—down for the fourth consecutive year—and a decrease of 15.4% since 2014. Over the same period, operating expenses also fell, decreasing 14.1% to $24.8 billion. This resulted in an operating profit margin of 11.3%, down from 12.7% in 2014.

The majority of the declines experienced over the past four years were driven by Alberta. Investments in oil and gas extraction in Alberta fell from a high of $50.1 billion in 2014 to $26.1 billion in 2017, and then to $23.7 billion in 2018. For the rest of Canada (excluding Alberta), the operating revenue for the engineering services industry grew 6.3% in 2018. One of the reasons for this increase was public investments, which rose 7.6% in 2018.

From 2014 to 2018, the Canadian share of operating revenue of Ontario companies providing engineering services increased from 22.2% to 34.1%, while the share of Alberta companies providing the same services was nearly halved, dropping from 43.2% to 22.5% over the same period.

Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits totalled $12.0 billion in 2018, accounting for 48.2% of the engineering industry's total operating expenses and continuing the upward trend observed since 2013 (when they were estimated at 40.5%). Demand for skilled labour has put upward pressure on industry wages. The cost of goods sold was the second-highest operating expense in 2018 (15.9%).

Engineering services related to the commercial, public and institutional building engineering projects continued to rise and accounted for 17.0% of total sales in 2018, compared with 11.1% in 2013. A similar pattern was observed for the transportation engineering projects, which were bolstered by federal government investments in infrastructure projects. They accounted for 14.3% of sales in 2018, up from 8.5% in 2013. However, petroleum and petrochemical plant and processing engineering projects have steadily declined since 2013, representing 9.7% of sales in 2018, down from 15.1% in 2013. Furthermore, the share related to mining and metallurgical plant and processing projects decreased to 9.0% in 2018 from 21.3% in 2013.

Clients in the business sector made up 64.7% of sales in the engineering services industry in 2018, and governments and public institutions accounted for 21.4%. Customers outside Canada accounted for 11.3% of sales in 2018, up from 9.4% in 2017, as the lower Canadian dollar fuelled foreign demand for engineering services.

In 2018, sales outside Canada were almost evenly split between the United States (47.2%) and all other countries (52.8%).

  Note to readers

Data for 2016 and 2017 have been revised.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

Date modified: