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Engineering services industry, 2021

Released: 2023-03-09

Operating revenue, engineering services

$35.1 billion


4.5% increase

(annual change)

The operating revenue of the engineering services industry grew by 4.5% to $35.1 billion in 2021. The same year, operating expenses grew 5.0% to $32.3 billion, leading to a profit margin of 8.2%, a decline of 0.4 percentage points from 2020.

Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits totalled $14.7 billion in 2021, an increase of 5.1%. These were the largest expense items and accounted for 45.6% of the engineering services industry's total operating expenses, followed by the cost of goods sold (23.0%).

Commercial, public and institutional building engineering projects (17.8%) had the largest share of sales in 2021, followed by engineering services related to petroleum and petrochemical plant and process engineering projects (15.9%) and transportation engineering projects (13.0%).

Clients in the business sector made up 63.7% of sales in the engineering services industry in 2021, while governments and public institutions accounted for 23.8%. Customers outside Canada accounted for 9.0% of sales in 2021. Foreign sales were almost evenly split between the United States (50.5%) and all other countries.

Looking at 2022

The Canadian economy continued to bounce back in 2022, fuelled by household spending, the housing sector and growth in other sectors, such as business investment in engineering structures. Furthermore, investment in public infrastructure continued unabated, mainly for public transit projects and expansions in the health care and social assistance sector. Major clean energy projects also contributed to increases in capital spending. These wide-ranging developments likely benefited the engineering services industry. The annual survey for 2022 will provide more complete details on how professional services activities fared during the economic recovery.

  Note to readers

Data for 2019 and 2020 have been revised.

Information on public investment is taken from Table 36-10-0108-01.

These and other data related to business and consumer services can be found at the Business and consumer services and culture statistics portal.

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; or Media Relations (

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