Consulting Engineering Salary Expectations

Starting salaries for engineers and technologists in the consulting engineering industry vary from province to province and will also depend on the state of the economy in each province at the time.

There are also variances between urban and rural locations, and between firms that specialize in different types of work.  Some of the provincial consulting engineering associations and professional engineering registration bodies carry out salary surveys, and you may be able to access information by contacting them directly.

For the most part, well-qualified professional engineers or certified technologists in the consulting engineering sector are compensated equally well as, and often better than, other professions, particularly if they have:

  • achieved a reputation for their specialized knowledge;
  • risen to a senior management role;
  • invested in an ownership position in the firm for which they work; or
  • if they are prepared to relocate to work on projects in remote locations, domestically or internationally.

As an engineering or technologist student considering a career in consulting engineering, or as a graduate engineer who might be weighing the options between entering consulting engineering and taking a second degree, you should take many factors into consideration, but salary should not be one of them. It might be true that a graduate engineer entering the workforce typically earns less than a graduate lawyer. However, by the time a law student graduates, the engineer already has several years’ working experience, and will often be earning as much or more than the graduate lawyer.  Firms that offer consulting engineering services contribute to the social, environmental and economic quality of life in Canada and around the world, and offer the kind of challenges and rewards, financial and otherwise, that other professions cannot.