Industry Market Trends

Engineers' Confidence About Their Profession Rises

Dec 05, 2013

Demand for engineering skills in the U.S. continues to boost the confidence of engineers about their work and job prospects, according to a quarterly index that focuses on the profession.

Overall confidence among U.S. engineers rose in the third quarter to a high of 64.0 on the Randstad Engineering Employee Confidence Index -- up from 61.9 in the second quarter. The quarterly index has risen above 60 only three times since 2008.

Engineers are among the most confident of all workers tracked and examined by Randstad, a global human resources service provider. Randstad polled the opinions of more than 3,000 professionals in such sectors as IT, finance and accounting, healthcare, office and administrative, and manufacturing.

Job security remains strong among the 114 engineers who participated in the survey. Approximately 81 percent of the engineers said they expect to keep their jobs over the next 12 months, up from 73 percent in the previous quarter.

However, 41 percent of the engineers said they believe fewer new jobs were available during the third quarter than during the second quarter - though 61 percent expressed confidence in their ability to find a new job.

"Given the current demand for talent and the skills shortage facing the engineering sector, it is no surprise that engineering professionals are feeling confident and secure with their jobs," Randstad's president, Richard Zambacca, said in a statement. "We continue to see demand for specialized talent like quality engineers, controls engineers, and process/manufacturing engineers, and we expect these areas to drive the most job growth in 2014."

Engineers Are Generally Satisfied with Their Work

Twenty-nine percent of the engineers who participated in the third-quarter survey reported to Randstad that they were likely to look for a new job within the next 12 months. During the second quarter, 33 percent said they expected to job hunt.

Randstad's survey mirrors others that suggest engineers were generally satisfied with their work this year.

A survey of nearly 6,000 registered users earlier this year indicated that engineers expressed the greatest satisfaction with all aspects of their job (42 percent), edging out finance and healthcare respondents. In Design News' annual salary survey, published in August, nine out of 10 design engineers reported being satisfied with their jobs. Salaries increased for the third consecutive year, and this year the average salary broke the six-figure mark, the survey showed. Still, most survey participants attributed their job satisfaction to the rewarding and stimulating scope of their work.

"A reoccurring response about job satisfaction includes engineering freedom and flexibility of schedule," Design News reported. "Others noted the ability to mentor and pride in their finished product as their contributing factors."