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Sectors that are hiring in Quebec: engineering

They constitute nearly a quarter of the workforce of local engineers and companies hope to see their number increase… These rare birds are the engineers who immigrated to Quebec to bring their know-how to this great diversity of activities where their skills are so precious: construction, information technologies, aerospace, medical environment, transport, heavy industry, energy, mechanics, biotechnologies… The share of immigrant workers in the engineering trades in Quebec (24% of the workforce) is all the more important when it is related to their presence in the entire Quebec population (12%). France ranks first among the countries of origin of these graduates abroad holding a permit to practice from the Order of Engineers of Quebec (OIQ), nearly among them were trained there. It should be noted that more than a thousand other engineers, most often French-speaking, have graduated in North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco).

A female presence that is too weak, but growing

As if to illustrate the growing importance of these functions with high added value in the economic activity of this world, the role of engineers has continued to grow in Quebec for the past ten years. Especially since these professionals can perform extremely varied functions: research and development, design, manufacturing, operation, trade, consulting, teaching, etc. According to the study “Profile of the engineer of today and tomorrow” (April 2021) conducted by the Order of Engineers of Quebec, the profession today represents 1.6% of total jobs in the province. (compared to 2.3% in France and 3.1% in Japan). This may not seem like a lot, but the workforce has nevertheless recorded an average annual growth of 3% since 2006 and this growth will continue for the next decade.

Good news, the share of women has also increased in this profession. They were only 4% in 1990, they now represent 15% of the Quebec engineering workforce (against 20% in France). The increase in the number of women in these professions is also an important issue for the future of the sector. To this end, Quebec has subscribed to the “30 en 30” initiative, driven by theAssociation of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (Apega), which aims to reach the rate of 30% of female engineers by 2030.

More pronounced needs in certain sectors

Today, some 75,000 professionals work in the field of engineering in Quebec. According to OIQ projections by 2030, the ratio between vacancies and potential applications should be quite balanced, with a shortage of vacancies estimated at 1.6%, a rather minimal score compared to other sectors. . However, the Order has refined these future business needs based on areas of expertise. Thus, by 2030, it is above all IT, chemicals, electricity and electronics that will experience the greatest labor shortages. As the OIQ explains, IT needs will be driven by “the trend towards digitization in all economic sectors”, while those in electrical and electronics engineering will be boosted by “the digital shift, the energy transition and the electrification of transport”. With regard to chemical engineering, the OIQ points to an acceleration in labor needs given the launch of a hydrogen industry and the growth in the fleet of electric vehicles.

More broadly, the main avenues for the future for engineering professions, according to the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, concern the energy transition and the electrification of transport (manufacture of components for electric vehicles, production and storage of electricity green, hydrogen and fuels, etc.) as well as jobs related to aerospace, software design and cybersecurity.

Focus on electronic systems

This segment of engineering professions is made up of companies – including many start-ups – that design equipment, instruments and devices that integrate electronic systems in the industrial or technology sectors. This is the case, for example, of robotics, avionics, electrification of transport, the medical sector, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, energy, defence, smart cities and industries. , etc. Some eight hundred companies are involved in these activities.

Many professions contribute to this dynamic: scientists, engineers, programmers, technicians, assemblers… They work in electronics, production, embedded programming and related technologies. This ecosystem of electronic systems harbors jobs throughout Quebec, but mainly in the regions of the National Capital (Quebec), Mauricie (Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan), Eastern Townships (Bromont and Sherbrooke) , and of course in Greater Montreal. Large-scale companies stand out in particular and, as highlighted by the center of excellence of the Quebec Electronic Systems Industry (ISEQ), many of them are leaders in the markets in which they operate. Here is a partial overview, a visit to their website can allow you to solicit them to apply directly.

– Assemblers: M2S Electronics, Gentec, Varitron East West, Digico, IBM, RS Electronics.

– R&D: Explora Technologies, Creaform, Hypertronic Technology, Tak Design.

– Robotics: Kinova, Mecademic Robotics, Festo Ditactic.

– Avionics: CAE, MDA, ABB Bomen.

– Transportation: System Pram, AddEnergie, Eddyfi Technologies.

– Medical: Novo Technologies, Humanware.

– Telecommunications: Exfo, Kontron Canada, MPB Communications, TeraXion.

– Defense: Cysca Technologies.

– Smart city and industry: Dimonoff, Lumen.

– Distributors: Future Electronics, DB Lectro.


Mark:1 Canadian dollar = approx. €0.70

The average annual salary in the engineering professions in Quebec amounts to 104,085 Canadian dollars, i.e. a remuneration which corresponds to double the average salary observed in all professions in Quebec (55,706 dollars in 2021, according to Statistics Canada). . However, salaries vary greatly depending on the area of ​​expertise, the type of position held and of course the number of years of experience. For example, the average salary of engineers who occupy management and executive positions is higher, around 136,000 dollars annually. On the downside, however, women’s wages are generally 17% lower than men’s. A disparity that is unfortunately not the prerogative of the engineering field alone, nor that of Quebec in general.

A regulated profession

As explained by the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, engineering being one of the 54 regulated professions in Québec, it is necessary to hold a license to practice from this Order to use the title of engineer, under the law s relating thereto.

Importantly, in the fall of 2020, the Order broadened the access of French graduate engineers to the practice of the profession in Quebec by updating the Arrangement on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications (ARM), concluded in 2008 with the Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI) of France and with Engineers and Scientists of France (IESF). As a result, the number of French engineering programs accredited by the Order has increased, from 400 to more than 560. Thus, holders of a diploma issued within these accredited programs are granted, under certain conditions, a degree equivalence. Obtaining this equivalence is a prerequisite. Thereafter, the path of French candidates towards obtaining the title of engineer is identical to their colleagues who graduated in Quebec.

What is this route? It is made up of a theoretical part (with online training followed by the professional exam) and a practical part, focusing on six skills to be achieved in twenty-four months or more of practical experience in engineering. Note that some of the competencies relate specifically to the practice of the engineering profession in Canada. As a reminder, until then, French graduates had to pass a professional exam and demonstrate three years of relevant experience as engineers, but without being able to have their studies recognized. The course was therefore shortened and, over the 2020-2021 financial year, 90 French graduates were able to benefit from this arrangement.

Where to find your job

Geographically, jobs are mainly found in urban centres, in the regions of Montreal and Montérégie, which concentrate more than half of the workforce of engineers in Quebec (respectively 33% and 21%), although employment it has rather been declining for the past ten years, unlike the regions of Estrie, Centre-du-Québec and the Laurentians, which have recorded the opposite growth. The regions of Quebec and Laval also have significant shares of the profession.

But as in the sectoral analysis of labor needs, a more detailed approach reveals regional specificities. In detail, as the OIQ points out, Greater Montreal will experience significant growing demand in several fields of engineering, but particularly in computer engineering and electrical engineering. With regard to IT and cybersecurity expertise, demand will be notable in Outaouais, the Quebec region bordering Ontario and the federal capital, Ottawa. For their part, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions will have growing needs in industrial engineering. Finally, Gaspésie, a peninsula in central-eastern Quebec, will be particularly in search of skills in mechanical engineering.

As we mentioned earlier, the engineering professions conceal a great diversity of functions. Also, jobs are also found in a variety of sectors such as manufacturing, construction, transportation, mining, computer and cultural industries, even municipal, provincial and federal public administrations, etc.

Precisely, Quebec public service companies are major job providers. The largest of these in Quebec is Hydro-Quebec, the main electricity producer in Canada and one of the largest hydroelectricity producers in the world. More than two thousand members of the Order of Engineers of Quebec work there in the production, transmission and distribution of electricity.

In terms of resources for finding a job, a large number of generalist sites offer offers, alongside more specialized sites that regularly post hundreds or even several thousand vacancies. However, it should be remembered that a large number of these positions require a license to practice from the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.

> Sites specializing in engineering professions



> Jobs in the electronic systems industry

Quebec Electronic Systems Industry (ISEQ)

Elexpertise (electrical and electronic industry)

> To find out more

The top 25 engineering firms in Quebec, according to Les Affaires newspaper

> Sources

Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec

Profile of the engineer of today and tomorrow

The Journal of French Abroad thanks the Order of Engineers of Quebec for sharing its expertise on this issue. Thanks also to Center of Excellence of the Quebec Electronic Systems Industry (ISEQ), and particularly Daniel Bindley, its Managing Director, for his valuable time.

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