After years of industry stagnation, British Columbia’s largest engineering firms have grown through the pandemic, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Engineering Firms in B.C. list (https://biv.com/lists).
Over the past year, the average number of professional engineers rose more steeply than at any time over the past half-decade.
In the three years preceding COVID 19, the average number of professional engineers hovered around 118. However, over the past two years, the average number of has grown 19%. Most of that growth occurred during the first year of the pandemic, when the number of professional engineers grew to 133.6 in 2021 from 118.6 in 2020 or by 12.7%.
The growth in the average was fuelled by the largest engineering firm in the province, No.1 WSP Canada Inc. (TSX:WSP), which expanded its number of professional engineers by 66.7% over the past two years. It numbers rose to 575 in 2022 from 345 in 2020. WSP also had the largest five-year growth among the top five largest engineering firms – up 91.7% from 300 in 2018.
The median number of engineers showed more volatility throughout the pandemic. While the median grew by 31% to 114 in 2021 from 87 in 2020; it dropped 7.9% during the second year of the pandemic to 105 employees in 2022. This suggests that while larger companies higher on the list were growing over the past year, smaller companies lower on the list were contracting.