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Most In-Demand Construction Skills

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Civil construction skills are among the most in demand, along with risk and compliance and data analysis roles, according to a recent Hays Jobs Report.

“Recruitment activity will remain buoyant during the first half of the year, especially for highly-skilled professionals who perform non-routine tasks that are not subject to automation,” said Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

The bi-annual report covered the skills in highest demand across 31 sectors and industries.

“With several major infrastructure projects underway or soon to commence across the country, the resurgence of the resources industry, technological transformations, and a widening talent mismatch, the demand for skilled professionals is expected to rise even further over the coming six months,” he continued.

Civil Infrastructure Key Job Driver

Australia’s civil infrastructure market will remain the strongest performer in the construction sector in the first half of 2019, after the Federal Government’s budget committed $75 billion for transport infrastructure in the last budget.

“Vacancy activity across Australia’s construction and engineering sectors remains positive, buoyed by a large number of infrastructure projects planned or already underway in many parts of the country,” said Tim James, Managing Director of Hays Construction & Property.

However, it’s not only the civil infrastructure market that will drive vacancy activity. Figures from the Australian Construction Industry Forum forecast an additional $1 billion in home building and stronger than expected non-residential construction activity.

“Employers are looking for skilled and experienced staff. While hotspots do vary by discipline and location, in general, we’re seeing demand across the active trades and labour, as well as construction and engineering, job markets,” said Tim.

“Civil infrastructure is a key driver of the job market. New industrial and commercial construction projects are adding to vacancy activity in many locations. The mining sector is also boosting construction activity in Western Australia.

Trades Most in Demand

In terms of trades, the report notes there is a general shortage of Formwork Carpenters for commercial and civil projects. Concreters are in demand for both residential and infrastructure projects. Similarly, Advanced Riggers and Dogmen are also required to respond to the increase in concrete tilt panel and structural steel erection work on high-rise projects. Glaziers are also in short supply.

Electricians with maintenance experience are required. With many solar projects approved, the need for Solar Electricians will increase as well.

According to the report, a summary of skills in demand, across construction-related sectors, for the six months ahead include:

  • Construction: Civil Site Engineers, Project Engineers, Estimators and Project Managers; commercial Contract Administrators, Estimators, Site Managers; residential Site Supervisors, Project Managers and Estimators.

  • Energy: Project Managers with experience managing large wind or solar construction projects; Schedulers and Planners; Electrical and Civil Project Engineers.

  • Engineering: Civil Engineers and Civil Drafters; Signalling Engineers; senior Structural Engineers who can hit the ground running and lead a team.

• Trades & Labour: Formwork Carpenters for commercial and civil projects; Concreters for large commercial, residential and infrastructure projects; Advanced Riggers.

Senior construction roles in highest demand by state are:


  • Design Engineers & Delivery Engineers on roads, tunnels, bridges and rail.

  • Construction Engineers with rail and road experience.

  • Site Forepersons, Project Engineers and Project Managers for construction projects.


  • Civil construction candidates with Transport and Main Roads (TMR) experience.

  • Site Managers with experience working on $20m+ projects and Project Managers and Directors who have worked on $100m+ projects.

  • Estimators with at least seven years’ experience.


  • Project Engineers with solid experience are highly sought after (especially for Metronet project).

  • Civil construction Project Managers and Supervisors.

  • Contract Administrators.

  • Civil Engineers at the intermediate level are in short supply.


  • General shortage of skilled construction candidates, especially in remote areas.


  • Site Engineers, Project Engineers, Estimators and Project Managers with rail and road experience for civil projects.


  • Skilled Supervisors, Project Engineers and Estimators with experience in tunnelling, roads and rail projects.


  • Project Managers, Site Managers and Contract Administrators in demand in the residential market, health, education and infrastructure.


  • Project Managers with experience in high-rise construction and civil construction.


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