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Engineering: half-yearly job index


In nearly every sector, professionals have the luxury to choose between many job vacancies and organizations to work for. But not all vacancies are easy to fill. With the first two quarters of the year behind us, early July is the perfect time to  take a closer look at what’s happening on the engineering job market. Jülide Tunali, senior manager in the engineering division at global recruitment firm Robert Walters, explains.  

Significant increase 

"We have seen the total number of vacancies in Belgium increase by 63% in the last six months compared to the same period last year. Engineering vacancies have also increased significantly. In the first half of 2022, according to Jobfeed, 48% more engineering vacancies were published compared to the same period last year", Jülide explains.  

Most sought-after engineering profiles 

"This increase in engineering vacancies was most noticeable for roles like PLC engineer (80%), process engineer (73%) and cost engineer (62%). The latter is a professional who works on calculating how much material is needed for construction work and how much it will cost. This position is mainly filled by civil engineers. Electrical engineers and technical planners are also high on organizations' wish lists. There were respectively 39% and 46% more vacancies published for these positions in 2022 than in the first six months of 2021," says Jülide.    

Positions difficult to fill 

"The fact that these professions are highly sought is no coincidence," Jülide knows. "The world is constantly evolving, and technology plays an increasingly important role. No wonder that the need for technical profiles is high. Without them, an organization cannot run smoothly, and it is difficult to keep up in a rapidly changing society. VDAB's list of positions that are difficult to fill also includes many technical jobs. In the top 10 alone there are several technical profiles such as technician industrial installations, industrial electro-technical installer and maintenance and engineering project engineers.”

Peak in May  

In the past few months, there has been a clear peak in the number of vacancies for engineering profiles in the month of May. Jülide: "Due to the current shortage of engineering talent on the labour market, employers are forced to expand their search, and are also open to recent graduates. Students who leave school in the summer are overwhelmed by interesting job opportunities in the months prior to that. More and more, we see that engineering students have already signed an employment contract before having graduated." 


Although the number of vacancies for engineers is increasing, we notice that these are still too infrequently filled by women. Only 14% of all engineers in Belgium are women. It is therefore an absolute necessity to tackle this imbalance. More women opting for engineering and other technical jobs would already be a step in the right direction. Schools can play an important role in this, by making female students more aware of this inequality in the first place. Too little is currently being done to tackle misconceptions about boys and girls in science. But there is improvement in sight, as more and more girls choose STEM programmes. Hopefully, in a few years' time, we will also see the gender balance in the labour market stabilize," Jülide concludes. 


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Curious which engineering roles we recruit for? Have a look at our latest jobs in engineering. To benchmark your salary, download our digital Salary Survey tool.

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