Workforce demographics among project engineering professionals - Crisis ahead?

G. Edward Gibson, Alison Davis-Blake, Kevin E. Dickson, Brian Mentel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The age and experience profile of project engineering professionals employed by both owners and contractors has recently become a concern due to downsizing, retirements, and lack of hiring during the 1990s, Data were gathered from U.S. Census panels and from 27 owner firms and 23 contractor firms within the Construction Industry Institute to investigate the extent of this issue. In particular, the study examined changes in industry staffing levels, projected industry staffing levels, the current age and experience profile of project engineering staffs, current and projected hiring practices, and retention levels. The results of the data analyses indicate that, while substantial downsizing occurred among project engineering professionals during the early 1990s, the era of downsizing appears to be at an end. However, the high proportion of engineering professionals nearing retirement suggests that the transfer of knowledge from more to less experienced employees is an area of critical importance for both owners and contractors. Data showing demographic breakdowns using these analyses will be given, conclusions drawn, and policy implications outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Contractors
  • Employment
  • Engineers
  • Information management
  • Owners
  • Project management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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