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Consulting Engineering Industry Survey

Subject Matter

Three separate waves of this study were conducted among senior executives of member firms of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC). The purpose was to explore key issues facing the industry and to obtain financial and other statistical data on the industry. The main objective was to collect financial and employment information about the industry, both at national and provincial levels. The study involved the development and use of a complex extrapolation model to determine the full financial and employment impacts of the consulting industry in Canada (i.e. including non-members of ACEC). The results were widely distributed, and were used to support advocacy efforts at the highest levels of government.


The first two waves of the survey were conducted using a combined methodology that included mail, fax and telephone. The third survey of member firms was administered by mail. A set of reminder phone calls were made by ACEC staff and board members to encourage people to complete the survey. For each of these waves, ACEC provided a list of members in electronic format. Response rates for the surveys ranged from 47-56%. The surveys changed for each wave, although a significant portion remained the same and was used for tracking purposes. Detailed financial data was obtained, including breakdowns by province, type of client (e.g. government vs. private sector), type of economic sector, and domestic vs. international.

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