National report confirms both present and future are bright for technology professionals in Alberta

Report cites salaries 20 per cent above national average

13, Apr, 2016

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) is pleased by recent news that the average wage rate of engineering technology and applied science technology professionals has consistently soared above the national average by more than 20 per cent.

The findings are from The Conference Board of Canada report commissioned by ASET and three other provincial professional associations (PPAs) which form Technology Professionals Canada (TPC). 

The report, “Assessing the Economic Contribution of Canada's Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists,” revealed that employment growth for this occupational group has strongly outpaced overall employment growth for Canada as a whole over the past 15 years.

“This is heartening news for the technology profession in Alberta at a time when so many other professions are suffering from the downturn in the economy. We already know from our annual ASET salary survey that salaries for ASET members in some categories have increased as much as 17 per cent since 2011. The Conference Board findings confirm what we believed all along:  a career in the engineering technology and applied science technology profession is one that is not only well remunerated but sustainable,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh.

The report also found that the number of engineering technology and applied science technology professionals grew at an average annual pace of 3.5 per cent between 1997 and 1998 and 2013 and 2014 to reach around 400,000.

According to the most recent Statistics Canada data, Canada's engineering technology and applied science technology technicians and technologists contribute $54.7 billion to the economy – 3.3 per cent of Canadian GDP.

Many of the challenges facing the Canadian economy – such as growing global competition the aging population, slower labour force growth and growing public spending on health care – point to the need for productivity gains. Efforts to increase and maintain a high productivity level would likely involve the participation of technology professionals, such as engineering technology and applied science technology technicians and technologists. 

However, in order to continue to contribute to Canada's productivity growth, these technology professionals will need to improve and renew their skills to be able to adapt to changing industrial conditions. Furthermore, the growing wave of retiring professionals will lead to a need for trained individuals to fill both vacancies and future opportunities.

ASET is addressing this issue through education programs which serve to advance the knowledge and currency of its members. This includes a mandatory continuing professional development requirement intended to ensure that members are up to date in their field and evolving with new developments within the profession. ASET also holds annual education conferences in Edmonton and Calgary which cover topics of a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary nature. And it offers leadership programs to prepare ASET members for management or leadership positions. 

The Conference Board of Canada report was funded and supported by TPC. Established in 2010, TPC is an alliance of technology professional associations from four provinces which together represent approximately 85 per cent of the profession in Canada:  Alberta; British Columbia; Ontario; and Saskatchewan. 

What do engineering technology and applied science technology professionals do?

Technicians install cable and phone, monitor traffic, work in labs, and do drafting design and construction supervision. Technologists own or manage businesses, manage projects, return well sites properly to nature, and facilitate the development, design, construction, inspection and repair of commercial buildings. They ensure fast-acting telephone networks, smart bus connections, perfectly clean water to drink, reliable natural gas service and electrical power, smooth roads on which to drive, and responsible oil and gas exploration/production and processing/and distribution. Some professionals work for governments in intelligence agencies while others literally blow things up – designing the charges and managing sophisticated controlled blasts. Many own and/or manage large, successful engineering enterprises, and even work in non-traditional areas such as biomedical and geomatics.

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 18,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and some 124 occupations across a multitude of industries. |

Media Contact:
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET