Engineering Services

SIC 8711

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category covers establishments engaged primarily in providing professional engineering services. Civil, mechanical, electrical and electronic, chemical, sanitary, industrial, petroleum, mining, aeronautical, and marine engineering are among the disciplines included. Establishments primarily providing and supervising their own engineering staff on temporary contract to other firms are included in this industry. Establishments providing engineering personnel, but not general supervision, are classified in SIC 7363: Help Supply Services. Establishments primarily providing architectural services are classified in SIC 8712: Architectural Services, and those providing photogrammetric engineering are classified in SIC 8713: Surveying Services.

Industry Snapshot

Engineering covers a vast array of specialties touching virtually all aspects of life. The profession is categorized into disciplines representing designated areas of interest, although definitions of the disciplines vary between many narrow descriptions and fewer, more broadly drawn classifications. By far, the most significant trend in the industry is computerization. Computers equipped with CAD/CAM and 3-D software have largely replaced calculators and drafting boards. In 2008 industry revenues were approximately $40.4 billion.

In 2009, 19,506 engineering services establishments operated in the United States. Nearly 80 percent employed fewer than 10 people, with an average of 17 employees. By the end of the first decade of the 2000s, industry giants Bechtel Group and Fluor Corporation continued to dominate this segment. San Francisco-based Bechtel employed 44,000 people and reported revenues of $31.4 billion in 2008, while Irving, Texas-based Fluor employed over 42,000 and generated nearly $42.3 billion in revenue in 2008.

Organization and Structure

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 20 percent of the employees in this industry category were electrical and electronic engineers, making this the largest engineering discipline. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) describes itself as "the world's largest technical professional society," and had a membership of 375,000 in 2009 from more than 160 countries. Approximately 55 percent of this number came from the United States.

The largest classification of engineers after electrical and electronic engineers were civil engineers at over 15 percent, followed by mechanical engineers at more than 14 percent, and industrial engineers at 13 percent. Aerospace, computer hardware, environmental, chemical, materials, and nuclear engineers each accounted for between 5 and 1 percent. The smallest groups of engineers were marine, agricultural, mining, biomedical, and petroleum engineers, at less than 1 percent each.

Approximately 37 percent of engineers were employed in the manufacturing industries and 28 percent were employed in the professional, scientific, and technical service industries, which included primarily architectural and engineering services as well as construction, telecommunications, and wholesale trade industries. Government at the federal, state, and local levels employed roughly 12 percent of engineers. About half of these engineers worked at the federal level for the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, Agriculture, Interior, and Energy, and in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. State and local government agencies employed engineers for their highway and public works divisions. About 3 percent of engineers were self-employed, primarily as consultants.

Projects undertaken by engineering establishments include industrial and processing plants and systems (19 percent); power generating and transmission facilities (19 percent); navel and aeronautical equipment (14 percent); water supply and sanitation facilities (8 percent); highways, roads, bridges, and streets (7 percent); commercial buildings (5 percent); and public and institutional facilities, such as hospitals and educational facilities (3 percent).

Background and Development

The American Society for Engineering Education defines engineering as "the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize the materials and forces of nature economically for the benefit of mankind." This interest in manipulating matter and power for society's welfare has its roots in antiquity. In many ways, the progress of civilization provides a record of mankind's engineering achievements.

Throughout history, scientists have studied the world, its composition, its properties, its inhabitants, and its universe. As they discovered principles and truths, engineers applied these discoveries to construct a changed world. For example, chemists provided the information used by chemical engineers to create new building materials and pharmaceuticals. Biologists made discoveries that were used by engineers to increase crop production and offered improved medical services. Physical scientists contributed the knowledge needed to build pyramids and skyscrapers. Scientists may have identified electricity, but engineers enabled the phenomenon.

Transitions from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age and then to the Iron Age were made possible by changes in mining and metallurgical engineering. When public works projects became too large for a single craftsman to accomplish, even with the help of family and apprentices, civil engineers coordinated and focused the efforts of thousands of workers. Their projects included roads, bridges, irrigation systems, government buildings, and religious structures.

Windmills and waterwheels were the work of archetypal mechanical engineers. Their descendants ushered in the Industrial Revolution during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. James Watt's invention of the steam engine in 1802 led to the development of steam locomotives, steam propelled boats, and the mechanization of agriculture.

The roots of electrical engineering extend back to the 1600s when William Gilbert, an English scientist, first described magnetism and static electricity. In 1800 Alexander Volta discovered that electric current could be made to flow. Throughout the nineteenth century, many scientists and inventors contributed to a growing body of knowledge about electricity. Some of its early applications included the telegraph, invented by Samuel Morse in 1838; the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876; the light bulb, invented by Thomas Edison in 1878; and the electric motor, invented by Nicholas Tesla in 1888.

As technology spread, demand for engineers increased. In time, engineers specialized and founded engineering societies to facilitate the exchange of engineering knowledge. In the United States, the first officially established engineering society was the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), organized in 1852. The Society of Mining Engineers was founded in 1871. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was established in 1880 with Thomas Edison as one of its founding members. In 1884 a group of inventors and entrepreneurs formed the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

The era also was a time of rapid advances in all disciplines of engineering. Civil engineers, for example, transformed bridge building technology. John Roebling, a pioneer in suspension bridge construction, designed and built an aqueduct over the Allegheny River to facilitate cargo transportation and a railway bridge over Niagara Falls Gorge. Roebling's most famous project, the Brooklyn Bridge, was completed in 1883, although Roebling did not live to see it finished. In addition to great landmark bridges, civil engineers erected hundreds of mass-produced metal truss bridges in many parts of the country.

Mechanical engineering, at the forefront of mass production, emerged from the domain of forges, iron smelters, and textile mills. Participants at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) first meeting discussed standardized sizes for screw threads, laying a necessary foundation for assembly-line technologies.

Additionally, material and metallurgical engineers made rapid advances during the late 1800s. Innovations enabled the commercial production of aluminum, copper, zinc, and lead. Improved glass and stronger rubber products also became available. Chemical engineers used scientific discoveries in the field of chemistry to produce an assortment of new materials. Some of the earliest commercial chemical products were manufactured for the nineteenth century textile dyeing industry.

In 1908 the American Institute of Chemical Engineers was founded. Throughout most of human history, people made items only with naturally occurring raw materials. Chemical engineers created new materials. They produced industrial chemicals, fertilizers, drugs, and paints. They improved stone, clay, glass, and ceramic building materials. They discovered processes to refine petroleum, preserve food, and make paper. Interest in U.S. chemical production intensified during the years preceding World War I because many industrial chemicals were imported from Germany.

During the war, an embargo of German materials led to a rapid expansion of the nation's domestic chemical industry. After the war, Arthur D. Little devised the concept of unit operations. Unit operations focused on the materials and energy undergoing changes inside a specific piece of equipment. By focusing on improving the efficiency of chemical reactions and preventing unwanted reactions, the concept enabled the development of techniques to produce chemicals in large continuous processes.

During World War I era the electronic engineering field emerged. As electrical knowledge developed, electricity was put to work in two distinct arenas. "Heavy current" was used for power and was manipulated by electrical engineers, while "light current" was used for communication.

Electronics was born in 1907 when Lee De Forest invented the vacuum tube. Electronics engineers established the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1912 and the nation's first commercial radio stations began broadcasting during the 1920s. (The Institute of Radio Engineers and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers joined to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., in 1963.)

As the machine age progressed, the need for codes and standards became apparent. To address the problem of boiler explosions, the ASME completed and published its first boiler code in 1915 and inaugurated a system for accrediting manufacturers of boiler equipment. The accrediting process involved reviewing manufacturing techniques, quality assurances, and materials. Manufacturers judged to be in compliance with the code were granted authorization to apply an ASME stamp to their products.

Three years later, in 1918, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was founded. ANSI, the U.S. member of the International Standards Organization, served to coordinate development of voluntary standards by the various engineering disciplines.

Engineering disciplines became increasingly interrelated. Developments by electrical engineers affected mechanical engineers. Demands for electricity by industrial engineers necessitated the development of improved means to generate and convey electric power. The growing automotive and aeronautical industries placed heavy demands on civil engineers to build the nation's infrastructure. They also relied on petroleum and chemical engineers to produce gasoline and aviation fuel.

During World War II, chemical engineers developed materials to help replace items, such as natural rubber, that were in short supply. DuPont researchers developed nylon, a forerunner to polymer plastics. Electronics engineers, spurred by military interests, developed advanced communication technologies, including radar and sonar.

During the late 1940s, electronics engineers created the transistor, which was introduced commercially by Bell Labs in 1951. Transistors replaced vacuum tubes that were more fragile. In the 1960s, engineers developed ways to build transistors on small chips of silicon. These innovations helped move the electronics industry into the computer era.

In the 1960s the landing of a man on the moon was described by the National Academy of Engineering as the world's greatest engineering accomplishment. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Apollo project, begun in 1961, reached its primary objective in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface. His step was made possible by a variety of engineers who built the launch site; designed the spacecraft and lunar lander; generated the propulsion, guidance, and life support systems; and fabricated space-durable textiles and other materials.

Another milestone in engineering history occurred in 1969 when the U.S. National Parks Service and the American Society of Civil Engineers established the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) to chronicle the United States' engineering achievements. HAER's mission was to find structures of historic significance and document them, paying special attention to structures slated for demolition. HAER records were to be kept as part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. In Technology Review David Brittan listed some of the artifacts, including blacksmith shops, bridges, canals, cider presses, coal mines, culverts, dams, electric power plants, foundries, granaries, ironworks, kilns, lighthouses, privies, sewage treatment plants, schooners, subways, tanneries, tunnels, viaducts, and waterworks.

In September 1971, ASME formed its own committee to begin a program to identify and recognize mechanical engineering artifacts. ASME noted that "machines are more likely than architecture or art to be moved, scrapped, or replaced by progressively efficient counterparts." They began a program of identifying three categories of designation: historic landmarks, heritage sites, and heritage collections. The 149 designations recognized in 34 states by 1992 included the Detroit Edison District Heating System (built in 1903), the Sikorsky VS-300 Helicopter (1939), the Experimental Breeder Reactor-1 (1951), the Shippingport Atomic Power Station (1958), the Disney Monorail System (1959), and the JFK Center's Crawler Transporters of Launch Complex 39 (1965).

Despite increased interest in preserving engineering history, engineers continued to forge into the future. Advances in space technology led to improved communications. The first commercial satellite provided circuits for 240 telephone calls between the United States and Europe. By 1990 satellites provided communication systems between the United States and 40 other countries. Likewise, engineering advances made on behalf of medical providers led to the development of the computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, based on X-ray technology that was first used in Germany in 1895. The first CAT scanners were installed in Great Britain in 1971 and in the United States in 1973. Subsequent advances led to ultrasound imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The increasing miniaturization of computer chips during the 1970s brought about a proliferation of electronic devices, such as pocket calculators, personal computers, microwave ovens, and electronic toys. These miniature computer chips, no larger than a fingernail, also led to a growing sophistication of computer-controlled equipment, including traffic lights, automobiles, and aircraft. More powerful computers resulted in the adoption of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) techniques by many of the nation's major manufacturers.

Despite these accomplishments, the engineering industry faced some serious challenges during the 1980s. Some critics of modern technology blamed engineers for creating tools that wreaked havoc on the environment. Others claimed that only engineering offered the potential for providing solutions to pollution. Within the arena of environmental engineering, researchers looked into ways to preserve, protect, and restore the environment. In addition, some industry watchers predicted a shortage of engineers. The number of male freshmen entering college with plans to earn an undergraduate degree in engineering fell from 22 percent to 17 percent between 1982 and 1987. Among women, the number dropped from 4 percent to 3 percent.

The Early 1990s.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the interdisciplinary nature of engineering increased. Many types of engineering work were being done in many fields, and frequently the work done by an engineer in one discipline depended on or supplemented the work of an engineer in a different field. For example, mechanical engineering and electronic engineering combined to produce integrated machines with electronic components, and the field of robotics involved the integration of mechanical and electronic engineering.

Laser technology provided another example of an interdisciplinary expression of engineering skills. The creation of laser beams (beams of high-intensity light of one frequency, called "coherent" light) required input from electronics engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, and mechanical engineers. Electronics engineers manipulated laser beams for use in office equipment. Other engineers used lasers to develop fiber optic technology. Mechanical engineers designed laser light shows. Engineers working for the medical industry used lasers to create new types of surgical instruments.

Biochemical and biomedical chemical engineering during the 1990s also included work in genetic engineering, pharmaceutical research, and development of agricultural chemicals. Other types of chemical engineering provided products to create advanced materials and polymer-based chemicals. In total, the chemical industry boasted sales of $268 billion in 1990.

The development of plastics and other materials by the chemical industry resulted in decreased demand for traditional mining and metallurgical products. For example, the automotive industry turned increasingly to plastics and innovative polymer materials to help speed production and improve fuel economy. Plastics, preferred by some manufacturers, could be injection-molded into a wider range of complex shapes with more precision than could be accomplished with metals. Ceramics were also being used with increasing frequency.

Political changes within the United States also had an impact on the engineering industry. As the nation shifted away from a policy of providing heavy funding for the development of defense technologies, engineers began to focus more on civilian undertakings. Research conducted in the private sector, however, typically carried more stringent economic restraints. As a result, some industry watchers predicted a slowing in the pace of technological development. Others disagreed, arguing that the engineering industry would benefit from an emphasis on profitability.

In addition to the economic challenges brought about by a transforming political climate, the engineering industry faced economic difficulties as a result of global changes. The U.S. engineering establishment found itself to be one of many competitors on a crowded global stage at a time when worldwide economies were in transition. According to some analysts, economies were shifting from being based on natural resources to being based on knowledge. The realization that industries involved in fast-moving technologies would be necessary to sustain a nation's future economic growth illustrated the need for continued U.S. strength in the field of engineering.

Within the United States, there were 36,086 establishments classified by the U.S. Department of Commerce as offering engineering services. According to the 1987 Census of Service Industries, their combined receipts totaled $41.6 billion. Of this amount, $35.3 billion represented receipts for consulting and design engineering services. Other revenue sources included architectural and surveying services and construction management.

In the mid-1990s, engineering and design firms anticipated an end to the recessionary conditions that had started in the early 1990s. A combination of factors, such as the need for downsizing and limited resources in many industries, increased demand for engineering companies. Engineering companies were not only sought after as consultants but also as partners in day-to-day operations. The top 500 design firms garnered a collective $29.4 billion in billings during 1995, up 5.2 percent over the nearly $28 billion earned in 1994. According to the Engineering News Record, analysts and industry executives attributed the improvement to the international market, which had approximately $5.2 billion in billings in 1995.

Numerous opportunities arose for U.S. environmental engineering firms, in the United States and abroad, at the end of the 1990s. Worldwide demand for design and construction of petrochemical plants and refineries resulted in a boom for engineering and construction firms, although subsequent unexpected decreases in the price of oil resulted in cancellation of some petrochemical expansion projects and subsequent declines in stock prices. A survey conducted by The Oil and Gas Journal revealed that 59 percent of 291 sites were scheduled for the Asia/Pacific region, including 60 sites in China. Local construction firms also brought world-class resources to clients by entering partnerships or by merging with global firms.

Domestically, the deregulation of the utility industry created a competitive pressure among engineering firms as many were forced to take new risks to keep revenues flowing and to survive. An unanticipated slump in construction engineering caused stock prices to plummet in the late 1990s and aggravated already slow growth. Analysts attributed the slump to premature forecasts prompted by the 1998 passage of the Transportation Equity Act, but when sizable injections of the appropriated $217 billion federal highway funding associated with the act boosted the economy near the end of 1999, the industry regrouped. Waning stock prices recovered and the construction industry became stable again. Two additional factors driving sales were economic recovery within the United States and the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA suspended residency requirements for obtaining Canadian and Mexican licenses, which was intended to create a new market for U.S. engineers in Canada and Mexico.

The Turn of the Century.
Domestic billings at the top 500 U.S. design firms saw grew approximately 8 percent to $35 billion in 2000, and international billings dropped 3 percent to $7.6 billion. This was partially due to concerns over the instability of many markets in Southeast Asia. China, which joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, was viewed as a potentially lucrative market.

Design-build firms gained increasing prominence in the early twenty-first century in the United States. Design-build revenues for the 100 largest design-build firms jumped more than 22 percent to $39.9 billion in 2000. As a result, this group's share of the U.S. nonresidential construction market grew to 35 percent, compared to 25 percent in the mid-1990s. According to the Engineering News Record, "The trend is clearly away from project-by-project management and toward management of larger construction programs for clients." The Design-Build Institute of America predicted that design-build companies would increase their share of the U.S. nonresidential construction market to 45 percent by 2005.

The global economic recession at the beginning of the first decade of the 2000s and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States resulted in a slowdown in many engineering sectors as budgets for various projects diminished. However, many environmental engineering firms recorded increases in business in 2001 due in part to new products resulting from the Bush administration's focus on homeland security. The top 200 environmental engineering firms posted revenues of $32.8 billion in 2001.

By 2002 there were 55,229 establishments providing engineering services. The 2002 Economic Census reported that they employed some 860,517 people and had combined receipts of $116.5 billion. In 2006 there were approximately 79,400 establishments employing nearly 950,000 people, a surge in growth not seen since 2001.

Engineering services firms enjoyed an improved financial outlook by 2005 according to the Engineering News-Record, which described the middle of the first decade of the 2000s as a prosperous time for the top 500 design firms. This group showed a 7.8 percent increase in revenues in 2004 to $52.9 billion. This growth was widely shared, with almost 78 percent of firms surveyed reporting revenue increases. These conditions supported a trend of increased mergers and acquisitions. Companies also sought to widen their services to include planning and financial consulting.

Difficult economic times that began during the early years of the first decade of the 2000s showed signs of improvement in 2004, when the Engineering News-Record reported that the top 500 design firms brought in $52.99 billion, an increase of 7.8 percent over revenues of $49.18 billion in 2003. At the time, many companies sought to gain more business through acquisitions of other firms and by offering more services, including financial planning.

A decline of about 10 percent over a decade in the traditional design-bid-build services in the United States was expected to continue through 2015. However, design-build services were increasing at an inverse proportion over the same period. Construction management had remained nearly flat since 1985 and was not expected to improve through 2015.

Increasing computerization of engineering services in the middle of the first decade of the 2000s strained data and file storage needs for firms in the industry. In addition to the challenge of continued education and skill in new technologies, employees and firms struggled to manage the sheer volume and size of files and images.

When the global economy entered a recession in 2008, many engineers expressed concerns as slumping sales led many companies to cut costs where they could. According to a survey conducted by Electronic Engineering Times in December 2008, engineers were worried about job security as high-tech companies were "frantically downsizing, discarding unprofitable business units, selling non-core operations, instituting a hiring freeze and eliminating thousands of skilled and experienced engineering jobs in a desperate bid to reduce costs and remain profitable in the midst of a horrid sales downturn."

However, some reports suggested that the news for the industry might not be all bad. Despite several decades of increased outsourcing to low-cost engineering services in other countries like India, Computing Now reported that a BDO Seidman survey in 2009 found that businesses were less likely to send work to China and Southeast Asia, which were the main destinations for most U.S. outsourcing, during uncertain economic times due to supply-chain and shipping expenses, taxes, and the cost of government regulation compliance. The 100 chief financial officers of top technology companies surveyed were also reconsidering sending work to India, which had just emerged from a major accounting scandal and had been the location of a terrorist attack in 2008. A study by the Brown-Wilson Group, an outsourcing research firm, suggested that some previously outsourced work might eventually return to the United States as unemployment rises and salary levels fall at home at the same time.

While engineers looked to retain their jobs during the economic recession at the end of the first decade of the 2000s, the nation as a whole looked to the future of engineering in the United States with some trepidation, for fear of being "left behind" the rest of the world. Enrollment levels of college-level students in electrical engineering and computer science continued to decline, and these were among the first to be outsourced. Efforts were underway from the public schools to colleges and universities to get students interested in math and science again. Dylan McGrath wrote in Electronic Engineering Times in 2009, "In marketing terms, engineering has a branding problem. Kids aren't buying into the profession because they don't understand what it is truly selling, and what they think it is selling does not appeal to them." Although a study released by Purdue University's School of Engineering Education in 2009 found that, contrary to popular belief, engineering students do not drop out of their degree program at a higher rate on average than other majors, few college students select engineering to begin with.

Despite the economy, the industry's heavy hitters remained strong through 2008. Industry leader Bechtel Group posted revenues of $31.4 billion in 2008, up from $27 billion in 2007 and $20.5 billion in 2006. Fluer's revenue increased by 34 percent to $22.3 billion in 2008. Bechtel's new work was also up in 2008, from $34.1 billion in 2007 to $35 billion in 2008.

Current Conditions

As a result of the economic recession and turmoil within the financial markets, construction came to a crawl, crippling demand for engineering services as well. An estimated two-thirds of engineering services firms was "non-employer companies," which many of these small operations were forced to close in 2009 and 2010. Of the 340 merger and acquisition deals between 2004 and 2009, the majority occurred in 2009, according to the Environmental Financial Consulting Group (CFCG). Consequently, engineering services revenue fell 1 percent annually from 2008 through 2012 to $183.1 billion.

According to a report by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), over 40 percent of design-build companies increased their market share within the nonresidential construction market between 2005 and 2010. Likewise, nearly 80 percent of military construction projects and over 40 percent of medical construction projects, including nursing homes and offices as well as commercial office and parking structure construction. The report also indicated more than half of nonresidential construction projects exceeding $10 million were performed by design-build companies.

Outsourcing of engineering services was expected to grow at a healthy pace from US$75 billion in 2010 to roughly US$200 billion over the next decade. A ValueNotes survey concluded both design and manufacturing services account for the majority of outsourced engineering services. "An increasingly competitive market for engineering services has made outsourcing indispensable to the industry, more so following the recent global economic downturn," according to Runa Mookerjee in Global Services in January 2011. Those companies that outsourced during the recession were expected to continue to do so, with India poised to play a major role.

The Top 500 U.S. design firms witnessed 12 of their peers acquired in 2010 and another 11 acquired in 2011. It was evident by the number of transactions that industry consolidation was underway. However, a large number of U.S. firms worried as international companies were acquiring U.S. design firms, since it was not a level playing field when their currencies were factored in against the dollar. Many large design firms expect consolidation will continue for the remainder of 2012.

As industry standout Fluor Corp. celebrated its 100th in 2012, Chairman and CEO David Seaton sat down for an interview on April 5, 2012, with Editor-at-Large Debra K. Rubin for Engineering News-Record to share his views of the state of the engineering services industry as the global economic downturn continued to wind down. Seaton indicated "There was a lot of headwind and uncertainity" and the remainder of 2012 was expected to be much like 2011. Seaton suggested there would be progress in backlog, but did not expect any improvement in the bottom line until 2013.

Industry Leaders

Bechtel Group, Incorporated.
Bechtel Group, Incorporated, was the largest contractor in the United States. The company, which was founded in 1898 by Warren Bechtel, remained a private, family-held firm. With headquarters in San Francisco, California, Bechtel was known for its broad range of services and participating in vast projects. In 2008 the company had operating revenues of $31.4 billion.

Following a dismal 2010, Bechtel realized revenues totaling $32.9 billion in 2011, an increase of 18 percent compared to $27.9 billion for 2010. Equally important, Bechtel landed $53 billion in new projects compared to $21.3 billion in 2010. The company reported 53,000 employees. Flour reached a milestone in 2012 celebrating its 100th anniversary.

During its early years, Bechtel contracted largely with the railroad industry and later expanded into other arenas. One of the most difficult was the "Big Dig," a notorious leaky tunnel project under downtown Boston. Bechtel's overseas projects included participation in the reconstruction of Kuwait's oil fields following the Persian Gulf War, a job that involved 10,000 workers from 35 nations. In the People's Republic of China, Bechtel was a key participant in the construction of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant. In Europe, Bechtel participated in the construction of the Eurotunnel between England and France. In 1995 Bechtel's R&D's International Technology and Resources teamed with Southern Electric International and Arthur Andersen and Company in a consortium to assist 11 Eastern European countries with energy programs under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Regional Energy Efficiency Project. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, roughly 90 percent of Bechtel's revenues were attributable to international contracts.

Fluor Corporation.
Fluor Corporation of Aliso Viejo, California, had revenues of $22.3 billion in 2008 and ranked second to Bechtel in the engineering services industry. Fluor provided a broad range of engine construction and diversified services to clients in many industries and geographic locations. The company had five main divisions: oil and gas, industrial and infrastructure, power, global services, and government. It participated in several nuclear cleanup efforts. Fluor reported revenues totaling $23.4 billion in 2011, an increase of 12 percent over $20.1 billion in 2010, and claimed 43,000 employees.

Halliburton Company.
Halliburton Company was recognized as the largest oil field services provider worldwide. The firm's revenues of $17.4 billion in 1998 constituted a 96.8 percent growth in the wake of a merger with Dresser Industries Incorporated that was finalized on September 29, 1998. Eventually, however, Halliburton sold its Dresser unit, a move reflected in its 2002 sales, which totaled $12.4 billion. The company profited greatly from government contracts in Iraq, which contributed to 2005 revenues of $21 billion. A company division named Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) comprised two segments: government and infrastructure, and energy and chemicals. In 2004 KBR lost $1.4 billion in government contracts when it was alleged that a former CEO, Vice President Dick Cheney, had influenced the award. KBR billings in Iraq also sparked controversy. After falling to $15.3 billion in 2007, revenues rebounded to $18.3 billion in 2008. Halliburton's revenues fell to $14.6 billion in 2009 before increasing to $17.9 billion in 2010 that followed with a significant rebound to $24.8 billion in 2011. As of December 31, 2011, the company employed 68,000 workers, up 10,000 over 2010.

Computer Sciences Corp.
Computer Sciences Corporation of El Segundo, California, specialized in systems integration and technology services, including business process outsourcing. With operations in over 80 countries, the country's international billings accounted for about 40 percent of its revenues. In 2008 the company had revenues of $16.7 billion. Computer Sciences Corp. reported revenues of $15.9 billion in 2010 and $16 billion in 2011. The company operated in 90 countries with a workforce of approximately 91,000.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 923,830 people worked for engineering services establishments in 2008. Salaries for engineers varied according to discipline and education. For example, computer software (applications) engineers earned an annual average salary of $88,410 and computer software (systems software) engineers earned $93,950 annually. Aerospace and electrical engineers earned an average of $95,400 and $86,660 a year, respectively. Civil engineers, comprising one of the largest sectors and accounting for more than 13 percent of the industry, earned a mean annual salary of $80,150.

Job prospects for engineers were dependent on area of expertise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, predicted that the job market would grow about as fast as average for all occupations for a period extending through 2016. The fastest growth was expected in environmental engineering whereas the largest increase in employment was expected in civil engineering. Environmental concerns were globally important by the end of the first decade of the 2000s and expected to take up even more of the nation's political will as well as resources to address in the coming years.

By mid-2011, demand for engineering services was on the rise, especially for civil engineers up (54.9 percent), industrial engineers by (26.3 percent), electrical engineers increased (82.5 percent) and mechanical engineers improved by (36.5 percent). Between both employers and staffing services, there were over 23,000 new job listings in June 2011 alone, which translated into a 36 percent increase compared to the same time in 2010, and a 59 percent since January 2011. The leading five metropolitan areas where demand was the highest included Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco.

America and the World

Demand for U.S. engineer services was closely tied to conditions in other countries. Increased competition from foreign nations pressured U.S. companies to expand productivity and reduce the cost of high-tech engineering services during the 1980s and 1990s. By 2009 IEEE reported 55 percent of its total membership came from non-U.S. citizens. Work in the Middle East during the first decade of the 2000s was busy but not without risk. In addition to reconstruction in Iraq, U.S. firms were responsible for projects in the oil and natural resources industries as well as commercial development in the Persian Gulf. China and India were considered to be markets with great potential.

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...presolicitation notice (N00019-17-R-0260-0001) for "Target Mission Support Systems (TMSS) technical engineering services necessary for the support of NAVAIR PMA-208 and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD)".This...
Contract Notice: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Issues Request for Proposals for Architectural and Engineering Services
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; February 20, 2018; 268 words
...Conservation and Recreation has issued a Request for Proposals (No. 1-18) on Feb. 18 for architectural and engineering services.Contract, Tender Notice Type: RFPClosing Date: March 21, 4:00 p.m.Performance is expected at Statewide...
Presolicitation Notice: Other Defense Agencies Seeks "The Architect-Engineer (A-E) Program Management Assistance Contract (PMAC) Provides Single and Multi-Project Construction Oversight Management Assistance and Other Supporting Architectural and Engineering Services to DeCA."
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; February 21, 2018; 350 words
...single and multi-project Construction Oversight Management Assistance and other supporting architectural and engineering services to DeCA.".This presolicitation notice was posted on Feb. 20 and the response date is March 27.Contract...

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