New Landmark Study Finds Engineering Drives Significant Economic Activity and Employment

Engineering and Architectural Services Sector Employs More Than 1.5 Million; Generates 2% Of U.S. Economy

Washington, DC (January 11, 2021)— The Engineering and Architectural Services sector directly employs more than 1.5 million Americans and supports an additional 3 million indirect jobs – making up 3 percent of all U.S. jobs. This is according to a first-of-its-kind industry profile out today from the ACEC Research Institute—the leading source of knowledge and thought leadership in the engineering space. The analysis also found that the engineering and architectural services sector drives $386 billion in annual revenue.

Additional Key Findings:

  • The engineering and architectural services sector employs more than 1.5 million people and pays an average annual salary of $88,000, far exceeding the national average of $60,300.
  • The engineering services sector was significantly larger than the architectural services sector last year, with engineering services comprising about two-thirds of the jobs.
  • California, Texas, Florida, Michigan and New York comprise more than 40 percent of total U.S. engineering and architectural services industry employment.
  • Engineering and architectural service activity also generates nearly $45 billion worth of tax revenue for various local, state and federal government agencies – more per company and employee than most other U.S. sectors.

“We have always innately understood that our industry was a critical player on the economic main stage, but now we know – and have numbers to show – what a crucial role we play in the national economy,” said Linda Bauer Darr, ACEC president and CEO.

“We employ more than 1.5 million workers. Our impact on the American workforce and the U.S. economy cannot be underestimated,” said Charlie Gozdziewski, ACEC Chair.

“We are very pleased to launch the Engineering Industry Profile,” said ACEC Research Institute Chair John Carrato of Alfred Benesch and Company. “It provides us with the most comprehensive look at our industry within the context of the larger engineering and architectural industry – an incredible benefit for our membership. This is the first in a series of three studies that will tell the story of our industry, beginning by showing the full view of the size, growth and composition of the engineering and architectural services sector. Our next study will focus on the economic contributions our industry has made to the U.S. economy, and the final study will be a five-year industry forecast.”

The full report, 2020 Engineering Industry Profile, is available for download by clicking here.

It is important to note that the definition of the Engineering and Architectural Services industry used in this study has been primarily developed based upon the ways in which public and private data sources collect and publish information from all businesses across the U.S. – the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS. The NAICS code “5413, Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services” is part of the broad category, “54 -Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services” and includes both private and public sector organizations from a number of sub-sectors including: Architectural Services, Landscape Architectural Services, Engineering Services, Drafting Services, Building Inspection Services, Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services, Surveying and Mapping (except Geophysical) Services and Testing Laboratories. This study focuses on the all-inclusive NAICS 5413 categories to define engineering and architectural services activity.

About ACEC
The ACEC Research Institute is the research arm of the American Council of Engineering Companies – the business association of the nation’s engineering industry. The ACEC Research Institute’s mission is to deliver knowledge and business strategies that guide and elevate the engineering industry and to be the leading source of knowledge and thought leadership for creating a more sustainable, safe, secure and technically advanced built environment.