It's pay up time for region's engineers

Construction engineers across the Middle East received the largest salary hike in the last year, according to a report by Gulf Talent.

Construction engineers across the Middle East received the largest salary hike in the last year, according to a report by Gulf Talent.

The report estimated that the average salary for a skilled engineer has gone up by 10.5%, although others predict increases of around 15-20%.

Among the GCC countries, engineers working in the UAE and Qatar enjoyed the biggest rises, while those in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had the lowest.

Simon Hobart, managing director of recruitment firm Millennium Solutions, said that new engineers to the market with five years post-grad experience from countries such as the UK, Australia or South Africa, could command an average monthly salary of US $7,624-8,168 (AED 28-30,000).

"And if they have two to three years experience here, they could earn around $10,000 per month. A year ago this would have been around $6,000," he said.

According to the Gulf Talent report, the salary hike is down to the continued pace of infrastructure and real estate development across the region.

Other drivers include the spiralling cost of living, rising salaries in burgeoning construction markets such as India and the continuing fall in the value of dollar-pegged regional currencies.

Contractors are also having to pay over the odds for skilled staff because of labour shortages.

"Good or average engineers are obtaining higher salaries at a rate of around 10-15% a year," said Freddy Lama, managing director of UAE mechanical engineering and plumbing contractor Nova Electromechanical.

"They are hard to come by and we need to keep them happy so that they stop looking elsewhere.

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