Trends in New York Engineering Licenses 2024: A Five-Year Review

Overview of the Engineering Profession in New YorkTrends in New York Engineering Licenses: A Five-Year Review

Engineering is the backbone of New York’s growth and innovation. From designing cutting-edge skyscrapers in Manhattan to developing sustainable energy solutions in the Finger Lakes, professional engineers (PEs) play a crucial role in shaping the state’s future. Over the past five years, we’ve seen a noticeable shift in the number of engineering licenses issued, reflecting the evolving landscape of our profession. Let’s dive into the data and uncover what these trends reveal about the state of engineering in New York.

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Licensing Trends Over the Past Five Years

The number of professional engineer licenses issued in New York has seen some interesting changes from 2019 to 2023. Here’s a quick snapshot of the data:

  • 2019: 1,429 licenses
  • 2020: 1,588 licenses
  • 2021: 1,481 licenses
  • 2022: 1,677 licenses
  • 2023: 2,016 licenses

Year-over-Year Growth Percentage

The following data table shows this information along with the year-over-year growth. Clearly, there’s been a significant uptick in the number of licenses issued, especially in the last two years.


Licenses Issued

Year-over-Year Growth (%)















Table: Year-over-Year Growth in Licenses Issued

The jump from 1,677 in 2022 to 2,016 in 2023 is particularly striking, marking a nearly 20% increase.

Here is the trend data in graphic form. You can clearly see the upward trend over the time period along with a post-pandemic drop in registrations.

Professional Engineer Licenses Issued in NY 2019-2023

Professional engineering licenses issued in New York (2019 – 2023)

The growth shown in this graph suggests a rising demand for engineers in New York, driven by various factors that we’ll explore in this article.

Factors Contributing to Trends

1. Economic Growth and Infrastructure Projects

One major driver of this trend is the economic growth and surge in infrastructure projects across the state. From the modernization of LaGuardia Airport to the ongoing development of the Hudson Yards, New York is constantly evolving. These projects require a vast number of skilled engineers to ensure they are completed efficiently and safely.

2. Changes in Licensing Requirements

Another factor could be changes in licensing requirements or processes. Over the past few years, there might have been updates in the educational prerequisites, examination procedures, or continuing education mandates that have influenced the number of engineers obtaining their licenses.

Read my article on the changes in New York continuing education requirements.

3. Technological Advancements

Technological advancements are also playing a significant role. Emerging fields like renewable energy, smart city technologies, and cybersecurity are creating new opportunities and demands for engineers. As these fields grow, more professionals are seeking licenses to enter these high-tech areas.

4. Impact of COVID-19

The pandemic had a notable impact as well. The slight dip in licenses issued in 2021 could be attributed to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, including delays in licensing processes and economic uncertainties. However, the strong rebound in 2022 and 2023 indicates a recovery and renewed interest in the profession.

Geographic Distribution of Engineering Licenses

The geographic distribution of professional engineers across New York reveals some fascinating trends. As of January 1, 2024, New York State has a total of 15,705 licensed engineers.

Table: Geographic Distribution of Professional Engineers as of January 1, 2024

County Number of Engineers County Number of Engineers County Number of Engineers
Albany 601 Jefferson 106 Saratoga 597
Allegany 22 Kings 978 Schenectady 301
Bronx 187 Lewis 24 Schoharie 23
Broome 156 Livingston 56 Schuyler 12
Cattaraugus 23 Madison 82 Seneca 8
Cayuga 45 Monroe 752 Steuben 44
Chautauqua 36 Montgomery 34 St. Lawrence 60
Chemung 34 Nassau 1,677 Suffolk 1,331
Chenango 23 New York 1,216 Sullivan 46
Clinton 31 Niagara 152 Tioga 27
Columbia 55 Oneida 140 Tompkins 89
Cortland 25 Onondaga 659 Ulster 142
Delaware 30 Ontario 116 Warren 99
Dutchess 341 Orange 339 Washington 34
Erie 840 Orleans 5 Wayne 53
Essex 21 Oswego 64 Westchester 1,246
Franklin 23 Otsego 25 Wyoming 15
Fulton 27 Putnam 123 Yates 8
Genesee 39 Queens 1,492 NYS TOTAL 15,705
Greene 31 Rensselaer 278 OTHER US 17,928
Hamilton 6 Richmond 330 NON-US 126
Herkimer 33 Rockland 293 TOTAL 33,759

Here is a pie-chart of the licensing data.

Pie Chart of Engineering Licenses by County

Engineering licenses issued by county

Taking a closer look at the licensing data by county reveals some interesting facts. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key counties:

  • New York County (Manhattan): 1,216 engineers
  • Kings County (Brooklyn): 978 engineers
  • Queens County: 1,492 engineers
  • Nassau County: 1,677 engineers
  • Suffolk County: 1,331 engineers
  • Westchester County: 1,246 engineers
  • Erie County: 840 engineers
  • Monroe County: 752 engineers

Here is a summary of the top 10 counties based on engineering licenses.

Top 10 Counties by PE Licenses in New York 2024

Top 10 Counties by PE Licenses in New York 2024

These counties account for a significant portion of the state’s licensed engineers. Unsurprisingly, the highest concentrations are in the major metropolitan areas and their suburbs.

Analysis of geographic distribution

1. Urban Areas

Urban counties, including New York (1,216 licenses), Kings (978 licenses), and Queens (1,492 licenses), show the highest concentration of professional engineer licenses. These areas are economic powerhouses with dense populations and significant infrastructure needs. The high number of licenses reflects the demand for ongoing construction, maintenance, and development projects in these regions.

2. Suburban Areas

Suburban counties such as Nassau (1,677 licenses), Suffolk (1,331 licenses), and Westchester (1,246 licenses) also have a substantial number of licenses. These regions balance residential and commercial development, driving demand for engineering services. Proximity to major urban centers amplifies the need for engineers to support regional growth and infrastructure projects.

3. Rural Areas

Rural counties, including Allegany (22 licenses), Lewis (24 licenses), and Schuyler (12 licenses), have the fewest licenses. These areas have lower population densities and less economic activity, resulting in fewer infrastructure projects and, consequently, fewer engineers. However, opportunities exist for targeted development to attract engineering talent and stimulate local economies.

If we summarize the licensing data by county size, we see some additional trends.

  • Urban Areas: New York (1,216), Kings (978), Queens (1,492)
  • Suburban Areas: Nassau (1,677), Suffolk (1,331), Westchester (1,246)
  • Rural Areas: Allegany (22), Lewis (24), Schuyler (12)

This distribution aligns with population density and economic activity, with urban and suburban areas leading in engineering licenses due to higher demand for infrastructure and development.

This table presents the number of licenses issued in urban counties versus rural counties.

Table: Comparison of Licenses in Urban vs. Rural Counties

Category Counties Included Total Licenses Issued
Urban Counties New York, Kings, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, etc. 9,432
Rural Counties Allegany, Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, etc. 1,298
Suburban Counties Westchester, Erie, Monroe, Onondaga, etc. 4,975
Total 15,705

Here is the same data presented graphically. This image highlights the trends even further.

Distribution of professional engineer licenses by county size

Distribution of professional engineer licenses by county size


Making Sense of the Geographic Differences

Let’s explore some possible reasons behind these regional variations.

1. Urban Centers as Engineering Hubs

Urban centers like New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester naturally attract a large number of engineers. These cities are home to major engineering firms, construction projects, and industries that require extensive engineering expertise. For instance, Manhattan alone has over 1,200 licensed engineers, reflecting its status as a global epicenter for architecture and construction.

2. Suburban Growth

Suburban counties like Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester also show high numbers of licensed engineers. These areas offer a balance between proximity to the city and a suburban lifestyle, making them attractive for professionals who want to be close to major projects while enjoying a different living environment.

3. Rural and Less Populated Areas

On the other end of the spectrum, rural and less populated counties have fewer licensed engineers. For example, counties like Allegany, Lewis, and Schuyler have fewer than 25 licensed engineers each. These areas might not have the same level of infrastructure projects or industrial activities as their urban counterparts, resulting in lower demand for engineering services.

What does it mean?

Distribution by county size

The distribution of engineering licenses generally correlates with the population distribution, but with some differences:

  • Higher Concentration in Urban Areas: Engineering licenses are more concentrated in urban areas relative to their population size. This reflects the higher demand for engineering services in cities and economic hubs.
  • Lower Concentration in Rural Areas: Rural areas have fewer licenses relative to their population size, which aligns with the lower demand for engineering services due to limited economic activity and infrastructure projects.

Thoughts on the Distribution

  1. Economic Impact: The distribution of engineering licenses is a good indicator of economic activity and development in a region. Areas with higher concentrations of engineers are likely to be more economically vibrant and have more development projects.
  2. Opportunity for Growth: There may be opportunities for growth in smaller counties if economic development initiatives are introduced. Encouraging industrial projects or improving infrastructure in these areas could increase the demand for engineers.
  3. Need for Infrastructure Investment: Rural areas might benefit from targeted infrastructure investments, which could attract more engineers and support regional growth.
  4. Role of Education: The presence of engineering schools and universities plays a significant role in retaining engineering talent. Counties with major educational institutions tend to have more engineers, highlighting the importance of higher education in workforce development.

Predictions for the Coming Years

Based on the trends we’ve seen over the past five years, it’s safe to say that the demand for professional engineers in New York is on the rise. But what can we expect in the coming years?

1. Continued Growth in Licenses Issued

The significant increase in licenses issued in 2023 suggests a robust demand for engineering talent. This trend is likely to continue as New York invests in infrastructure modernization, technology development, and sustainability initiatives. We can anticipate steady growth in the number of licenses issued annually, potentially reaching or even surpassing 2,500 licenses per year in the near future.

2. Regional Hotspots

Urban and suburban areas will likely remain hotspots for engineering activities. Cities like New York, Buffalo, and Rochester, along with their surrounding counties, will continue to attract a large number of engineers due to ongoing and upcoming projects. However, there may also be growth in less traditionally populated areas as remote work becomes more feasible and infrastructure needs expand statewide.

3. Emerging Fields Driving Demand

The rise of emerging fields such as renewable energy, smart city technologies, and cybersecurity will play a significant role in shaping the future demand for engineers. Professionals with expertise in these areas will be highly sought after. For instance, as New York commits to its clean energy goals, we can expect a surge in demand for engineers specializing in renewable energy projects like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.

4. Impact of Policy and Economic Factors

Policy changes and economic conditions will also influence future trends. Government initiatives aimed at boosting infrastructure development and technological innovation could lead to increased funding and opportunities for engineering projects. Additionally, economic stability and growth will support ongoing demand for engineering services across various sectors.

Opportunities for Engineers

Job Prospects and Career Growth

With the projected growth in licenses and the demand for engineering services, job prospects for engineers in New York are promising. New graduates and experienced professionals alike will find ample opportunities across various sectors, including construction, transportation, energy, and technology. Engineers who continuously update their skills and stay informed about industry trends will be well-positioned for career growth.

Focus on Continuing Education

Continuing education will be more important than ever for engineers aiming to stay competitive in this evolving landscape. As new technologies emerge and industry standards evolve, ongoing learning will ensure that engineers remain proficient and capable of meeting the demands of their roles. Courses and webinars focusing on the latest developments in engineering practices, regulatory changes, and new technologies will be invaluable.

PDH-Pro is an approved provider of continuing education in New York.

Implications for the Engineering Community

Opportunities for Engineers

With the increasing number of engineering licenses issued in New York and the rise in demand for engineering expertise, several opportunities are emerging for both new and seasoned engineers.

Job Opportunities in High-Demand Areas

The growing number of infrastructure projects and technological advancements in New York is creating a plethora of job opportunities. Engineers can find roles in various sectors, including construction, transportation, renewable energy, and technology. High-demand areas such as New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester are bustling with projects that require skilled engineers. Additionally, suburban and rural areas, while less saturated, offer unique opportunities for those looking to make a significant impact in these regions.

Specialization in Emerging Fields

Emerging fields like renewable energy, smart cities, and cybersecurity are opening new avenues for engineers. Specializing in these areas can provide a competitive edge and access to cutting-edge projects. For instance, as New York pushes towards its clean energy goals, engineers with expertise in solar, wind, and hydroelectric power will find numerous opportunities to contribute to sustainable projects.


Over the past five years, the number of professional engineer licenses issued in New York has shown a significant upward trend. This growth reflects the increasing demand for engineering expertise driven by economic development, major infrastructure projects, technological advancements, and changes in licensing processes. Our analysis highlighted several key insights:

  • Significant Growth in Licenses Issued: The number of licenses issued has steadily increased, with a notable spike in 2023.
  • Regional Variations: Urban and suburban areas, especially major cities and their surroundings, have the highest concentration of licensed engineers.
  • Emerging Opportunities: Fields like renewable energy, smart city technologies, and cybersecurity are driving new opportunities for engineers.
  • Continuing Education: Ongoing learning and professional development are crucial for staying competitive and meeting licensing requirements.

How You Can Benefit from These Trends

As professional engineers, staying informed about industry trends and adapting to the evolving landscape is essential. Here are some actionable steps you can take to leverage these trends for your career growth:

Pursue Continuing EducationNew York Continuing Education Courses and Packages

  • Enroll in courses and webinars that focus on the latest industry developments and technological advancements.
  • Ensure you meet all continuing education requirements to maintain your professional license.

Specialize in Emerging Fields

  • Consider gaining expertise in high-demand areas such as renewable energy, smart cities, and cybersecurity.
  • Stay updated on new technologies and methodologies relevant to these fields.

Engage in Networking

  • Join professional associations and attend industry events to connect with peers and industry leaders.
  • Participate in online forums and collaborative projects to expand your professional network.

Stay Informed

  • Keep up with industry news and trends by subscribing to relevant publications and blogs.
  • Regularly review licensing requirements and changes in regulations that might impact your practice.

By taking these steps, you can position yourself for success in a rapidly changing profession. The future of engineering in New York looks promising, and with the right approach, you can capitalize on the emerging opportunities and contribute to the state’s growth and innovation.