Consulting engineering firms in the United States have experienced substantial growth over the past two years with a total of 731 firms opening their doors for business during the 1978-1980 period. According to Consulting Engineer magazine, one growth area was energy management, where firms offering consulting services have more than doubled since 1978.
The census was conducted in early 1980 among 10,891 consulting engineering firms. It classified the firms by employee size.
Comparing results with those of the 1978 census, it was found that more small firms were offering engineering services only. Because of this specialization, the average dollar value per project declined. Institutional and public project business was alos down over the past two years. Private business remains the No. 1 client for the smaller firms.
On the average, smaller firms have been in business a little more than 15 years and handle approximately $3.3 million in projects each year. The number of smaller engineering firms starting business in the last few years has increased, while the number of total firms in the classification has remained fairly constant (22 more firms) since 1978.