The architecture and engineering services sector countrywide employs more than 1.5 million Americans and supports an additional 3 million indirect jobs, according to a new study by the ACEC Research Institute.

The American Council of Engineering Companies, based in Washington, D.C., recently conducted what it calls a “first-of-its-kind industry profile,” which, among other things, found that the A&E sector drives some $386 billion in annual revenue.

Other key findings of the study include: The architecture and engineering sector pays an average annual salary of $88,000; and industry activity 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.

For those who work in the architecture and engineering industry, it is an exciting time to design and build.

“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,” ACEC president and CEO Linda Bauer Darr said in a statement announcing the institute’s study.

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In the upper Midwest region, the industry plays a significant role and is one that Prairie Business takes a look at frequently throughout the year, highlighting trends in the field.

The February issue of the magazine is one of those times.

Prairie Business highlights trends that some regional architects are noticing as they relate to health care and retail. Some of these trends were pushed by the coronavirus pandemic, but others were the natural result of trying to appeal to a broader customer base.

Another article also highlights how one North Dakota-based commercial A&E firm has branched into the residential real estate market, and the successes it is having on that front.

Other topics in this issue are banking and finance and taxes. Articles look at the importance of businesses to properly manage their cash flow, and how taxes have impacted many companies during the pandemic. What does the new year bring for these businesses? What trends are they noticing?

There also are a couple of guest columns to help business professionals capitalize their finances, and how A&E firms can better use today’s cloud-based technology in their work.

Next month the magazine will profile this year’s Top 25 Women in Business, which is always something to look forward to. For now, we hope you enjoy the February issue of Prairie Business.

Andrew Weeks
Andrew Weeks

Prairie Business Editor Andrew Weeks may be reached at 701-780-1276 or aweeks AT