New statistics have found that the number of contractors working in engineering positions has risen markedly over the past five years.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of engineering contractors is now in excess of 55,000. This is a huge rise from the 32,000 recorded back in 2011.

Though self-employment in the UK has risen by 17.5% in the same period, that rise represents more than three times the national average.

This indicates that contractor work in the engineering sector is an increasingly popular and feasible option for workers, and that the industry itself is accommodating for workers of this nature.

If you are an engineer considering making the switch to working as a contractor, the timing couldn’t be better.

Contractors in the IT sector meanwhile are currently enjoying a high demand for their skills.

A post on ContractorUK this week from Harvey Nash Recruitment Solutions and Mortimer Spinks highlighted nine key areas where demand for the expertise of contractors in the IT sector are high.

Areas mentioned included cyber security, DevOps, and development – specifically JavaScript and Scala.

Other areas highlighted included Front End; Kubernetes, Docker and AWS; .Net;  iOS and Android; PHP – Laravel; and Drupal 8.

While one industry is enjoying a wealth of contractors, another is ostensibly seeking more. If you are currently between contract and specialise in either of these industries, there are likely to be opportunities on the horizon.

Similarly, if you don’t currently work as a contractor but have the expertise and desire to do so, the time might just be right to make the leap.