engineers in kenya scale of fees

Engineers in Kenya – Scale of Fees, Charges, Earnings

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At the time we were publishing Construction Costs Percentage For Each Building Element, the professional fees for structural engineers in Kenya were 3% of the value of the structural works. Electrical engineers in Kenya, on the other hand, were charging a minimum of 1% of the value of the project’s electrical works, while the minimum earnings for mechanical engineers stood at 1% of the cost of the mechanical works. 

Well, that has since changed, courtesy of the recently gazetted Legal Notice No.20 of 2022 – which is pursuant to The Engineers Act of 2011. The Engineers Board of Kenya initiated the process by drafting an updated schedule of fees for engineers, which was then passed on to parliament for approval and enactment. 

The notice itself comprises 66 pages of legal jargon on how much you should pay engineers in Kenya. You’ll find a mix of regulations for the minimum fees to be charged by engineers in Kenya for each type, grade, and scale of service across various levels of professional engagement and engineering experience.

Now, to save you the trouble of deciphering all the confusing information, Integrum’s team of construction project managers has broken down the most important details into a concise and understandable format. 

This right here is your go-to compilation of the scale of fees for engineers in Kenya. It reveals how much engineers earn in Kenya, and the professional charges you can expect for each type of engineering service in your construction project. We’ve especially prioritized the following:

  • Structural engineer fees. 
  • Civil engineer fees. 
  • Electrical engineer fees. 
  • Mechanical engineer fees. 

How much are engineers paid in Kenya?

According to the Kenya Gazette Notice 20 of 2022, the fees for engineers in Kenya are primarily based on percentage and time. 

The scale of fees by percentage ranges from 1% to about 10% of the total cost of the engineering works

And if you agree to pay your consultant based on the time they’ve spent on the project, the law stipulates an engineer in Kenya should earn a minimum of Kshs 4,500 to 12,500 per hour, Kshs 27,000 to 75,000 per day, or Kshs 450,000 to 1,250,000 in monthly fees. 

That covers the standard services under all the professional engineering disciplines in Kenya – structural engineers, software engineers, mechanical engineers, mechatronic engineers, telecommunications engineers, chemical engineers, electronic engineers, agricultural engineers, medical engineers, marine engineers, aeronautical engineers, etc. 

The total fee that your engineer will charge you depends on, among other factors: 

  • Complexity of the project. 
  • Scope of the project.
  • Cost of the project.
  • Client requirements.
  • Scale of works duplication.
  • Technological requirements of the project.
  • Engineer’s level of skills and experience.
  • Level of project risks and liabilities.
  • Project duration

For instance – in the field of construction, the minimum fees charged by civil engineers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers range between 1% and 4.5% of the total project cost. 

Below is a more comprehensive schedule of fees for each of these types of professional engineering services in Kenya. And if you happen to be a developer, you might want to additionally check out the Scale of Fees for Architects in Kenya

Scale of Fees for Engineers in Kenya

1. When you pay Kenyan engineers by percentage

engineers in kenya percentage fees

In typical construction projects where the engineer is not the lead consultant, the minimum you’re expected to pay for professional engineering services is as follows. This is the scale of professional fees outlined in the fifth schedule of Legal Notice 20. 

  • Structural engineer fees range from 3.5% to 4.5% of the total cost of construction
  • Mechanical engineer fees range from 2% to 2.5% of the total building cost.  
  • Electrical engineer fees range from 2% to 2.5% of the total project cost. 
  • Civil engineer fees range from 1% to 1.5% of the project cost. 
Engineering Discipline in Building Construction ProjectsMinimum Professional Fees as a Percentage of the Total Project Cost 
Structural engineer3.5% – 4.5%
Mechanical engineer2% – 2.5%
Electrical engineer2% – 2.5%
Civil engineer1% – 1.5%

Otherwise, for engineering projects where the engineer is the lead consultant from inception to completion (such as road construction projects), the schedule of fees for all engineering disciplines in Kenya is as follows:

  • Projects worth less than Kshs 20 million: When the total cost of the engineering works is below Kshs 20 million, your engineer will charge you a minimum of 10% up to Kshs 2,000,000. 
  • Projects worth Kshs 20 – 40 million: When the total cost of the engineering works ranges between Kshs 20 million and 40 million, the minimum fees for engineers are Kshs 2 million plus 7% of the remainder upon deducting 20 million from the total cost of works. 
  • Projects worth Kshs 40 – 80 million: When the total cost of the engineering works ranges between Kshs 40 million and 80 million, the minimum fees for engineers are Kshs 3.4 million plus 6.75% of the remainder upon deducting Kshs 40 million from the total cost of works. 
  • Projects worth Kshs 80 – 160 million: For engineering works whose cost falls between Kshs 80 million and 160 million, the project lead engineer is supposed to earn at least Kshs 6 million plus 6% of the remainder when Kshs 80 million is deducted from the final cost of works.
  • Projects worth Kshs 160 – 320 million: For engineering works whose value ranges from Kshs 160 million and 320 million, the project lead engineer is supposed to charge at least Kshs 10.9 million plus 5% of the remainder when Kshs 160 million is deducted from the final cost of works.
  • Projects worth Kshs 320 – 640 million: If the value of the engineering works falls between Kshs 320 million and 640 million, the minimum professional fee for engineers in Kenya is quoted as Kshs 18.9 million plus 3.75% of the remainder when Kshs 320 million is deducted from the total cost of works. 
  • Projects worth Kshs 640 million – 1.25 billion: For engineering works whose value falls between Kshs 640 million and 1.25 billion, the minimum engineering fees are Kshs 30.9 million plus 3.6% of the remainder when Kshs 610 million is deducted from the total cost of works.
  • Projects worth Kshs 1.25 – 2.5 billion: When the value of the engineering works ranges between Kshs 1.25 billion and 2.5 billion, the project lead engineer charges a minimum of Kshs 58.86 million plus 3.5% of the remainder after deducting Kshs 1.25 billion from the total cost of works. 
  • Projects worth Kshs 2.5 – 5 billion: For engineering works amounting to Kshs 2.5 billion to 5 billion, the engineer managing the project is supposed to earn at least Kshs 96.61 million plus 3.25% of the remainder after deducting Kshs 2.5 billion from the total cost of works.
  • Projects worth Kshs 5 – 7.5 billion: If the cost of the engineering works falls between Kshs 5 billion and 7.5 billion, the minimum fees for the project lead engineer are Kshs 177.86 million plus 2.7% of the remainder when you deduct Kshs 2.5 billion from the total cost of works.
  • Projects worth Kshs 7.5 – 12.5 billion: For engineering works whose value stretches from Kshs 7.5 billion to 12.5 billion, Kenyan engineers are paid a minimum of Kshs 245.36 million plus 2.3% of the remainder when you deduct Kshs 5 billion from the total cost of works.
  • Projects worth Kshs 12.5 – 25 billion: For engineering works costing between Kshs 12.5 billion and 25 billion, the project lead engineers in Kenya charge a minimum of Kshs 360.36 million plus 2.2% of the balance upon subtracting Kshs 12.5 billion from the total cost of works.
  • Projects worth over Kshs 25 billion: If the value of the engineering works is above Kshs 25 billion, engineers in Kenya charge a minimum fee of Kshs 635.36 million plus 2.17% of the remainder after deducting Kshs 25 billion from the total cost of works.
Cost of Engineering Works in KshsMinimum Fees for Standard Professional Engineering Services
when Engineer is the Lead Consultant
Up to 20 million. 10% of the cost of works up to Kshs 2 million.
From 20 million
up to 40 million. 
Kshs 2 million 

7% of (cost of works – Kshs 20 million) 
From 40 million
up to 80 million.
Kshs 3.4 million 

6.75% of (cost of works – Kshs 40 million) 
From 80 million
up to 160 million. 
Kshs 6.1 million 

6% of (cost of works – Kshs 80 million) 
From 160 million
up to 320 million.
Kshs 10.9 million
 + 
5% of (cost of works – Kshs 160 million) 
From 320 million
up to 640 million.
Kshs 18.9 million 

3.75% of (cost of works – Kshs 320 million) 
From 640 million
up to 1.25 billion.
Kshs 30.9 million 

3.6% of (cost of works – Kshs 610 million) 
From 1.25 billion
up to 2.5 billion.
Kshs 52.86 million 

3.5% of (cost of works – Kshs 1.25 billion) 
From 2.5 billion
up to 5 billion.
Kshs 96.61 million 

3.25% of (cost of works – Kshs 2.5 billion) 
From  5 billion
up to 7.5 billion.
Kshs 177.86 million 
+
2.7% of (cost of works – Kshs 2.5 billion) 
From 7.5 billion
up to 12.25 billion.
Kshs 245.36 million 

2.3% of (cost of works – Kshs 5 billion) 
From 12.25 billion
up to 25 billion.
Kshs 360.36 million 

2.2% of (cost of works – Kshs 12.5 billion) 
Above 25 billionKshs 635.36 million 

2.17% of (cost of works – Kshs 25 billion) 

Now, for the sake of clarity, “Lead Consultant” here means that you’ll be appointing the engineer to act as the overall coordinator from the beginning to the end of the project. They won’t just design and inspect the engineering works. 

For more clarity, here’s a breakdown of the key deliverables you should expect at each project stage, plus the schedule of payments you’re required to follow throughout your engagement with the project lead engineer.   

Engineering Project StageKey Deliverables from Engineer (Lead Consultant)Percentage of the professional fees payable to the Engineer
InceptionTechnical and financial feasibility report.
Report on project requirements.
Agreed scope of works and services.
Signed agreement with the client.
30%
Preliminary designReports on investigations or surveys.
Cost estimates.
Preliminary design.
Concept design.
Detailed designDetailed estimates of the project costs.
Submission of drawings for construction approval.
Project specifications.
Contract drawings, schedules, and bills of quantities.
Detailed design drawings, stamped by the engineer.
45%
TenderingPriced contract documentation.
Tender evaluation report and recommendations on the best contractors.
Tender documentation including priced tenders.
Specifications and stamped working drawings.
Contract administration & ConstructionFinancial control reports.
Certificates of compliance.
Practical completion report. 
Contractor payment certificates.
List of defects.
Progress reports.
Minutes of site meetings. 
Estimates of proposed variations. 
Conditions of contract. 
Schedules of predicted cash flow.
Construction documentation. 
25%
Close-outProject completion report.
Final accounts report.
As-built drawings and documentation.
Operations and maintenance manuals.
Guarantees and warranties.
Final payment certificates.

2. When engineers in Kenya are paid based on time

engineers in kenya hourly monthly earnings

For job assignments that do not fall under Standard Professional Engineering Services, engineering firms in Kenya calculate their fees based on time. 

Examples of such engagements include:

  • Project management. 
  • Preparation of Public private partnership (PPP) proposals.
  • On-site construction monitoring and supervision. 
  • Performance testing. 
  • Investigative surveys. 
  • Project appraisal.
  • Advise on works done by other engineering firms. 
  • Project implementation. 
  • Completion of works that were abandoned by the contractor. 
  • Preparation of proposals. 

That said, the time-based fees for engineers in Kenya are as follows across various professional categories: 

  • E5 category of engineers: Graduate engineers in Kenya are supposed to earn a minimum of Kshs 4,500 per hour, Kshs 27,000 per day, or Kshs 450,000 per month. 
  • E4 category of engineers: Consultants who are registered by EBK as professional engineers will charge you a minimum of Kshs 7,000 per hour, Kshs 42,000 per day, or Kshs 700,000 per month. 
  • E5 category of engineers: Senior engineers (with at least 5 years of experience as registered professional engineers) are paid a minimum of Kshs 8,500 per hour, Kshs 51,000 per day, or Kshs 850,000 per month. 
  • E2 category of engineers: The principals or directors of consulting engineering firms in Kenya will charge you a minimum of Kshs 10,500 per hour, Kshs 63,000 per day, or Kshs 1,050,000 per month. 
  • E1 category of engineers: Specialist engineers who are recognized as authorities in their fields charge a minimum of Kshs 12,500 per hour, Kshs 75,000 per day, or Kshs 1,250,000 per month. 
Category of EngineerMinimum Hourly Rates (Ksh)Minimum Daily Rates (Ksh)Minimum Monthly Rates (Ksh)
E112,50075,0001,250,000
E210,50063,0001,050,000
E38,50051,000850,000
E47,00042,000700,000
E54,50027,000450,000

Keep in mind that:

  • Hourly rates are charged on job assignments that’ll take your engineer no more than 40 hours or 1 week. 
  • Daily rates are applicable on professional engagements that’ll take your engineer between 40 hours and 200 hours in total. 
  • Monthly rates are charged on projects that run for more than 200 hours. 

What Do Engineering Fees Mean For Construction Projects? 

Well, in a nutshell, you should expect to spend about 15% to 25% of your construction project’s capital on the core team of professional consultants. 

  • Architects charge a minimum of 6% + VAT.
  • Structural engineers are paid a minimum of 3.5% to 4.5% + VAT.
  • Quantity Surveyors (QS) charge a minimum of 3.5% + VAT.
  • Electrical engineers are paid a minimum of 2% to 2.5% + VAT.
  • Mechanical engineers charge a minimum of 2% to 2.5% + VAT.
  • Civil engineers are paid a minimum of 1% to 1.5% + VAT. 

Here’s the thing, though. These guidelines for professional fees are not static. Cap 525 (Architects and Quantity Surveyors Act) and the Engineers Act allow you to negotiate the rates based on multiple project variables. 

Now, that’s where we come in. Integrum Project Managers will guide you on all the parameters that affect the professional fees in your construction project. 

It’s possible, for instance, to get your architect’s fees and engineering charges waived if your project comprises repetitive works or multiple identical units. The law additionally directs that the charges can be reduced proportionately when partial service is rendered. 

What’s more, there are stipulations on what constitutes the construction costs on which the professional fees are evaluated, the type of contract agreements to sign, the sequence of payment to follow, the services you should get in return, plus the liabilities that the professionals take up upon appointment. 

We’ll oversee all these intricacies on your behalf. Just shoot us an email today and let’s get chatting about proper management of the quality, logistics, contracts, and costs of your construction project. 

Feature image by ASphotofamily on Freepik


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