A survey by the Association of Consulting Engineers shows engineering exports broke records at more than $100 million in a year, association president Ian Fraser said yesterday.

Growth in turnover exceeded 10 per cent, following a 6.7 per cent rise the previous year.

About 5800 professional and technical consultants are employed by firms belonging to the association.

Professional fees earned exceed $600 million a year, with 17 per cent - $108 million - earned overseas, making professional engineering one of the largest service exports for New Zealand.

The professional engineering services provided by ACENZ member firms translated into more than $6 billion in capital development a year, particularly in infrastructure projects such as roading, water and sewage, power, telecommunications, commercial and industrial buildings, industrial process and many others.

"We expect that this growth will taper off in the New Year," Mr Fraser said.

"Surveys undertaken by ACENZ suggest that the challenges faced in the US, Japan and Europe have had less of an impact than expected, but there may be an easing in investment early next year."

Over the last 20 years the New Zealand professional engineers sector had invested heavily in Southeast Asia, he said.