One skill, several sectors | Start from where you are now | Move around within the industry | Career paths

Where do you fit in?

Click here to see construction career pathsIn construction, there’s a career to suit practically everyone.

In the New Home Building and Renovation sector, you can build a career creating attractive family homes and participating in the growth of your own community.

  • You can work for a large company that offers long-term employment and the chance to take on specialized responsibilities or become a manager. There are also plenty of opportunities to become a teacher or instructor.
  • If you’re ambitious and independent, you can work as a sub-contractor or start your own company. The demand for skilled sub-contractors makes home building an ideal sector for budding businesspeople to make their mark.

Careers in Heavy Industrial Construction are as rewarding as they are demanding.

  • If you like being outdoors, handling large equipment, and working and living in interesting new places, this sector could be for you.
  • It’s exciting and satisfying to work as part of a team overcoming the challenges on huge construction projects, such as the Hibernia oil platform.
  • The projects in this sector generally take years to complete and involve a wide range of construction careers. There are many opportunities to advance to planning, supervisory, teaching or management roles.

In Institutional and Commercial Construction, which plays an important role in the economic and social life of our country, you will work on buildings, such as office towers, malls, schools, hospitals and stadiums.

  • The projects tend to be large and varied. There are many opportunities for long-term career building that will take you into supervisory, teaching or management roles.
  • You can choose to work in a variety of locations, or settle in a single community.

With a career in Civil Engineering Construction, you’ll be contributing to essential public projects such as bridges, highways, dams, water and sewer systems, and power and communication lines.

  • You can take pride in helping to create great public structures such as the Confederation Bridge – the world's longest bridge crossing ice-covered water, and one of Canada's premier engineering achievements of the last century.
  • You can work on new construction or in maintenance, and there are many opportunities to advance to supervisory, teaching and management positions.
  • You can choose to work in many places, or develop a career in a single town or city.

All four construction sectors employ a wide range of skilled construction workers. In most trades and occupations, you can follow a career path that takes you from one sector to another.

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Learn one skill, work in several sectors

Carpenters, painters, bricklayers, cabinetmakers, landscapers and floor covering installers are in constant demand in the New Home Building and Renovation, and Institutional and Commercial construction sectors.

Boilermakers, crane operators, concrete finishers, drillers and blasters, welders and ironworkers are essential to projects in the Heavy Industrial and Civil Engineering sectors.

Construction also needs designers, architects, computer specialists, surveyors, estimators, schedulers, financial managers, entrepreneurs and many other skilled and ambitious people to work in all sectors.

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Start from where you are

A career in construction can start at different points for different people:

  • Many construction business owners, supervisors and senior managers start their careers by working on-site as labourers or tradespeople.
  • Some certified construction workers decide to expand into related construction careers, or take college or university courses after they’ve worked for awhile.
  • Other people take university degree programs before they enter the industry, or work in other industries first.
  • Construction workers can even start their careers while still in high school, working as a construction labourer during summer break or registering in secondary school apprenticeship programs.

For more information on how to enter the construction industry, check out Getting started.

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Move around within the industry

Many people are certified to work in several areas of construction, and one position often leads logically to another:

  • A crane operator already has many of the skills it takes to become a heavy equipment operator or mechanic.
  • Welders, ironworkers and boilermakers all work with similar materials and equipment.
  • Carpenters can expand easily into cabinetmaking, roofing or floor covering installation.

With a number of certifications, or with construction experience plus a diploma or degree in business, communications, accounting or management, you can climb far and high in the construction industry.

Although construction employs almost a million Canadians, most companies are not that large and there are plenty of opportunities to start your own business, especially in the new home building and renovation sector. Many of today’s large construction companies started as small sub-contracting firms in this sector.

Any way you look at it, construction offers a lifetime of opportunities and the chance to build a long and meaningful career.

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Career paths

Take a look at some of the career paths in the construction industry. Click on the links below:

The construction industry offers a career choice to suit practically everyone.

Find out if you have what it takes to be part of Canada’s construction industry. Take the construction challenge! Click here.

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