1. There are jobs.
The demand for skilled workers has been increasing steadily for more than a decade, even during periods of economic decline.
Click on the map below to find out what trades employers
are looking for in your province or territory.
Plus, over the next 10 years, around 260,000 baby boomers will be retiring from the construction industry alone. Employers will be looking to fill these vacated positions with smart, skilled people. You could be one of them.
And don’t think construction is seasonal – it goes on throughout the year in all sectors. Some trades and occupations, like those in home finishing, involve indoor work only. But with today’s technology, even projects that are primarily outdoors, such as large-scale heavy industrial projects in Alberta’s oil sands, only slow down or stop temporarily during the worst winter weather.
2. The money is good.
The wages of construction workers have been among the fastest to grow in Canada. Based on Statistics Canada data from 1997 to 2017, the median hourly wage, adjusted for inflation, rose 22% in construction, placing it among the top four industries where wages have grown the fastest, according to Global News.
What does this mean?
- They can have lots of toys – a snowmobile, jet ski, a nice truck or motorcycle.
- They can afford to send their kids on school trips and outfit them for often-costly sports.
- They can afford to buy houses, condos and/or cottages.
- And they can often pay these items off in reasonably good time, assuming they manage their money wisely.
- And so can you!
- In Canadian Business's report on the 2019 Top 100 Jobs in Canada with the best pay, the most opportunity, and the brightest outlook, about one third of the top 25 jobs listed are construction related.
- There are more than 50 trades and occupations in the construction industry and each has its own hourly rate or annual salary.
- Income levels and benefits such as group insurance for health, dental and vision care, retirement packages and training benefits depend on the nature of your contract and the region where you work.
- It costs less to learn a trade than it does for a university degree.
- And if you enter an apprenticeship program, you can start earning money as soon as you finish high school, so you don’t have to go into debt to pursue your training. Learn more about apprenticeships.
3. You can start earning money quickly.
If you become an apprentice, you can start earning money as soon as you finish high school!
You’ll make a percentage of what a fully qualified journeyperson – that’s a certified tradesperson – earns, and your earnings will increase each year of your apprenticeship until you're a fully certified journeyperson.
You can earn anywhere from 30% to 50% of a fully certified journeyperson’s wage during your first year as an apprentice.
4. You can build a lifelong career.
Remember – today’s tradespeople are tomorrow’s industry leaders.
With time and experience, you can build a serious ladder to success, advancing into higher management positions – like foreman, superintendent, supervisor, project manager and construction manager – in established companies, moving into different areas such as health and safety, training and engineering, or even start and grow your own business. That’s exactly what Karma Hunter did, and she now owns her own successful construction company! Check out Karma’s story.
And learning one trade doesn’t mean you can’t try other things. Like other careers, ongoing education is also a possibility, and many skills can be transferred between trades. The possibilities are endless!
5. You can build a meaningful career.
You can push paper around all day, or you can build houses where families live, skyscrapers where people work, roads and bridges that get us where we need to go, and communities that help everyone in Canada thrive. At the end of the day, you can look back and see that you built something new. Something that didn’t exist before. Something that will be there, in many cases, for generations to come. Something you can be proud of.
So follow your skills. Challenge the assumptions. And give your career meaning.
– According to a 2018 report by Job Talks
6. You can travel.
It’s no secret – Canada is a resource-rich country. So it shouldn’t surprise you that there are a lot of huge construction projects centred on resources. And that means a lot of job opportunities and the ability to relocate to some pretty spectacular regions of Canada.
Click on the map below to see what big construction projects
are going on in your province or territory.
If you prefer to stay in one place, however, plenty of construction careers will give you that option. For example, if you choose a career in home building and renovation, or in commercial construction, you’ll likely be able to find secure, long-term employment with a large company close to home.
– Stephen Hull, Electrical Foreman
7. You won’t get bored.
Given the nature of construction, things are always changing.
- There’s no worry about doing the same thing day in, day out.
- No two days are alike and every job is different.
- And you’re always learning new things.
- You have the ongoing opportunity to learn from other professionals, and the ability to learn new technologies as they emerge or evolve.
– Ani Bogovic, President, Dekla Developments
8. You get to work with awesome people, just like you!
Find the construction careers that fit your personality and lifestyle.
Check out the Career Finder.
Find out how to get started.