construction worker jobs in canada

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construction jobs canada
construction jobs in canada
construction jobs in canada

everything you need to know about construction jobs

If you enjoy physical work indoors or outdoors and enjoy the reward of standing back to admire something you built, you might want to pursue a construction career.

In construction jobs, you may be employed by a contractor that is helping build a large government or privately funded project. You could be working on road or bridge construction, residential or commercial buildings, or for a utility provider, such as a power plant. A construction career provides the opportunity to learn while you earn from skilled tradespeople and coworkers.

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construction jobs in canada

average construction worker salaries in canada

A construction worker salary in Canada starts at an average of about $18 per hour (approximately $37,500 a year). When you start a construction career, you might work only a few months on a project of short duration. More experienced or unionized construction workers who work full time can earn excellent wages and benefits with a salary of $60,000+ a year.

With more than 50 skilled trades required in the construction industry, experienced construction workers are in demand. Workers with skilled trade experience, like plumbers or electricians, can make a higher than average salary. It is not uncommon to find plumbers, for example, making more than $100,000 a year.



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construction jobs in canada

what construction jobs entail

Every construction job is different. Because there's so much variety in construction projects, you must be prepared for any situation. You could be working indoors or outside, in a building or underground, on a highway, or even at several sites in a single day.

You need to be flexible because construction jobs vary greatly by season, project and industry sector. In road construction, you might only work on weekends or during the night. Some construction jobs only last for the summer.

If you are working on home construction, your hours will likely be during the day from Monday to Friday. Daytime hours usually require an early start. In full time construction jobs, you will normally work 40 hours a week with the possibility of overtime.

Entry-level construction workers report to a foreman, while skilled trade workers may work on their own, reporting to a general contractor, building owner, or project manager.

construction jobs in canada

your day to day work

As a construction worker, you will be assigned a variety of tasks depending on the stage of the project. As the work begins, there may be a great deal of preparation and planning. During the project, you will take direction and follow plans using materials and tools to accomplish your tasks. As you see the final result taking shape, your tasks will move toward finishing, quality control checks and cleaning up. You may be involved in:

  • preparing the work site, unloading trucks, removing hazards
  • learning and applying safety rules and building codes
  • setting up scaffolding, digging, breaking pavement, removing debris
  • measuring, cutting, fitting, pouring or installing building materials
  • using manual or power tools like hammers, saws, drills, jackhammers
  • sealing, painting or finishing surfaces
  • sweeping and cleaning the job site
construction jobs in canada

where you can work

A sense of optimism currently runs throughout the construction industry due to the federal government’s plans for increased spending on infrastructure over the next decade. For those who are flexible, the advantage of working in construction is that you can work anywhere there is renewal, growth and development.

Although residential construction in the hot Toronto and Vancouver markets is now cooling, permits for non-residential buildings are anticipated to increase over the next few years. Engineering and construction projects are also expected to increase in the energy and transportation sectors with new subway extensions in Toronto, a new bridge in Windsor and airport upgrades in Calgary and Vancouver.

Many billion-dollar projects are in progress or about to start across Canada, from hydroelectric construction in British Columbia to an energy transmission projects in Nova Scotia.

what you bring to the table

It almost goes without saying that, as a construction worker, you must be physically fit and ready to work in any environment. If you want to maintain your physique, there is probably no better way than working on a construction site. As a construction worker, you will also need the following:

  • physical strength, endurance, balance and coordination
  • an ability to lift heavy objects, climb ladders and stand for long periods
  • an ability to tolerate harsh environments such as heat, cold, dust and dirt
  • willingness to work at heights or in cramped spaces
  • desire to learn and take direction with a positive attitude
  • an ability to read instructions, use tools, measure materials and add and subtract

training and certifications

The education needed to be a construction worker depends on the type of position you are searching for. General labourers usually do not need a specific level of education. However, if you want to be an apprentice in a skilled trade,  you will need at least a high school graduation diploma. For journeymen or skilled construction worker jobs, you will need your up-to-date trade certification or license and union affiliation.

where your career is headed

When you start a construction career, you will work hard to learn every aspect of your job, including your employer’s specific processes and safety rules. If you start as an apprentice in one of the skilled trades you could make 30 to 50 percent of what a fully qualified tradesperson earns.

As you gain knowledge and experience over several years, perhaps becoming certified or licensed, you could advance to the position of foreman, supervisor or project manager. As you reflect back on your construction career, you will likely feel a sense of satisfaction knowing you have been part of Canada’s development, helping people, communities, businesses and industry.

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