Tips for Finding a Career in the Canadian Construction Industry

Construction in Canada is booming. If you love working with your hands, or in a career that centers around building/fixing physical structures, then there is no reason to wait and ponder your next steps. Get started now!

With unemployment at an all time low and media outlets proclaiming the severe shortage of skilled trades people in the construction industry, it can be frustrating and overwhelming for some people who still can’t find a position, or don’t know where to start. We’re here to help!

If you have the skills and experience (a journeyman or equivalent) in a specific field, but still can’t find a position in your area, it might mean that you may have to start looking elsewhere in your province for a well paying job (use our search function on workintrades.ca to help find jobs in your area). There are positions out there for you! You might just have to start expanding your geographical search.

If you’re starting from scratch, the all important first step is to get a sense for what kind of trade or skill you would most enjoy doing on a daily basis. Or conversely, you can look at the salary averages for common construction jobs, or current job openings in the area you want to live (although these things fluctuate). One way to get a sense of the day to day of a specific construction career is to read more of our featured career’s of the week, or to reach out to someone in the career you’re considering and ask about the pros and cons of their job.

Usually people who are passionate about their work are keen to share their experience, and people in the career that you’re interested in can save you a lot of time, energy and money by giving you advice.

After you’ve narrowed down your search into the specific field or trade that you’re interested in, we recommend researching about Government programs that are there to help you through your education and apprenticeships. The Canadian Government is very keen on helping people find jobs in the construction and skilled trades fields, so be sure to take advantage of these if they apply to you. Find out more here.

 

The next step is either to begin basic safety training and certificates such as WHMIS, diver training (if applicable) and other basic workplace safety training. More information on construction safety standards can be found here, and here.

Once basic safety training is completed, someone interested in looking for a position in the construction industry can either begin in classroom training and the formal apprenticeship process if something specific interested you, or if you’re still not sure about which skill you want to pursue then we would recommend pursuing a labourer position or something equivalent to begin the workplace experience.

Nothing will truly prepare you for what it’s like on a work site other than working on one daily. This will give you a first-hand look at the different trades and what kind of work they do. It will also help you get your foot in the door in the industry and gain experience that will help you if you decide to pursue another skilled trade. But above all, it will get you working and on your way to a successful career in construction!

As always, make sure to check in on workintrades.ca for the latest careers in your area!

 

What did we miss? Get in touch at hello@workintrades.ca to share your experience!

Featured Career of the Week: Carpenter!

Happy Monday! Welcome to another edition of Featured Career of the Week!

This week’s featured career is a Carpenter!

Most of us have a general understanding of the Carpentry profession. But for those who don’t, that’s why we’re here!

 

Carpenters construct, service and repair structures made of wood, steel and other wood substitute and building materials.

Sounds pretty general? Well, it is.

Carpenters plan things to build, and then build them. That being the case — the job involves many different components and can vary greater depending on the type of job, or the niche of the trade.

Generally speaking, Carpentry jobs a broken into three categories:

In residential jobs, carpenters crib the basement; build the house framework, walls, roof, exterior and interior finishes; and install doors, windows, flooring, cabinets, stairs, handrails, paneling, moulding and ceiling tiles.

In commercial or industrial jobs, carpenters specialize in building concrete forms, scaffolding, bridges, trestles, tunnels, shelters, towers and other structures.

In maintenance jobs, Carpenters repair and remodel existing structures of all kinds.

 

Carpenters are involved in physically demanding work and often work long hours. They also need to be extremely detail orientated and organized, as the planning component is often the most important part of the job.

Right now, Carpenters are being heavily recruited right across Canada, so this is the time to be a Carpenter or get into the trade. Carpenters can work plenty of overtime, or choose to work a typical 40 hour work week.

Working conditions can be dangerous and strenuous, but often the combined physical labour and complex planning makes for a dynamic work environment and keeps things interesting.

One of the aspect of being a Carpenter that some people don’t realize or think about is that carpentry can be a wonderfully first step into bigger and better things within the construction industry, including Project Management or Construction Engineering.

 

Also, with more experience, a Journeyman Carpenter can specialize into finishing carpentry, which typically is better paid, or into other specialized woodworking fields.

Check out workintrades.ca for new Carpenter Jobs being posted every week!

Pay Scale:

Depending on where you are in Canada, the rate of pay for Carpenters varies. The typical range is between $15-$22 per hour for entry level Carpenters and between $28-$42 per hour for more experienced Carpenters who typically have journeyman status.

Education:

To become a journeyman carpenter, your apprenticeship will be either 3 or 4 years and will include both in class work and on the job experience. Like most trades, you can get paid while you learn.

Resources:

Humber College — Toronto

Saskatchewan Polytechnic — Regina

Algonquin College — Ottawa

BCIT — Vancouver

ITA — Vancouver

NAIT — Edmonton

Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology — Winnipeg