Top Salaries for Skilled Trades in Canada – 2019

With university degrees at all time highs and students in university programs racking up huge amounts of debt, trades programs are an attractive option for people wanting stable, well paying careers.

Learn more about salary expectations in Canada before you decide which trade to pursue in 2019!


Salary range: $32,497 – $75,889

Involves cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, ships, timber bridges, concrete formwork, etc


Salary range: $34,693 – $91,484

A person skilled in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment


Salary range: $41,223 – $88,737

An Ironworker fabricates and erects the structural steel framework of pre-engineered metal buildings, single and multi-story buildings, stadiums, arenas and many other structural projects


Salary range: $33,566 – $85,309

A plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining systems used for potable water, sewage and drainage in plumbing systems. Plumbers can work in commercial and residential projects.


Salary range: $33,707 – $85,034

Welders use a variety of welding processes to join and sever metals. Wire process operators use wire feed welding processes and work primarily in production environments in many different structural projects.


Salary range: $40,547 – $130,821

A steamfitter lays out, assembles, maintains, and repairs piping systems.

Automotive Service Technician:

Salary range: $40,000 – $95,000.

Automotive Service Technicians perform preventative maintenance, diagnose problems and repair vehicle systems including engines, vehicle management, hybrids, steering, braking, tires, wheels, drivetrains, suspension, electrical, electronics, heating, ventilation and air conditioning on vehicles.

HVAC Technician:

Salary range: C$32,038 – C$85,656

An HVAC technician installs, maintains, and repairs heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems in both residential and commercial structures.

As always – check out to find the latest openings in these fields

Interview with Business Owner: Advice on Getting a Job, Entrepreneurship and more!

Here is our interview with the co-owner/chief operating officer of a BC construction company. We hope you find it valuable!

As an employer in the trades, is there one specific skill that is a must before considering hiring someone?

Time management, organizational skills and work are important at every level, trade and position.



When and why did you take the leap into self employment?

About six years ago. I love the risk reward element of self employment. The direct relationship between what you put in and what you get out makes for some pretty exciting days.


What has been the most difficult thing in creating your own business and how did you get past it?

Collecting! Especially when trying to gain momentum. There are a lot of profitable businesses on paper that struggle to stay afloat because they aren’t collecting, especially in this industry.

My advice would be extra due diligence in who you extend credit to. Pursue deposits whenever possible to keep cash coming in. The clients you want will have the resources and willingness to do so.



What is your favourite part of running your own business?

Winning! And sharing that success with our team. I love seeing personal growth within the company.


What does a day look like for you?

I wouldn’t say there’s really a typical day. Our only constants in the office are our morning huddles. They provide a great rhythm and start to each day.  


What advice would you give people looking to get into trades?

Go for it! Great value in the education and you get to earn an income as an apprentice. There’s always a demand for trades if you look in the right places and you can earn a very competitive living.



What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to start their own business in the construction/skilled trades fields?

I’d say the best approach would be to hang on to your current job well you get all your ducks in a row. Save as much as possible, do your research and assume you’ll need twice the resources you first thought to get going. You’ll get out exactly what you put into your business but have faith in the process and work as hard as you possibly can.

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 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 for the latest careers in your area!


What did we miss? Get in touch at 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 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.


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.


Humber College — Toronto

Saskatchewan Polytechnic — Regina

Algonquin College — Ottawa

BCIT — Vancouver

ITA — Vancouver

NAIT — Edmonton

Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology — Winnipeg

Featured Career of the Week: Plumber

Being a plumber in Canada in 2018 is not what many assume. Like most trades, or any career for that matter — the life of a plumber varies widely depending on level of experience, type of work involved and location. It is an extremely diverse and complex job, with years of training involved.

Plumbers are extremely important. One of the pros of being a plumber is that you get to be the person that fixes immediate problems that others simply can’t. Quality workmanship as a plumber means that a building or water system functions as it should, and the direct health and safety of building occupants is in your hands.

Plumbers typically categorize their work between commercial and residential plumbing. Once again, the job varies widely and depending on the site. However, you will certainly be doing more than unclogging sewers, lavatories and water installations.

As a Plumber, you will be in charge of diagnosing issues (using pressure systems to locate issues), keeping track of inventory, recommending plans for building inspections/plan approval and maintaining all physical components of a building structures water internal water systems and piping. There are too many specific components of the job to list here, but suffice it to say there are a lot of components to the job.

There is a lot to know, and the industry is constantly evolving — this requires that you have to be a quick learner and be able to adapt and change. Being a plumber means that you are required to evolve and adapt as the industry changes.


Your hands will get dirty, and you will be working long hours, sometimes on evenings and weekends. You will sometimes be the hero, especially in residential jobs. Sometimes you will be working long hours, in dirty work and chaotic circumstances.

To be successful in this career, you must be able to solve complex problems, work irregular hours in physically demanding work. The work changes, and no two jobs are exactly the same. The pay is good, and in today’s booming construction sector, plumbers will always be in demand!

Pay scale

Like any trade, pay rate fluctuates with experience. One of the nice things about becoming a plumber is that you can earn a decent living while learning the skill. Journeyman Plumbers typically earn between $30 and $59 an hour, or $54,000 — $74,000 annually. However, it is not uncommon for experienced plumbers to earn +$100,000 annually under the right circumstances.

Education requirements

Becoming a journeyman Plumber requires a high school diploma or equivalent, then an apprenticeship program of about 9000 hours, or about 4.5 years. Apprenticeship programs involve mostly on the job training, but also requires classroom work.

Here are some recources and programs to get you started!

Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating

Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association Inc. is a good source for courses and education material.

Camosun College

Trades Training BC

Academy Canada

Good luck! And checkout to find your next career in plumbing and other skilled trades!