Some of the most in-demand jobs in Canada right now are in the construction industry.
Careers in the skilled trades offer tremendous opportunity across the country, with great freedom of mobility and job security.
These are the jobs least likely to be sent offshore or be lost to automation. They offer high pay, great benefits, and often the flexibility to set your own hours or be your own boss.
This work impacts our society in many ways and it’s likely we’ll always need trades workers like plumbers, electricians and carpenters.
Ontario’s construction industry is projected to grow over the next decade, driven by numerous new infrastructure and utilities projects.
Plus, increasing needs in the residential sector include plenty of homebuilding opportunities and even more renovation work, especially in the Greater Toronto Area.
What’s driving job creation even more than these new projects, however, is that a large percentage of workers in the industry are set to retire in the coming years.
In fact, over 85,000 trades positions will need to be filled this decade to make up for retiring baby boomers.
If you’re thinking about construction trades training, take a look at 5 of the most in-demand careers out there right now.
1. Construction & Maintenance Electrician
An electrician’s skills are essential for every construction project, whether in commercial, industrial or residential areas.
Electricians can find work pretty much anywhere and demand is so high for these skilled professionals that it’s pushing salary ranges higher and higher.
Working as an electrician involves installing, repairing and upgrading electrical wiring, fixtures and related equipment.
In this role, you would be responsible for interpreting electrical drawings, forming circuits, identifying problems in electrical systems, and fixing/upgrading electrical equipment.
2. HVAC Mechanic
HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) mechanics install, repair and overhaul all types of systems related to air quality and temperature control.
With climate change and a boom in energy efficiency upgrades, this is one of the hottest jobs in Canada right now.
Employment website Indeed reported a 77 percent growth in demand for HVAC installers from 2016 to 2017.
You can work in residential, commercial or industrial settings in this career, and may choose to specialize in one of these fields. You’ll be responsible for connecting systems to fuel and water supply lines, air ducts and other components.
As it requires skills in air movement, electrical, refrigeration, mechanical, gas and plumbing, HVAC is a challenging, but rewarding trade. There are always opportunities to learn new skills and advance your career.
Growth in the construction industry is just one reason for the high demand for plumbers in Canada. There are jobs available across all sectors, from industrial plants to hospitals to houses.
Perhaps the most important skill that plumbers need is problem solving. Every job will have different conditions and challenges, requiring a logical process to fix leaks, blockages, and other plumbing issues quickly and correctly.
The biggest part of the job is installing and repairing equipment used for water distribution and waste water disposal. You’ll work with your hands and specialized plumbing tools. Increasingly, computer-controlled equipment is also being used on the job.
To improve your job prospects even further, consider taking a combined plumber and gas technician training program. Plumbers with a Gas technician 3 certification can:
- service certain gas piping or tubing systems
- reactivate previously installed appliances
- clean and lubricate an appliance
- clean, remove or replace a vent connector, venting or draft control device
The largest single group of skilled workers in Canada are carpenters. But the majority of them began in the 1960s and are now retiring in large numbers.
Carpenters construct and repair structures and components made primarily of wood, but also lightweight steel and other materials.
If you love working with your hands and have a good eye for detail, this can be a very rewarding career path. You can work with construction companies, carpentry contractors, maintenance departments, or be self-employed.
Your duties as a carpenter may include:
- building foundations – installing floor beams, sub-flooring, walls and roofing
- fitting and installing doors, stairs, trim, molding and hardware
- repairing and renovating wooden structures
In carpentry training at a pre-apprenticeship college, students learn all the safety, service and installation methods, building code regulations, and problem-solving skills needed to get started in this trade.
5. Construction Office Manager
As construction projects continue to increase, more managers are needed to organize and direct the many coordinated aspects of building new structures.
Construction office managers combine knowledge of construction and maintenance with the administrative skills necessary to satisfy regulatory and corporate compliance.
This includes budgeting cost estimates and material takeoffs, the list of quantities and material types needed for building.
Other duties may include:
- record keeping
- ensuring compliance with occupational health and safety procedures
- coordinating subcontractors
- maintaining databases
- processing invoices
- recruiting and training employees
If you’re interested in becoming a construction office manager, you’ll need good communication and decision-making skills, analytical abilities, and the capacity to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
Ready to get started in construction trades training to pursue one of these in-demand trades careers?
Explore training programs at the Pre-apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute—Ontario’s leading construction trades school.
Click below to browse available courses in Cambridge and Toronto, learn about admissions, careers, or chat live with an advisor. We’re here to help!
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