Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

There's high demand in this sector that offers a variety of roles and can pay a lot more than you think

This story is part of the Globe Careers’ series looking at specific jobs, with their qualifications, descriptions, responsibilities and current salaries. For more, see our Salaries Series.

The job:

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

1 of 11

Starts at about $45,000 a year to more than $200,000, depending on the job, the demand for the role, and the location. (For example, construction workers are paid more in places such as Alberta where demand is high.)

2 of 11

The minimum general labourers require is a high-school diploma, while professionals such as engineers need specialized education, such as a post-secondary degree, in their field. Some labourers, including tool-and-die makers, also receive training in their area of expertise.

3 of 11

By the numbers:
The Construction Sector Council says the industry will need to recruit roughly 246,000 new construction workers to meet expansion and replacement demand between 2013 and 2021, due in part to the aging work force.

Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

4 of 11

Story continues below advertisement

The shortages are largely in the industrial and engineering construction markets, particularly in the resources industry.
“Even if the industry succeeds in sustaining or increasing their share of the new entrants, there is still a need to reach outside the local industry and attract 100,000 workers to meet these needs,” the council says in a report.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

5 of 11

The job:
There are a number of jobs on a construction site, from swinging a hammer to operating a backhoe or working at a desk examining a set of blueprints. Each requires a different set of skills.
“There is a job for everybody in the industry,” said Jessica Steffler, director of career promotions at the Ontario Civil Construction Careers Institute.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

6 of 11

The job can be physically demanding. It also requires working outside in a variety of climates, but that can be a benefit on warm, sunny days.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

7 of 11

Why they do it:
The money is good, particularly for jobs where there is a shortage of people with the right skills, such as crane operators or engineers.
Many people also enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the results of their work every day. There are also dozens of careers to choose from within the sector, and a variety of continuing projects.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

8 of 11

People see construction as a dirty job, where people are uneducated and not paid well, which isn’t true, says Ms. Steffler. “People don’t realize how much money you can make.”

Mark Blinch/Reuters

9 of 11

Another misconception is that those who work in construction are uneducated people who couldn’t get a job elsewhere. “It’s the perception of society,” Ms. Steffler says. “It’s not the students, it’s the parents.”

Pamela Moore/Getty Images/iStockphoto

10 of 11

Give us the real scoop:

Are you a construction worker in Canada?

Write a note in the comments area and tell us what you would tell others who are interested in the profession, or e-mail your comment to

Want to read more stories from our salaries series? Click here.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

11 of 11

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies