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average salary in Canada for construction

The average salary (or wage) in Canada for construction jobs can vary. And, depending on your specific trade, experienced tradespeople can find high-paying jobs and build a great career in Canada. So, let’s look at some of the different trades in Canada and the average salary tradespeople can expect to earn in construction jobs. In Canada, most trades are paid an hourly rate versus a salary.

With high retirement rates due to an ageing workforce, there is a strong demand for workers with skilled trade experience. And for tradespeople, this is a good news story because there are great jobs with high earning potential right across Canada. As well, Canada is searching for smart and skilled tradespeople from around the world to meet the expected labour shortage over the next decade.

In Canada, there are over 50 skilled trades that contribute to the construction industry. And, the average salary in Canada for construction workers can vary based on factors such as:

  1. The type of trade

2.Your level of experience

3. The job outlook for specific trades

4. the provincial and regional labour market conditions

So, to understand how much you can expect to earn, it’s important to consider all these factors. And, you can do more research to get a better understanding of the average salary in Canada for construction jobs.

Four Factors that Determine Wage per Hour:

1. Average Salary in Canada Depends on Your Trade

Depending on your trade, the median wage per hour can vary. Based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC), you can find over 50 different trades. The NOC is used to classify different occupations in Canada.

You can find the NOC code that best describes your experience to gain more information about your trade. So, to provide an example, here are Government of Canada links for labour wage per hour and industry facts for some of the trades in Canada:  

Boilermaker NOC 7234: Median Wage per Hour – $39.60 

Carpenter NOC 7271: Median Wage per Hour –  $25.00 

Crane operator NOC 7371 Median Wage per Hour –  $31.25 

Industrial electrician NOC 7242 Median Wage per Hour –  $33.19

HVAC mechanic NOC 7313 Median Wage per Hour –  $31.75 

Industrial mechanic and millwright NOC 7311 Median Wage per Hour –  $30.00 

Plumber NOC 7251 Median Wage per Hour –  $30.00

Sheet metal worker NOC 7233 Median Wage per Hour: $30.50 


Other Compensation 

On top of the hourly wage per hour, skilled tradespeople often receive a generous benefits package. And, these benefits are part of the total compensation package. Benefits may vary in each province or territory, but generally include things such as: 

  •  Dental insurance
  • Supplemental medical insurance 
  • Short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • Pension plan for your retirement

When you add these benefits on top of your hourly wage, a career in the trades can be very well paying.

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2. Your Level of Experience

Based on your experience from another country, your starting salary may be higher. And, you may get an increase in pay if you upgrade your skills or get other certificates.

Some trades in Canada require you to have a license or certificate to work in your trade. And, it can vary in each province or territory as well.  So, it’s important to find out:

  • If you require a license or certificate
  • How to get your experience and qualifications from another country recognized 

To give you an idea of the payscale, here are the 2019 Low, Median, and High pay scales for different trades in Canada. But, these figures are national averages, and wages will vary at the provincial and regional levels.

Construction trades pay scales

3. The Job Outlook for the Trade

Because of the labour shortage that Canada is facing in all types of construction, the future is bright for tradespeople from around the world. But, it’s still important to do your research so you know which trades are most in-demand in Canada. It’s also a good idea to know what skills, licenses, and certificates you may need to have for your trade.

4. Local Market Conditions for the Trade 

While there is an overall demand for tradespeople, it’s important to understand where there is a demand for specific trades within Canada.  For example, some provinces or territories may have a higher demand for your trade. And, even within a province or territory, there may be specific regions that have a great demand for specific trades.

Let’s look at labour market conditions for boilermakers (NOC 7234) using the government of Canada data:

  • Job outlook: Good
  • Provincial outlook: There is a good outlook for job prospects in Ontario
  • Regional outlook:  Within Ontario, regions with a good outlook for job prospects are: Hamilton-Niagara region; Kitchen-Waterloo-Barrie; Stratford-Bruce Peninsula Region; Toronto Region; Windsor-Sarnia Region.

 Key Takeaways:


  1. There are great job opportunities for smart, skilled tradespeople from around the world to meet Canada’s labour shortage. And, you can build a great career in various trades in Canada.

2. It’s important to research which trades are most in-demand and understand what’s required so that you can find a great job when you land in Canada.

3. Tradespeople can make a high average salary in construction in Canada, coupled with a good benefits package from an employer.

4. While there is a demand for tradespeople in Canada, it’s important to research which regions in Canada have the highest demand to know where the jobs are available. 

For more information, tools, resources, and free webinars visit finding a job in Canada. Get the help you need to achieve your career goals in Canada!