Careers In Construction

Career exploration is about more than just a job title and a brief description! Before you can begin to truly explore the construction careers that might interest you, you first need to narrow down your choices. This page will provide you with just some of the careers that you might find in the construction industry.

Designated Trades – Earn While You Learn!

  • Apprenticeship is work-based training toward your future career and begins with an agreement between the apprentice and the employer. The apprentice agrees to work for their employer in exchange for supervised, on the job training and experience, and the opportunity to participate in the technical training (in-class) that is a required part of the apprenticeship program. In the workplace, they will be supervised by a certified journeyperson, but it will be their responsibility to keep track of a logbook which will record both hours and competence in the practical skills of the trade. Youth apprentices are between the ages of 16 and 19, still attending high school. In-class technical training waits until after graduation, but they can continue to accumulate hours on the job, even working part time.

Looking for more information about designated trades? Check out the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency’s listing of over 70 trades currently designated in Nova Scotia.

Installs/repairs intrusion alarm, closed circuit video and access control systems

Engages in all blasting activity including: storage, handling, transportation, preparation, and use
of explosives, and drilling conducted at a blasting area or in relation to the use of explosives

Builds sea-going boats for fishing or charter; fast patrol boats; and custom or semi-custom pleasure boats, power and sail, in all major hull materials

Builds, tests and repairs air-tight and liquid-tight containers such as boilers and storage tanks

Builds and repairs walls, floors, fireplaces, walkways withbricks, blocks and stones

Builds custom or production-type wooden (or wood substitute) fixtures and furniture

Construct and repair building frameworks and structures—such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, rafters, and bridge supports—made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall

Installs, repairs, upgrades and maintains communication cables

Places, finishes, cuts, and repairs concrete

Sets up/dismantles forms; performs site preparation and clean-up, excavation, backfill/compaction, traffic control duties, concrete placement and finishing and mason tending; and operates grading equipment

Work with blueprints to Install, alter, repair and maintain electrical systems in buildings. This includes running conduit which cables can pass through. Outside linemen work with transformers, transmission lines and traffic signals. They must endure inclement weather to repair power outages and may be required to trim trees or assemble electrical substations

Applies finish, maintains and restores plaster or similar materials, on interior and exterior walls, ceilings, and building partitions to produce plain or decorative surfaces

Repairs and rebuilds electric motors, generators, transformers, controls, and equipment

Installs many types of resilient or carpet floor coverings

Installs piping, appliances, equipment, and controls for the use of natural gas or propane as a fuel

Prepares, installs, and replaces glass

Repairs and maintains heavy-dutyequipment such as bulldozers, cranes, and graders

Dozer, Excavator, tractor-Loader-Backhoe (three separate trades)

Installs, repairs, and maintains electrical wiring and electrical equipment for industrialuses

Installs and maintains machinery and equipment in factories and production plants

Repairs, maintains, and installs industrial measuring and controlling equipment

Installs insulating materials in commercial and industrial structures; removes asbestos

Builds, erects, constructs, and joins structural steel used in buildings, bridges, and towers

Cuts, bends, lays out, places, and welds reinforcing steel rods, welded wire fabric and composite materials in poured concrete products and structures. Places and stresses post-tensioning systems

Installs and reinforces steel components, precast concrete and glued laminated timber products. Also erects pre-engineered buildings, scaffolds, cranes, hoists and derricks.

Prepares, lays out and completes a landscape installation plan.

Installs ceiling, drywall partitions, sound proofing and vapour barriers in buildings.

Manufactures and repairs industrial components and mechanical devices by using a variety of metal cutting and shaping machinery.

Services and repairs, refits and upgrades marine vessels (motor and sail). The service and repair of marine vessels includes structural, cosmetic, electrical and mechanical work.

Makes and repairs metal parts used in the construction of bridges, buildings, and boilers

Uses mobile cranes to lift, move, position and place materials and equipment. Performs pre-operational inspections; calculates crane capacities, determines load weight, and sets-up, positions and stabilizes the crane before the lift. Disassembles, travels and transports mobile cranes.

Installs, repairs & services oil burning & oil combination burning equipment & appliances.

Applies paint, varnish, stain, wallpaper and wallcoverings to interior and exterior surfaces.

Stores and dispenses automotive, heavy duty or farm machinery parts.

Installs and repairs piping and other equipment used to move, store, or dispose of water, gas, and sewage.

Maintains equipment, boilers and generators that provide heat, ventilation and power for buildings

Builds and maintains overhead and underground electrical systems, powerlines, poles, and street lights.

Installs and services refrigerating and air conditioning systems.

Constructs and repairs structures using stone.

Installs and repairs single-ply or multi-ply roofing systems, shingles and pre-formed rigid sheeting.

Designs, makes, installs and repairs sheet metal products and parts.

Installs and maintains permanent fire extinguishing systems.

Installs piping, equipment, and controls for hot water, steam, process, and chemical piping.

Covers, repairs and decorates surfaces using ceramic, marble and other materials.

Makes, repairs, modifies custom-made prototype or special tools, dies, and fixtures.

Operates any mechanical device or structure that incorporates a power-driven drum with a cable or rope and a vertical mast or tower and stationary or luffing boom.

Joins, cuts, or shapes metal using electric arc, oxyacetylene flame, or other processes.

Additional Construction Careers (not designated as trades)

Although sometimes referred to as “Unskilled”, and therefore a great Entry Level position to start out in, many people make a career out of being a Labourer. There can often be a great deal of physically demanding work involved, but it can typically be learned quickly. Demolition & Site Clean-up may be one type of work done by a labourer.

A drafting technician makes detailed technical drawings or plans for machinery, buildings, electronics, infrastructure, sections, etc. Design architects are involved in the artistic side of the process: sketching freehand, making initial computer-generated images of the projects, and putting together presentations for clients. Production Architects correct or modify building plans with CAD (computer-aided design) or BIM (Building Information Modeling) software. Contract Administration is mainly problem solving with the builder. Specifications Writers provide physical descriptions of the quality standards and materials that should be used to build a project.

Overseeing workers, schedules, finances, safety, quality control, and everything involved in a project from start to finish.  Organization and Leadership is the key to be a Project Manager.

Design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and education. Some inspect projects or oversee safety.
There is a great deal of specialization in Engineering, and therefore several different job descriptions of what an Engineer might do. Quite often Engineers act as a project manager.

Assemble, install, maintain, and replace elevators, escalators, chairlifts, moving walkways, and similar equipment in buildings. Elevator installers and repairers usually specialize in installation, maintenance, or repair work.

Determine the precise location of roads or buildings, property boundaries, and proper depths for foundations and roads.
Surveyors interpret and verify the GPS results. They work outdoors in many types of terrain, and they also work indoors to prepare legal documents and other reports.

Construction takes money, material, and time. Estimators calculate the costs of raw materials and tools, work with suppliers, as well as estimate project timelines, number of workers needed, and projected labour costs.

Safety officers develop, implement and enforce policies that reduce the risk of accidents. The safety officer determines what policies are needed and how to enforce them. They oversee inspecting site conditions to determine if hazards are present and to establish procedures and policies to overcome those hazardous situations.

Reviewing plans & inspecting work to determine satisfactory work and adherence to Code.

Many jobs that exist in other sectors have a place in the construction industry. The list is endless – you just have to keep an open mind!

Looking for more information?

Tanya Reddick

BFY Program Lead

Tel: 902-456-6444


Adam Gilbert

BFY Program Lead

Tel: 902-809-2297