Construction Trades Helpers / Labourers (NOC
7611) and Construction Craft Workers may also be called:
- demolition worker
- carpenter helper
- roofer helper
- plumber helper
What Would I Do?
Construction Trades Helpers / Labourers carry out a range of practical tasks to help tradespersons on construction sites. Your duties can change daily and vary according to the type of site you are working on.
Some main tasks include:
- Clean building sites by removing scraps of metal, wood and other garbage
- Unload equipment and supplies from trucks and haul them to where they are needed
- Build or dismantle scaffolding
- Guide crane operators and heavy equipment operators
- Mix, pour and spread materials such as concrete and asphalt
- Help tradespersons such as carpenters, bricklayers, cement finishers, roofers and glaziers in construction activities
Construction Craft Workers have a working knowledge of most of the major trades and are assistants to electricians, plumbers and boilermakers.
- install utility piping
- place concrete
- construct roads
- perform selective demolition
- perform underground work
- assist skilled tradespersons such as Carpenters, Bricklayers and Cement Finishers
- help Heavy Equipment Operators secure special attachments to equipment
- guide operators in moving equipment and perform labouring activities at construction sites
- WorkBC Career Profile for Construction Trades Helper & Labourer
- Industry Training Authority profile for Construction Craft Worker
Am I Suited For This Job?
Construction Trades Helpers & Labourers: need to be in good shape and have excellent stamina
Construction Craft Workers: able to keep up with the physical demands of the job, enjoy working outdoors and using hand and power tools
You should be prepared to work in all kinds of weather. You must be able to work well as part of a team and be able to follow instructions. A good base knowledge of power tools and machinery is helpful.
Worksites are dirty and noisy, and there is some risk of cuts and scrapes, falls, and strains. You may be expected to work at heights on ladders and scaffolding. Being safety conscious is essential.
There is a great deal of variety in this job. After a project is completed, you will move onto the next worksite. As a result, you may need to travel long distances to get to work.
What Are The Wages And Benefits?
In British Columbia, the average annual salary for construction trades helpers / labourers ranges from $33,000 to $44,000. Your wages are affected by location, employer, and the amount of work you can find each year.
The Industry Training Authority – ITA forecasts that construction craft workers will make between $18 – $24 / hour.
In BC’s regions, construction trades helpers / labourers can expect to make:
Table from Job Bank Wage Report
Some construction labourers belong to a union. This means that your wage rates and benefits are negotiated on your behalf by union representatives. Unionized workers may also have access to benefits, such as life and health insurance, and paid sick leave.
Sources: WorkBC Career Profile, Career Cruising database
What Is The Job Outlook In BC?
This is a large occupational group, with 22,700 workers employed in BC.
The Construction Sector Council predicts the job outlook for construction trades helpers will be balanced to good over the next 9 years. In BC, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is forecasting a strong demand for skilled tradespeople in BC’s north, specifically Construction Trades Helpers / Labourers. Recent LNG data indicates that by 2018, a scenario with five LNG plants may produce an anticipated demand for 11,800 Construction Trade Helpers / Labourers and Construction Craft Workers in BC.
How Do I Become a Construction Trades Helper or Construction Craft Worker?
Although there are no formal requirements to work as a Construction Trades Helper/Labourer, employers may prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some previous experience may be requested by employers. On the job training may be provided.
Construction Craft Workers complete a new two year education and apprenticeship program through the Industry Training Authority of BC. Requirements to enter the program include minimum of Grade 10 Math, English and Science; Grade 12 graduation is preferred.
The program includes approximately 120 hours of technical training and 4000 hours of work based training.
Construction Craft Worker is an Inter-provincially recognized Red Seal trade. With a Red Seal, you can work in this trade anywhere in Canada.
How Do I Find A Job?
Where would I work?
Construction trades helpers / labourers & Construction Craft Workers work in a variety of settings including:
- Residential construction
- Commercial & industrial construction
- Road, sewer and bridge construction
- Heavy construction projects in the mining and LNG (liquefied natural gas) industry
Finding Advertised Jobs
Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in The Province on Sundays.
Online Job Postings
- BC Construction JobStores (free registration required)
Finding “Hidden Jobs”
Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.
Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers
You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who employ construction trades helpers / labourers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “construction” and click LOOKUP.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies
Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.
Networking and the Hidden Job Market:
When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.
- Habitat for Humanity (can volunteer at construction sites or at ReStores)
For additional tips see:
Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
For more information see:
Where Can This Job Lead?
Depending on your area of expertise and skill, you may transfer into positions in carpentry, concrete masonry, or scaffolding.
With experience and additional training, you can also move into more senior positions, including supervisory roles such as foreman.
Where Can I Find More Information?
STEP is a no-fee employment program that helps immigrants get jobs in the construction industry