Overview of the Construction Industry
B.C.’s construction industry is growing. The industry needs to increase recruitment efforts to keep up with planned projects and the retirement of more than 39,000 workers over the next decade.
It is estimated the BC construction industry will need to recruit more than 15,000 workers from outside the local market over the next 10 years.
You can find construction jobs in cities as well as remote areas of the province. Careers in this industry have different levels of skill and training requirements.
The industry includes both residential (housing) and non-residential construction.
Sectors with strong demand for construction workers include:
- Transportation systems
- Renewable electricity generation and transmission projects
- LNG terminals
80% of jobs in non-residential construction will be related to big engineering projects (more than 16,000 jobs). Much of this activity occurs in northern British Columbia.
The existing number of new workers won’t meet future job demand. Immigrants are seen as a key source of talent as construction companies seek to meet their hiring needs in the years ahead.
The industry has responded by developing a number of programs to attract newcomers. These include:
- initiatives to attract newcomers to remote locations of the province
- corporate efforts to encourage diversity in the workplace
- strategies for streamlining foreign-credential recognition
One such initiative is the ITA’s Immigrants in Trades Training program, which helps you overcome barriers to entering the trades, including jobs in construction. This program can provide you with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counselling.
The BC Construction Association has created 2 programs for new Canadians:
- British Columbia Construction Association’s Integrating Newcomers (BCCA-IN) is a program that helps newcomers enter the construction workforce in British Columbia
- The Foreign Skilled Workers Program connects qualified tradespeople with varied opportunities in BC.
Buildforce Canada’s Internationally Trained Workers (ITW) website provides resources to help connect employers with newcomers to Canada.
The Federal Government is also recognizing the importance of new immigrants in the construction sector. Opportunities offered through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program help fill short-term job gaps within Canada’s construction industry.
For more information on the construction sector see:
Occupations in the Construction Sector
The construction sector is made of up numerous occupations. Each career has its own unique set of experience and training requirements. While new workers are needed for most occupations, some careers are in greater demand than others.
Occupations in Highest Demand: 2017-2020
In BC the top occupations with the greatest hiring forecasts include:
- Concrete finishers
- Construction estimators
- Construction managers
- Contractors & supervisors
- Drillers & blasters
- Heavy equipment operators
- Trades helpers & labourers
- Welders & related machine operators
Source: Buildforce Canada
For a list of all occupations in construction, along with projected future demand see:
For detailed information on occupations in the construction sector, including job description, educational requirements for working in BC, salary, and more see:
- WorkBC Career Profiles [search by job title]
Hiring Forecast by Region
The majority of construction jobs are in Metro Vancouver (Mainland/Southwest region of the province).
However, employment growth is highest in the North Coast and Nechako and Northeast regions. Job prospects may be very good if you are willing to relocate to other regions of the province.
Construction industry job openings by region:
Chart from: WorkBC Labour Market Outlook Industry Profile
Additional information on construction activities in specific regions can be found at:
Online Job Postings
Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards.
Industry journals provide information about trends and careers in the industry.
- Journal of Commerce
Also available at the Central Library
- Construction Canada
Also available at the Central Library
Creating a List of Potential Employers
You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the construction industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: