So you’ve found a construction career that interests you. What’s next?
There are many ways to get started in the construction industry:
- Register as an apprentice and combine on-the-job training with in-class learning. Some provinces and territories allow you to start earning credits toward your apprenticeship while you’re still in high school! To find out more, check out the Apprenticeship section.
- Enrol at a university, community college or technical institute and study for the construction career of your choice.
- Find a job as a construction labourer and learn the skills you need on the job.
If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, check out the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF), a not-for-profit organization that promotes and supports the apprenticeship training and education systems in Canada.
For more information on entering an apprenticeship program or enrolling in a Canadian college, university or technical school, contact your local provincial/territorial government office of apprenticeship and training:
- Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board
- British Columbia Industry Training Authority
- Manitoba Competitiveness, Training and Trade
- New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Apprenticeship and Certification
- Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education, Apprenticeship and Certification
- Northwest Territories Department of Education, Culture & Employment
- Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division, Department of Labour and Workforce Development
- Nunavut Department of Education
- Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Prince Edward Island Department of Education (Apprenticeship Branch)
- Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission
- Yukon Territory Department of Education, Advanced Education Branch
Thinking of starting out on the job? Then it’s up to you to find an employer. Job hunting can be challenging and time-consuming. It’s important to keep a positive attitude and to stay focused on your job hunt.
Tips to make your job hunt easier and less stressful:
- Prepare a resume using a how-to guide from your local library, or click here for online resume writing tips. This link also has tips on preparing for job interviews.
- Once you have a draft copy, show it to people who have experience in the workplace or, better yet, who are responsible for hiring. They may have useful suggestions for improving it.
With your resume in hand, you’ll be ready to start watching for job openings. You can search online for job postings at any of the following career resources:
You can also search the Yellow Pages for companies that do the kind of work you’re interested in. Call them up and see if you can arrange to visit the business or tour a work site. Ask for an informational interview with someone in the company. You can ask them about working in the field and find out about job search and training options. This is a great way to gain important information and to make an impression on people who may know of job openings.
Look regularly for jobs advertised in newspapers or posted in employment centres, or at contractors' associations and labour organizations.
Keep in mind that many jobs are not advertised. Construction is like any other industry: a lot of people find jobs by word of mouth. It’s important to meet people and let them know what kind of work you’re looking for. Start with family and friends, and look for opportunities to connect with people who work in the field.
The construction industry opens its doors to people from all walks of life. If you’re clever, creative and ready to work hard, Canada’s construction industry wants you!
In addition to the regular means of starting out in construction, there are a number of specialty programs and organizations across Canada that offer services to Aboriginal Canadians, new Canadians and women interested in working in the construction industry.
- Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario
- Aboriginal Apprenticeship & Industry Training
- Aboriginal Apprenticeship Training
- Aboriginal Futures Career and Training Centre
- Aboriginal Human Resource Council
- Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreement (AHRDA) holders
- Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS)
- Alberta Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project (AAAP)
- Grand River Employment and Training (GREAT)
- Hydro Northern Training Initiative (HNTI)
- OFIFC-GREAT Initiative
- Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT)
- Vancouver Aboriginal Skills and Employment Program (VanASEP)
- NorQuest College offers a transitional program for new Canadians with experience in construction trades.
- Working Solutions for Skilled Immigrants helps foreign-trained professionals and tradespeople launch their careers in Canada.