How the Construction Industry is OrganizedHow the Construction Industry is Organized

The construction industry is part of a $165 billion industry that represents 12% of Canada’s economy. More than a million people work in Canada’s construction industry.

There are four different sectors in the construction industry3. Each uses different equipment and needs workers with a variety of skills. Here are the four sectors:

1. New Home Building and Renovation – building, remodelling or renovating houses and apartment buildings:

The New Home Building and Renovation sector makes up a huge part of Canada’s construction industry. In this sector you can work in several different ways:

  • Develop a satisfying career creating homes for families and building your own community.
  • Work for a large company that offers long-term employment and the chance to take on specialized responsibilities, or become a manager or trainer.
  • Work for a small company where you will see how your work is important and you might have the chance to get involved in different types of work.
  • Work as a sub-contractor or start your own company. The demand for skilled sub-contractors makes home building an ideal sector for budding entrepreneurs.

2. Heavy Industrial Construction – building and maintaining industrial facilities such as cement, automotive, chemical or power plants, refineries and factories

  • If you like being outdoors, handling big machines and living in interesting new places, this sector could be for you.
  • It’s exciting and satisfying to work as part of a team overcoming the challenges on huge construction projects .
  • Projects in this sector often take years to complete and involve a wide range of construction careers. There are many opportunities to advance to planning, supervisory, management or teaching roles.

3. Institutional and Commercial Construction – – building commercial and institutional buildings and structures such as stadiums, schools, hospitals, grain elevators and indoor swimming pools

  • The projects tend to be large and varied, and there are many opportunities for long-term careers that will let you specialize or take you into supervisory, management or teaching roles.
  • You can choose to work in a variety of locations or settle in a single community.

4. Civil Engineering Construction – engineering projects such as highways, dams, water and sewer lines, power and communication lines, and bridges

  • Take pride in helping create great public structures.
  • Work on new construction or in maintenance, where there are many opportunities to specialize in a trade or advance to supervisory, instructional or management positions.
  • Choose to work in many places or develop a career in a single town or city.

Categories of Construction Employers:

There are over a quarter of a million companies in Canada’s construction industry. Construction companies fall into different categories depending on the size and kinds of jobs they work on, what they’re responsible for and whether they work on contract or on their own:

General contractors usually work with landowners or companies that want to build a structure. They act as prime contractors on projects that involve a range of specialized construction activities, which they often subcontract.

Design-builders are similar to general contractors, but they provide architectural and engineering designs as well as construction.

Construction managers oversee and schedule construction for their clients.

Speculative builders, operative builders or merchant builders construct buildings they plan to sell. They usually build houses or apartment buildings.

Trade contractors specialize in parts of a project such as masonry, painting or electrical work. They usually work under contract to a prime contractor. For renovation and repair jobs, they often contract directly with a property owner.

  • 3. As defined by Construction Sector Council (CSC)