Trades Helpers and Labourers

(NOC 7611, 7612)

in All Trades and Transportation

Construction trades helpers and labourers help skilled tradespersons and perform labouring duties at construction sites in quarries and in surface mines. They are employed by construction companies, trade and labour contractors, and surface mine and quarry operators. Other trades helpers and labourers help install and repair equipment and machinery in a wide variety of settings, including industry, transportation, refrigeration and air conditioning, and telecommunications. They are employed by a wide variety of manufacturing, utility and service companies.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 55 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Trades Helpers and Labourers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 25% of Trades Helpers and Labourers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $36,683. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.00

Minimum

$17.00

Median

$27.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,724

Minimum

$23,750

Median

$59,351

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Construction trades helpers and labourers help skilled tradespersons and perform labouring duties at construction sites in quarries and in surface mines. They are employed by construction companies, trade and labour contractors, and surface mine and quarry operators.

Other trades helpers and labourers help install and repair equipment and machinery in a wide variety of settings, including industry, transportation, refrigeration and air conditioning, and telecommunications. They are employed by a wide variety of manufacturing, utility and service companies.

Job duties

Construction trades helpers and labourers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Load and unload construction materials, and move materials to work areas.
  • Erect and dismantle concrete forms, scaffolding, ramps, catwalks, shoring and barricades required at construction sites.
  • Mix, pour and spread materials such as concrete and asphalt.
  • Assist tradespersons such as carpenters, bricklayers, cement finishers, roofers and glaziers in construction activities.
  • Assist heavy equipment operators to secure special attachments to equipment, signal operators to guide them in moving equipment and provide assistance in other activities.
  • Assist in aligning pipes and perform related activities during oil and gas pipeline construction.
  • Assist in drilling and blasting rock at construction sites.
  • Assist miners in excavating and in setting up and operating various drills and other surface mining machinery.
  • Level earth to fine grade specifications using rake and shovel.
  • Assist in demolishing buildings using prying bars and other tools, and sort, clean and pile salvaged materials.
  • Remove rubble and other debris at construction sites using rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows and other equipment.
  • Operate pneumatic hammers, vibrators and tampers as directed.
  • Tend or feed machines or equipment used in construction such as mixers, compressors and pumps.
  • Clean up chemical spills and other contaminants, and remove asbestos and other hazardous materials.
  • Oil and grease hoists and similar equipment.
  • Direct traffic at or near construction sites.
  • Perform other activities at construction sites, as directed.

Trade helpers and labourers in this group perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Move tools, equipment and other materials to and from work areas.
  • Assist in splicing overhead and underground communications and electric power transmission cables.
  • Assist in repairing, maintaining and installing industrial machinery and equipment.
  • Assist in repairing, maintaining and installing refrigeration, heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • Assist in repairing, maintaining and installing elevators.
  • Assist in repairing and maintaining stationary electric power generating and distribution equipment.
  • Assist in mechanical, electrical and body repairs of aircraft, railway cars, automobiles, trucks, buses, heavy equipment and motorcycles.
  • Assist in repairing electrical appliances, small engines or other similar equipment.
  • Mix fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and load mixture into airplane for aerial spraying.
  • Assist in land surveying activities, such as holding or moving stakes and rods, clearing brush and debris from line of survey and transporting surveying tools to work area.
  • Perform other labouring and elemental tasks as required.

Sample job titles

  • cable installation and repair helper - telecommunications
  • construction craft worker
  • construction trades helper
  • construction worker
  • flagman/woman - construction
  • heating and air conditioning mechanic helper
  • highway maintenance worker
  • industrial mechanic helper
  • motor vehicle mechanic helper
  • surveyor helper

Skills

You need good health, physical stamina and strength. Agility, coordination, and a mechanical aptitude would be helpful. You must be able to take direction and be able to carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements

  • Some high school education may be required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.
  • Red Seal certification (allowing for interprovincial mobility) is available for qualified construction craft workers.
  • Flagmen/women may require a traffic control certificate.

Other considerations

Most construction trades helpers and labourers work full-time, but often for only part of the year because this work is highly seasonal. Some experience as a general construction labourer may be required for construction trade helpers and some pipeline workers, such as stabbers, mandrel operators and pre-heater tenders, usually require one season of experience in oil and gas pipeline construction.

By the numbers

Quick look

3,930

employed in 2016

87.1%

employed full-time

5.2%

self employed

8.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
91.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

35.4%

Halifax

19.4%

Cape Breton

18.2%

Northern

16.5%

Annapolis Valley

10.4%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

74.4%

Construction

5.3%

Transportation and Warehousing

3.7%

Management, Admin & Other Support

2.4%

Public Administration

1.4%

Retail Trade

What is the age of Employment?

26.5%

45-54

22.2%

55-64

17.9%

35-44

15.3%

25-34

14.9%

15-24

3.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

40.3%

High school

$22,695 median annual income
28.7%

Less than high school

$23,059 median annual income
15.8%

Trades certificate

$32,038 median annual income
12.1%

College certificate or diploma

$28,146 median annual income
1.9%

Bachelor's degree

$24,114 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Construction trades - General

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that generally prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills in the building, inspecting, and maintaining of structures and related properties. These programs include courses in masonry, carpentry, electrical and power transmission installation, building/construction finishing, management, inspection and other construction-related applications.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Environmental Training Institute

301 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2E8

(902) 539-9766

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Dexter Institute

927 Rocky Lake Dr, Po Box 48100

Bedford, NS B4A 3Z2

(902) 832-6391

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Construction Craft Worker

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Nova Scotia Construction Safety Council
35 MacDonald Avenue
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1C6
Tel: (800) 971-3888
Fax: (902) 468-8843
BuildForce Canada
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1150
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: (613) 569-5552
Fax: (613) 569-1220
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Flagman/Woman - Construction

Snow Shovelers

Bridge Maintenance Worker (Special Work Crew) (2 positions)

Flagman/Woman - Construction

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