Public Works and Maintenance Labourers

(NOC 7621)

in All Trades and Transportation

Public works and maintenance labourers do a variety of labouring activities to maintain sidewalks, streets, roads and similar areas. They work for public works departments in all levels of government or by private contractors under contract to governments.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 35 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 205 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect 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. Public Works and Maintenance Labourers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 48% of Public Works and Maintenance Labourers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $46,531. 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

$12.95

Minimum

$19.00

Median

$25.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,016

Minimum

$31,436

Median

$58,797

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Public works and maintenance labourers do a variety of labouring activities to maintain sidewalks, streets, roads and similar areas. They work for public works departments in all levels of government or by private contractors under contract to governments.

Job duties

Public works and maintenance labourers:

  • Clean and maintain sidewalks, streets, roads and public grounds of a city or town and other areas, working as member of crew.
  • Sweep litter and remove snow from streets, sidewalks, building grounds and other areas, and load snow and debris into carts or trucks.
  • Shovel cement and other materials into cement mixers, spread concrete and asphalt on road surfaces using shovels, rakes and hand tampers, and complete other activities to help in maintenance and repair of roads.
  • Spread sand or salt on sidewalks for snow and ice control.
  • Dig ditches and trenches using shovels and other hand tools.
  • Use jackhammers and drills to break up pavement.
  • Load and unload trucks with supplies and equipment.
  • Collect money from coin boxes of parking meters along established route.
  • Collect and load trash on garbage trucks.
  • Help equipment operators to secure attachments to equipment or trucks.
  • Help with regular equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Help skilled tradespersons like carpenters, plumbers and mechanics.
  • May use mobile sidewalk-cleaning equipment.

Sample job titles

  • helper - garbage collection
  • garbage truck loader
  • municipal labourer
  • parking meter collector
  • public works labourer
  • road maintenance worker
  • sewer maintenance worker
  • sidewalk cleaner

Skills

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

Job requirements

  • Some high school education may be required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.

Other considerations

Most people in these jobs work full-time, but often for only part of the year. Movement to supervisor positions or to public works maintenance equipment operator positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

890

employed in 2016

84.2%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

9.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
90.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.5

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

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?

32.0%

Halifax

25.3%

North Shore

20.2%

Cape Breton

13.5%

Annapolis Valley

9.0%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

41.1%

Public administration

34.7%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

8.9%

Construction

5.6%

Utilities

2.4%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

55-64

20.0%

15-24

17.0%

45-54

15.0%

35-44

14.0%

25-34

7.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

45.8%

High school

$28,933 median annual income
23.7%

Less than high school

$28,218 median annual income
19.8%

Apprenticeship

$44,091 median annual income
7.3%

College Diploma

$40,132 median annual income
2.3%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Apprenticeship

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

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

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

No contacts were found under this occupation profile

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.