Public Works and Other Labourers

(NOC 7621, 7622)

in All Trades and Transportation

Public works labourers work to maintain sidewalks, streets, roads, and public areas. They are employed by public works departments in all levels of government or by private contractors under contract to governments. Railway and motor transport labourers perform a variety of tasks to assist track maintenance workers and railway yard workers, or motor transport operators. They are employed by railway transport companies and motor transport companies.

Job Outlook

Limited

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  • Estimate Decline employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High 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 “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. However, jobseekers may face some competition for those positions. 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. Public Works and Other Labourers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 49% of Public Works and Other Labourers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $46,566. 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

$18.17

Median

$25.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,509

Minimum

$30,135

Median

$59,476

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

Public works labourers work to maintain sidewalks, streets, roads, and public areas. They are employed by public works departments in all levels of government or by private contractors under contract to governments.

Railway and motor transport labourers perform a variety of tasks to assist track maintenance workers and railway yard workers, or motor transport operators. They are employed by railway transport companies and motor transport companies.

Job duties

Public works and maintenance labourers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Clean and maintain sidewalks, streets, roads and public grounds of municipality and other areas, working as member of crew.
  • Sweep debris 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 perform other activities to assist 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.
  • Operate 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 refuse on garbage trucks.
  • Assist equipment operators to secure attachments to equipment or trucks.
  • Assist in routine maintenance and repair of equipment.
  • Assist skilled tradespersons such as carpenters, plumbers and mechanics.
  • May operate mobile sidewalk-cleaning equipment.

Railway and motor transport labourers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Transport tools and equipment on push or hand car and perform other duties to assist railway track maintenance workers to lay, maintain and repair railway tracks.
  • Cut vegetation growth from railway tracks using scythes and mowers.
  • Check freight cars for physical damage and cleanliness.
  • Assist truck and delivery drivers to load and unload vehicles.
  • Perform labouring duties in warehouses.

Sample job titles

  • delivery truck helper
  • garbage truck loader
  • mover helper
  • parking meter collector
  • public works labourer
  • railway labourer
  • road maintenance worker - public works
  • sanitation worker
  • sidewalk cleaner
  • truck driver 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 is usually 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.

Progression to supervisory positions such as equipment operator and railway yard workers is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

650

employed in 2016

87.4%

employed full-time

1.5%

self employed

10.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
89.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.6

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?

31.1%

Halifax

23.3%

Northern

22.3%

Cape Breton

13.5%

Annapolis Valley

9.3%

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

39.2%

Public Administration

33.1%

Management, Admin & Other Support

10.8%

Construction

5.4%

Utilities

3.8%

Transportation and Warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

23.5%

55-64

21.4%

45-54

20.1%

15-24

15.4%

35-44

12.0%

25-34

7.7%

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

46.3%

High school

$12,972 median annual income
21.5%

Less than high school

$14,430 median annual income
21.5%

Trades certificate

$56,112 median annual income
8.5%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
2.3%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

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.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

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 - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Railway Association of Canada
99 Bank Street, Suite 901
Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9
Tel: (613) 567-8591
Fax: (613) 567-6726

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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