The Highest-Paying Trades In Canada

Canada attracts skilled workers from all over the globe. It has remained one of the top countries for immigrants. In fact, a 2020 listicle by US News places Canada at the top of the list when it comes to the best countries for immigrants.

Each year, Canada welcomes at least 200,000 immigrants. Recent data from Statista shows that the vast majority of immigrants to Canada are skilled. As well, many of these immigrants came to Canada through the immigration programs of the Express Entry system and the Provincial Nominee Program.

The number of applications and admissions through skilled worker programs point to one simple fact- Canada is attractive for its promise of employment. In particular, lucrative employment.

The intake from the Federal Skilled Trades Program can also give a clue about what type of work newcomers seek. With the CRS requirements lowered for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, it is foreseeable that immigrants will likely venture into skilled trades.

Perhaps you fancy a job in maintenance or equipment operation. Maybe you would like to work in Canada’s booming oil and gas industry. Would you like to be involved in the Canadian construction industry?

If any of these sectors appeal to you, you might want to work in skilled trades. This article will be about the most lucrative skilled trades in Canada.

Heavy-Duty Equipment Technician

For Canadian employers, some of the hardest positions to fill are jobs in the construction, mining, and oil and gas industries. According to Statistics Canada, part of the reason for this is the certification requirement. This is especially true for a job that involves the repair and maintenance of heavy-duty equipment.

Based on Statistics Canada’s most recent wage data, heavy-duty technicians can make up to 107,220.00 CAD yearly even after taxes. As well, for this particular occupation, job prospects are high in most Canadian provinces and territories.

Certifications may be required to be a heavy equipment technician. The Red Seal Program has an exam that assesses trades applicants. Upon passing the test, an applicant can be certified to work as a heavy equipment technician in a number of provinces or territories.


Across Canada, many companies require workers who know how to assemble, arrange, organize, and plan piping systems. These systems may be small-scale ones like the ones used for heating and air conditioning. Larger-scale piping systems also require the same type of expertise.

Steamfitters and pipefitters are in demand in Canada. According to Job Bank, firms from all over the country are hiring and are willing to pay 28.00 CAD to 40.00 CAD per hour. Totalled over a year, a steamfitter or pipefitter can make anywhere from 103,000.00 CAD to 105,620.00 CAD.

While every Canadian province or territory is in need of steamfitters and pipefitters, the highest number of Job Bank postings seem to come from Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

Construction Manager

construction manager highest paid in canada

The province of British Columbia has many ongoing construction projects, even at the time of writing. Right away, knowing this can give you an idea of the province’s need for skilled workers in the construction industry.

Besides construction workers, construction managers are in-demand in the province and beyond. According to Job Bank, construction managers in the province can make at least 38.00 CAD an hour. On the higher end, construction managers could get as much as 60.00 CAD for every hour put in.

Indeed the job prospects in British Columbia are high for this trade. Nonetheless, construction managers are in demand elsewhere. In particular, Manitoba, Quebec, the Maritimes, and Saskatchewan also account for a significant number of job postings.

Power Line Technician

Without a doubt, electricity is important. For this reason, power line technicians are also workers seen to be indispensable throughout Canada.

Power line technicians are largely responsible for repairing, setting up, and maintaining power lines. These lines direct electricity to various parts of a town or city. Due to the technical nature of this occupation, those who want to work as power line technicians undergo an apprenticeship program for training.

With particularly good job prospects in Ontario and British Columbia, a power line technician can earn up to 50.00 CAD an hour. Over a year, this could amount to nearly 90,000.00 CAD. With experience, yearly pay goes all the way up to as much as 120,000.00 CAD.

Oil And Gas Driller 

Canada abounds in natural resources that are just waiting to be refined. In particular, oil happens to be one of Canada’s flagship resources. As a result, many high-paying trades are linked to this industry.

Oil and gas drillers are some of the most highly-paid trades workers in Canada. According to PayScale, the starting salary of an oil and gas driller could be 40.00 CAD to 45.00 CAD an hour. A more experienced oil driller could stand to make 18% more than this.

To date, three provinces in Canada are in need of oil drillers. These provinces are:

  • Alberta
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • British Columbia

HVAC Mechanic

Numerous buildings and households in Canada require heating, especially during the winter. During the summer, the demand for air conditioning rises. Year-round, households and buildings rely on ventilation systems for the circulation of air.

This is where an HVAC mechanic comes in. HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) mechanics are in charge of maintaining and repairing the heating and air conditioning systems of houses and buildings. They also install these for new buildings or households. HVAC mechanics also conduct maintenance work and repairs on refrigeration systems.

Because of the necessity for HVAC mechanics, the trade can also be a well-compensating line of work. Those with the necessary skills may either work for an employer or be their own bosses as contractors.

In provinces like Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and British Columbia, the hourly rates could range from 31.00 CAD to 50.00 CAD per hour.


Power line technicians are in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing power lines for towns, provinces, and cities. Electricians do nearly the same thing, except on a smaller scale for households and buildings.

As one of Canada’s most appreciated trades workers, electricians can earn an hourly salary of 35.00 CAD per hour, according to Nuevoo. Before taxes and deductions, the take-home pay could be about 66,400.00 CAD yearly.

For both industrial and residential electricians, demand is projected to increase in the coming years. Based on the number of postings on Job Bank, provinces with the highest demand seem to be the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Ontario and Saskatchewan also account for a significant number of postings.


For many, choosing to be a plumber can almost be like trying to get a job as a taxi driver in Canada. This is because plumber jobs abound in Canada. This is evident in the number of job postings not only on Job Bank but also on sites like Indeed and Workopolis.

Plumbing is one of the most appreciated and necessary trades in the Canadian workforce. As a result, plumbers are constantly in demand across the country.

Contrary to popular belief, the responsibility of plumbers goes beyond pipes and monkey wrenches. According to Careers in Construction, the other responsibilities of a plumber are:

  • Reading blueprints
  • Preparing cost estimates for repairs, installation, and maintenance work of pipes or drainage systems

Having these skills makes plumbers versatile. They can work in construction, industries, and residences.

The salary for plumbers seems to vary with the province. For example, in Quebec, plumbers can earn anywhere from 28.00 CAD to 41.00 CAD per hour. In Ontario, the hourly rates are different in terms of number and range. The median wage seems to hover just over 30.00 CAD in the province.   


welder highest paying trade in canada

As mentioned earlier, numerous construction projects are ongoing in Canada, particularly in British Columbia.

The sheer number of construction projects in the province necessitates the presence of welders. Welders attach metal surfaces together using heating tools. Often, welders could find employment as members of a construction team. However, their ability to work with metals allows for more versatility.

Welders can work in factories, aircraft manufacturing, ship-building, and even the automotive industry.

The average hourly pay for welders is 25.00 CAD. Besides British Columbia, the provinces that seem to register the highest salaries for workers are Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia.


You can tell what a country needs based on the jobs which are in demand.

Looking at the list of the most well-paying trades in Canada, you can get an idea of where to allocate your resources for training and apprenticeship.

With the right training and apprenticeship, you may find yourself one step closer to working in any of these well-paying trades.

Choose Canada Magazine

Each member of our team at Choose Canada Magazine has been in Canada for over five years, and has helped dozens of people worldwide find their life in Canada.

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