Top 10 Highest Paying Trade Jobs in Canada

You may often hear someone say, things are changing, trades jobs are the new place to be. Things aren’t starting to change, they have. In a world being revolutionized by automation, skilled positions such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, and millwrights are surging in demand.

Everybody wanted to go to university and now the world is full of lawyers, accountants, and designers when what we desperately need are the people that have hands-on skills. So, a good tradesman is hard to find, and for that reason, employers are willing to pay top dollar for skills and experience. Thinking about finding a trade job in Canada? These occupations will have you living comfortably, to say the least.

Top 10 Highest Paying Trade Jobs in Canada

construction engineer man smiling confident with bright smile at site manager wearing hard hat and reflective vest in the garden.

The industry is no longer nearly as dangerous as it once was due to the rise of somewhat cumbersome but life-saving health and safety regulations in Canada. Further, nearly 40% of the current skilled trades workforce is expected to retire over the next ten years. Everyone wants to carry a briefcase and wear a suit but trade jobs present more opportunities than you will know what to do with. So without further ado, let’s get started

1. Carpenter

Apprentices will start at around $25 an hour, and once qualified will be earning up to $38 an hour. The average annual salary for qualified carpenters is $52,687. Areas with the best opportunities include Prince Edward Island and the Yukon Territories

2. Plumber

The world will always need plumbers, always. Apprentices will start at around $30 an hour, and once qualified will be over $40 an hour. The average annual salary for qualified plumbers is $65,198. Provinces with the highest demand include Prince Edward Island and the Yukon Territories

3. Heavy Duty Mechanic

One of the tougher trades to qualify in, but the reward is worth the effort. Apprentices will start at about 60% of what qualified journeymen make due to the fact that it takes four years on average to qualify, in which time at least 9,000 hours of practical work will be accumulated. The average annual salary for qualified heavy-duty mechs is $70,200. Employment prospects are in abundance and will only grow over the coming years, provinces currently urgently seeking heavy-duty mechs are British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. East to the west coast, take your pick.

4. Electrician


Residential, commercial, and industrial technicians are some of the best-paid trades jobs out there. Apprentices will start on around 40% of what qualified electricians earn, and once qualified will be earning up to $50 an hour. The average annual salary for qualified carpenters is $75,000. Areas with the best opportunities include Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon Territories

5. Welder

Working for long amounts of time in awkward positions, but for a great salary. Apprentices will start at a minimum of $33,000 a year. With skill upgrades in various types of welding, you can stand to be up to $85,000 a year. British Columbia is the province with the highest demand at present, with opportunities available all the way to and including Prince Edward Island.

6. Pipefitter

If you are a qualified pipefitter, Ontario is the place to be right now. While there are numerous opportunities all over Canada, the most are in the Great Lakes province. Apprentices will start at no less than $30 an hour while experienced and certified pipefitters make around $49 an hour. The average annual salary for qualified pipefitters is $49,000.

7. Iron Worker

This trade requires more in-class training than most, and for that reason wages start at around 70% of what qualified journeymen make, around $42,000 a year. The average annual salary for qualified ironworkers is $64,000. The province with the highest demand in Canada for this trade is consistently British Columbia.

If you’re concerned with certification there are a number of semi-skilled jobs that are also bringing in good money for immigrants in Canada:

8. Long Haul Truck Driver

There is something innate that makes us want to be on the move, satisfy that craving by filling one of the most in-demand jobs in Canada. Long haul truck drivers get a front-row seat to the incredible beauty that is the Canadian landscape. Hours upon hours of scenic vistas is chicken soup for the soul, oh and get paid upward of $52,000 a year for the privilege. Positions are available all over the country, and just about every province will offer you permanent residency to plant your flag with them.

9. Bus Driver

If you’re tired of the open road and want to settle down a little, the cities of Canada urgently need bus drivers. The pay is not as much but it’s not bad either, around $41,000 per year.

10. Construction Worker

For the toughest of the tough, construction work is grueling but the pay makes up for it. If you are looking to enter the trades but need to make some start money and connections, this is a tough but good place to start as you will deal with various tradesmen on a daily basis. Construction workers earn anything from $34,000 to $66,000 a year depending on the project and their experience. Work is available countrywide, just check our listings.

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