Tricks of the trades

winnipegHome builder/renovations construction

Painter/Decorator – $13.89* per hour beginning wage up to $25.25* for journeyman

If you you like making a space beautiful, have a good colour sense, are able to work in high places and are detail oriented, there is a good chance you would enjoy being a painter or decorator. With the continued demand from renovation projects and new housing, the job prospects are good. Artistic ability is useful, as sometimes this trade requires sketching and design work.

Duties include painting, staining or varnishing the inside and outside surfaces of buildings and other structures, and applying wallpaper and decorative wall coverings. Training can be carried out on the job or as a full apprenticeship program with classroom as well as job site training. You can also apply for a Red Seal endorsed Certificate of Qualification once you complete your apprenticeship.

Employers include construction contractors, building maintenance crews, larger firms, painting contractors and government organizations. There are also lots of opportunities for self-employment in the private sector. Hours can be full time, part time or shift work.

Grade 12 is required for acceptance in an apprenticeship program or, in the case of mature students, a high-school-equivalent academic standing. Good communication skills and the ability to read blueprints and other technical data are necessary.

Carpenters – $18.45* to $27.80* per hour for journeyman

If you enjoy wood working , building and design, a career as a carpenter may be the perfect fit for you. Carpenters are vital to any construction project. They build and renovate residences, businesses and other industrial projects.

Requirements are reading and interpreting blueprints and drawings to determine building specifications. You also need to know how to prepare layouts that conform to building codes. Job duties require assembling frameworks and forms, such as walls, floors and roofs; constructing interior and exterior finishes; and installing doors, windows, flooring, cabinets, stairs, handrails, paneling, molding and ceiling tiles. Other structures include scaffolding, bridges, trestles, tunnels, shelters and towers. Teamwork is a must as a carpenter. Often times, they work together on projects with concrete workers, electricians plumbers and other tradespeople.

The outlook is very good for this trade. Carpenters are employed by construction companies, contractors, maintenance departments, schools and businesses or are self-employed.

Apprenticeship is available to those with Grade 12 or to mature students with academic equivalence involving a combination of in-school and on-the-job training. Apprenticeship training and certification in the trade is voluntary, with the interprovincial Red Seal endorsed Certificate of Qualification issued upon completion.

Tilesetters – $22.25* per hour

If you enjoy working with your hands, have a good eye for detail with an artistic flair and high work standards, the job of tilesetter might be the right career for you. With the popularity of ceramic, terrazzo and marble tile to create unique mosaic designs that cover walls, ceilings and floors, the outlook for this career is good.

Employers provide on-the-job training. While Manitoba does not offer a complete tilesetter apprenticeship program, you can become certified. Tilesetting is recognized as an interprovincial trade.

Workers are employed by contractors and renovators and are frequently self-employed. Generally, this trade works a five-day, 40-hour week. Overtime is sometimes required to meet deadlines.

Building construction managers/technicians – $46,300 to $61,400 *per year

Supervisors and construction managers are in demand. These people must have experience in the construction industry, demonstrate leadership qualities and the skills to plan and supervise the construction of roads and bridges, hydroelectric dams and buildings. They also must be able to prepare cost estimates and timetables, as well as arrange financing and co-ordinate construction work.

On-the-job training is provided but courses are available at colleges and universities. Candidates must have a good understanding of construction techniques in order to become a supervisor. Studies include construction law, project management, drafting fundamentals and a variety of other topics. Non-construction based courses on management and human resources are also required. Gold Seal Certification comes with course completion.

Heavy construction 

Concrete finishers $14.35* to $18.45* per hour

If you enjoy a good physical workout that requires working with your hands and an artistic eye, concrete work is right up your alley. The demand for concrete workers in both the residential and non-residential construction sectors is strong.

Concrete finishers place and finish concrete on many different types of surfaces that may include floors, walls, driveways, sidewalks, streets, highways and airport runways. Restoration and repair projects can include anything from bridge span decks and hydro-electric generating stations to industrial floors.

A variety of skills and knowledge is required to meet consumer demands. Because of its versatility, concrete can be troweled for a smooth finish, brushed to create a coarse, non-skid finish, embedded with gravel chips for an exposed aggregate finish, patterned or stamped for a decorative surface, or floated with a special dry shake to create a coloured surface.

For large structures, such as warehouses, much of the finishing work is now mechanized with laser-guided or power screeds, power floats and trowels and mechanical vibrators and pumps, which minimize the demand for manual labour.

Heavy equipment operator – $15.38* to $20.50* per hour

If you are excited by the idea of driving big equipment that moves yards of dirt to construct roads, ditches or change the shape of the landscape, become a heavy equipment operator. The job outlook is very good for the next several years, as Manitoba continues to schedule major road construction projects at both the provincial and municipal levels.

Workers are required to operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers and graders to excavate and move rock, earth and gravel during construction. Scraping old surfaces or preparing roads for resurfacing requires laying, spreading or compacting concrete and asphalt.

Requirements include Grade 12, mature students, and possession of a valid driver’s license. A certified training course is provided by the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and contractors will train you on the job.

The main employers are construction companies, heavy equipment contractors and public works departments. Employment is seasonal and often requires shift work.

Heavy duty equipment technician/mechanic – $15.30* to $20.50* per hour

If you like mechanics and are interested in all types of machinery, engines, electronics and precision testing equipment, you will enjoy a career in this field. The main duties are to service and repair heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, such as cranes, diesel trucks, power shovels, scrapers, graders, powered conveyors, bulldozers, farm equipment and transport trailers.

Apprenticeship programs are available and the interprovincial Red Seal endorsed certification is optional.
The employment outlook is very good. Many companies employ technicians to keep their fleet of equipment maintained according to regular maintenance and repair checklists. Large machine shops may specialize in engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel pumps and injections, hydraulic controls, electrical and air conditioning or track equipment.

The working environment may vary from an indoor shop to being out in the field at a job site.

Truck Driver – $18.00*

If you have a passion for driving and love breaking out on the open highway, heading to ever-changing destinations, a professional driving career could be for you. Professional drivers also oversee the loading and unloading of cargo, keeping records of arrival and departure times and maintaining log books of fuel consumption and mileage. They may also assist in the overall maintenance of the vehicles.

Positions vary from local delivery drivers to long distance hauls across Canada or into the United States.
The outlook for this career is very bright as manufacturing, transportation, moving and distribution companies need drivers to transport their goods from one destination to another. Driver requirements are Class 1 and 2 driver’s licenses with air brake endorsement required.

On-the-job training may be provided or you can register with an approved truck-driving training school.

*Wages are determined by individual businesses and contractors based on skill criteria and their employment policies.

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