Your Way Ahead: A Career in Roadbuilding and Heavy Construction
Have you ever considered a career in roadbuilding and heavy construction? It’s not a career that many people think about, but without it, we wouldn’t have clean water to drink, roads to drive on, subways to ride, or bridges to cross. People who work in roadbuilding and heavy construction really do build our communities, and our country.
What skills and interests do I need?
All kinds of people work in roadbuilding and heavy construction. But generally, the people who would most enjoy careers in this sector are people who possess some of the following traits:
- Like to work with big machines and
- Enjoy working outdoors, or having the option of working in an office setting;
- Can work as part of a close-knit team;
- People who may prefer seasonal work;
- Problem solvers – people who like a challenge;
- Have an appreciation for the environment, and want to work to preserve environmental habitats;
- Like to make a competitive wage.
People who are proud of what they do, and can see the results of their work for decades to come.
What types of jobs are available?
Careers in roadbuilding and heavy construction are as varied as the kind of projects that you work on. Some of the kinds of jobs that you will find in the roadbuilding and heavy construction sector include:
- Superintendents, site foremen, company managers;
- Heavy equipment operators, mechanics, drivers;
- Labourers, asphalt crews, traffic signalers, pavers, concrete pourers;
- Engineers, surveyors, estimators, planning designers;
- Office managers, accountants, heavy equipment dealers, bonding and insurance agents.
How do I get started?
There are a number of ways to enter the roadbuilding and heavy construction sector. Generally, new entrants require at least a Grade twelve education, along with basic math and communication skills. For some jobs, like engineer or estimator, more formal education
For other jobs, such as a heavy equipment mechanic or operator, working as a three or four year apprentice is the best way to enter the industry. For others, working as a labourer on a crew and learning the skills on the job is the preferred entry route. And the best part is that people working as apprentices or labourers can earn while you learn – make money and learn valuable skills at the same time!
Isn’t that a dirty, go-nowhere industry?
First, people who work in roadbuilding and heavy construction are highly trained, dedicated professionals who are committed to building Canada’s infrastructure and communities. Without them, our roads, water systems, sewers, and transportation systems would fall apart. So no, a roadbuilding and heavy construction career is certainly not a go-nowhere career choice!
People employed in the roadbuilding and heavy construction sector are leaders within their communities. They are successful business people who have not only done well financially, but who contribute on a daily basis to the success of their communities and their country. And they will be the first to tell you that there is an amazing pride in being able to see the results of your work for years to come – and that what they build is used by just about everyone.
What are the prospects for jobs in the future?
There has never been a better time to join the roadbuilding and heavy construction industry. There is an unprecedented demand for people with skills in heavy construction, and with governments set to pour billions back into our ailing infrastructure systems, that demand is expected to continue. Plus, with thousands of people set to retire in the coming years, the future of the roadbuilding and heavy construction sector is looking good for the newest generation of workers.
Most importantly, what do I get paid?
Let’s get to the good stuff! The fact is that over the past several years, as demand for people with heavy construction skills has gone up, people in the roadbuilding and heavy construction field have seen pay increases well above the national average.
What you will get paid depends on a lot of things – where you live, years of experience, and the type of job you’re doing. Like many industries, most start at a lower wage and work their way up. Wages will rise quickly based on experience. As you move into management, that figure can go much higher.
How do I get more information?
The best way to get more information about careers in roadbuilding and heavy construction is to talk to someone who works in the sector — they can answer all your questions. Don’t know anyone in roadbuilding or heavy construction? Contact the New Brunswick Road Builders, and they will be happy to put you in touch with a roadbuilder and/or heavy construction professional.
59 Avonlea Court, Suite 5
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Canada E3C 1N8
Tel: 506 454 5079
Fax: 506 452 7646