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Alberta Job Forecast

If you are looking for a job in the building trades, Alberta is where you want to be! The forecast for Alberta building trades jobs can be summarized in two words: high demand. Find out if your next job - and your future career - is as an Alberta building trades professional!

As an Alberta building trades worker, you will benefit from

  • a Strong Alberta Economy
  • High Demand for Skilled Building Trades Workers
  • Attractive Wages, Benefits, and Training Opportunities


Strong Alberta Economy

The Alberta economy has consistently done better than both the Canadian and American economies.


Alberta, Canada, U.S. Real GDP Growth, 2000-2012

Source: Conference Board of Canada, Real GDP Growth, BuildForce Canada

Areas of Growth

Our province's economic growth has been led by a booming demand for natural resources.

Husky Sunrise Project, Photo courtesy of  International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators - Local 110

Husky Sunrise Project, Photo courtesy of International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators - Local 110

Other important growth areas include

  • infrastructure projects such as highways, schools, and hospitals
  • residential housing, and
  • commercial industrial development.

Construction Project, Calgary

Construction Project, Calgary

High Demand for Skilled Building Trades Workers

With economic growth comes new jobs. The Alberta economy created 500,000 new jobs in the last 10 years. We gained new jobs at a rate that was consistently above the national average and the growth rate in the U.S.


Alberta Employment Growth, 2000 - 2012

Source: Conference Board of Canada, Real GDP Growth

Construction Jobs

The construction sector led this employment growth. The Alberta economy added 90,280 construction jobs in the years from 2007 to 2013 alone. Those jobs pay well. The demand for skilled building trades workers was particularly acute.

Continuing Demand

Alberta's need for construction workers will continue for at least the next 10 years. The demand will come from oil sands development, commercial and industrial projects, and residential housing. Where will the workers come from?

Alberta already has a low unemployment rate. And we will be losing more construction workers to retirement. Our province will have to look outside its borders for new workers. BuildForce Canada estimates that we will require some 45,000 new construction workers from outside Alberta in the next 10 years.


Source: Realizing Opportunity: Workforce Challenges and Responsibilities, Canada's Building Trades Unions

skilled building trades workers

The demand for skilled building trades workers will again be particularly strong.

Construction employment growth continues in virtually every year of the new 2014–2023 forecast scenario, but year-to-year growth rates are lower than the past decade. These rates can be deceiving, however, as the much larger size of the workforce means that the number of jobs added each year often approaches the change in the boom years of the last decade. Certainly, human resources challenges related to skills, training, mobility and competition will continue on nearly the same scale.

Source: 2014 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward Highlights Reports. Emphasis added.

If you are a journeyman or apprentice or just exploring employment opportunities in the building trades, what does all of this information mean to you? How can you benefit from a job in the Alberta building trades?

Attractive Wages, Benefits, and Training Opportunities

The good news is that when you start out in the building trades in Alberta, you immediately benefit from the attractive wages, benefits, and training opportunities already achieved by the Building Trades of Alberta and its affiliated unions.

Ironworkers, Local 720


Your future is bright as a skilled Alberta building trades worker. All construction and maintenance trades workers in Alberta have benefited. The building trades workers in the Building Trades of Alberta affiliated unions just tend to benefit more.

In the construction industry, building trade union members earn benefits worth $3.92 per hour (56%) more than members of CLAC...

Source: On the Job: Why Unions Matter in Alberta, David Campanella, Bob Barnetson, Angella MacEwen (Parkland Institute, 2014), p.1.

The wage and benefits gains won by Alberta's building trades unions have had a positive ripple effect throughout Alberta's workforce. As a result, your family members or significant others looking for other types of employment can also benefit from Alberta's healthy economy and high wages.

Alberta’s workers have become accustomed to larger-than-normal wage gains... The result is that today, the average worker in the province earns a wage roughly 25 per cent higher than the national average—which works out to an extra $11,500 per year.

Source: Job Vacancies Help Explain Alberta’s Soaring Wages, Todd A. Crawford, Senior Economist, Conference Board of Canada, 26 Nov. 2013

Take advantage of the superior quality of life you can afford when you belong to a Building Trades of Alberta affiliated union.

Next Steps

Just Curious

If you are curious about the building trades, try Explore Our Trades. For each trade, you will find a description of the type of work involved, important skills and abilities, apprenticeship requirements, and a contact to answer your questions

Considering Becoming an Apprentice in Alberta

To learn about becoming an apprentice, check out Apprentice Opportunities for information on the steps required to become an apprentice. We have included job lists (if publicly available) and contact information for each trade; you can use the job list to help find an employer, or you can contact the trade union local.

Journeyman in Alberta, Canada, or the United States

If you are a journeyman (or an apprentice wanting to know more about a career as a journeyman in Alberta), check out Journeyman Opportunities. You can find information about your trade's job market in Alberta; you will also find links to publicly accessible job lists maintained by Alberta's Building Trades Unions and contact information for your trade union.