Construction Employment

Construction EmploymentAfter a slowdown in the last couple years, construction activity is slowly increasing again in Alberta in industrial, residential and commercial construction.

Industrial (Oil Sands) Development

Oil sands development creates growth in the construction industry in Alberta and Canada. The primary projects are industrial construction of new or expansion of existing oil sands facilities.

Commercial and residential construction is also an important part of the construction industry in Alberta.

There is a wide range of employment levels in construction and it is an industry you can work your way up in. Factors that affect the number of jobs:

Stage of construction determines the number and type of workers that are required.

Plant turnarounds or shutdowns employ many tradespeople or maintenance staff for short periods of time.

Scheduled turnarounds occur in the spring/summer; however unscheduled shutdowns follow a mishap or anticipated need for maintenance or repair work.

Season and weather can affect the amount and type of work.

Some contractors employ tradespeople through union halls.

There has been an increased demand for all trades but especially for journeymen with Alberta trade certification or Interprovincial Red Seal certification and certified apprentices.

Life of an Oil Sands Construction Project

Construction work is contracted to construction companies. Camp facilities may be available to non-residents when the construction sites are located outside of Fort McMurray, especially for projects that are further away. Length of employment will vary with the timing, location and type of contract. Contract workers may be required to provide their own transportation to the place of work. Some of the engineering work is done in Edmonton and Calgary. Large modules are often constructed in the Edmonton area and transported to Fort McMurray.

Valid CSTS (Construction Safety Training System) certification is required at all industrialconstruction sites as well as OSSA (Oil Sands Safety Association) training.

Residential and Commercial Development

The residential and commercial construction industries are facing the same problems finding skilled workers as the industrial construction industry. Companies need ticketed tradespeople, or entry-level workers willing to work hard and care about the final product.

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