What Are Canada’s Top-Paying Skilled Trades?

November 20, 2023

The Canadian economy is one of the world's biggest, making it a treasure trove of opportunities in skilled trades. From mechanics to technicians, plumbers to electricians, skilled workers shape the country's progress. They’re constantly in demand in the job market.

Besides possessing technical expertise, a tradesperson often works in harsh and sensitive environments to thrive in their chosen field. Because of this, they're often paid handsomely, especially in the Great White North.

Let's explore some of Canada's top-paying skilled trades, understand what they do, and discuss the robust financial rewards that make these professions lucrative.

1. Electricians (CAD$ 67,909 - CAD$ 80,886/year)

Electricians are indispensable in powering the nation. These skilled workers install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in residential, commercial, or industrial settings. Their expertise is sought after in various industries. With a strong emphasis on safety and precision, electricians can earn competitive salaries.

As technology advances, the demand for skilled electricians in the country continues to surge. The Canadian government projects that industrial electricians will be highly in-demand until 2026. If you're interested in becoming one, it pays to know the key electrician skills you must possess so you can assess your current skillset, work on areas for improvement, and, ultimately, up your chances of getting hired.

2. Millwrights (CAD$ 80,306/year)

Millwrights or industrial mechanics are responsible for keeping industries moving seamlessly. Their work involves assembling, installing, and maintaining machinery in factories and production facilities.

With the integration of modern systems in manufacturing, the demand for millwrights who can adapt to complex machinery continues to increase. Authorities consider them one of the most sought-after skilled tradespeople alongside industrial electricians, and both are well-compensated positions.

3. Pipefitters and Steamfitters (CAD$ 76,491/year)

Canada's powerhouse industries rely heavily on pipefitters and steamfitters who install and maintain piping systems. These professionals contribute to the optimal functionality of buildings, factories, and power plants, while keeping them safe.

The country's continuous development drives the demand for skilled pipefitters and steamfitters, whose specialized skills command impressive salaries across all regions.

4. HVAC Technicians (CAD$ 74,429/year)

In the pursuit of comfort and efficiency, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians take center stage. They’re the wizards behind the curtains, ensuring that our living and working spaces remain temperate and comfortable.

An HVAC technician must be adept at cooling and heating systems, electrical connections, and ductwork. The same applies to a Refrigeration Technician whose duty is installing, maintaining, and fixing commercial and residential refrigeration systems.

As climate control becomes increasingly sophisticated, so is the demand for skilled HVAC technicians. Such a profession offers a great start to your journey toward a well-compensated and fulfilling career.

5. Plumbers: (CAD$ 65,234/year)

Plumbers are essential for maintaining the integrity of water and drainage systems. They install, repair, and upgrade plumbing systems in residential and commercial settings. As the need for sustainable and efficient plumbing solutions grows, these experts can command top-tier wages, making this trade attractive for those seeking a financially rewarding profession.

6. Heavy Equipment Mechanics (CAD$ 73,618/year)

For those who get a kick out of handling heavy machinery, a career as a heavy equipment mechanic and operator could be a good fit.

Mechanics take charge of troubleshooting, maintaining, adjusting, and overhauling industrial and construction equipment, especially mobile ones. Meanwhile, operators earn a slightly lower rate. Being one requires special skills in navigating and controlling giant machinery, from excavators to bulldozers and anything in between.

As infrastructure projects flourish across Canada, the demand for skilled heavy equipment mechanics and operators ensures a career that’s both expansive and financially rewarding.

7. Welders (CAD$ 65, 973/year)

Welders are the artisans of metal, joining and fabricating designs that form the backbone of various industries. From construction projects to manufacturing, they’re crucial in creating sturdy and durable structures. They craft metal products for steel manufacturers that assemble boilers, industrial machinery, aircraft, ships, and the like.

The demand for skilled welders persists, and their ability to work with various materials adds versatility to their careers, translating into higher earning potential.

8. Bricklayers/Masons (CAD$ 76, 281)

Construction projects are booming in Canada, alongside the rising need for bricklayers or masons. These tradespeople are experts at building and restoring structures made from stones, concrete blocks, and bricks. By applying specific masonry techniques, they can ensure that every residential or commercial project is built, expanded, remodeled, or restored with stability, safety, and aesthetics in mind.

As with other trades and professions, entry-level salaries are lower than those reserved for those in senior positions. For instance, neophyte masons typically earn at least CAD$ 52,740 annually, while expert bricklayers could earn up to $80,009 per year, according to Talent.com.


Canada's top-paying skilled trades pave the way to fulfilling and financially rewarding careers. The country is known for offering jobs where one's skills and expertise are valued, respected, and rewarded.

With the country's robust and progressing economy, the demand for skilled professionals, including electricians, mechanics, pipefitters, welders, plumbers, millwrights, and other trades, remains strong and will continue to rise in the coming years.

Whether considering a career change or entering the workforce for the first time, exploring in-demand technical work can lead to success and stability. Take the first step by taking courses, apprenticeships, and gaining experience to obtain your dream job.



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