8 epic careers in construction

Think construction jobs are boring? We want to prove you wrong.

Archaeologists with Stantec work to uncover the past. – Stantec

Construction is so much more than hammers, 2x4s and hard hats. Buildings are getting bigger and more complex. At the same time, the demand for projects to have better environmental and cultural outcomes is increasing. This requires more specialized roles. We have compiled a list of some classic construction careers alongside some emerging new ones that are sure to pique your interest.

And if you are looking a new career in construction or want to change roles, check out SiteJobs which features some of the best, high-level positions the industry has to offer.

Drone pilot

Most people pay for the privilege to play with drones. These workers make their living doing it. Contractors mostly use drones for photography. According to PCL, Aerial site photos and videos can help streamline inspections and site mapping, which helps construction companies identify problems on-site, track construction progress, assist with digital mapping and more. This can massively reduce costs for clients. On a recent SaskPower project in Regina, Saskatchewan, drones helped PCL cut initial inspection costs by 80%. The company also has a drone pilot named Mathew Hawkeye, which just sounds too perfect. 

BIM/VDC manager 

If you like building and exploring the digital world of video games, this might be the field for you. BIM is an architect’s superpower, allowing them to create virtual replicas of structures before a single brick is laid. It’s a digital playground where engineers, architects, and builders collaborate in real-time, making the construction process more efficient and reducing errors. And tools like drones, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and more are likely to make the world of digital buildings have an even more profound impact on the construction process and the entire lifespan of a structure. Who knows? Maybe in the coming years we will even be exploring digital building models with VR goggles on.

Building conservation

Crews prepare to store historic stone pieces as part of the Centre Block restoration project. – Government of Canada

As Canada continues its quest to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, upgrading our aging structures will become more and more critical. Algonquin College announced plans to launch a new program at its Perth campus that aims to produce a new generation of “carpenter-philosophers”. The program, the first of its kind in Canada, grants building conservation students an applied science degree. Students will learn about traditional building methods such as timber framing and log construction, as well as technical writing for reports and grant proposals.

Biologist/environmental consultant 

A snake experts offers their assistance at a TC Energy site. – TC Energy

Construction and critters often don’t mix, so experts have to help make sure their homes and habitats are disrupted as little as possible. This means carefully studying the potential impacts of proposed projects and coming up with mitigation plans. Sometimes this means rescuing hibernating snakes, helping craft wildlife bridges and scheduling work around bird nesting habits. TC Energy, for example, has full-time biologists that monitored snake activity in Southern Alberta.


Indigenous female ironworkers with Local 725 in Calgary recreate iconic “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”. – Ironworkers Local 725

This is probably the most iconic job in construction. It conjures the image of a worker in overalls and a hard hat expertly navigating giant steel beams high above some busy street. But there’s more to the job than that. Ironworkers do structural, reinforcing, ornamental and even fabricating work. They have a hand in shaping our biggest city’s skylines and even the small details on a metal staircase. You also get to stand atop some of the most iconic structures in the nation as they are going up. Wages range from $27 to $46 an hour

Cyber security

Because of remotely accessible systems, construction is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Common types of cyberattacks in the industry include installing ransomware, data theft and fraudulent wire transfers. Some of the biggest builders in the nation have fallen victim, costing the sector millions. Recent years have seem the industry begin to harden their defences, including hiring penetration testers or a “red teams” to attack companies to find their vulnerabilities. EllisDon has a dedicated Cybersecurity team that oversees and orchestrates digital security probes its networks for vulnerabilities, educates and protects employees and subcontractors, and vets all digital platforms, employee devices, and third-party software. If you enjoy the cat and mouse game of trying to outsmart digital attacks, this could be the role for you.

Heavy equipment operator 

Remember playing in the sandbox with your Tonka trucks? Imagine doing that but way bigger and you get paid. Heavy equipment operators are experts at using backhoes, bulldozers, loaders and graders to excavate, move, load and grade earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities. Depending on the province and your level of experience, these workers can make as much as $45-$57 an hour


This is one of hundreds of fossils unearthed during excavation work for cables and piping in Edmonton, Alta. – Chandos

You probably won’t be dodging traps like Indiana Jones, but you will get to connect with the past, ensure that cultural sites are respected and make historical discoveries. These experts are often called in to assess a site to determine if it’s likely that ancient remains or artifacts might be found and determine the correct actions to take if they are. For example, Last year when a construction crew began to dig beneath the asphalt of a Hydro-Québec parking lot in downtown Montreal weeks ago they found a stone house with a wood floor dating back to sometime between 1801 and 1825.


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