Highest Paying Trade Jobs in Canada per Hour

Ready to find a new job in Canada? With one of the highest-paying workforces in the world, Canada draws in thousands of international workers of all skills levels every year.

According to worldpopulationreview, Canada is ranked sixth worldwide for having the highest average salary or wages. On average, Canadians earn around $53,625 per year or $27.50 per hour. This, of course, depends on your occupation, skill level and years of work experience, which means that you could stand to earn a lot more!

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 trades in Canada offering foreigners top dollar per hour in Canada!

Top 10 High Paying Trade Jobs in Canada

Although you could technically break any occupation salary into an hourly rate, most trade jobs pay by the hour. Here are the top 10 trade jobs currently offering the highest pay in Canada.


Highest Paying Trade Jobs in Canada
Trade OccupationHourly Wage
Steamfitter or Pipefitter$36,53
Industrial electrician$33.07
Industrial mechanic (Millwright)$32.90
Heavy-duty equipment technician$32.42
Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic$30.81
Construction electrician$30.54
Sheet metal worker$27.66
Truck and transport mechanic$26,70

How to Work in Canada as a Trade Worker

There are two main ways to start working in Canada as a trade worker: immigration or applying for one of Canada’s work permits.

Immigrate to Canada as a Trade Worker

The most popular way to move to Canada as a trade worker is through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). The FSTP is exclusively for international trade workers wanting to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

To be eligible for the FSTP, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • meet the required language levels for each language ability
    • writing – CLB/NCLC 4
    • reading – CLB 4
    • listening – CLB 5
    • speaking – CLB 5
  • have at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply
    • your work experience must be for paid work (paid wages or earned commission—volunteer work or unpaid internships don’t count)
  • meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification, except for needing a certificate of qualification
  • have a
    • valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or
    • certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority

Skilled Trade Work Experience

Work experience that qualifies for the FSTP is broken into the following categories:

  • Major Group 72, industrial, electrical, and construction trades
  • Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture, and related production
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing, and utility supervisors and central control operators
  • Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks
  • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers

All of these occupations are ranked as skill level B. It’s extremely important that your duties match the same as those outlined in the job description of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) System. If not, your application will be declined immediately by Immigration Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


The FSTP doesn’t have any education requirements but if you want to improve your chances of getting an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residency, you can claim Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for Canadian work experience or International work experience, provided you have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to show that your skill matches the level of those working in the same job in Canada.

Additional Requirements

You will also need to prove the following if you want to immigrate to Canada as a trade worker:

  • Prove that you have enough money to settle in Canada (unless you have a valid job offer and work permit); and
  • Are admissible to Canada.

You may also be required to be certified by a provincial or territorial regulatory board.

How to Apply

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Step 2: Create your free Express Entry profile

Step 3: Start gathering your supporting documents

Step4: Accept your invitation to apply for permanent residency

Step 5: Submit your forms and documents and pay your visa fees

How to Work in Canada as a Trade Worker

If you want to work in Canada for a specific period of time then the best option is to get a job offer and apply for one of Canada’s work permits. There are two types: an open work permit and an employer-specific work permit.

An open work permit will give you the freedom to go to Canada and look for work anywhere in Canada whereas the employer-specific work permit will only allow you to work for the company hiring you for the same length of time as your contract or until your visa expires.

How to Apply

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Step 2: Choose your work visa

Step 3: Start gathering your supporting documents

Step 4: Submit your application and pay your visa fees

Ready to start working in Canada’s trade sector?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which trades pay the most in Canada?

The top 3 trades jobs that pay the most are steamfitters or pipefitters, industrial electricians, and millwrights. Steamfitters can earn anywhere between $40.30 to $50.09 per hour making it one of the highest paying trade jobs in Canada, while pipefitters earn around $35.43 to $46.42 hourly. Industrial electricians earn anywhere between $33.07 to $44, while millwrights can earn about $32.90 to $43.26 per hour.

2. What trade jobs are currently in high demand?

The top three most in-demand trades in Canada are mechanics, cooks/chefs, electricians. Mechanics are listed on 7 out of the 11 provinces and territories in-demand occupations lists, while cooks/chefs and electricians appear on 6.

3. Do I need a red seal certificate to work in a trade in Canada?

This depends on the province or territory you are planning to live and work in in Canada. Although it may be useful to have, it is not necessarily a must to work in Canada. It simply allows for interprovincial mobility. This means that if you decide to take a job in a different province or territory, you won’t have to retake any tests or complete any additional paperwork as your red seal shows that your skill level is equivalent to Canadian standards.

Next Steps?

To improve your chances of success in the visa application process, it’s a good idea to check your eligibility as well as where your job is most in demand. Most trade jobs are abundant in provinces like Alberta, Manitoba, and New Brunswick and although you don’t necessarily need one, a red seal certificate could make it easier for you to move between them and find the best job for you. One thing you will need if you aren’t applying for permanent residency, is one of Canada’s work permits – employer-specific if you have a job offer or an open work permit if you plan to find a job when you arrive in Canada.

Ready to start working in Canada’s trade industry and start earning top dollar?

With the right experience, skill set and professional immigration assistance, you could be working in Canada in one of the highest paying trade jobs in Canada in as little as six to eight months when you apply through programs like the Federal Skilled Trade Program.

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