In-Demand Shipbuilding Occupations

Learn more about shipbuilding’s high demand occupations and start planning your career as a shipbuilder with the following Shipbuilding Occupation Sheets.

Electric Motor Systems Technician

DESCRIPTION Electric motor systems technicians (winder electricians) maintain, test, rebuild and repair electric motors, transformers, switch gears, and other electrical equipment. They are often involved with the installation of electrical machines, systems and equipment in many heavy industries, including shipbuilding and ship repair.  Unlike an electrician, electric motor systems technicians focus much of their work… Read More

Mechanical Engineering Technologists & Technicians

DESCRIPTION Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians provide technical support and services to project teams and the shipbuilding workforce. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians are often involved in the research & development and mechanical equipment design. This means that they are often highly involved in the process of testing, quality control, and project management concerning mechanical… Read More

Electrical & Electronics Engineering Technicians & Technologists

DESCRIPTION Electrical and electronics engineering technologists & technicians may work independently or provide technical support and services in the design, development, testing, production and operation of electrical and electronic equipment and systems.  These workers often provide advanced technical assistance and solutions to problems and challenges encountered before, during, and after project construction. They are highly… Read More

Painter & Decorator

DESCRIPTION Painters and decorators use brushes spray equipment to apply paint, enamel, lacquer, and other non-metallic protective and decorative coatings to surfaces of various products. Painters and decorators are also mixologists – they are responsible for selecting the appropriate paints or mix paints and often tend to operate specialized equipment for the application of protective… Read More


DESCRIPTION Welders operate welding equipment to join or sever metals in beams, vessels, girders, piping and other ferrous and non-ferrous components. Machine operators who operate previously set up production welding, brazing, and soldering equipment are also included as part of this occupation. Welding usually involves fusing and melting pieces of metal together by applying heat…. Read More

Sheet Metal Worker

DESCRIPTION Sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products. Sheet metal workers use many types of different metals in their daily tasks, including steel, copper, brass, nickel, stainless steel, aluminum and tin plate to make many different products. Sheet metal workers may specialize in on-site installation, shop manufacture of products or in… Read More


DESCRIPTION Steamfitters and pipefitters lay out, assemble, fabricate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair piping systems carrying water, steam, chemicals and fuel in heating, cooling, lubricating and other process piping and fire suppression systems.  Their work also includes specialty piping systems that are composed of stainless steel, chrome-moly, nickel, monel and inconel that require special joining techniques…. Read More


DESCRIPTION Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes, fixtures, and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and wastewater disposal. Plumbers read blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing systems, water supply networks and waste water & drainage systems.  Plumbers work in cooperation with other trades and labourers on most projects to ensure… Read More


DESCRIPTION Millwrights and industrial mechanics install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. Although millwrights were historically responsible for building watermills and windmills primarily out of wood, their roles have evolved with the times and they now work with steel and other materials and must often combine the skills of other mechanical… Read More


DESCRIPTION Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to cut or grind metals, plastics and other materials to make or modify parts or products with precise dimensions. Machining and tooling inspectors inspect machined parts and tooling in order to maintain a high degree of safety, integrity, and quality control.  Machinists make very… Read More

Metal Fabricator or Shipfitter

DESCRIPTION Metal fabricator or shipfitters make and repair metal parts used in the construction of ships, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels and other similar structures and products. They layout, cut and fabricate structural steel, plate and miscellaneous ferrous and non-ferrous metals and assemble and fit metal sections and plates together to form complete units or… Read More


DESCRIPTION Joiners construct, erect, install, maintain, and repair structures, furniture, and fixtures made of wood, lightweight steel and other materials. Joiners perform similar tasks to carpenters with the slight difference being that joiners often join wood without the help of nails and carpenters use nails instead. Also, joiners often do the majority of their work… Read More

Industrial Electrician

DESCRIPTION Electricians lay out, assemble, install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring, fixtures and other devices in vessels, buildings and other structures. In a shipbuilding environment, electricians assemble systems that are tied to the main power generation unit(s) and electrical operations in a vessel; their roles and influence touch virtually all aspects of the inner… Read More


DESCRIPTION Carpenters erect, build, repair, and maintain structures, fixtures, furniture and other items using different types of materials, including wood and lightweight steel. In a shipbuilding environment, carpenters build forms, scaffolding, shelters, towers and other structures.  Carpenters are expected to be able to work from blueprints and schematics, design good work layouts, apply the right… Read More


DESCRIPTION Boilermakers assemble, install, test, maintain and repair boilers, vessels, tanks, towers, heat exchangers and other heavy metal or steel structures. Boilers hold liquids and pressurized cases that are used in many industries. Many different skills are used as a boilermaker. Boilermakers inspect and maintain boilers routinely and also update and change out different parts… Read More

Heavy Duty Mechanic

DESCRIPTION Heavy duty equipment mechanics repair, troubleshoot, adjust, overhaul and maintain heavy-duty equipment used in virtually all industrial sectors of BC’s economy, including shipbuilding and ship repair. Heavy duty mechanics are like master puzzle builders and focus much of their time taking heavy equipment apart and/or putting it back together again. This includes engines, transmissions,… Read More

Shipyard Labourer

DESCRIPTION Trades helpers and labourers assist other skilled trades in the performance of some of their tasks. This includes all trades – mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, electrical workers, welders, and many more. Labourers, as the name indicates, spend the bulk of their time performing moderate physical labour on-site or in a workshop setting.  Consider labourers as… Read More


DESCRIPTION Sandblasters or metal fabrication labourers remove excess metal and unwanted materials from metal parts, castings, and other metal products and perform other labouring activities for metal fabrication trades. They do so using sandblasters, grinders, buffers, and other hand-held and powered tools.  Similar to a regular labourer, this occupation is responsible for ensuring metalworking areas… Read More