Labourers in Mineral and Metal Processing

Occupation:Labourers in Mineral, Metal, Chemical Products, Utilities, and Textiles Fabrication
Category:Manufacturing and Utilities

About the job

Nature of work:

This group includes many jobs that do not require a high level of formal training. These workers operate and monitor various types of machinery and equipment; load and transport materials; and check, sort, assemble, or package materials and products. They are employed in mineral ore and metal processing plants, uranium processing plants, steel mills, aluminum plants, precious metal refineries, cement processing plants, and clay, glass, and stone plants and foundries.

Labourers in metal fabrication are employed in structural steel, boiler and platework fabrication plants, heavy machinery manufacturing plants, sheet metal fabrication shops, shipbuilding, and other metal products manufacturing companies.

Labourers in chemical products are employed by petroleum and natural gas processing, pipeline and petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, and by electrical, water, and waste treatment utilities and services.

Labourers in textile processing are employed by textile manufacturing companies. Other labourers are employed by companies that manufacture products such as clothing, footwear, furniture, and electrical and electronic products, and by printing and packaging companies.

Job duties:
The following is a summary of some of the duties performed by labourers in this group:
  • Labourers in mineral and metal processing perform material handling, clean-up, packaging and other elemental activities related to mineral ore and metal processing.
  • Labourers in metal fabrication remove excess metal and unwanted materials from metal parts, castings and other metal products and perform other labouring activities.
  • Labourers in chemical products processing and utilities carry out a variety of material handling, cleaning and routine general labouring activities.
  • Labourers in textile processing perform a variety of manual duties to assist in processing fibres into yarn or thread, or to assist in weaving, knitting, bleaching, dyeing or finishing textile fabrics or other textile products.
  • Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities includes labourers, not elsewhere classified, who perform material handling, clean-up, packaging and other elemental activities in processing, manufacturing and utilities.
Sample job titles:
  • foundry worker - primary metal processing
  • gas utility labourer
  • labourer - metal fabrication
  • landfill weigh scale attendant
  • loom cleaner
  • packer - manufacturing
  • scrap yard worker - primary metal processing
  • sorter, recyclable materials
  • textile product labourer
  • welder helper

To work in these jobs, you should have good physical health. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements:
  • Some secondary school education may be required while completion of secondary school may be required for some positions in this group.
Other considerations:

Although work patterns vary according to the employer's business and the type of work done, work in these jobs is generally seasonal. Generally, this work is carried out in shifts at various hours of the day or on a part-time basis. Progression to machine and process operator positions is possible with experience and appropriate qualifications. There is also considerable mobility among jobs in this group.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Labourers in Mineral, Metal, Chemical Products, Utilities, and Textiles Fabrication most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 45% of Labourers in Mineral, Metal, Chemical Products, Utilities, and Textiles Fabrication who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $33,477. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Labourers in Mineral and Metal Processing1,580Stable70High
Minimum: $12.00
Median: $17.00
Maximum: $27.50
Minimum: $3,437
Median: $24,112
Maximum: $52,727
All NS Occupations427,305Weak growth33,315Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $19.89
Maximum: $40.00
Minimum: $2,872
Median: $29,983
Maximum: $83,126
Labourers in Mineral and Metal ProcessingCompared to: All NS Occupations
Percent employed full-time85%78%
Percent self-employed4%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentLabourers in Mineral and Metal ProcessingCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton17%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley15%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeLabourers in Mineral and Metal ProcessingCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
Median Agex45
GenderLabourers in Mineral and Metal ProcessingCompared to: All NS Occupations
% Employed% Employed
EducationLabourers in Mineral and Metal ProcessingCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school26.4%$27,33922.9%$21,011
High school43.3%$19,37138.1%$28,358
Trades certificate10.8%x12.4%$37,356
College certificate or diploma16.4%$24,90820.3%$36,968
University certificate or diploma0.9%x1.1%$35,915
Bachelor's degree1.8%x4.4%$36,852
University advanced certificate or diploma0.2%x0.3%$55,581
Master's degreeN/Ax0.5%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%N/A
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Canadian Textile Industry Association
151 Slater St, suite 708
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M9

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.