Skilled Trades

Skilled Trades

Our Safety-focused Production team works with Leadership, Planning, Quality Control, Engineering, Test & Trials, and our customer to build and maintain safe and quality ships for the Royal Canadian Navy. With opportunity for career progression across many areas of shipbuilding, we are proud to offer rewarding careers for 30+ years. Our priority is to hire qualified, skilled Canadians first.


We operate at the highest standards to ensure health and safety of all employees, contractors, visitors, the public, and the environment. As Canada’s National Shipbuilder, we strive for safe quality vessels for the crews who will sail on the ships we build and repair. We believe in a total safety culture that means everyone at all levels is engaged and accountable for seeing each other home safe every day. It is about a day-to-day commitment and state of mind where compliance is a personal promise to yourself and your team members.

Health & Wellness

Employee health & wellness is valued, and wellness programs are available to assist employees and their families in making positive lifestyle choices that will reduce their total health risks by improving their individual health. Our values of Integrity and People & Teamwork are rooted in working together and ensuring everyone is treated with fairness and respect.

  • Health and dental
  • Maternity leave top-up
  • Onsite physio services
  • Wellness program
  • Employee & Family Assistance Programs

Employee Benefits

We are proud to offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including but not limited to:

  • Journeyperson base wage of $43/ hour
  • Premiums for Red Seal dual trades
  • Shift premiums
  • A medical, dental, and vision plan
  • Retirement savings program
  • Health & Wellness reimbursements
  • Comprehensive relocation package
  • Boot allowance
  • Overtime and banked time

Our Team

With over 1,100 skilled tradespeople across our organization, our talented shipbuilders are at the core of our operations. From new apprentices to experienced journeypersons, we offer rewarding careers building ships for Canada. Learn more about the different roles at Irving Shipbuilding:


Pipefitters are responsible for layout, fabrication, assembly, repair, and maintenance of piping systems that carry water, fuel, lubricants, and other processes on the vessel. Pipefitters interpret blueprints, drawings, and specifications to determine the type of material and equipment required for the systems on the vessel


Electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical systems designed to provide heat, light, power, control, signal, or fire alarms for the vessels. Electricians interpret electrical and mechanical drawings, specifications, and applicable codes to determine wiring layouts on the vessel.

Metal Fabricators & Ironworkers

Metal fabricators cut, shape, and join the steel from the hull to the interior compartments of a completed vessel. Metal Fabricators interpret blueprints and use tools to fabricate and assemble structural members and subcomponents within our vessels.


Welders fuse metals together using manual and automated processes and techniques. In shipbuilding, welders join everything from small components to major sections of a vessel.

Scaffolders & Riggers

Scaffolders erect and dismantle temporary scaffolding on structures at the shipyard to allow others to safely work at height. Riggers facilitate the movement and positioning of heavy equipment, materials, units, and blocks. They use slings, pulleys, winches, dollies, and ropes to safety maneuver loads in the shipyard.


Millwrights install, align, and test motors, shafts, and various mechanical equipment to precise tolerances on the vessels. Millwrights interpret technical diagrams, schematic drawings, and service manuals to determine work procedures and perform predictive and operational maintenance on equipment.

Painters and Services

Painters perform end-to-end painting and spray-painting on ships. Painters are responsible for surface preparation, selecting and using the appropriate industrial marine coatings, and knowledge of a variety of painting related equipment to ensure longevity and protection of the completed product/vessel

At Irving Shipbuilding, we’re not only building ships, we’re building the future of Canada’s shipbuilding industry. We do that through apprenticeship programs which train and educate the shipbuilders of tomorrow.


Irving Shipbuilding is the largest single employer of apprentices in Atlantic Canada. These apprentices work throughout our core trades: electrical, metal fabrication, pipefitting and welding.

We support our skilled trades with dedicated mentors to ensure apprentice success as Red Seal graduates.

When you join the company, you will either:

  • Register as an apprentice with ISI
  • Transfer to ISI if you have commenced your apprenticeship elsewhere

Our Apprenticeship Team will

Be the point of contact for apprentices and for all matters relating to the program

Focus on the safety, wellbeing and progress of apprentices

Support and guide apprentices so they can achieve their potential

Manage clear expectations in terms of time keeping and attendance, progress and conduct

Build a culture of trust and one in which good practice is recognized and celebrated

What we offer Apprentices:

A dedicated skills coach to help you identify skill gaps and develop plans to improve

Paid full regular earnings during block training

Paid apprentice course materials and exam registration fees

Study time prior to Red Seal examinations

Ongoing opportunity for on-the-job and workshop training

A supportive group of supervisors, mentors and apprenticeship team members

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Jason Horton, 2022 Irving Shipbuilding Apprentice of the Year

Jason Horton has been named the 2022 winner of the Ron Starkey Apprentice of the Year Award at Irving Shipbuilding. Jason was among a record 73 skilled trades shipbuilders who achieved Red Seal certification in 2022. Jason joined Irving Shipbuilding in December of 2021 as a Welder apprentice and took no time to make his mark. In a few short months, he was selected to compete in the Skills Nova Scotia competition for welding and achieved silver for his category in April of 2022. “The sky is the limit,” say Jason. “As an apprentice Welder for Irving Shipbuilding there are so many opportunities to enhances your skills and knowledge by being able to work in different areas of the ship throughout the build progress. When I joined, I felt like that gave me the runway and I was able to take off.”

Intern Hiring - Timelines

Term Term Dates Posting Dates
5 Week Work Terms (NSCC) April September
Summer Work Terms May - August January
Winter January - April September 2023

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