Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Alert

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit alberta.ca for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Building Operator

Building operators handle, maintain, and operate buildings that have heating, mechanical, and electrical systems.

  • Avg. Salary $39,140.00
  • Avg. Wage $22.44
  • Minimum Education Less than high school
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 20,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Caretaker, HVAC Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents (6663);  Stationary Engineers and Auxiliary Equipment Operators (7351) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents (G933);  Stationary Engineers and Auxiliary Equipment Operators (H221) 
  • 2011 NOC: Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (6733);  Power engineers and power systems operators (9241) 
  • 2016 NOC: Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (6733);  Power engineers and power systems operators (9241) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

33%
33%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Building Operator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
METHODICAL

Interest in copying instructions to clean and maintain the interior and exterior of commercial, institutional and residential buildings and their grounds; to contract tradespersons for major repairs; and to ensure that security and safety measures are in place in the establishment

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating - manipulating industrial vacuum cleaners to remove scraps, dirt, heavy debris and other refuse; to sweep, mop, scrub and wax hallways, floors and stairs; to clear snow and ice from walkways and parking areas; and to cut grass and tend grounds

INNOVATIVE

Interest in making adjustments and minor repairs to heating, cooling, ventilating, plumbing and electrical systems; and in performing routine maintenance jobs and repairs such as painting

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Stationary Engineers and Auxiliary Equipment Operators
OBJECTIVE

Interest in controlling and operating automated and computerized control systems, stationary engines and auxiliary equipment

innovative

Interest in analyzing information from instrument readings to detect leaks and other equipment malfunctions; may assist in the development of operation, maintenance and safety procedures

methodical

Interest in recording instrument readings, in monitoring and inspecting computer terminals, plant equipment, switches, valves, gauges, alarms, meters and other instruments to measure temperature, pressure and fuel flow, in ensuring plant equipment is operating at maximum efficiency and in maintaining a daily log of operation, maintenance and safety activities

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Building operators oversee building operation and maintenance. They make sure buildings are safe for the public. Their duties vary depending on the type of building. In general, they:

  • Inspect the inside and outside of the building regularly
  • Monitor and maintain building systems, such as heating, electrical, mechanical, and security systems
  • Do minor electrical and plumbing work, such as changing light bulbs and replacing furnace filters
  • Report any problems
  • Recommend changes to make the building more efficient and reduce operating costs or comply with codes, such as environmental, building, and safety codes
  • Maintain equipment and keep records of the work
  • Monitor access to restricted areas
  • Ensure restricted areas are safe, clean, functional, and accessible for maintenance
  • Perform or oversee housekeeping and grounds-keeping duties
  • Respond to emergencies (such as power failures, floods, and fires)
  • Plan and run fire drills
  • Respond to complaints from tenants
  • Liaise between tenants and owners
  • Supervise the work of maintenance personnel and contractors hired to make repairs
  • Keep track of supplies and equipment
  • Recommend the purchase of new equipment

Building operators often use computers to check equipment and do administrative tasks.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Building operators work indoors and outdoors. They generally work 36 to 40 hours a week. They may work shifts and be on call. They may need to work overtime to solve equipment problems.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Building operators need:

  • Communication and social skills
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Customer-service skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • The ability to work on their own
  • The ability to respond quickly in emergencies

They should enjoy having clear rules and guidelines for their work. They should also enjoy operating equipment and solving problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

In Alberta, building operators who operate boilers must hold a power engineer’s certificate. (For more information, see the Power Engineer occupational profile.)

Building operators need to be familiar with environmental health and safety law. They also need to understand the design, operation, and maintenance of building systems. Employers generally require a Fifth Class Power Engineering certificate. They may also ask for:

  • A first aid certificate
  • A WHMIS (Workplace Hazards Management Information System) certificate
  • A Safety in the Workplace certificate (from the Government of Alberta)
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Experience supervising others
  • A journeyperson certificate in one or more trades

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and its local associations offer related training.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Northern Lakes College

Red Deer College

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Building operators work for:

  • Governments
  • School boards
  • Post-secondary schools
  • Regional health authorities
  • Property management and real estate companies
  • Hotels
  • Shopping malls
  • Factories
  • Owners and operators of large buildings, such as office towers

Building operators usually start at an entry-level position. With more experience and education in building safety, facilities management, and supervision, they may advance to senior building operator or supervisory positions.

In Alberta, building operators are part of two larger 2011 National Occupational Classifications, 6733: Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents and 9241: Power engineers and power systems operators.

79% of people employed in the 6733 classification work in the following industries:

78% of people employed in the 9241 classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Over 18,800 Albertans are employed in the Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 301 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As building operators form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for building operators.

Over 4,300 Albertans are employed in the Stationary engineers and auxiliary equipment operators occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 60 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As building operators form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for building operators.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the G933: Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 301 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

In Alberta, the H221: Stationary Engineers and Auxiliary Equipment Operators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 60 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries vary a great deal depending on the building operator’s qualifications, the responsibilities of the position, and the location and size of the employing company.

Power engineers and power systems operators

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $23.45 $41.82 $33.72 $34.44
Overall $26.77 $56.12 $39.18 $36.45
Top $29.13 $61.81 $42.09 $39.13

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Manufacturing
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

33%
33%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

4%
4%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

2%
2%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $29.93 $19.51 $18.00
Overall $15.00 $33.04 $22.44 $22.00
Top $16.00 $42.50 $27.44 $25.22

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Construction
Public Administration
Manufacturing
Transportation and Warehousing
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services
Agriculture
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Wholesale Trade
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Accommodation & Food Services
Retail Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Business, Building and Other Support Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

30%
30%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) website: www.absa.ca

Building Operators Association (Calgary) website: www.boacalgary.com

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) website: bomacanada.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?
Top