Are the Trades a Viable Career Path?
To put it simply, yes. The trades are some of the largest growing industries in Canada and they face a deficit of skilled workers to fill up high paying positions. While they aren’t for everyone, if you’re good with your hands and eager to learn then the trades can take you far – and fast.
While there are currently more law students and university graduates than their industries can handle, the trades are essential to society and are always expanding. This means that they are a great employment opportunity; going into the trades is almost guaranteed to land you a job once you’ve learned the basic skills of your chosen trade.
For example, electricity and plumbing are seen as essential parts of society, which means they always need upkeep and installation, both commercial and residential. This provides near endless opportunities for jobs and careers that are both well paying and secure. Another benefit of deciding to go into the trades as a career path is the steady work and good salaries, as well as powerful unions and worker’s rights advocates.
What are some examples of viable trades?
The trades cover a wide spectrum of skilled, mainly hands-on, labour. A few examples of some good trades to get into include; an electrician, a pipe welder, a cabinetmaker, machinist, welder, and brick layer. These are only a few of the many Red Seal trade skills available to learn. For a more comprehensive list, check out Canada’s official Red Seal Trades website at: https://on.tradesinfo.ca/search?at=4665814
What steps should I follow if I want a career in the trades?
There are several ways to become a skilled tradesperson, however, every Red Seal trade will require you to take a standardized government test. An aspiring tradesperson must log a certain amount of hours of work in their chosen field before being they are qualified enough to become a journeyman, which is a fully certified tradesperson. One of the main ways to learn a trade is to apprentice under a master tradesperson, working for them and learning as you go. After enough time as an apprentice, and if you are skilled enough, you can move on to become a journeyman, or even a master yourself. An average apprenticeship lasts about five years. There are also large numbers of trade schools across the country and many colleges offer programs in the trades, such as welding and cabinetmaking. Look into the various methods of learning your chosen trade before deciding on an apprenticeship or school program, and take the time to figure out which style of learning best suits you.
What are the salaries like for tradespeople?
Since they are in such high demand and need to be very skilled to do their jobs, tradespeople are generally paid very well for what they do. The typical starting pay for an apprentice is between $18 and $30 dollars per hour, depending on how many years they have been apprenticing for.
As you can see the trades are a widely varied, well paying career path, and are strongly recommended for those that enjoy working with their hands. As a bonus the government offers $1000 tax free a year to each skilled apprentice in trade school.