Getting into a Trade: How Easy is it?

Getting into a Trade: How Easy is it?

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Some people love to work with their hands. Does that describe you? If so, you probably should consider getting into a trade. Not all trades are the same, but you can already prepare to get into any trade you want if you have the ability.

The trades can include many different jobs. Hairstylists, plumbers, and electricians are all tradespeople, and also workers in construction, tile and metal work, and more. Bicycle repair people, cooks, and others all work in trades. People in these trades all tend to work with their hands, and many of them learn their trades on the job, often through apprenticeships. Often, they produce something for people, like furniture, or perform a service, like cleaning out drains or putting sprinkler systems into buildings in case of a fire.

Generally, trades fall into two categories: compulsory trades that require certification and registration, or voluntary trades that have no special requirements other than being able to do the work. Before you decide to get into a trade, you need to know what kind of trade you are starting. If you have trouble with tests, you might not want to choose a trade that involves certification unless you are willing to study very hard.

If you wanted to become a teacher or a doctor, you would have to go to university to learn what you need to know. Training to work in the trades can include classroom time, but usually it involves a lot of practical work. Often, people work in apprenticeships where they learn each task on the job from people who have been working in the area. Sometimes, students can begin to learn through summer jobs, especially when they have a mentor like a parent or family friend who can show them what to do.

Suppose that you wanted to become a hairstylist. By the time you begin to work with clients, you will already need to know many of the basics of cutting and caring for hair. You could study magazines and websites to learn about styles and how to create different looks. Still, working with actual hair could be very different because some people have straight hair, some have curly, and some have waves. If you can start by practicing on yourself or your friends, you can prepare for your career even before you start to work officially. Learning to be a baker or a cook is also something that you can start to prepare for while you’re still young.

Some trades are easier to practice than others. Testing your skills as an electrician, for example, could result in fires that could destroy buildings. In that case, you would want to spend a lot of time watching the experts and reading about the techniques of putting wiring into a wall. Before you try to practice your trade, be sure that you know the risks and benefits.

Talking with people is also a good idea. Even if you don’t know anyone working in your field, you can check with your school counsellor to find out who might be able to help you. With hard work and perseverance, you can get into any trade that suits you.


Mathews, Justin. “A Beginner’s Guide: What Is A Skilled Trade, And Is It Right For Me?”https://talentegg.ca/incubator/2015/03/09/skilled-trades-101-guide-canadas-demand-industry/.

Matuson, Chinsky. “Break into the Trades.” https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/break-into-the-trades-skilled.

McGinn, Dave. “Looking for a Job? Why You Should Consider a Trade.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/looking-for-a-job-why-you-should-consider-a-trade/article9117896/.

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