What is a Skilled Trade?

Have you heard about skilled trades, but aren’t exactly sure of what they are?  Are you looking for a career with security and a decent salary?  If so, then skilled trades may be a good option for you.  There are literally hundreds of skilled trades that you can choose from.  Some of the tradespeople that are involved in building a house include bricklayers, electricians, power line technicians, painters and decorators, and gasfitters.  Some of the tradespeople who are involved in building and repairing your car include automotive machinists, automotive gas technicians, autobody repairers, partspersons, and metal fabricators.

Here is a list of the apprenticeship trades in Ontario:


It is anticipated that there will be many positions available in the trades.  The Conference Board of Canada predicts that 1 million skilled workers will be needed by 2020 and that 48% of the workforce will be eligible to retire in the next 5 – 10 years.  Jobs in the trades are also well compensated, with an average starting salary that is 6% higher than other occupations.  http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2012/03/13/average-starting-salaries-entry-level-skilled-trades-jobs/    Skilled trades also offer the option of self-employment.

If you are interested in a job in the skilled trades, then you need to complete an apprenticeship, which takes 2-5 years.  First you need to find an employer that is willing to take you on as an apprentice.  The Employment Ontario website can help guide you through the process of finding an employer:  http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/employmentontario/training/findingemp.html  There are also Pre-apprenticeship programs to help get you started.  For example, AYCE offers a Pre-apprenticeship program for Autobody and Collision Damage Repairers.  http://ayce.on.ca/services/pre-apprenticeship  Once you find an employer, you register as an apprentice and start your on-the-job and classroom training.  Unlike many other jobs, you earn money while you’re learning and once you are ready, you can get certified in your trade.

The advantage of getting a skilled trade is that it offers you some flexibility and security; you are no longer dependent on a single employer.  However, it is still important that you do the research and find a trade that is both in demand in your region, and is a good fit for your natural aptitudes and interests.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo From:  Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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