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8 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Career in the Skilled Trades

Posted by: Gavin Au-Yeung Date: March 23, 2020 Category: Blog

Skilled Trades are essential for Canada’s economy. However, many who are entering the Canadian workforce often overlook these jobs. In today’s blog, we will examine eight reasons why the Skilled Trades are worth pursuing.

1) Diversity in jobs

A common misconception is that working in the trades requires physically strong individuals. In reality, advancement of technology has alleviated a lot of the demand for brute strength. While many trade jobs may still be physically demanding (standing, kneeling, lifting), there are also many trade jobs available which do not require tremendous levels of physical strength at all.

When people think about trade jobs, Electricians, Plumbers, or Carpenters generally come to mind. However, there are more than 300 designated trade jobs in Canada. Did you know trades in Canada can also include Bakers, Hairstylists, or Landscape Horticulturalists? This goes to show that trade jobs can be for anyone!

2) Trade Schools: Cheaper and Quicker

Trade schools provide a cheaper and quicker alternative to traditional post-secondary institutions. While there are many benefits from pursuing a traditional university education, going to a trades school may be better for individuals who do not have the means to pay high tuition fees or the time to pursue a four-year degree.

The average Canadian university student can expect to pay $6,463 for tuition in 2020 (the average tuition fee for international students is $28,860). In addition to have lower tuition costs, trade schools can typically be completed in two years. This means that pursuing a job in the trades is cheaper and quicker.

3) Earn while you learn

Going into the trades means that you will begin acquiring real world experience almost immediately. This is done through apprenticeships where apprentices learn the skills of the trade from a skilled employer. While apprentices earn their credentials, they have the chance to work on real projects. During this time, apprentices receive pay for their work. This is certainly a lot better than an unpaid internships. For most trades, apprentices can expect to be working 80% to 85% of their training time. The remaining time is used for classroom instruction.

4) Become a master

A journeyperson is a skilled and qualified person in their particular trade. You become a journeyperson upon completing your apprenticeship. Therefore, they can receive the wages and benefits associated with that trade. Reaching this stage also means you are able to take on your own apprentices and help the next generation of aspiring trade workers.

5) Labour market demands and job security

Many in the trades will retire in the next few years as Canada's population continues to age. This means there will be an increasing demand of tradespeople. Furthermore, in some trades such as maintenance and equipment operation, job security is extremely high. While it is not realistic to say any job is resistant to recession, many trade sectors can be seen as recession-resilient because of the ability to diversify their clients. For example, plumbers can work for residential homes, industrial buildings, maintenance companies, and so on.

6) High job satisfaction

Workers feel satisfied with their job when their skills and abilities are being maximized in the workplace. Working in a trades job allows people to actively use the skills they have developed in everyday situations. Tradespeople, who are constantly working with their hands are less likely to feel idle or disengaged with their work when compared to other “white collared” jobs. Working in the trades often means that individuals can witness the fruits of their labour. In other words, tradespeople know they are affecting the world because they are physically building, fixing, or working on things. This leads to higher job satisfaction among tradespeople.

7) High earning potential

For many people, a job’s earning potential is a major factor for choosing a job. The skilled trades are no exception. Here are some of the average annual salaries for some trades in Canada.  The numbers below are calculated by Neuvoo.

Plumbers $78,000

Electricians $66,300

Carpenters $58,500

8) Work across Canada (with a Red Seal) 

A Red Seal is used to endorse a journeyperson’s Certificate of Qualification and confirms that the individual has attained a nationally recognized level of competency in their particular trade. A journeyperson with a Red Seal can practice their trade anywhere in Canada. The added mobility of a Red Seal trade means you have the flexibility to take your career throughout the country.

Need more help?

Internationally Trained Individuals in Alberta or Saskatchewan who are looking to return to their field or a similar career may be eligible for Career Loans’ free counselling services. Our expert counsellors will help you navigate the province’s job market and guide you to your desired job. You can receive financial assistance through Career Loans micro loans of up to $15,000 (through our financial partner, HSBC). Find out more and register today at

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