Why the Trades?
When people think about the skilled trades, several immediately spring to mind – electrician, plumber, welder, carpenter, for example. But opportunities in the skilled trades are much more extensive. From hairstylist to cook, painter to landscaper, automotive service technician to crane operator – and so many more. Learn more about the trades.
Why consider a career in skilled trades?
The data is in! Canadian Apprenticeship Forum research shows that apprenticeship completers fare better than their counterparts it comes to wages, job security and employment satisfaction. When compared to non-completers and graduates of other technical programs, those who complete an apprenticeship have:
- Better employment outcomes, both immediately and several years after being certified
- Better earning potential – in the short and longer term
- Higher levels of job satisfaction and job security
Apprentices also get:
Skilled trades play an important role in our economy and our society. Think about it ... skilled trades workers touch almost every aspect of our lives. They build and maintain the homes we live in and the cars we drive. They work in manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, hospitality and tourism. They build and maintain the electrical systems that power our computers and heat our houses. Canada depends on the work of skilled tradespeople working in the designated trades to keep our country working.
With hundreds of skilled trades careers to choose from, there are opportunities available to suit almost any interest. As an apprentice, you participate in a post-secondary education like no other. By combining on-the-job training and in-school learning, apprentices get the best of both worlds – certification that comes with real world experience, providing the skills to work virtually anywhere.
Skilled tradespeople are in demand and, as the baby-boom generation retires, that demand is only going to increase. Shortages of skilled trades workers are being reported across sectors and across Canada, and the competition to attract talent is growing.
People in skilled trades are rewarded for their efforts with good pay. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, the wage gap between workers with bachelor degrees and trade certificates is declining. Between 2000 and 2011, the average weekly wages of full-time workers aged 25 to 34 with trades certificates grew by 14%, while bachelor degree holders saw their wage growth slow to 1%. And, apprentices begin to make money right away, earning a wage from their first day at work.