There are many myths out there concerning skilled trades and the apprenticeship pathway that may make you apprehensive about pursuing a career, but let’s dive deeper and reveal the truth.
Myth: Skilled trades do not pay well.
Truth: Ontario is looking towards economic growth, with significant natural-resource and building projects ahead. With the development also comes a significant shortage in skilled trades, which means opportunities for skilled workers.
Skilled trades workers earn competitive salaries. Through an apprenticeship, there is the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ to work off student debt while completing your education and training.
Myth: Trades are for uneducated people or people with no other options.
Truth: Aptitude and intelligence are needed for all skilled trades positions. Also, trades require strong foundations in math, reading, critical thinking, and the ability to react and think on your feet. To become a Certified Red Seal tradesperson, one must train in the classroom and onsite for four years, the same time frame for an undergraduate degree.
Myth: Working in trades is dangerous.
Truth: Ontario’s health and safety requirements for skilled trades are among the highest in the world, including enforcement in reporting.
Myth: Skilled trades are a dead-end job.
Truth: Skilled trades have lots of room for advancement, from management to supervisory roles to owning a business. There are many opportunities for growth in skilled trades.
Myth: Skilled trades are seasonal or contractual and don’t offer consistent pay.
Truth: Projects in construction are generally year-round projects. There are always jobs available for skilled trades, and these opportunities represent thousands of long-term, high-paying, permanent employment.
Myth: Skilled trades are for men.
Truth: Simply not true, more and more women are entering the skilled trades, and with the shortage in trades, more women are needed.
Myth: Skilled trades jobs aren’t flexible.
Truth: There are various positions in skilled trades that offer flexible hours, the opportunity to travel and work outdoors. Flexibility is especially true for skilled trades who have their own business and can set their hours.