Explore Your Future in the Trades or Applied Technology Fields

By Vancouver Island University Modified on August 05, 2021

Check out these five reasons to consider a career in the trades.

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Check out these five reasons to consider a career in the trades.

There are hundreds of jobs to choose from.

When people think about trades careers, occupations like carpenter, heavy equipment operator, electrician and mechanical technician immediately come to mind. But in reality, there are more than 300 designated trades in Canada.

The demand and training programs differ across the country. In BC there are almost 100 different careers to choose from in a variety of fields, including aircraft technicians, landscapers, crane operators, mechanics, welders, hairstylists, bakers and much more. For some insight into the numerous, different types of jobs that are out there check out Trades Training BC’s A – Z listing of trades programs.

Start your training and earning while you’re in high school.

You can start building your future in the trades before you’re even out of high school (like some of the alumni mentioned above) and be earning more than minimum wage as an apprentice. Many post-secondary institutions create opportunities for youth to learn from skilled instructors and earn credits that count towards high school diplomas and Level 1 technical trades training. ITA’s Youth Train in Trades will help you find your opportunity to get a head start on your career.

Access grants to help you pay for school.

A lot of financial supports are specifically tailored for BC’s trades and apprenticeship programs. You could find help paying for your tuition or getting some funding during your apprentice training from the BC Access Grant, the Federal Government, and WorkBC.

Earn higher wages.

The current minimum wage in BC is $13.85 an hour. It’s scheduled to increase to $15.20 an hour by June 1, 2021. Compare that to what a skilled tradesperson can earn, with starting wages averaging around $16 an hour for an entry-level position in carpentry, up to $57 an hour for a power system electrician, according to the BC Labour Market Outlook: 2019 Edition (PDF).

Tailor your career to fit your lifestyle.

With so many opportunities cropping up around the province for skilled tradespersons, it’s possible to work flexible hours that fit with your personal or family commitments. Other opportunities include travelling to many locations around BC if that interests you and opting for a physically active job outdoors instead of sitting in an office.


Skilled tradespeople have an exciting journey ahead of them. They are the workers building our future buildings, maintaining the infrastructure we need to live comfortable lives, and many are leading the way to finding sustainable energy solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change and global warming. To learn more, check out the Careers in trades guide (PDF) by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum and set yourself up for a successful career.


Check out Vancouver Island University

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