Opportunities to Consider in the Skilled Trades
By Fahd Pasha
In past decades, when a person’s job was considered to be a “skilled trade”, the first thing that often sprang to mind was men wearing hard hats and steel-toed boots. Today, thanks to a combination of social progress and serious shortage of skilled workers, opportunities now exist for both men and women – and the opportunities are diverse. According to Jeff Zabudsky, president of Sheridan College, every year companies put out more job postings within skilled trades than there are graduates looking to fill them.
Not only that, but an unprecedented demand for skilled labour has opened up a number of hot and lucrative career options. Nowadays, job seekers can choose from a wider variety of occupations requiring specific skills than ever before.
Has your career plateaued? Are you tired of staring at a screen all day? Then here are some different jobs that might inspire you to get away from the confines of a cubicle and turn to the trades.
- Crane operators
If you like to live on the edge (literally!) and aren’t afraid of heights, life as a crane operator could be the perfect fit. Operating a crane involves multiple responsibilities, such as moving and assembling material that at times can be more than 1,600 pounds.
Beyond the adrenaline rush, a certified crane operator can make anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000 annually!
- Landscape and Horticultural Technicians
Do you enjoy transforming your home and outdoor space giving it a distinctive and unique design? If you’re an individual who loves the open-air and the beauty of mother-nature, then this is the gig for you!
In 2015, Statistics Canada highlighted that the number of individuals in the landscape and horticultural industry had increased sharply and the job prospects were positive. This is an occupation that is known to attract young people but also adults embarking on a new career path.
Justin English, Lead Designer at Leaside Landscaping, told us why his job is the right fit for him: “Since every project is different, every day is different. I love that my job is diverse and I get to be involved in many different aspects of the company.”
Thanks to the strong employment growth, the position has an annual average income of $40,000 per year, with some making even $50,000 and more.
- Automotive Painter
Do you have an eye for art? Are you always working to improve your car or motorcycle? Sometimes known as automotive refinishing technicians, their work begins after the bodywork has been completed. Making an average salary of $36,000 a year, automotive painters often work for auto body repair shops where having a good eye for color and fine-finishing detail skills can lead to highly-prized results.
While demand exists in the automotive industry, the skills you’d pick up would be transferrable to other industries where there are also many opportunities.
- Jewellery designers
Maybe you’re the kind of person (with a lot of patience!) who likes meticulously putting elaborate and tiny pieces together to create works of art. If so, the job of a jewellery designer might just be up your alley.
Today, designers in all fields, including jewellery design, are expected to use sophisticated Computer Assisted Design (CAD) technology, so strong computer skills are a must. While some will set up their own business full time, it’s common for others to make jewellery design a sideline to give them a source of extra income.
Brittany Hopkins, owner at Anice Jewellery said, “I get to make beautiful, sentimental and one of a kind pieces of jewellery with amazing people every day. Being able to connect with them through this process is truly an honour.”
Have your friends ever mentioned how you deliver a truly unforgettable culinary experience whenever you’re preparing meals for them? A career in food may be the most satisfying journey in your career.
In 2015, Statistics Canada stressed how in recent years the number of chefs has grown significantly. While growth in general depends mainly on trends and consumer preferences, it is widely expected that the number of chefs will continue to increase significantly over the next few years.
If you’re uncertain over whether you have what it takes to cut it in the industry, it isn't uncommon for full-time workers to supplement their incomes by moonlighting on weekends. Give it a try, it may pave the road to a great career!
If you’re looking for a career in a skilled trade, check out Monster.ca to see if there is a position that might be right for you.