Skilled Trade Sectors

In Ontario, the Skilled Trades are categorized into four main sectors:

Construction: These are trades that have to do with residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building and construction. This sector employs the most trades people and despite severe and changeable weather, construction trades people work and operate throughout the year.
Motive Power: Trades in this sector are related to machinery that moves and/or transports people or goods. Due to the vast geography of Canada and its low population density, Canada is dependent on skilled workers to retain, build and maintain vehicles. The motive power sector is active and dynamic year round.
Industrial: Trades in the industrial sector are mainly related to the manufacturing and secondary industry. Of the four trades sector, the industrial sector has the most variety. The industrial sector has traditionally been a significant employer within Ontario.
Service: Trades/ activities in this sector include retail, real estate, education, health, social work, communication and many others. It may involve working directly with people like child and youth workers or child development practitioners. It is a very dynamic sector that covers a wide range of skill sets and career opportunities which makes this the largest sector in Ontario's economy.
The trades listed under each of these sectors are further divided into Voluntary and Compulsory trades:
  • Voluntary Trade: This consists of all trades that are not labelled “compulsory”. Certification is sometimes offered and desirable in some voluntary trades. However, it is not considered a requirement for employment
  • Compulsory Trade: These trades require certification before being able to work in Ontario.  There are currently 23 skilled trades that are considered “compulsory” in Ontario. Click here to see if your trade of interest is compulsory
There are two main pathways to get certification:  

Apprenticeship Pathway: This will be a good option if you do not have a lot of experience in the trade. Once you complete the apprenticeship, you will be able to challenge the Certification of Qualification Exam to become fully certified. To get more information about the apprenticeship pathway, contact your employment consultant.

Trade Equivalency Assessment (TEA): This will be a good option if you have significant experience in the trade. Your experience will be assessed by the Ontario Collage of Trades. If you meet the requirments, you will be able to challenge the Certification of Qualification Exam right away. For more information about the TEA pathway contact your employment consultant
Why is this information relevant for newcomers to Ontario?
As a newcomer to Canada it is important to explore all possible options with regards to employment. Skilled trades can be viable  options as an alternative career. If you are interested in this sector,  you are advised to get relevant information before you arrive. This information will help you be better educated about:
  • Whether or not you require certification to work in your trade
  • What documents you may need to bring with you to Canada
  • How you can get started with the certification process
  • What Training Standards are applied to your trade
How can Build ON help with the process?
The purpose of Build ON is to help prospective immigrants to be prepared for work before they arrive. Our Employment Consultants are here to assist you with:
  • Exploring the trades and finding the right pathway
  • The preparation of documents
  • The certification process
  • Cultural Adaptation
Build ON Employment Consultants are specialized in the skilled trades and equipped to assist you with your pre-arrival preparations. REGISTER TODAY to get connected with an employment consultant to assist with your pre arrival needs.