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 (also known as non-compulsory) Trade: This consists of all trades that are not labelled “compulsory”. These trades do not require a certification to legally work, but employers may prefer someone with a C of Q in these trades. However, it is not considered a requirement for employment
  • Compulsory Trade: If you want to practice in a compulsory trade, you must be either registered as an apprentice, or hold a Provisional Certificate of Qualification or Certification of Qualification to legally work in these trades. 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 Skilled Trades Ontario. If you meet the requirements, you will be able to challenge the Certification of Qualification Exam right away. 
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
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.