Myth: The only path to a good career is with a university degree.
Reality: Somewhere in our not-so-distant past, people began to look down on the skilled trades in favour of the so-called “knowledge” workers – narrowly defined as those holding university degrees. But as James Rubec points out in his post on the Randstad site, “Trades jobs were the first ‘knowledge’ jobs in society. Masons built roads and buildings, welders built ships and cars and today, technical mechanics and skilled tradespeople are building the future economy of Canada and will, over the next 20 years, construct over $300 billion in capital spending for Canadian businesses and municipalities.”
“If we can’t call skilled trades jobs ‘knowledge’ jobs, we’re doing it wrong,” he says. “Becoming a journeyman takes, in some trades like electricians, 8,000 hours of on-the-job work… Tack on three years of classes, tests and certifications and you’re talking more than 15,000 hours of training and learning.” So while university is one path to a good career, pursuing a skilled trade apprenticeship and earning a Certificate of Qualification is a different – and equally respectable – path to a good career.
Myth: Careers in the trades are for students who don’t do well in school.
Reality: The trades are full of smart, dynamic people who have invested many years and many thousands of hours in training and schooling to receive their professional designation.
Having your high school diploma is the best first step as this sets you up with the necessary Essential Skills you need to succeed in the workplace and in your training.
To progress to higher-level positions, you’ll need to continue your education, just like in any other profession. And there is ongoing demand for trained professionals with specialized skills, requiring even more training.
The work often involves math, science and physics.
- Think you can build that world-class high-rise without the use of math?
- Or operate multi-million-dollar pieces of equipment without computer skills?
- Or weld without the knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy?
Myth: Women don’t belong in the trades.
Reality: The sentiment that women don’t belong in the trades is an outdated stereotype.
With increasing retirements and a smaller pool of young people entering the skilled trades, women are a huge part of the construction industry’s future.
More and more, women are entering the trades and proving themselves to be
capable, reliable and productive workers. The skilled trades require agility,
endurance, balance and coordination – not a specific gender.
In today’s trades, men and women work as respected members of the same teams
and earn the same rates. If you’re still skeptical, check out the video below of
industry leaders talking about the value of women in the trades.
Myth: The trades are dead-end jobs.
Reality: Today’s tradespeople are tomorrow’s industry leaders! Gone are the days when people – in any industry – spent their entire working life doing the same thing. Canada’s construction industry is a $100 billion+ per year industry, representing 7.2% of our gross domestic product. An industry as important as this to our economy requires ambitious, energetic, hard-working people with the motivation to succeed.
Certified tradespeople enjoy a variety of opportunities to advance their careers in
any number of directions. With experience and additional training, you can move
- supervisory and management roles
- health and safety
- training and education
- engineering and science
- and even entrepreneurship
The industry is always seeking strong leaders and great business people. The
possibilities are endless.
Myth: Skilled trade jobs are not stable.
Reality: Careers in the skilled trades and technologies can be some of the most stable. Currently, people with a skilled trade can often choose their employment because the skills shortage is so high. Unlike many other careers, a skilled trade is one of the most transferable in today’s global economy.
Myth: Skilled trade jobs are dirty and noisy.
Reality: While many people who work in the skilled trades and technologies work outdoors, not all of these jobs involve getting your hands dirty. Many of these people work with some of the most sophisticated computer equipment and technology today. The great think is that if you are the type of person who enjoys using your hands, or you’re interested in computers and machines, you are likely to find a career in this industry equally rewarding.
Myth: Skilled trade jobs are not challenging.
Reality: People in these jobs work with some of the most sophisticated equipment; they design and build sports cars, buildings and robots; their training is leading-edge; they constantly work on new and exciting projects; they need to be smart and able to adapt; these are jobs that require commitment. The average apprenticeship takes as long as or longer than it does to acquire a university undergraduate degree, and apprentices have the opportunity to earn while they learn.
Myth: Skilled trade jobs are low-paying.
Reality: Most people in the skilled trades and technologies earn average or better-than-average salaries.
Debunking the Myths: https://youtu.be/ZPtP2CV5AUc
This video debunks several myths associated with a career in the trades and provides
further insights into this diverse, rewarding, and growing field.