Skilled trades workers typically work in four sectors of industry in Canada – these include:
Construction – Construction refers to the process of construction, maintenance, and safe demolition of buildings, building systems and other structures. Construction is the most well known of the skilled trades sectors. Construction jobs are available across Canada in both urban and rural areas.
Transportation – Transportation refers to the process of moving and transporting goods, equipment and raw materials. Skilled trades include transport equipment operators, automotive service technicians, rail yard and ship crew.
Manufacturing – Manufacturing refers to the production of goods and merchandise machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation. Skilled trades include millwrights and metal fabricators.
Services – The services sector includes skilled trades that work directly with the public by offering their services to customers. Service sector businesses and companies are involved in retail, transport, distribution, food services, professional services as well as other service-dominated businesses. Service skilled trades include butchers and bakers.
See the list below for more information on many skilled trades and related occupations that you may be eligible to work in.
Aircraft mechanics maintain, repair, overhaul, modify and test aircraft structural, mechanical and hydraulic systems. Aircraft inspectors inspect aircraft and aircraft systems following manufacture, modification, maintenance, repair or overhaul.
Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and components of cars, buses, and light and commercial transport trucks.
Bakers prepare bread, rolls, muffins, pies, pastries, cakes and cookies in retail and wholesale bakeries and dining establishments.
Boilermakers fabricate, assemble, erect, test, maintain and repair boilers, vessels, tanks, towers, heat exchangers and other heavy-metal structures.
Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone and other similar materials to construct or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces and other structures in accordance with blueprints and specifications.
Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers, retail and wholesale, prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments.
Cabinetmakers use a variety of woods and laminates to construct and repair wooden cabinets, furniture, fixtures and related products.
Carpenters construct, erect, install, maintain and repair structures and components of structures made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel and other materials.
Concrete finishers smooth and finish freshly poured concrete, apply curing or surface treatments and install, maintain and restore various masonry structures such as foundations, floors, ceilings, sidewalks, roads, patios and highrise buildings.
Electricians in this unit group lay out, assemble, install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring, fixtures, control devices and related equipment in buildings and other structures.
Construction estimators analyze costs of and prepare estimates on civil engineering, architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical construction projects.
Construction trades helpers and labourers assist skilled tradespersons and perform labouring activities at construction sites, in quarries and in surface mines.
Cooks prepare and cook a wide variety of foods.
Workers in this unit group stand watch, operate and maintain deck equipment, perform other deck and bridge duties and assist ship engineer officers to operate, maintain and repair engines, machinery and auxiliary equipment aboard ships or self-propelled vessels.
Gas fitters install, inspect, repair and maintain gas lines and gas equipment such as meters, regulators and heating units in residential, commercial and industrial establishments.
Glaziers cut, fit, install and replace glass in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, on exterior walls of buildings and other structures and in furniture and other products.
Heavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures; in surface mining and quarrying activities; and in material handling work.
Industrial electricians install, maintain, test, troubleshoot and repair industrial electrical equipment and associated electrical and electronic controls.
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics install, maintain, troubleshoot, overhaul and repair stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. This unit group includes industrial textile machinery mechanics and repairers.
Ironworkers fabricate, erect, hoist, install, repair and service structural ironwork, precast concrete, concrete reinforcing materials, curtain walls, ornamental iron and other metals used in the construction of buildings, bridges, highways, dams and other structures and equipment.
Land surveyors plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to establish the location of real property boundaries, contours and other natural or human-made features, and prepare and maintain cross-sectional drawings, official plans, records and documents pertaining to these surveys.
Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to cut or grind metal, plastic or other materials to make or modify parts or products with precise dimensions. Machining and tooling inspectors inspect machined parts and tooling in order to maintain quality control standards.
Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters fabricate, assemble, fit and install steel or other metal components for buildings, bridges, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels and other similar structures and products.
Crane operators operate cranes or draglines to lift, move, position or place machinery, equipment and other large objects at construction or industrial sites, ports, railway yards, surface mines and other similar locations.
Motor vehicle body repairers repair and restore damaged motor vehicle body parts and interior finishing; repaint body surfaces; and repair and/or replace automotive glass. This unit group also includes metal repairers who repair defective automobile body parts and damage to the bodies of newly assembled cars.
Painters and decorators apply paint, wallpaper and other finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures.
Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes, fixtures and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Power engineers operate and maintain reactors, turbines, boilers, generators, stationary engines and auxiliary equipment to generate electrical power and to provide heat, light, refrigeration and other utility services for commercial, institutional and industrial plants and facilities. Power systems operators monitor and operate switchboards and related equipment in electrical control centres to control the distribution of electrical power in transmission networks.
Railway yard workers regulate yard traffic, couple and uncouple trains and perform related yard activities. Railway track maintenance workers operate machines and equipment to lay, maintain and repair railway tracks.
Roofers install, repair or replace flat roofs as well as shingles, shakes or other roofing tiles on sloped roofs. Shinglers install and replace shingles, tiles and similar coverings on sloped roofs.
Sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products.
Steamfitters and pipefitters lay out, assemble, fabricate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair piping systems carrying water, steam, chemicals and fuel in heating, cooling, lubricating and other process piping systems. Sprinkler system installers fabricate, install, test, maintain and repair water, foam, carbon dioxide and dry chemical sprinkler systems in buildings for fire protection purposes.
Transport truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. This unit group also includes drivers of special purpose trucks and shunters who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking yards or lots.
Truck and transport mechanics inspect, repair and maintain commercial trucks, emergency vehicles, buses and road transport vehicles. They work on the vehicle’s structural, mechanical, electrical and electronic systems.
Welders operate welding equipment to weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals. This unit group also includes machine operators who operate previously set up production welding, brazing and soldering equipment.