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How To Earn A Good Living in Canada


How To Earn A Good Living in Canada – Think Trades!

If you would like to have a thriving career, great pay and steady employment, then the trades may be an option for you. Construction is booming in British Columbia and across Canada and there are a wide range of employment opportunities to chose from. There is such a high demand for trades (everything from construction and roofing to cooking and hairstyling) that the Canadian Government is providing an Apprenticeship grant where apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to help pay for tuition, travel, tools, or other expenses.

When you have completed your trades training, some occupations can earn $100,000 a year or more. The previous Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who knows a thing or two about making good money, shared with his listeners on his weekly radio show that being employed as a plumber makes more financial sense for some, than attending a prestigious college: “Being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be a better deal, because you don’t spend four years spending 40, 50 thousand dollars tuition, and no income,” he says.

If you are new to Canada, you may have skills which you can transfer to a career in the trades.

 What are the trades? 

When most people think of skilled trades, they may think of a plumber or a roofer, but there are more than 200 designated trades in Canada to chose from. There are four main types of trades:

  • Manufacturing can include trades such as: precision metal fabricators, industrial mechanics (millwrights), tool & die makers and others
  • Construction can include jobs like: painters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators and others.
  • Transportation may includes trades such as: aviation technicians, fuel/electrical systems technicians, automotive painters and other occupations.
  • Service trades include florists, horticulturalists, hairstylists, chefs and many more other types of jobs.

How To Start?

Each province in Canada will have their own registration process for the trades. So depending on where you live, you will need to check the process first, before you start work in your region.

With more than 200 trades in Canada to chose from. How do you find the right trade for you? Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect career.

A Wide Choice Of  Trades

Do you enjoy fixing your car or working in the garden? Do you like to style hair or do home maintenance? Think about what you enjoy doing most in your spare time and this will help guide you to the right trade.

Check out this searchable catalogue of trades:

Try To Pick 3 Trades

This will make it easier for you to find the right occupation. Research the three trades that interest you and find out what type of training is involved, how long the training will take and the expected salary once you start work. This will give you an idea if one of these three trades might be the right fit for you.

Talk To People Who Are Employed In The Trade

When you speak with a person who is currently working in a trade that you are interested in, you can find out the real life expectations of the job. How many hours do they work each day? How much do they earn on a monthly basis (after taxes and expenses)? Do they enjoy their work? Do they have to deal with difficult customers or employers? Is it a high pressure job? These are some of the questions you may want to ask to find out if this trade is the right fit for you.

Depending on where you live in Canada, there are several programs to help new immigrants to start working in the trades.

If you are in British Columbia there is a free program called “Immigrants in Trades Training (IITT)” to find out more information visit:

If you live in another part of Canada, there is a free program, “Careers in Trades” which can also help you find the right trade for you:

The future is bright for the trades and there are unlimited number of opportunities for newcomers in Canada.

Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Immigration Inc.


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