7 essential careers you can pursue in the trades sector

Oct 7 2020, 4:53 pm

Earlier this year, the BC Government released a list of COVID-19 Essential Services, defined as services needed to preserve life, health, public safety, and basic societal functioning. 

It comes as no surprise that a myriad of hands-on trades jobs are listed as “essential” or that sectors like construction shouldered fewer job losses in BC during lockdowns in April.

So, if you’re interested in taking control of your professional life and joining the ranks of these vital workers, here are seven diverse career paths in trades to consider.

Security systems technician

Play an integral role in helping people feel more secure and get paid to spread peace of mind as a security systems technician — a trade that is growing in demand. Graduates of the Security Systems Technician (SST) program at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are equipped with the skills to maintain, repair and test equipment for things like intrusion alarms, cameras, surveillance systems, and more.


Home sales in many Canadian markets reached record-breaking levels in August. Carpenters are involved in the home building process from the ground up, and this essential career continues to be sought-after. A Carpentry Framing and Forming Foundation program puts you in a position to work for new home builders, renovation companies, and building developers, to name a few. At BCIT, 100% of carpentry students were hired within six months of program completion.

Critical infrastructure service provider

Professionals who work in processing, utilities, transportation, distribution, drilling and production, transmission stations, or digital systems infrastructure have essential careers. An online program to become a Telecommunications Systems Technician provides you with the practical skills needed to work in a variety of in-demand fields. You can learn more about this program here.

Automotive technician


The pandemic is shifting opinions around car ownership as a means for completing everyday tasks and pursuing local travel. At the same time, the technology used in vehicle manufacturing is advancing. Graduating from BCIT with an Automotive Technician Foundation certificate supplies you with the skills to do everything from repair and test motor vehicles to troubleshoot mechanical and electronic systems.

Supply chain service professional

Canada’s industrial manufacturing sector includes businesses that ensure the production, processing, and supply of raw materials and products globally. These businesses also support supply chains. If you’re interested in branching out and exploring industrial manufacturing processes, BCIT’s Industrial Instrumentation and Process Control Technician diploma can help you get qualified. Enjoy financial security by earning on average, about $36 per hour. You can discover more about what an instrumentation technician does here.


Merge your passion for creativity with practical skills as a welder. Challenge your body and mind with a Welder Foundation certificate program that prepares you with the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to start in the industry. Being able to join metal safely and professionally can complement an existing trade you may have or open brand new doors for progression.

Aircraft mechanic

If a challenging and rewarding career with a high skill level sounds intriguing, securing a certificate as an Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician is a great starting point. Once qualified, you have the option to take advanced training and boost your credentials.

Training is a critical component in essential occupations. As the largest and longest-running trades training institute in the province — and a national leader in trades programming for women — BCIT runs programs taught only by industry professionals to provide education that goes beyond textbooks and the classroom to include a practical approach.

A career in trades has the potential to change your professional life as you know it while making a difference in the lives of others.

To learn more and register for the program of your choice, visit the BCIT website.

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