Skilled trades in Canada and British Columbia are surrounded by common myths. WorkBC.ca’s online labour market tools and information help bust some of the myths that have shadowed skilled trades in recent years.
The province is set for a major job boom this decade with over one million job openings being created, and just under half requiring trades or technical training. Check out WorkBC’s Labour Market Navigator to find the job that fits you.
Here are 10 skilled trades myths debunked to show the real value of this career path:
MYTH 1: “The trades are for people who are uneducated and do not perform well in academia. People end up in skilled trades because they have no other options.”
REALITY: Certified Red Seal tradespeople train in the classroom and onsite for four years (same time frame as an undergraduate degree), and require a strong foundation of math, reading and critical thinking skills. The ability to think and react on your feet is mandatory. Intelligence and aptitude are required for all skilled trades positions.
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MYTH 2: “Skilled trades do not pay well.”
REALITY: B.C. is looking forward to economic growth in our province, and with major natural-resource and building projects ahead,is expecting a significant skilled-trade labour shortage – and that means opportunities for skilled workers.
Skilled trade workers already earn competitive salaries. There is also an opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ that allows people to work off their student debt while enrolled in post-secondary training and education.
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MYTH 3: “Skilled trades do not offer consistent pay – it is seasonal or contractual.”
REALITY: Skilled trade workers often take on year-round projects. The weather might change, but skilled trades workers are always on the go. B.C.’s LNG opportunity represents thousands of high-paid, long-term, permanent jobs for British Columbians.
Image: LNG via Shutterstock
MYTH 4: “Skilled trades are a dead-end job.”
REALITY: There is tons of room for advancement within skilled trades careers. From supervisory roles, to management jobs, to owning your own business! A career in the trades is the farthest thing from dead end – so get ready and be excited! WorkBC’s Career Trek tool provides great information on over 60 careers throughout B.C.
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MYTH 5: “Working in the trades is dangerous.”
REALITY: B.C.’s health and safety requirements for jobs in the skilled trades are among the highest in the world – especially when it comes to enforcement and diligent reporting.
Image: Standard construction site safety equipment via Shutterstock
MYTH 6: “The skilled trades are too physically demanding.”
REALITY: Most positions are hands-on, but trades jobs are diverse – there’s something for everyone. Skilled trades work is certainly an active career, but not all positions require tedious physical labour. Lots of skilled trades careers break the ‘too physically demanding’ myth, as some include design, planning, project management, and administration careers. Learn more about trades careers by searching over 500 job profiles featured on WorkBC.ca.
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MYTH 7: “Skilled trade work isn’t important.”
REALITY: Skilled trade workers often tell us they are left with a strong sense of accomplishment; they are masters of their field – no different than a master of a specific academic field.
Their work touches almost every aspect of our daily lives: roads and sidewalks, schools, hospitals, bridges, offices, homes, cars, food from processing plants, water and electricity from B.C.’s growing resource sector and the list goes on. Start your skills training research today with WorkBC.ca’s Get Skills Tool.
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MYTH 8: “Skilled trade positions aren’t flexible.”
REALITY: There are various careers in the skilled trades that offer you flexible hours, travel and the opportunity to be outdoors! This is especially true for skilled tradespeople who own their own business. There are also plenty of skilled trade and technical employment opportunities closer to home for those wishing to build a career, settle down and raise a family.
Image: Father son construction via Shutterstock
MYTH 9: “There’s no work in B.C.”
REALITY: Hundreds of trades jobs are posted on WorkBC.ca’s Job Search tool. B.C. is entering a major natural resource and construction era that will require thousands of skilled trade workers. B.C.’s demand for skilled workers is set to increase, so now is the time to start your training.
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MYTH 10: “Skilled trades are for men.”
REALITY: More and more women are entering the skilled trades. Programs like the ITA’s Women In Trades program are helping connect women to trades training courses throughout B.C.
Image: Under Female Construction via Shutterstock
If you’re among the many British Columbians thinking about diving into the skilled trades, now is a great time to find your fit. Start with WorkBC.ca’s suite of labour market tools to start building the career of your dreams.
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