May 29,2024

Five Reasons BC High School Grads Should Consider a Career in the Trades

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It's an exciting time of the year. The warmer weather and longer days signal that summer is not far away. For grade 12 students in British Columbia, it's a time to celebrate high school graduation and consider their future career opportunities.

While some in the graduating class of ’24 may have already decided on a career pathway, there are those still uncertain about their future. Finding a career that aligns with your interests, fits your natural skills and abilities, and provides advancement opportunities and stable income are all important considerations in making the right choice.

One of the challenges is finding out where to go to conduct research and learn more about the career options available to you. For those considering the skilled trades, the TradeUpBC website is a portal that provides easy access to information about the many trades-related courses and programs made available at post-secondary institutes in BC. It’s a tool that can help you decide if a career in the trades makes sense to you, and if so, what skilled trade might be the best fit.

Here’s five reasons to consider a career in the skilled trades:

  • Increasing Demand: The current shortage of skilled trades across all industry sectors is expected to continue. According to B.C.'s Labour Market Outlook: 2023 Edition industry groups expect over 85,000 job openings in the skilled trades within the next 10 years.
  • Earn While You Learn: Apprenticeship programs offer paid, on-the-job training. In most programs, students spend up to 85 per cent of their time on the job.
  • Low Cost of Entry: Compared to the cost to obtain a 2 or 4-year diploma or degree required for other careers.
  • Transferable Skills: Ability to use trades skills and experience to create alternative career pathways including but not limited to business owner, Project Manager, Chief Operations Officer, Teacher/Instructor, Finance and Accounting, Quality Assurance, Supply Chain Manager, and more.
  • Job Security: Even during economic downturns trades must support infrastructure, keep transportation moving, and ensure safe operation of equipment. Trades jobs span all industry sectors so if one sector is down, other sectors will still need skilled tradespeople. 87 per cent of BC contractors expect 2024 to be as busy, or busier compared with last year.