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Why the Skilled Trades?

Skilled trades workers play a very significant role in our communities. There is very little in our lives that is not impacted by skilled trades work. Without a large and diverse skilled trades workforce, our everyday lives would be much more difficult. Every time you drive on a road, walk into a building, turn on the lights, turn on a sink, or do almost anything – your life is directly impacted by the hard work of a skilled trades workers.

Unfortunately, many people overlook the trades as a career option. The stigma that surrounds trades work prevents many people from entering into a great career, as it is often seen as low-quality or low-pay work, with many more people entering into overcrowded job markets in white collar industries.

This couldn’t be more untrue. Choosing the skilled trades means choosing a lifelong, fulfilling career with numerous career opportunities, room for advancement, competitive pay, and exciting work every day. The skilled trades industry is growing, and with a large portion of the workforce nearing retirement, there is a significant opportunity for new skilled trades workers.

Skilled trades workers are in high demand.

A report done by BuildForce Canada in 2018 suggests that overall 150 trades in Canada, the retirements are still estimated to begin outpacing new skilled trades graduates entering the workforce. The report estimates that Ontario alone will need to replace 87,300 workers across the province with only a pool of 84,300 qualified skilled trades workers. This means that graduates of specialized skilled trades programs are entering into a workforce with lots of opportunities.

Not only do trades workers typically have an easier time finding work than their university and college graduate peers, they also benefit from greater job security and a higher likelihood that they will hold a life-long role within the skilled trades industry. In many fields, particularly those involving information and technology, often work is outsourced to overseas companies. What is beneficial about the trades is that they cannot be outsourced – there will always be a need for gas fitters, HVAC technicians, plumbers, or electricians within communities to come into homes or businesses and address issues.

skilled trades worker

Holding a lifelong role within the industry does not necessarily mean at the same company or job, however. Skilled trades workers will always be necessary, and with the high demand for skilled labourers, it can be easier for a skilled trades worker to find another job after one ends.

If you are committed to hard work and continuing your education, you can also advance your career quickly in the skilled trades. From apprenticeship to a general worker, you can quickly move up to teaching and train new skilled trades students and apprentices, becoming a supervisor or journeyman on the job, or work your way into business ownership and becoming your own boss.

If you are entrepreneurially inclined, it is easy to move into business ownership in the skilled trades. You have a unique set of skills that your community needs, and if you are committed to putting in the hard work it takes to begin your own business you can find yourself incredibly successful. At the Niagara and Halton Skilled Trades Academy, we have seen many of our graduates go on to begin their own businesses. We have also seen many student graduates and accelerate their career quickly due to the comprehensive and transferable skills they learned during their skilled trades training. When it comes to the skilled trades, you can set goals and work towards them, because it is anything but a dead-end industry.

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Due to the high demand for skilled trades workers in Ontario, graduates of skilled trades programs also make competitive salaries.

On average, skilled trades workers earn an hourly wage of up to 6% higher than other occupations. The amount varies based on trade, location, and experience level. Gas technicians, for example, earn 1.4% more than the average non-trades occupation in Canada as an entry-level worker. The salary grows as gas technicians continue their education, advance their career, and gain new skills. Your salary can also increase depending on the amount that you work. In the trades, overtime on jobs often results in a premium pay, making your paycheck even bigger.

Canadian communities are also growing rapidly. The population is on the rise, and as this happens, Canada has seen a significant spike in the number of homes being built to accommodate it.

As these communities grow, the need for skilled trades workers to build these homes is necessary. It doesn’t stop there, however. With new homes comes the need for skilled trades workers to service and maintain those homes as well. This is in addition to the demand for skilled trades workers to service, repair, or replace appliances and systems in older homes. As the demand for skilled trades workers rises, the pay can increase as well. This offers new skilled trades workers the chance to begin a very lucrative career.

When you factor in the cost of education and length of education that it takes to work in the skilled trades versus working in a white-collar career, the amount that skilled trades workers make (and keep!) compared to workers in other career fields increases. Public university and college is typically much more expensive than trades school and takes much longer to complete. By the time all of your peers have completed their university or college programs (which can last up to 4 years), find a satisfying and well-paying job, and finally pay off all of their loans, skilled trades workers can have been on the job and be working for several years! If you are a hard worker, you may find yourself already advancing in your career, well onto your way to owning a home (if you don’t own one already), or even starting your own business.

With simple and fast training, you will be in a position to begin setting and achieving goals quickly. While many people still believe that working in the skilled trades is a low-paying career, it is the opposite. With hard work and dedication to honing your skills and ongoing learning, it is even possible for tradespeople to begin to work their way up to earning six-figure salaries.

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Look forward to exciting work, every single day.

If looking into the future and seeing yourself spending 40+ years in a job that is boring doesn’t sound appealing to you, the trades may be the place for you. Skilled trades workers report a higher job satisfaction rate than the average working Canadian. While having days where you feel off, and aren’t enthusiastic about your job is completely normal and happens to everyone, in the trades you are most often busy working with your hands on all day, keeping you more engaged and interested in your work.

One of the reasons that skilled trades workers find themselves satisfied and fulfilled in what they do is the sense of accomplishment they report feeling. Unlike other careers, at the end of the day working in the skilled trades, you can see the direct result of your impact on a project – on construction sites, in homes fixing HVAC systems, laying or connecting gas lines, or replacing appliances. As a skilled trades worker, you can leave work seeing exactly what you have accomplished, with no questions about what you completed.

Another reason many skilled trades workers find themselves more satisfied in their work is that, unlike most other careers, it is more about finding a way to use the skills and talents that the workers already have, rather than trying to learn the skills to fit in the job they like. Many students who enter skilled trades training programs do so because they already know that they are skilled with hands-on work and are passionate about creating and building with their hands. Getting certified in a trade that allows you to use these skills helps ensure that you are entering a carer which you are passionate about and won’t find yourself disengaged with.

Choosing gas technician training to begin your skilled trades journey.

Choosing gas technician training as your entry into the skilled trades industry is an incredibly smart move. We often see gasfitting referred to as a “gateway trade.” This term has been giving to gas technician training due to how often licensed gas technicians to continue their education into a different trade. Many who have graduated from the Skilled Trades Academy, for example, have moved on to training or apprenticeships in trades such as HVAC, plumbing, electrician, general construction, and more.

The skills learned in gas technician training are transferable to a number of trades, and make workers invaluable to employers. While you learn the skills required to earn your gas technician license, you are also learning the techniques, skills, safety measures and practices that you need to be successful for in other trades. Not only will you learn technical skills, you will also gain skill such as attention to detail, communication skills, self-direction, customer service skills, and problem-solving skills through your training modules, classroom learning, and hands-on lab learning.

As a graduate of a skilled trades program and a licensed gas technician, if you move on to an apprenticeship in another trade, you will be on site as a qualified and trained tradesperson, which brings value to your role as an apprentice. You will also spend more time learning the trade you are apprenticing in and not learning standard safety procedures which you will already have a base knowledge of. This increases the likelihood that you will be hired by the company with which you are doing your apprenticeship.

An additional benefit to gas technician training is that, unlike other trades, you will never have a down or slow season. Many trades slow down in the winter or the summer, but as a gas technician that isn’t the case! In the winter you may find yourself working on in-home appliances, such as furnaces, stoves, or fireplaces. In the summer, jobs don’t slow down either – many people have gas-powered BBQ’s, pool heaters, and even outdoor fireplaces that may need repair. With year-round work, you’ll also see a major increase in the amount you make annually compared to other trades.

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Gas Technician 3 Training

The first step to becoming a licensed gas technician is to complete a Gas Technician 3 training course. Completion of a G3 training course in Ontario will culminate in the TSSA Gas Technician 3 exam, which is a requirement for any licensed gas technician working in Ontario. In order to achieve your G3 license, you must successfully complete a comprehensive training program. This program must include both practical learning and exams delivered through a TSSA accredited training provider. Students must also score an overall minimum average of 75% on all TSSA certification exams, as well as a minimum of 75% on all practical evaluation in training modules during the program. Students must also maintain an 80% attendance record throughout the training program.

During G3 training, students learn the fundamentals and safety procedures that must be followed when working with power tools and electricity. Students also learn schematics and drawing codes, as well as safe handling of propane and natural gas. The training modules covered in gas technician 3 certification includes:

  • Module 1 – Safety
  • Module 2 – Fasteners, Tools and Testing Instruments
  • Module 3 – Properties, Characteristics, and Safe Handling of Fuel Gasses
  • Module 4 – Utilization Codes, Acts and Regulations, and Provincial Supplements
  • Module 5 – Introduction to Electricity
    Module 6 – Technical Manuals, Specifications, Drawings and
  • Graphs
  • Module 7 – Customer Relations
  • Module 8 – Introduction to Piping and Tubing Systems
  • Module 9 – Introduction to Gas Appliance

After the successful completion of a G3 training program and achieving your G3 license, you will be certified to work on gas equipment up to, and including, 400,000 British Thermal Units per Hour (BTUH).

Gas Technician 2 Training

Most gas technician programs offer gas technician 3 and 2 training consecutively. A gas technician 2 training course offers more specialized knowledge, building on the fundamentals learned in G3 training. As a G2 training student, you will learn about additional types of gas-powered equipment, piping, appliances, heating systems, venting practices and more.

Obtaining a G2 license is crucial for trades workers looking to begin their career. The G2 license is the minimum license necessary in Ontario in order to work independently on gas equipment such as gas lines, meters, regulators and appliances without direct supervision, up to 400,000 BTUH.

In a gas technician 2 training program, students will cover the following modules:

  • Module 10 – Advanced Piping and Tubing
  • Module 11 – Basic Electricity
  • Module 12 – Controls (Mechanical and Electronic)
  • Module 13 – The Building as a System
  • Module 14 – Domestic and Non-Vented Gas Appliances
  • Module 15 – Meters, Pressure Regulators and Fuel Containers
  • Module 16 – Domestic Gas Fired Refrigerators
  • Module 17 – Conversion Burners
  • Module 18 – Water Heaters and Combination Systems
  • Module 19 – Forced Warm Air Heating Systems
  • Module 20 – Hydronic Heating Systems
  • Module 21 – Space Heaters and Decorative Gas Appliances
  • Module 22 – Venting Practices
  • Module 23 – Forced Air Add-On Devices
  • Module 24 – Air Handling Systems

After you have completed the G2 training, you are ready to take on the workforce as a licensed Ontario gas technician!

 

Register online to begin your journey as an Ontario skilled trades worker.

If you are interested in beginning your skilled trades training in Ontario, consider doing so at a registered private career college like the Niagara and Halton Skilled Trades Academy. The Skilled Trades Academy offers TSSA accredited G3 and G2 training, and with our accelerated hands-on learning you can be fully certified and working as a G2 licensed gas fitter in just 17 short weeks! For more information on the Skilled Trades Academy and our program, get in touch with us.

If you are interested in beginning your journey, it is simple to register for one of our upcoming courses. Click below to register online and get started on your journey to the satisfying, well paying, secure career you’ve been waiting for.

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