These Are Canada's Most In-Demand Skilled Trades & You Can Get Paid To Learn Them

Get paid up to $8,000 to become a hairdresser, decorator, cook and so many more.💰

Trending Editor
A baker training with the Red Seal trade program. Right: Construction workers in Canada.

A baker training with the Red Seal trade program. Right: Construction workers in Canada.

Whether you're just starting out in your career or looking to change things up and find a new job in Canada, learning a skilled trade can make you much more employable.

From hairstylists and cooks to carpenters, decorators and welders, there are so many skilled trades to choose from, and many of them are in high demand in Canada right now.

Across multi-billion dollar industries like construction, transportation and digital technology, to name a few, there are over 300 designated trades to consider in Canada, 54 of which can have a Red Seal Trade designation.

Many skilled trades jobs are considered to be essential to communities across Canada, which means provinces are often actively looking for individuals to fill these roles.

In fact, Employment and Social Development Canada says over 250,000 new apprentices will be needed over the next five years in Canada to meet demand.

To this end, the federal government will actually pay you to learn a skilled trade.

With interest-free loans of up to $4,000 and apprenticeship grants of up to $8,000 available, government funding for skilled trades can help support your ambitions to take on a new career.

What are Canada's most in-demand skilled trades?

Canada's most in-demand skilled trades vary a little depending on the specific location, although some roles in particular are expected to be highly desirable over the next five years.

According to the government, this includes cooks, industrial electricians, industrial mechanics, painters and decorators, and welders.

In the construction industry, occupations listed as particularly desirable include carpenters, steamfitters and pipe fitters, plumbers and sheet metal workers.

In the services sector in Canada, hairstylists are particularly sought-after right now, with demand expected to increase further over the next five years.

Demand for skilled workers within the transportation sector, manufacturing and industrial industry, and information and digital tech sector is growing too, with no sign of slowing down.

What is the Canada Apprenticeship Loan?

The Canada Apprenticeship loan is a government initiative that's designed to support those completing a Red Seal trade apprenticeship.

For those not familiar with the program, the Red Seal trade works directly with the skilled trades industry to endorse tradespeople who have been formally trained in their area of expertise.

"A tradesperson who passes the Red Seal exam receives a Red Seal endorsement," the ESDC explains. "The Red Seal is proof that a tradesperson has met the national standard in their trade."

Via the Canada Apprentice Loan, those completing a Red Seal trade apprenticeship can get up to $4,000 in loans for each period of training they complete.

The interest-free loan can be used to cover things like tuition, living expenses, missed wages, tools and equipment needed for the job, or to help support an individual's family.

The federal support is available across Canada, except in Quebec where a different option is offered instead.

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What apprenticeship grants are there in Canada?

There are a number of federal apprenticeship grants available in Canada right now. Each has a slightly different eligibility criteria and offers a different level of funding.

For example, the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W) pilot project offers eligible women a taxable cash grant of $3,000 per year/level, up to a maximum of $6,000.

This specific funding is designed to help women cover their expenses while training as an apprentice in an industry where they're underrepresented.

There's also the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG). Designed to help individuals cover their expenses while learning a Red Seal trade, the AIG offers $1,000 per year/level, up to a maximum amount of $2,000 per person.

The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a one-time grant of $2,000. It's for registered apprentices who have successfully completed their training and who have been certified in a qualifying Red Seal trade.

Eligible individuals may qualify for both the AIG-W and ACG, which means it's possible to receive a total of up to $8,000.

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EI for apprentices

Some apprentices may be eligible to claim Employment Insurance (EI) while in full-time training too, provided they're unemployed while attending their course.

There's a specific eligibility criteria – that includes having a proof of referral – that must be met.

It is possible for apprentices to receive an apprenticeship grant while claiming EI benefits, as grant payments are not considered earnings from employment.

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Tax deductions and credits for apprentices

To help those learning a skilled trade, the government offers a bunch of tax credits and incentives that apprentices can benefit from.

This includes the Tradesperson’s Tools deduction, which offers a deduction for any equipment needed to train, and the Tuition Tax Credit and licensing examination fees, which can be claimed at tax time.

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With financial support available from the government to help fund your training, and roles increasingly in-demand, it's a pretty good time to consider a skilled trades career!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Trending Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.