Top Trade Schools in Canada: A Path Worth Considering

With the arrival and onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world got to see and appreciate the efforts of essential service workers. These are the people that keep the economy operational when everyone else is working from home. Skilled workers are important for specialized jobs that can’t be done remotely. Now, in Canada, this is taken to a whole new level as the country has a massive job market and demand for trade workers. This high demand and ample opportunity make it quite a competitive area as well. That’s why many newcomers turn to trade schools to get a little bit of an edge. It’s in this spirit that we have compiled a list of some of the top trade schools in Canada!

In this article, we will explore why you should consider attending a trade school, how it’s different from your run-of-the-mill university, and of course, the best trade schools in Canada. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in.

As we mentioned before, given the inability to outsource jobs like mechanics, carpenters, welders, millwrights, electricians, and so on, means that there is a constant demand for such talent in the country. This also means that there is an equally high salary to match (with benefits in some cases). According to the ‘CourseCompare’ website, there has been a 26% increase in the number of people working in skilled trades, transportations, equipment operations, etc, since 2020.

Now if we look at the aforementioned salaries for these trades in Canada, the site also mentioned that the average salary for constructions amounted to $31.15 (data derived from Statistics Canada website). If the average workweek amounts to 40 hours, that brings the income to a little below $65,000 a year. This is well above the national average. Of course, this is just a mean number, and you would get paid more or less depending on your experience.

Say what you will about the competitive nature of the industry, but it does pay well.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X, Civil Rights Activist

Why Pursue Studies Through Trade Schools in Canada?

The main benefit of taking on a vocational course at a trade school in Canada is that it offers you career-focused and intensive education. These trade schools help you prepare for a career and a quick entry into the workforce. Additionally, it often helps you get the necessary credentials for getting certified. For example, if you were to become an electrician, you would have to become certified and would have had to complete your apprenticeship in the same field. This means that you need equal parts training on the job as well as attending theoretical classes.

Why study in Canada's top trade schools?

When compared to the average university program, this has the aforementioned benefit of being more specialized. However, did you know that on average, it is less expensive than a normal university?

There is a caveat though. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Given the benefits that these trade schools in Canada give you, it also means that there are limited seats. Admissions are competitive and you may be placed on a waitlist for future enrollment. Having said that, it is a path well-worth pursuing!

Top Trade Schools in Canada

Now, let’s get down to the matter at hand. Whether you are trying to gain an edge in the industry, or just trying to pursue your dream, these top trade schools in Canada can help! You should keep in mind that these schools by no means represent an exhaustive list of schools, and each has its own set of benefits. At the end of the day, you need to pick the one that will best address your needs.

“The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think. – Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist

SAIT is one of the top trade schools in Canada

1) Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology or SAIT as it is also known opened its doors to students in 1916, Calgary, Alberta. When it opened it had only 11 students! The college was opened with the aim of training veterans who were returning from the First World War. The college has a long and varied history. It served as a hospital ground during the great Spanish Flu pandemic, as well as a Royal Canadian Air Force Wireless Training School during the Second World War! Fast forward a couple of decades into the present and you have one of the country’s leading action-based, solution-focused institutes.

. With literally over a century of experience in equipping students with the skills they need to enter and succeed in the industry, it’s not hard to see why this school finds itself at the top of today’s list. According to the college website, 91% of its graduates get hired. It also has partnerships with over 11,000 industry partners that help students get jobs. 

2) Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is another one of the top trade schools in Canada. It is one of the largest producers of trade students and apprentices in Canada. Founded over 50 years ago in 1962, the institute boasts a current enrolment of around 40,000 students and apprentices according to its website. Just to give you an idea of how successful this trade school is, let’s take a look at the numbers quickly.

As per the NAIT website, the graduates have an 87% employment rate within 9 months of having graduated from their full-time programs. The trade school has also recorded a 98% employer satisfaction rate from its graduates. It also has a vast international reach with more than 200,000 alumni from 97 different countries! It has a long history of providing training to corporate clients from 60 countries. The institute offers one of the largest apprenticeship training programs in Canada as it offers around 28 registered trades programs!

Fair to say, it’s worth considering this top trade school in Canada for furthering your career in the trades.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

3) St. Lawrence College (SLC)

What makes this college one of the top trade schools in Canada is the fact that it has variety. St. Lawrence College splits up its trade programs between all three of its Ontario campuses. The institute maintains campuses in Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall. As per the college website, it offers over 100 full-time programs that teach around 10,000 full-time students. The college is also home to more than 98,500 alumni.

The benefit here, as mentioned previously, is the sheer variety of options that students have to pick from. This means that no matter your trade preference, you will find something here to get your journey started.

4) Seneca College

The Seneca College that is located in the Greater Toronto Area, was founded in 1967. The college features more than 100,000 combined full-time and part-time students across its seven campuses as per the CourseCompare website. The site also stated that 80% of Seneca students find a job within six months of graduating. One of the highlights of this institute is that it prides itself on its community-building initiative, student-oriented programs, and providing the best on-campus tools.

Seneca College is one the top trade schools in Canada

5) Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College is yet another large institute, one of the largest colleges in Ontario to be specific. It has over 200 degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeship programs that it offers to around 43,000 students each year. It also has multiple campuses across London St. Thomas, Simcoe, and Woodstock, Ontario.

As per the CourseCompare website, more than 40 of the programs that it provides are specialized courses in skilled trades and apprenticeships. They come in a variety of different forms from full-time, to part-time, to online courses. As per the CourseCompare website, the college has one of the highest job placement rates in the country with over 90% of its graduates finding jobs within a six-month timeframe after graduation!

So, there you have it, some of the top trade schools in Canada. Now, we cannot emphasize this enough, but this is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are tons of great trade schools to turn to if you’re thinking of entering into the trades. This list is just to point you in the right direction and give you an idea of the variety of options that lay before you.

Before joining any institute, make sure you do your due diligence, research their placement rates, course applicability, and only then, join up. Entering into the industry as a tradesperson is a long and tasking process, so it’s best to make sure you put your best foot forward from the very first step.

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