If you want satisfying, well-paying, in-demand work, it doesn’t get much better than the skilled trades.
With so many new construction projects on the rise, and a high number of tradespeople reaching retirement age, Canada is currently experiencing a shortage of young people in these professions.
The best way to get started in a trades career is to enroll in a pre-apprenticeship program. Here you’ll get hands-on training from experts in the field, valuable safety and employability skills, plus valuable industry connections.
Skilled trades training opens doors to all kinds of exciting job opportunities, including the chance to become your own boss. Many students choose to complete an apprenticeship after their training, continuing their learning with several years of on-the-job experience.
But not all trades careers require this additional training. Looking for a faster route to employment? Take a look at 4 great trades that don’t require an apprenticeship:
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic (HVAC)
Keeping people comfortable in their homes and workplaces is all in a day’s work for HVAC mechanics. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The job involves installing, maintaining, repairing and overhauling these kinds of systems for residential, commercial or industrial clients.
If you work in this trade, you’ll be responsible for following blueprints to properly connect HVAC systems to fuel and water supply lines, air ducts and other components.
Some technicians specialize in working with a particular type of system or just in installations or repairs. To be a successful refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic, you have to be a good problem solver and communicator.
In HVAC training, you’ll learn the fundamentals of electrical and heating systems, piping and venting methods, and all necessary safety requirements.
There is high demand for HVAC grads in the construction industry, and in non-residential facilities like supermarkets, hockey arenas and processing plants.
Gas technicians also install, service and repair heating systems and appliances, except with a focus on natural gas or propane-fired equipment. These include:
- Central heating systems
- Boilers and ovens
- Water heaters
- Gas fires
They may work in residential, commercial or industrial environments for construction firms, gas-servicing contractors or utilities companies.
If you become a gas technician, your typical duties could include:
- Installing and connecting appliances to gas, water and electrical systems
- Testing safety devices and controls
- Identifying gas leaks
- Performing maintenance checks
- Replacing and repairing parts
If you think the job sounds similar to HVAC mechanic, you’re pretty close. Both gas technicians and refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics must earn a Gas Technician 3 certification to get licensed and work with specialized appliances.
The G2 license gives you further independence and the authority to supervise G3 technicians. With G1 certification (the highest level) you’re able to work unsupervised on systems with gas firing rates over 400,000 British Thermal Units per Hour (BTUH).
To diversify their skills in two relevant areas of training, many students choose the combined refrigeration and gas technician training program. With training and certification, you’ll have greater expertise and employment opportunities.
Another great career that doesn’t require an apprenticeship is appliance repair. These technicians repair and service ovens, refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and other appliances.
Possible employers include appliance sales companies, large apartment owners, the commercial restaurant equipment industry, and smaller service companies. With training and experience, many repair technicians eventually become self-employed.
When making house calls to fix appliances, both quality and speed are important. You have to figure out what the problem is, handle tools and equipment with care, and have good customer service skills. It is sometimes necessary to order and install new parts.
In appliance service technician training, you’ll learn the proper service and installation methods with hand and power tools, schematic diagram training, safety procedures and employability skills.
Network cabling involves ensuring that the cables and equipment used for telecommunications are installed and functioning correctly. With our society’s dependence on data and voice connections, this is a career on the rise.
Cabling technicians design, install and inspect the various parts of test networks. They’re responsible for understanding job reference material like diagrams and manuals so the right equipment and systems are used.
While an apprenticeship isn’t necessary for this profession, you’ll need to be highly trained. In your network cabling training, you’ll learn:
- Industry standards for physical and logical networks
- Proper media and cabling types to use for each job
- How to interpret network design documentation
- Pulling, mounting and testing cable
- Choosing wiring closets and patch panel installation/termination
- Part list set up and purchase
With your specialized skills and knowledge, you’ll be ready for a rewarding career working for telecommunications carriers, construction companies, and other types of information technology (IT) businesses.
Looking for a career in the skilled trades that doesn’t require an apprenticeship?
Explore the various training options available at the Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute.
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