Trades & Tech at KP

A trades + technology education at KPDSB provides an important headstart in your skilled trades career.

So what exactly is a skilled trades or technology job?

To be honest, the list of skilled trades jobs is exhausting.
Ontario currently lists over 140 careers in the trades. There’s the obvious jobs that come to mind—carpenter, welder, plumber and electrician—but there are so many lesser-known trades out there, all with plenty of job (and pay!) opportunities.

Construction Trades
Industrial Trades
Motive Power Trades
Service Trades

Architectural Glass and Metal Technician

Brick and Stone Mason

Cement (Concrete) Finisher

Concrete Pump Operator

Construction Boilermaker

Construction Craft Worker

Construction Millwright

Drywall Finisher and Plasterer

Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator

Electrician - Construction and Maintenance (Compulsory)

Electrician - Domestic and Rural (Compulsory)

Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanic

Floor Covering Installer

General Carpenter

Hazardous Materials Worker

Heat and Frost Insulator

Heavy Equipment Operator - Dozer

Heavy Equipment Operator - Excavator

Heavy Equipment Operator - Tractor Loader Backhoe

Hoisting Engineer - Mobile Crane Operator 1 (Compulsory)

Hoisting Engineer - Mobile Crane Operator 2 (Compulsory)

Hoisting Engineer - Tower Crane Operator (Compulsory)

Ironworker - Generalist

Ironworker - Structural and Ornamental

Native Residential Construction Worker

Painter and Decorator - Commercial and Residential

Painter and Decorator - Industrial

Plumber (Compulsory)

Powerline Technician

Precast Concrete Erector

Precast Concrete Finisher

Refractory Mason

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic (Compulsory)

Reinforcing Rodworker

Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic (Compulsory)

Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer (Compulsory)

Restoration Mason


Sheet Metal Worker (Compulsory)

Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer (Compulsory)

Steamfitter (Compulsory)

Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Setter

Bearings Mechanic



Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Programmer

Die Designer

Draftsperson - Mechanical

Draftsperson - Plastic Mould Design

Draftsperson - Tool and Die Design

Electric Motor System Technician

Electrician (Signal Maintenance)

Elevating Devices Mechanic

Entertainment Industry Power Technician

Facilities Mechanic

Facilities Technician

General Machinist

Hydraulic/Pneumatic Mechanic

Industrial Electrician

Industrial Mechanic Millwright

Instrumentation and Control Technician

Light Rail Overhead Contact Systems Linesperson


Machine Tool Builder and Integrator

Metal Fabricator (Fitter)

Mould Designer

Mould Maker

Mould or Die Finisher

Optics Technician (Lens and Prism Maker)

Packaging Machine Mechanic

Pattern Maker

Pressure Systems Welder

Process Operator - Food Manufacturing

Process Operator - Power

Process Operator - Refinery, Chemical and Liquid Processes

Process Operator - Wood Products

Railway Car Technician

Relay and Instrumentation Technician

Saw Filer/Fitter

Surface Blaster

Surface Mount Assembler

Tool and Cutter Grinder

Tool and Die Maker

Tool and Gauge Inspector

Tool/Tooling Maker

Tractor-Trailer Commercial Driver

Water Well Driller


Thin Film Technician

Agricultural Equipment Technician

Alignment and Brakes Technician (Compulsory)

Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer (Compulsory)

Auto Body Repairer (Compulsory)

Automotive Electronic Accessory Technician (Compulsory)

Automotive Glass Technician

Automotive Painter

Automotive Service Technician (Compulsory)

Fuel and Electrical Systems Technician (Compulsory)

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

Marine Engine Technician

Motive Power Machinist

Motorcycle Technician (Compulsory)

Powered Lift Truck Technician

Recreation Vehicle Technician

Small Engine Technician

Transmission Technician (Compulsory)

Truck and Coach Technician (Compulsory)

Truck-Trailer Service Technician (Compulsory)

Turf Equipment Technician

Aboriginal Child Development Practitioner

Agricultural Dairy Herdsperson

Agricultural Fruit Grower

Agricultural Swine Herdsperson

Appliance Service Technician


Assistant Cook



Chef (Pre-requisite required: Ontario Certification of Qualification in the trade of Cook, 415A)

Child and Youth Worker

Child Development Practitioner


Developmental Services Worker

Educational Assistant

Electronic Service Technician


Hairstylist (Compulsory)

Horse Groom

Horse Harness Maker

Horticultural Technician

Institutional Cook

IT Contact Centre Customer Service Agent

IT Contact Centre Sales Agent

IT Contact Centre Technical Support Agent

IT Hardware Technician

IT Network Technician

Micro Electronics Manufacturer

Native Clothing and Crafts Artisan

Network Cabling Specialist

Parts Technician

Retail Meat Cutter


Special Events Coordinator

Utility Arborist

Why should I choose a skilled trades job?

Well, for one thing, it pays really well.

Between 2000 and 2011, the average weekly wages of full-time workers aged 25 to 34 with trade certificates grew by 14%, while Bachelor Degree holders saw their wage growth slow to 1%.

There’s also a lot of demand for trades jobs.

Right now, the average age of an Ontario journeyperson is 47 years old. Employers are looking for more people and youth to start their careers in the skilled trades.

You can jump headfirst into a job.

Unlike college or university pathways, when you start an apprenticeship you “grow” into your job, developing your skills and honing your knowledge so that when you complete your apprenticeship you already have the job you trained for.

Start now!

Serious advantages if you start on your trades pathway while you’re still in high school:

Get paid
to learn.

Imagine if your part-time job not only paid well, but every shift counted towards your diploma credits? This is that part-time job.

Start your career debt‑free.

Start your trades career now you’ll graduate from post-secondary debt-free. Not many of your University friends can say that.

Try before
you buy.

This is a great opportunity to try out the trades—or several different trades—before you commit to a career, with no strings attached.

Finish high school with a real job.

While other kids start their full time post-secondary classes, you’ll be working, getting paid, and earning your trade certificate.

Alright, then how do I start my skilled trades career while I’m still in high school?

If you think a skilled trades job is right for you, then you’ll want to consider:

Starting an apprenticeship now.

Great for trying out a trade, or getting a headstart on the job/trade you know you want. The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is there to get you started right now.

Try a co-op placement with a local company.

The KPDSB Co-op program is a great way to try out a trade while earning credits you need to graduate.

Plan for a specialized trade diploma.

KPDSB high schools offer the Specialized High Skills Major (SHSM) program, which tailors your high school to a specific career, helping you earn a diploma specialized for your trade.

Can women really be successful in a trade?

Absolutely! In fact, there is a lot of additional support available to women who want to join the trades. Check out what these KPDSB graduates have to say about their success in the trades: