Trades You Should Learn To Survive in Canada as an Immigrant

Annually, Canada’s workforce faces a diminishing trend due to decreased birth rates, and older population among other factors. To address this challenge, the nation has set its sights on welcoming 465,000 immigrants in 2023. This strategic move involves inviting individuals from across the globe to establish residence and gain employment in Canada. This in turn effectively promotes the country’s economic progress and retains its position as a top global player.

While many Nigerians believe that relocating to Canada ensures ready employment opportunities, the reverse may be the case. While some newcomers could secure employment in a short while, others might need to apply diligent effort and strategic thinking to thrive. Thus, having trade skills is pertinent, particularly during periods of unemployment. Furthermore, these acquired skills can serve as additional sources of income during leisure time, even if one is already employed.

If you plan to move to Canada and you are seeking which trade job to learn, then this post is for you! Here, we would show you the trade skills to learn to survive in Canada as an immigrant among other relevant information.

About Trade Skills

A trade skill or hand work involves jobs that demand specialized skills and expertise acquired through avenues other than formal education. These skills are learnt either through education at a trade school or by means of hands-on experience, learning from seasoned professionals in your chosen field. The skills of trade workers vary depending on their specific training, some even involving physical labour. In Canada, there are various trade jobs available that can fetch you a lot of money. However, many of these jobs require you to have experience and proper training before you can work.

How to Develop Trade Skills Before Moving to Canada

If you’re new to trades and want to learn, you have three main options:

1. Get an Apprenticeship

Learning a trade skill through an apprenticeship means getting hands-on training while working with experienced professionals in that field. It’s like an on-the-job learning experience where you’ll be taught the skills and techniques needed for the trade. It’s a bit hard to find these opportunities, as most companies prefer people with some basic knowledge, but if you do find one, it can be a great way to start your career in the trades.

2. Go to a Technical College

Learning a trade skill by going to a technical college involves enrolling in a program at a specialized school where you’ll receive hands-on training and education in a particular trade, such as plumbing, HVAC, or electrician work. These programs are designed to teach you the practical skills and knowledge needed for that trade, and they can range from a few months to a couple of years in duration. Keep in mind that there might be costs associated with tuition and materials, so it’s important to consider your financial options before enrolling.

3. Join a Specific Training Program

Learning a trade skill by joining a specific program means enrolling in a training course that is designed to teach you the skills and knowledge needed for a particular job or trade. These programs are usually more focused and concentrated on the specific skills required for that trade. They can offer a quicker path to gaining the necessary expertise compared to longer college programs. Additionally, some of these specialized programs may even help you connect with potential employers, increasing your chances of finding a job in that trade after completing the training.

Why You Should Learn a Trade Skill as an Immigrant in Canada

Whether you opt for on-the-job practice or enrol in a vocational training program, there are many reasons you should learn a trade before coming to Canada. Here are ways you stand to benefit from choosing a trade:

1. Immediate Experience

For individuals who learn faster through hands-on training rather than classroom education, acquiring skills on the job can be more effective. Learning a trade through practical experience helps offers a pathway to real-world projects and you can get a certificate upon completion. This minimizes the time it takes to acquire essential skills and offers practical exposure that might be limited in traditional university settings.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Learning a trade is often more affordable compared to pursuing traditional degree programs. Trade school tuition is designed to help students graduate with manageable or no debt at all and this is a contrast to the heavy financial burdens carried by many university graduates. Moreover, apprenticeships or on-the-job training can often be cost-free, providing a direct avenue to skill acquisition without the financial strain.

Additionally, community colleges and trade schools offer associate degrees at affordable rates and provide accessible financial aid options such as loans, grants, and scholarships. Capitalizing on these financial resources enables you to complete your training with marketable skills, securing potential employment without excessive debt.

3. Less Time

While traditional four-year college students are still studying, trade skill learners would have completed their education, graduated, and started earning income. Trade skill programs do not take a long time, typically requiring two years or less to finish. Opting for on-the-job training to develop professional skills can even help you gain certification even further. If you seek a swifter route to securing a decent income, learning a trade is certainly a good choice.

4. High Demand

The impending retirement of baby boomers results in fresh opportunities for trade professionals. This shift creates a demand for skilled tradespersons to fill vacant positions. Industries such as construction, plumbing, carpentry, and welding among others are struggling with labour shortages, presenting millennials and Gen Z with a wealth of untapped opportunities.

5. Practical Skill Set

Trade education imparts practical, job-specific skills that are immediately applicable in the workplace. This direct alignment between training and job requirements enhances your ability to contribute effectively from the outset of your career.

6. Diverse Career Pathways

Choosing a trade does not limit your career options; rather, it opens doors to a multitude of specialized paths. The breadth of trades available caters to various interests and fields, allowing you to tailor your career trajectory to your passions and strengths.

7. Good income

Professionals skilled in hand jobs can expect attractive pay, with higher levels of advanced training often correlating to increased pay. While wage levels might fluctuate based on factors like location, industry, company size, and individual skills, trade experts typically earn salaries that consistently match or exceed national averages. Pursuing promotions within the trade field can further elevate your earnings. Trade roles in areas such as home maintenance and medical tend to offer some of the most lucrative remuneration packages. Also, many apprenticeships come with monetary compensation, allowing you to earn while acquiring knowledge. Consequently, you might find yourself concluding your program with a bolstered bank balance.  However, before committing to a specific trade it is advisable to make diligent research into your desired trade roles.

8. Easier Job Search Process

When engaged in on-the-job training, you make connections with potential future employers. This familiarity with such potential employers heightens your chances of securing employment during interviews. These employers might even refer you to other potential hiring employers. Possessing hands-on experience allows you to be outstanding during interviews as you already understand the nitty-gritty of the job. Given that many college and university graduates possess theoretical knowledge, your practical knowledge provides a distinct advantage when vying for competitive positions.

9. Capitalize on Your Strengths

Numerous graduates from colleges and universities find themselves employed in fields that deviate from their areas of specialization for various reasons. Limited market opportunities, a quest for work-life balance, or a yearning for more fulfilling roles all play a role. Engaging in trade education enables you to cultivate skills and expertise within your preferred field thereby focusing on your strengths. Upon completing formal instruction or on-the-job training, you possess the proficiency to excel in your chosen pursuit. With these competencies, you can seek employment or even embark on entrepreneurship and explore opportunities in your field. Remaining unemployed while having trade skills is highly unlikely.

Trades You Should Learn To Survive in Canada as an Immigrant

The following are trade skills you can learn as an immigrant in no particular order:

1.  Event Planning

Event planning is a big and growing job in Canada, perfect for people who like making events happen. Event planners make different kinds of events come together, like weddings, meetings, parties, and more. This job has become important in Canada because of its diverse and multicultural society, making lots of different events needed. To do well as an event planner in Canada, you need to be good at organizing, talking with others, and paying close attention to details, especially when things get busy. It’s also important to know people who can help you with things like supplies and places to have the events. You can make good money as an event planner in Canada, with an average pay of around $66,679 every year, and it can change based on how much experience you have and where you work.

2. Tailoring

In Canada, many people need tailoring services, and it depends on things like where you are and what people like to wear. But the need for tailors who are really good at making clothes that fit well, changing clothes to fit better, and creating special designs is always high. In big cities and places with different kinds of people, more people usually want tailoring services. Cities with thriving fashion and garment industries often create a fertile ground for tailors to either secure job positions in the field or launch their independent ventures. In Canada, tailors usually make around $35,100 every year, which is about $18 per hour. When you start, you might earn about $31,200 a year, but if you get really good, you could make as much as $45,307 yearly. To do well as a tailor, it’s important to have loyal customers, be good at helping people, and keep up with the latest fashion trends.

3.  Electrician

In Canada, becoming an electrician is a smart choice because it can make you earn a lot of money since many people need them. Electricians use tools to put in, connect, and fix electrical wires and systems. They handle everything about electricity, working in homes by looking at plans and in companies and industries dealing with cables, circuits, and electrical rules. The average pay for an electrician in Canada is between $39,000 and $91,000. To be an electrician in Canada, you need to learn by doing an apprenticeship, passing tests, and getting a license when you arrive in Canada.

4. Photography/ Videography

If you like taking pictures or making videos, you can think about making money from photography or videography.  Photography and videography are ways you can earn money by using cameras to capture events, people, things, or scenes. It’s a mix of recording moments, showing your artistic side, and selling pictures. In Canada, photographers make around $46,898 every year, which is about $24.05 an hour. When you start, you might earn about $35,100 a year, and experienced photographers can make up to $64,866 yearly. If you want to have a successful photography business in Canada, you need to work hard, come up with new ideas, and be good at business. By giving great service and making clients happy, you can have a successful photography business. To do well and stay competitive, keep learning and following new trends in photography and videography.

5. Plumbing

Do you like talking to people, fixing things, and using your hands? If you do, you might want to learn plumbing before you go to Canada. Plumbers are experts at putting in, fixing, and taking care of pipes and things that let water flow and get rid of waste in houses and businesses. They also check for leaks and read plans. In Canada, plumbers can work for building companies, and factories, or even have their own plumbing businesses. They get paid around $39,000 to $86,000 every year, or about $30 to $40 per hour. They usually work 40 hours a week, but sometimes they have to work extra hours.


Did you know that becoming a cobbler in Canada can make you a good amount of money? Cobblers are people who are good at fixing and making shoes, like boots and sneakers. In Canada, some people prefer to fix their old shoes instead of buying new ones to save money. This gives cobblers a chance to earn money by repairing shoes. Also, some people really like custom-made shoes, so cobblers who can make special and unique designs can attract customers who are willing to pay more.

To be a successful cobbler in Canada, you need to follow some important rules. Doing great work and being nice to customers are the most important things. It’s also a good idea to promote your services online or at local markets so that more people can find you. If you’re known for being good at your work and providing great service, you’ll always have customers and a good income. On average, cobblers in Canada make about $38,363 every year.

7. DJ

Have you ever thought about being a DJ? In Canada, being a DJ isn’t just about having fun with music, it can also make you a good amount of money. DJs are the people who play recorded music to entertain crowds. They create soundtracks for events like parties, concerts, clubs, and even radio shows. Usually, one person, called the disc jockey or DJ, is in charge of making the music happen and talking with the people listening. In Canada, being a DJ is supported, and the average pay is around $71,027 every year, which is about $34 an hour.

8. Chef/Cook

If you don’t know how to make your local foods, it’s a good idea to learn before you go to Canada. Making your own meals can save you a lot of money since buying food can get expensive over time. Cooking also gives you more job options. If you know how to make your local dishes, it’s easier to find work at a restaurant when you get to Canada. You could even teach cooking classes and charge people for what you know. Cooking for events is also something many people need, and they pay a lot for it. In Canada, cooks usually make around $31,200 per year or $16 per hour. When you’re just starting, you might make about $28,066 per year, but experienced cooks can earn up to $40,950 per year.

9. Makeup Artistry

Being good at doing makeup can help you make a lot of money, especially since it’s important for making people look their best. If you like making people look glamorous and beautiful, learning makeup skills before moving to Canada is a great idea. Professional makeup artists are always needed for different events, and the price they charge depends on how good their makeup is. So, it’s smart to become good at makeup before you go to Canada to earn more money. Especially if you work for things like fashion shows, TV, or famous people, you can get paid even more and maybe even get help from booking agencies. How much money you make as a makeup artist depends on where you work and the kind of job you do. On average, makeup artists in Canada make about $86,239 per year, which is around $44.23 per hour. When you start, you might earn about $43,144 a year, but if you’re really good, you could make as much as $156,047 yearly.

10. Hairdressing/Barbing

Did you know that hairstylists and barbers rank among the most in-demand professions in Canada? The ceaseless growth of hair results in an ongoing need for skilled barbers and hairstylists who design and shape hair to maintain a fresh appearance. With a multitude of individuals requiring haircuts daily, this service transitions from a luxury to an essential requirement. As the population continues to expand, the demand for experienced barbers and hairstylists increases. These professions not only embrace creativity and client interaction but also provide the avenue to remain updated on the latest hair trends and techniques.

Professionals with advanced expertise in this field can earn annual incomes ranging from $72,900 to $109,500, with the potential for even greater earnings in urban centres such as Vancouver, Alberta etc where there are heightened demands for beauty services. As a hairstylist or barber, you’ll discover diverse opportunities in salons, beauty spas, barbershops, or the realm of freelancing. Canada’s rich diversity ensures that hairstylists often engage with clients having different hair types and preferences, contributing to a dynamic and creative work atmosphere.

If you’re contemplating a career in hairdressing or barbing within Canada, it is important to seek guidance from local beauty associations or regulatory bodies to ensure you fulfil all requisite qualifications and standards for practising in the country.

Tips on Selecting the Right Trade for You

If you’re thinking about learning a new trade skill, it’s important to choose one that you like. Follow these steps to help you decide:

1. Know What You’re Good At

 Some jobs need special skills. It’s a good idea to pick a job that uses skills you already have, but you can also learn new skills.

2. Think About What You Like

When you looking for a trade skill to learn,  think about what you enjoy doing. Look at different jobs and choose one that you find interesting.

3. Check if Jobs are Available

Before you choose a trade, find out if there are lots of job opportunities in that field. You can find this out from the government or websites like Indeed.

4. Take a Test

There are tests that can help you figure out which trade is best for you. Answer some questions, and the test will give you ideas about skills you might like.

5. Ask a Job Expert

If you’re not sure, talk to someone who knows about jobs, especially in a field you are considering. They can help you decide. Ask them questions like:

– How did you start this trade?

– Was it easy to find your first job?

– Where did you learn how to do this trade?

– What advice would you give to someone starting out in this trade?


When you go to Canada, you might not find a job right away. So, it’s good to have skills that can help you earn money and be helpful to others. This article talked about different jobs you can learn before going to Canada that can make you earn a lot of money.

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