Apprenticeship Pathway


  • Advances in technology are changing the nature of work in the trades. Changing technologies are also creating more new jobs every year.
  • Canada is going to have a dramatic demand for people with excellent technical skills training in the skilled trades and technologies.
  • Many tradespeople today will be retiring in the next ten years, leading to a shortage of skilled employees.
  • Skilled tradespeople earn higher than average incomes.
  • Many skilled tradespeople own their own businesses.
  • 40% of new jobs will be in skilled trades and technologies in the next two decades.
  • A combination of on-the-job- training and classroom instruction
  • 80-90 percent of apprenticeship training is provided in the workplace
  • 10-20 percent involves classroom instruction on theory, which is usually given at a local community college, or provided through another approved training organization
  • Length of the apprenticeship varies depending on the trade
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a specialized program that enables students who are 16 years of age or older to meet secondary diploma requirements while participating in an occupation that requires an apprenticeship.
“Voluntary” and “Unrestricted” are the same concept but are named differently depending on whether they are “TQAA” trades or “ACA” trades. You may legally work in these trades without Ontario certification.
However, industry standards, employers, and unions may require tradespeople to hold a Certificate of Qualification to work in these trades. There is optional certification available in all Voluntary and Unrestricted trades. Most trades are considered to be Voluntary or Unrestricted, including all trades in the Industrial sector and most trades in the Service sector. For a complete list of Voluntary and Unrestricted trades, please go to:

There are over 130 skilled trades that can be classified into four sectors:

  1. Construction
  2. Industrial / Manufacturing
  3. Motive Power
  4. Service

Compulsory trades (certification is required by law):

  • Electrician Construction and Maintenance (Construction Electrician)
  • Electrician Domestic and Rural
  • Hoisting Engineer Mobile Crane Operator Branch 1 (Mobile Crane Operator)
  • Hoisting Engineer Mobile Crane Operator Branch 2
  • Hoisting Engineer Tower Crane Operator
  • Plumber
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic (HVAC Technician)
  • Residential Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Steamfitter (Steamfitter/Pipefitter)

Voluntary trades (certification is not required by law):

  • Architectural Glass & Metal Technician (Glazier)
  • Brick and Stone Mason (Bricklayer)
  • Cement (Concrete) Finisher
  • Cement Mason
  • Concrete Pump Operator*
  • Construction Boilermaker (Boilermaker)
  • Construction Craft Worker*
  • Construction Millwright
  • Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator (Lather [Interior Systems Mechanic])
  • Drywall, Finisher and Plasterer
  • Exterior Insulated Finishing Systems Mechanic (EIFS)*
  • Floor Covering Installer
  • General Carpenter (Carpenter)
  • Hazardous Materials Worker (HAZMAT)*
  • Heat and Frost Insulator (Insulator [Heat and Frost])
  • Heavy Equipment Operator – Dozer*
  • Heavy Equipment Operator – Excavator*
  • Heavy Equipment Operator – Tractor
  • Loader Backhoe*
  • Ironworker Generalist Branch 1
  • Ironworker Structural and Ornamental Branch 2
  • Native Residential Construction Worker*
  • Painter and Decorator Branch 1 Commercial and Residential
  • Painter and Decorator Branch 2 Industrial
  • Powerline Technician
  • Precast Concrete Erector
  • Precast Concrete Finisher
  • Restoration Mason Roofer
  • Sprinkler System Installer (Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer)
  • Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Setter(Tilesetter)

There are 51 Industrial trades, all of which are unrestricted.

  • Bearings Mechanic
  • Blacksmith
  • Cabinetmaker
  • CNC (computer numerical control) Programmer
  • Composite Structures Technician
  • Die Designer
  • Draftsperson – Mechanical
  • Draftsperson – Plastic Mould Design
  • Draftsperson – Tool & Die Design
  • Electric Motor Systems Technician
  • Electrical Control (Machine) Builder
  • Electrician (Signal Maintenance – Toronto Transit Commission)
  • Elevating Devices Mechanic
  • Entertainment Industry Power Technician
  • Facilities Mechanic
  • Facilities Technician
  • Fitter – Assembler (Motor Assembly)
  • General Machinist (Machinist)
  • Hydraulic/Pneumatic Mechanic
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Industrial Mechanic Millwright
  • Instrumentation and Control Technician
  • Light Rail Overhead Contact Systems
  • Lineperson – Toronto Transit Commission
  • Locksmith
  • 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
  • Precision Metal Fabricator
  • Pressure Systems Welder
  • Process Operator: Food Manufacturing
  • Process Operator: Power
  • Process Operator: Refinery, Chemical & Liquid Processes
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Railway Car Technician
  • Relay and Instrumentation Technician
  • Roll Grinder/Turner
  • Saw Filler/Fitter
  • Ski Lift Mechanic
  • Surface Blaster
  • Tool & Cutter Grinder
  • Tool & Gauge Inspector
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Tool/Tooling Maker
  • Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver
  • Water Well Driller
  • Welder

Restricted trades (certification is required by law):

  • Alignment and Brakes Technician
  • Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer Br. 1 (Motor Vehicle Body Repairer)
  • Auto Body Repairer Br. 2
  • Automotive Electronic Accessory Technician
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Motorcycle Technician (Motorcycle Mechanic)
  • Transmission Technician
  • Truck and Coach Technician (Truck and Transport Mechanic)
  • Truck Trailer Service Technician (Transport Trailer Technician)

Unrestricted trades (certification is not required by law):

  • Agricultural Equipment Technician
  • Automotive Glass Technician
  • Automotive Painter (Auto Body and Automotive Painter)
  • Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
  • Marine Engine Technician
  • Motive Power Machinist
  • Powered Lift Truck Technician
  • Recreation Vehicle Technician
  • Small Engine Technician
  • Tire Wheel and Rim Mechanic
  • Turf Equipment Technician
The Service sector is the largest sector of Ontario’s economy. It is also a major sector within the economy of the National Capital Region. The Service sector covers a wide range of skill sets and career opportunities. Although many trades in the Service sector involve “service” and dealing directly with people, some are simply skilled trades that do not fit into the more traditional Construction, Motive Power, or Industrial sectors.
There are 37 Service sector trades, 1 of which is restricted.
Restricted trade (certification is required by law):
  • Hairstylist

Unrestricted trades (certification is not required by law):

  • Aboriginal Child Development Practitioner
  • Agriculture – Dairy herdsperson
  • Agriculture – Fruit grower
  • Agriculture – Swine herdsperson
  • Appliance Service Technician
  • Arborist
  • Baker
  • Baker – Patisserie (Baker)
  • Chef
  • Child and Youth Worker
  • Cook – Assistant Branch 1
  • Developmental Services Worker
  • Child Development Practitioner
  • Educational Assistant
  • Electronic Service Technician
  • Gemsetter/Goldsmith
  • Hardware, Lumber, and Building
  • Materials Retailer
  • Horse Groom
  • Horse Harness Maker
  • Horticultural Technician (Landscape Horticulturalist)
  • Information Technology – Contact
  • Centre Customer Care Agent
  • Information Technology – Contact
  • Centre Inside Sales Agent
  • Information Technology – Contact
  • Centre Technical Support Agent
  • Information Technology Hardware Technician
  • Information Technology Network Technician
  • Institutional Cook
  • Native Clothing & Crafts Artisan
  • Network Cabling Specialist
  • Parts Technician (Parts person)
  • Pool & Hot Tub & Spa Installer
  • Pool & Hot Tub/Spa Service Technician
  • Retail Meat Cutter
  • Saddlery
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Utility Arborist
  • Wooden Boat Rebuilder/Repairer



Further information can be found at: