Regulated Trades

A skilled job, typically one requiring manual skills and special training, is commonly referred to as a ‘trade’.  These skilled jobs can be found in a wide range of industries, and are commonly grouped in four areas:

  • Construction
  • Industrial
  • Motive Power
  • Service

Skilled trades offer well-paying, fulfilling careers.  In Ontario, over 150 trades are recognized – such as welders, plumbers, mechanics, electricians and machinists. Some of these require certification, and are therefore called compulsory trades.

Compulsory Trade: A trade in which registration as an apprentice, journeyperson candidate or certification as a journeyperson is mandatory. There are currently 22 skilled trades that are designated “compulsory”. To become a certified skilled worker in compulsory trades, you must apply to be a member of the Ontario College of Trades.

Voluntary Trade: Every trade that is not identified as compulsory is, by default, voluntary. Certification is offered in some voluntary trades, but is not a requirement to practice in the trade.

The Ontario Government has developed Career Maps for certain trades that explain in detail every step of the certification process. The Ontario College of Trades has fact sheets for most trades that explain the trade and training options in detail.

Bridging programs are intended to help newcomers gain Canadian work experience, learn workplace English or French and understand workplace culture. They also help newcomers understand how to get their credentials recognized and get professional licences.

The following websites offer more detailed information: