Best Trade Schools in Canada

If you thought skilled trades only meant carpentry, welding, plumbing, and auto mechanics, think again. Trade is much more diverse than we give recognition to, and includes occupations such as network cabling technicians, special events coordinators, bakers, computer hardware technicians, educational assistants, and so many others. To pursue your trade you will need some form of qualification, and what better place to obtain one than in Canada? Here are some trade schools in Canada and how to get there.

Top Schools For Trade In Canada

Top Schools For Trade In Canada

According to Canada’s government, the top five in-demand trades in Canada are carpenters, cooks, hair stylists, auto service technicians, and welders. Here are some of the best colleges for each of these trades.


Carpenters have a very broad field that they work in. They can do anything from installing kitchen cabinets to building bridges and highways. Most carpentry courses will cover blueprint reading; machine woodworking; geometry; physics; hand tool selection, care and use; architectural drawing; identification and measurement of materials; project management, and estimating.

Carpenters in Canada can make up to 48,946 CAD annually or 25.10 CAD per hour on average. Beginners in the industry usually start with a salary of 39,139 CAD per year, while more experienced workers can make up to 60,450 CAD per year.

All our salary expectations are taken from and are subject to change based on your experience and the specific job your acquire.

Some institutions offer this course in Canada.

These tuition costs can vary depending on the specific program and location.

College Average Cost of Carpenter School Tuition (in CAD)
Fanshwe College 5,000 - 7,000
Georgian College 6,000 - 8,000
Fleming College 5,500 - 7,500
Northern Lights College 5,000 - 6,500
University of the Fraser Valley 5,500 - 7,000
George Brown College 6,500 - 8,500
Conestoga College 6,000 - 8,000
Saskatchewan Polytechnic 5,500 - 7,500
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 6,500 - 8,500
St. Clair College 5,000 - 7,000
Confederation College 5,500 - 7,000
Aviron Quebec College Technique 5,000 - 6,500
College of New Caledonia 6,000 - 8,000
Algonquin College 6,500 - 8,500
Selkirk College 5,000 - 7,000
New Brunswick Community College 5,500 - 7,000
College of the Rockies 5,500 - 7,000
Coast Mountain College 5,000 - 6,500
Loyalist College 5,500 - 7,500
Cambrian College 6,000 - 8,000
Thompson Rivers University 5,500 - 7,500
Yukon University 5,000 - 6,500
Niagara College 6,000 - 8,000


Preparing food is an art form on its own. The plate is a blank canvas that gives way to many different cuisines where cultures fuse to make your tastebuds dance. This job's duties include: following food health and safety protocols, preparing ingredients, and abiding by the restaurant menu. It also includes teamwork and assisting other staff in the kitchen. Finding a job in the food service industry in Canada is a recipe for success. 

After you complete your course and want to start working, you will need a certification form a regulatory authority such as Skilled Trades Ontario.

Here are some of the best trade schools in Canada that offer this course:

College Average Cost of Tuition in CAD for Culinary Arts
Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute 15,000 - 20,000
George Brown Chef School 10,000 - 15,000
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver 12,000 - 18,000
The Culinary Institute of Canada 12,000 - 17,000
The Culinary Arts School of Ontario 8,000 - 13,000
Vancouver Community College 7,000 - 11,000
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) 20,000 - 25,000
Liaison College Culinary Arts 10,000 - 14,000
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 11,000 - 16,000
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology 9,000 - 13,000

Hair Stylist

If you look good, you feel good. For hairstylists, these are words to live by. Other than being magicians with scissors and changing appearances, they take on many other roles, such as therapists and confidants, because they are always ready to lend an ear when it comes to listening to others talk about what is happening in their life. This is ideal work for a socialite as they will always meet and engage with new people daily.

One of the best things about studying to become a hairstylist is that you can do it full-time or part-time, which means you will have time to work while chasing your dreams. A hairdresser's average salary in Canada is about 32,175 CAD per year. Entry-level positions start at 27,300 CAD per year, while workers with more experience make up to 44,850 annually.

Here are some great institutions offering hairdressing courses In Canada:

College Average Cost of Tuition (Hairstyling School)
Fanshawe College 5,000 - 7,000
Georgian College 6,000 - 8,000
Northern Lights College 5,000 - 7,000
Sault College 4,500 - 6,500
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology 4,000 - 6,000
St. Clair College 4,500 - 6,500
St. Lawrence College 5,500 - 7,500
Algonquin College 5,500 - 7,500
Selkirk College 4,000 - 6,000
Vancouver Community College 6,000 - 8,000
College of the Rockies 4,500 - 6,500
Coast Mountain College 5,000 - 7,000
Niagara College 5,000 - 7,000

Auto Service Technicians

Auto service technicians can take something that is broken, and make it work. They are very innovative and can take something broken and turn it into something useful.

Auto Service Technicians earn up to 50,700 annually. Starting out, positions are estimated to be 39,000 annually, while more experienced workers make up to 70,000 annually.

College Average Cost of Tuition (Auto Service Technician)
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) 8,000 - 12,000
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) 7,000 - 11,000
Conestoga College 6,500 - 10,000
Mohawk College 6,000 - 9,000
Canadore College 6,000 - 9,000
Centennial College 7,000 - 11,000
Fanshawe College 6,500 - 10,000
Camosun College 6,000 - 9,000
Nova Scotia Community College 6,500 - 10,000
Vancouver Community College 6,000 - 9,000
Durham College 6,500 - 10,000
Algonquin College 7,000 - 11,000
St. Clair College 6,500 - 10,000


Becoming a welder is one way to make sparks fly. It’s a high-risk job and not for the faint-hearted. This job has become very popular recently as many companies require them. Welders can earn up to 42,900 a year, but with more experience in their skilled trades, their salary can grow to 55,489 annually.

Here are some colleges in Canada for welders:

School Average Cost of Tuition (Welding)
Northern Ontario Welding School 7,000 - 10,000
Canadian Working Divers Institute 8,000 - 12,000
Advanced Welding Techniques 6,000 - 9,000
WeldTech Training 5,000 - 8,000
School of Welders 5,500 - 8,500
Can-Weld Can-Fab Training and Testing Centre 6,500 - 9,500
A.P.R. Welding Academy 6,000 - 9,000
Niagara Welding Academy 6,500 - 9,500
Granton Institute of Technology 7,000 - 10,000
Information Systems Institute 5,000 - 8,000
Industrain College 6,500 - 9,500
Windsor Welding Institute 6,000 - 9,000

Requirements to Study a Trade in Canada

Requirements to Study a Trade in Canada

Studying a trade in Canada offers an excellent pathway to acquire practical skills and embark on a rewarding career in various industries. With a growing demand for skilled tradespeople nationwide, pursuing a trade education has become an attractive option for many individuals seeking hands-on training and direct entry into the workforce. However, like any educational pursuit, there are certain requirements aspiring trade students must meet to ensure a successful journey toward a fulfilling career.

Age and Education

To study a trade in Canada, students must typically be at least 18 years old and have completed their high school education or an equivalent diploma.

Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English or French is essential for trade programs in Canada. International students may need to demonstrate their language skills through standardized tests like IELTS, PTE or CELPIP.

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

Many trade programs require students to complete pre-apprenticeship programs to gain foundational knowledge and skills before moving on to formal apprenticeships.

Physical Fitness

Certain trades, such as construction and welding, demand physical strength and stamina. Students may undergo a medical examination to ensure they can meet the physical demands of their chosen trade.

Criminal Background Check

Some trades, especially those involving public safety and security, may require students to pass a criminal background check.

Specific Program Requirements

Each trade program may have its own unique set of prerequisites, such as specific courses, work experience, or certifications.

Apprenticeship Agreements

For apprenticeship programs, students must secure an apprenticeship agreement with an employer to gain practical work experience alongside their classroom learning.

By meeting these requirements, aspiring trade students can set themselves on a rewarding career, contributing to the skilled workforce driving Canada's economy and infrastructure development.

Cost of Trade School in Canada

The cost of trade school in Canada is generally more affordable compared to traditional university education. Trade schools offer specialized training and practical skills development in a shorter duration, making them a cost-effective option for individuals seeking a quicker entry into the workforce. As seen above, each institution will have its own tuition range and focus.

Tuition fees for trade programs are often lower than university degrees, and students can save on additional expenses like room and board since many trade schools offer shorter, non-residential programs.

Furthermore, trade schools also provide opportunities for financial aid, scholarships, and bursaries to assist students in managing their education expenses. Various organizations, government agencies, and industry associations offer scholarships and bursaries to support aspiring trade students.

Additionally, students can work part-time or take up apprenticeships during their studies to earn income and gain hands-on experience simultaneously. This work-study approach helps offset the financial burden and offers practical learning opportunities that can further enhance their employability upon graduation.

Getting Licensed to Work Your Trade in Canada

In Canada, obtaining a license to work in your trade is a crucial step after completing your studies. The Red Seal Program plays a significant role in the skilled trades by providing a nationally recognized certification for qualified individuals.

The Red Seal endorsement signifies that a tradesperson has met the national standards of excellence in their trade. It allows skilled workers to practice their trade across different provinces and territories in Canada without needing to requalify or undergo additional assessments. This portability of credentials makes it easier for tradespeople to pursue employment opportunities in various regions, fostering mobility and career growth.

For certain trades like cooks and hairdressers, the requirements for obtaining a license may vary across provinces. Some provinces might have specific provincial certification exams or training requirements in addition to the Red Seal endorsement. For instance, cooks might need to pass a practical cooking exam or undergo a food safety certification. In contrast, hairdressers may need to complete a provincial licensing exam to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

It's essential for individuals aspiring to work in these trades to research the specific licensing requirements in the province they wish to practice in.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

This program is one of many that is managed by the Express Entry system. It is designed to assist foreign workers with work experience in their desired fields. If you qualify as a skilled trade worker according to the federal government, you could apply to this program through Express Entry.

There requirements of the FSTP are:

  • A valid job offer from a Canadian employer (the offer has to be full time);
  • Language proficiency score in French or English determined by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC);
  • More than 2 years worth of work experience;
  • Demonstrate that you can meet the job requirements and;
  • Proof of settlement funds for you and your family.

If you’re planning on immigrating to Canada as a skilled worker, then this would be the perfect option for you.


What is the Main Difference Between Universities and Colleges in Canada?

Universities and Colleges in Canada are different. Universities in Canada grant degrees, often they do have courses that offer certificates or diplomas. They deal with academic and professional programs, while colleges usually focus on training and trades.

Which Occupations are Accepted Under the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

To mention a few, here are FSTP-eligble skilled trade groups :

Group Occupations
Major Group 72 technical trades and transportation officers and controllers (excluding Sub-Major Group 726, transportation officers and controllers)
Major Group 73 general trades
Major Group 82 supervisors in natural resources, agriculture and related production
Major Group 83 occupations in natural resources and related production
Major Group 92 processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors, and utilities operators and controllers
Major Group 93 central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors (excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors)
Minor Group 6320 cooks, butchers and bakers
Unit Group 62200 chefs

What are Federal Skilled Trades Program Processing Times?

Most applications for this program can be completed in up to six months.

If you’re looking to get permanent residency, then this is a good option to do just that. Studying at one of the many trade schools in Canada could open up a world of opportunities for your future self.