Preparing for Trades and Apprenticeship School

If you are considering going into a trade, your post-secondary planning process should begin as early as high school. Trades and apprenticeship schools and programs can be competitive and are rigorous; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. You should load up on science courses in math, chemistry, physics and computers to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools and programs that make your list. If your school offers courses in electronics, mechanics or other areas of technology, those are also recommended. Communication skills are always important in technical fields, so don't forget your English!

If you are still in high school, and are thinking about going to school for a trade, there are several additional things that you can do to:

  • Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way to develop interests, expand your knowledge and improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for these specialized programs. This will also help you if admission requirements include an interview, since you will be able to impress the admissions committee with the knowledge you have built up of terms and issues specific to your trade.


  • Admissions offices or committees may also be interested in a student's personal qualities, which can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining or even starting school clubs, whether related to your area of interest or not. This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are an important aspect of any application.


  • Prove your work ethic. Work experience - paid or volunteer - is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees. Any work experience related to your chosen trade is extremely beneficial: trades and apprenticeship programs take a lot of focused work, and you want to be able to show the school committee you are dedicated to the field.


  • Check out CampusStarter's database of Canadian Trades and Apprenticeship Schools and Programs