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Manufacturing Jobs Profile: Skilled Trades

Some of the most in-demand job opportunities within manufacturing are in the skilled trades. But you may be wondering:

  • What does a typical day-in-the-life of a tradesperson look like?

  • How does someone get the training they need?

  • What do these careers pay, on average?

Here are two examples so you can decide if a career as a skilled tradesperson is for you.

Industrial Millwright Skilled Tradesperson

An industrial millwright is an expert in the machinery used within a manufacturing plant. They are responsible for installing, maintaining, repairing, and moving machines. There are tons of technical skills that are needed to do this job: welding, mechanical repair, pneumatics and hydraulics, and even programming the computers that run all this equipment.

As an example, if a new assembly line needed to be installed in your plant, you’d read the drawings from the engineers, figure out your plan of attack, and begin the process to make it all happen. You would mount equipment, test out the lines, hook up hydraulics, and program the systems.

Essentially, you’d make the theory on paper a reality.

You’d be perfect for this job if you enjoy:

  • tinkering with things

  • problem solving

  • working with your hands

  • technology courses in high school

  • design projects

  • working with the latest tools and tech.

Industrial Millwright Skilled Trades Training and Pay

After high school, you would have to complete an apprenticeship program registered with the Ontario College of Trades. An apprenticeship is a combination of classroom training for 720 hours, and on-the-job experience for 7280 hours, which works out to a total time of four years.

The great part about an apprenticeship is that you are making money as you rack up your hours towards certification. You can complete the classroom portion of the training full-time, part-time, or just one day per week. In classes you’ll learn how to read drawings and schematics, the theory behind the machinery you’ll be working with (e.g., pumps, fans, welding, engines, etc.), as well as basic machining skills using lathes, mills, and drill presses.

The average wage of an industrial millwright (also called an industrial mechanic) in Ontario is $27.90/hour. So, in your career you could expect to be making $58,000 a year, on average.


Industrial Electrician Responsibilities

An industrial electrician is a more specialized career within the skilled trades. You’d still be responsible for installation, maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting, but only for electrical systems and electronic controls. You would be working for either an electrical contractor or you’d work for the maintenance department of a manufacturing facility.

Your typical day as an industrial electrician would include testing electronic components for continuity, voltage, and resistance, as well as repairing or replacing any electrical wiring, receptacles, and switch boxes. In a manufacturing plant, you’d be responsible for maintaining all light fixtures, transformers, electric generators, and control systems. It’s a big job that will keep you on your toes, and will be in demand, well into the future.

If you loved taking apart electronics as a kid to see how things worked, or if you really enjoyed learning about computers and circuits in high school or on YouTube, this career is for you. As manufacturing becomes more and more digitized, the skills of an industrial electrician are going to become even more valued because everything is connected on a network which is run by electronics.

Industrial Electrician Skilled Trades Training and Pay

Similar to the millwright training, an industrial electrician must complete a four- or five-year apprenticeship. The topics you’ll cover in class include electrical theory, wiring, installation methods, transformers, and power distribution. Because of the more specialized subject matter, there are 840 hours of classroom training and 8160 hours of on-the-job training required.

Industrial electricians in Ontario can expect to make $32/hour, on average. At a 40-hour workweek, which means you could expect to earn a salary of $66,000.

Prepare For Your Future in the Skilled Trades

A career in the skilled trades might be for you if you love working with your hands, problem-solving, and using cutting-edge technologies. The added bonus is that as you train for these job opportunities, you can be working, making money, and supporting yourself.

To learn more about how to prepare for these jobs of the future, and others, download this infographic.

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External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.








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