Updated December 2023
If you're looking for a short route to an in-demand career, the skilled trades are an excellent area to explore.
We're not talking about roles like electrician and plumber, which take five years of training and apprenticeship to get certified. We're talking about trades that take less than a year to go from being a complete beginner to being fully qualified for hands-on roles employers need to fill.
In this post, we're focusing on three of today's quickest, most in-demand trades: network cabling specialist, gas technician, and appliance service technician.
All three of these careers have solid job outlooks, but don't require lengthy training or even an apprenticeship.
Read on to compare roles, salaries, and employment options for each trade--and see which one could be right for you.
Trade #1: NETWORK CABLING specialist
Network cabling specialists set up and repair low-voltage communication systems.
They install and service the lines that support Internet, telephone, cable television, security systems, and satellite television services for a building.
This is one of the fastest trades to train for. You can find network cabling programs that are only 24 weeks long.
Students learn how to interpret network diagrams, pull and route cables, install jacks and wall plates, and troubleshoot issues.
In Ontario, network cabling specialist is a voluntary trade. That means you can choose to complete an apprenticeship and become certified, but you don't have to. And even if you go that route, the whole process only takes around 2.5 years (compared to about five years for a plumber or electrician apprenticeship).
The Government of Canada Job Bank expects steady demand for network cabling specialists throughout most of Ontario.
As more condos, commercial buildings, and public institutions get built, skilled cabling specialists will be needed to set up and maintain the telecommunications infrastructure for them. The province is also pushing to improve internet access in rural communities, which should result in more network cabling job opportunities.
Network cabling specialists in Ontario make a median salary of about $65,000, according to the Job Bank. The highest-paid workers in this trade make more than $83,000.
- Construction firms
- Telecommunications carriers
- Internet providers
- Network installation companies
- Data centres
- IT firms and electrical product companies
Trade #2: GAS TECHNICIAN
Gas technicians are also known as gas fitters. They inspect, install, and maintain gas lines, appliances, and equipment. That includes gas meters, regulators, ovens, water heaters, boilers, fireplaces, and more.
All gas technicians in Ontario must be certified by the Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA). There are three levels of certification.
You can earn your G3 (beginner level) certification by taking a 12-week program and passing a TSSA exam. That allows you to work on propane or natural gas appliances with an input of up to 400,000 BTUH. But you can't work unsupervised.
Once you have your G3, it takes another 24 weeks of training to earn your G2. As a G2-certified tech, you can work independently on a job site.
Some trade schools combine both G3 and G2 training in a single course that runs for 36 weeks.
G1 is the most advanced level of certification. To get it, you must have your G2 plus a couple years of related work experience.
Gas technician is a very popular trade career because the training is quick, demand is strong, and salaries are competitive. Herzing graduate Neil Szabo says this is exactly why he chose this trade:
"Other trades programs were longer or had very crowded apprenticeship queues that just didn’t work for me. I wanted to get back to work fast. Gas Technician training was the most efficient, quick option," he told us.
"I got hired straight out of training and get offers from other companies on a weekly basis, asking if I want to come work for them."
The Job Bank says gas technicians in Ontario should see moderate employment growth over the next few years. The province is working to extend gas services to remote areas, which is expected to create jobs. Also, planned upgrades to schools, hospitals, power stations, manufacturing plants, and transit facilities should boost demand for gas techs.
Based on Job Bank data, gas technicians in Ontario earn about $62,000 as a median salary. The top techs in the province make more than $79,000.
- Utility companies
- Gas servicing companies
- Construction firms
- Heating and cooling contractors
trade #3: APPLIANCE SERVICE TECHNICIAN
Appliance service technicians maintain and fix appliances like stoves, fridges, washers, dryers, microwaves, freezers, and dishwashers. They work in both residential and commercial settings. Some work on strictly electric units, while others can train (and get certified) to work on gas-fired appliances.
You can get started in this trade by completing a 24-week program in appliance repair. You will get hands-on practice taking apart, assembling, and troubleshooting all major home appliances. You'll also learn how to read electrical schematics, use soldering and brazing tools, look up needed parts, and provide top-notch customer service.
Some longer programs also include gas technician (G3) training, so you can qualify to work on gas-fired appliances like dryers, stoves, and furnaces. For instance, Herzing College offers a Gas Appliance Service program that takes 36 weeks and a Domestic Appliance Service program (combined electric and gas training) that takes 1 year.
Certification as an appliance service technician is available, but not required. It takes around three years to complete the apprenticeship and earn a Certificate of Qualification.
According to Ontario government estimates, employment of appliance service techs should keep growing at an above-average rate at least until 2027.
According to the Job Bank, the median salary for appliance service technicians in Ontario is about $50,000. At the high end, salaries can be upwards of $79,000.
- Appliance dealers
- Repair companies and service shops
- Appliance manufacturer service departments
- Department stores
EXPLORE QUICK TRAINING FOR IN-DEMAND TRADES
Looking for quick training that can prepare you for trades careers with good employment opportunities?
Herzing College offers a variety of trades programs that can get you job-ready in less than a year. An admissions advisor can answer any questions you have about our programs and help you figure out which path is a good fit for you.
Click below to explore Herzing's trades programs and chat live with an advisor. We're here to help!