Choose a Trade

The more you know about yourself the better! Explore your interests, talents and abilities and choose the trade that is right for you. Choose a Trade will help you discover opportunities available in the Service Sector, Motive Power Sector, Industrial Sector, and Construction Sector. To view which Prerequisites you may need for a particular program, please view the following PDF or going to on the Government of Ontario's website

It is important that you understand the difference between a “compulsory” and “voluntary” trade as well as the benefits of the Red Seal Program!

Student wishing to learn this trade through OYAP must have signed and completed an OYAP Participation Form.


The service sector takes in a wide range of jobs, from personal and business services to tourism and hospitality. The number of jobs in this sector continues to grow. Over the last thirty years, the proportion of Ontario workers employed in the service sector has expanded from more than half to nearly three-quarters of the workforce. To meet the demands of a global marketplace, the industry is establishing professional standards and training, and offering competitive salaries to attract dedicated and creative people.


Ontario is a world leader in manufacturing. Nineteen per cent of Ontario's jobs are in the manufacturing sector, and its revenue accounts for one-quarter of the province's wealth. Precision machining, tooling trades, and millwrighting are the backbone of modern manufacturing. Skilled workers build machines and components used in making all kinds of industrial and consumer products, ranging from plastic containers to airplane parts. Millwrights ensure the entire production system of a plant is running efficiently.

Motive Power

This sector is undergoing exciting changes as consumers demand vehicles that not only provide improved performance and value, but are also more environmentally friendly. Skilled workers can choose to work for a wide range of employers, or even set up their own businesses. The expansion of computer technology has broadened the range of interests and abilities essential for success in automotive and motive power services. Today's industry specialists use computer technology to support sales and inventory control as well as to strengthen their ability to maintain and repair vehicles and engines, and to serve customers.


Whether you see yourself as someone who likes hands-on work, or who enjoys technical and supervisory work, construction may by for you! The Ontario construction industry is a world leader and Construction companies are always looking for skilled workers to build increasingly sophisticated structures. When companies build office towers and residential complexes overseas, they often look to Ontario to find skilled and experienced workers to lead their projects.

What is a “Compulsory” trade?

Some skilled trades have been identified as a “compulsory” trade. If a trade is “compulsory” it means that any student wishing to learn this trade through OYAP must be signed as a registered apprentice.

With a “non-compulsory” trade, students can begin learning the required skills without formally signing with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities as an apprentice. Heavy fines to the employer and student could result if a student is found to be practicing a compulsory trade without being formally registered.

List of “Compulsory” Trades

  • Electrician: Construction and Maintenance
  • Electrician: Residential and Rural Electrician
  • Hoisting Engineer: Mobile Crane Operator
  • Hoisting Engineer: Tower Crane Operator
  • Plumber
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • Sheet-Metal Worker
  • Steamfitter
  • Alignment and Brakes Technician
  • Auto Body & Collision Repairer - Br 1
  • Autobody & Collision Damage Repairer, Br 2
  • Automotive Electronic Accessory Technician
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Fuel & Electrical Systems Technician
  • Motorcycle Mechanic
  • Transmission Technician
  • Truck and Coach Technician
  • Truck/ Trailer Service Technician
  • Hairstylist
  • Water Meter Installer