Best Trade Schools in Canada

Trade Schools in Canada

Do you want to start your vocational career? Join a trade schools in Canada to gain specialized skills and training that will help you advance in your chosen career.

Attending a trade school may be the best option for people looking to hone their skills gain practical experience and enter the vocational field. Vocational courses are of short duration and divided into several categories including job-oriented trades and apprenticeships. The duration of the course can range from 6 months to 3/4 years. 

Trade schools in Canada provide students with the technical knowledge and practical experience needed to advance in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, welding, and many other industries.

Explore top trade schools in Canada for diplomas, certificates, or associate degrees in vocational education. Plus, discover the Canada Scholarship for International Students for financial support and kickstart your journey to success in Canada.

What is a Trade School?

A trade school, also called a vocational or technical school, is a post-secondary institution designed to equip students with the technical skills and knowledge for a specific career in a skilled trade, such as an electrician, welder, or plumber. Vocational courses are provided through practical training and programs that are shorter than a traditional four-year college degree.

One of the primary benefits of trade schools is the real-world experience they provide by combining practical and classroom learning. This differs from the theoretical approach offered by universities in Canada. 

Graduates of trade schools are equipped with both theoretical knowledge and real-world experience through mandatory cooperative placements and field training. Upon completion of their program, trade school graduates are usually ready to seek employment in their chosen field without the need for additional degrees or certifications.

Eligibility Requirements for Vocational Courses in Canada 

Eligibility requirements for vocational courses in Canada may vary depending on the program and institution. However, some common requirements include:

  • Minimum Education Level: Most vocational or trade courses require applicants to have a specific level of education, such as secondary education or its equivalent.
  • Language Proficiency: Depending on the language of instruction, proficiency in either English or French may be required, typically demonstrated through standardized tests such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Specific Prerequisites: Some courses may require specific prerequisites related to the field of study. For example, a course in automotive mechanics may require applicants to have a basic understanding of automotive systems.
  • Work Experience: Some professional courses may require applicants to have relevant work experience in the field.
  • Health and Safety Requirements: Depending on the nature of the vocational course, applicants may be required to complete health and safety procedures, such as vaccinations or physical fitness exams.

List of 11 Best Trade Schools in Canada 

1. Conestoga College 

  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Conestoga College’s School of Trade & Apprenticeship is one of the best trade schools in Canada, which offers a wide range of apprenticeship programs in the construction, motive power, industrial and service sectors. Their programs are designed to meet the needs of current industries and prepare students for success through a combination of classroom learning, practical experience, and co-op placement. 

With strong partnerships with local and international companies, Conestoga ensures that its programs are up-to-date and provide graduates with valuable career opportunities. Whether you’re interested in electrical work, manufacturing, or residential construction careers, this trade college can help you get started.

2. Mohawk College

  • Type: Public College
  • Established: 1966
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 

Mohawk College is a public college in Ontario, Canada, which offers a variety of vocational programs through its School of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship. It is also known as the Marshall School. 

Here, you can get hands-on training in practical skills for careers in construction, electrical, automotive service, and many other fields. The programs combine traditional trades with emerging technologies, ensuring you graduate with in-demand knowledge. At this trade school in Canada, you’ll learn from experienced faculty and gain valuable practical experience through work placements.  

3. Niagara College

  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Location: Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Niagara College’s School of Trades and School of Technology offer a variety of vocational programs designed to get you job-ready or prepare you for further education. Their focus is on hands-on learning with experienced instructors and modern facilities. 

You’ll gain practical skills through workshops, labs, and potentially co-op placements, all aligned with industry needs. Whether you’re interested in construction, engineering technologies, automotive repair, or various other skilled trades, this trade school in Canada can provide the foundation for a successful career. 

4. Centennial College

Centennial College
Centennial College
  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1966 
  • Acceptance Rate: 65%
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Centennial College offers a variety of practical trade programs in high-demand fields. If you’re interested in a career you can build with your hands, their School of Transportation offers programs in automotive service technician, auto body repair, and truck and coach mechanics. 

These programs combine classroom learning with practical experience, either through co-op placement or a traditional apprenticeship where you work alongside experienced professionals. The trade school in Canada emphasizes learning from instructors with real-world experience and utilizing state-of-the-art facilities to prepare you for a successful trade career.

5. Durham College

Durham College
Durham College
  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 41%
  • Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Durham College offers a wide range of trade programs within its academic faculties. These programs focus on equipping you with job-ready skills through practical learning and hands-on experience. The areas of study at this trade school in Canada include various fields such as skilled trades (carpentry, automotive technicians), business (entrepreneurship), and environmental health and safety. If you’re looking for a career-oriented education that translates directly into the workforce, Durham College’s business programs are a strong choice.

6. Fanshwe College

Fanshwe College
Fanshwe College
  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Location: London, Ontario, Canada

Fanshawe College is a great choice for those looking to enter the skilled trades with over 40 programs offered. They focus on practical learning with small class sizes, ensuring you get the most out of your instructors. The trade school in Canada also offers flexible learning options including full-time, part-time, online, and blended learning to suit your needs. 

Whether you are interested in manufacturing, industrial, powertrain, or service trades, Fanshawe College has a program for you to begin your successful career in the skilled trades.

7. Georgian College

  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Location: Ontario, Canada

Georgian College offers a variety of trade programs to prepare you for in-demand skilled trades careers. These programs combine classroom learning with practical experience using modern equipment, ensuring you gain the knowledge and practical skills that employers want. Whether you want to become an electrician, plumber, or welder, or start your own trades business, the trade school in Canada offers apprenticeship and certificate programs that can get you started.  

Georgian’s small class sizes and experienced instructors ensure that you receive personalized attention while developing the technical expertise and industry knowledge to advance in your chosen field.

8. Fleming College

  • Type: Public College
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 40 – 50%
  • Location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Fleming College offers a variety of practical trade programs preparing you for careers in the skilled trades. Programs, such as carpentry and renovation technician, electrical engineering technician, refrigeration and air conditioning technician provide the knowledge and practical skills to enter those fields. If you are interested in working with heavy machinery, they also have programs for heavy equipment operations and resource drilling Technicians.  

Additionally, a trade fundamentals program allows you to explore different trades and gain fundamental skills before choosing a specific path. For those seeking apprenticeship opportunities, the trade school in Canada collaborates with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development to provide essential classroom training along with on-the-job experience.

9. Northern Lights College (NLC)

  • Type: Post-secondary community college
  • Established: 1975
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada

Northern Lights College is a great option to explore and launch your career in the trades if you’re in Northern British Columbia. They have been providing industry-relevant training for over 40 years with programs that can be completed in one year (certificate) or two years (diploma). The NLC also offers apprenticeships, which vary in length depending on the trade.  

You’ll benefit from small class sizes and instructors with real-world experience to gain a strong foundation for skilled trades in fields such as carpentry, mechanics, plumbing, electrical, professional cooking, and welding. The trade school in Canada also has a “Trades Sampler” course to help you explore different options before committing to a specific program.

10. University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)

University of the Fraser Valley
University of the Fraser Valley
  • Type: Public university
  • Established: 1974
  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada

The University of the Fraser Valley offers a variety of trade programs to prepare you for in-demand skilled careers. With over 20 options, you can choose a foundation program for basic skills or a full apprenticeship leading to Red Seal certification recognized across Canada. UFV programs range from several months to several years and include areas, such as carpentry, welding, electrical work, and even culinary arts. 

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your skills, UFV’s practical, industry-focused approach can set you up for a successful future in the trades.

11. Selkirk College

Selkirk College
Selkirk College
  • Type: Public community college
  • Established: 1966
  • Acceptance Rate: 55%
  • Location: Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada

Located in Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada, Selkirk College is a public college known for its strong trade school programs. Established in 1966, the college offers apprenticeship programs in various fields like carpentry and electrical work, helping students gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to become certified tradespeople. 

These programs are delivered in intensive on-campus sessions, combining classroom learning with hands-on workshops to prepare students for successful careers in high-demand skilled trades. The trade school in Canada also provides opportunities to upgrade existing trade skills or learn new ones through micro-credentials and industry-standard courses.

13 Trade Courses to Study in Canada for Permanent Residency

  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Culinary Arts
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical Trade Courses 
  • Welding
  • Hairstyling
  • Mechanic Apprenticeship
  • Plumbing
  • Equipment Technician 
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic 
  • Sheet Metal Worker 
  • Heavy Equipment Operation 
  • Steamfitting and Pipefitting 

11 Highest-paying Trade Jobs

  • Construction manager
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Radiation therapists
  • Dental hygienists
  • Aircraft technicians
  • Building inspectors
  • Respiratory therapists
  • IT support specialist
  • Landscape designer
  • Ultrasonographers


1. Are there trade schools in Canada?

Yes, there are many trade schools in Canada. These schools are often called colleges or institutes of technology. They offer programs in fields, such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and welding. Trade schools can be a great option for gaining practical skills and quickly entering a well-paid career.

2. What are the different types of trade schools in Canada?

There are two main types of trade schools in Canada: colleges and institutes of technology. Colleges offer a wide variety of programs, including both academic and vocational programs. On the other hand, institutes of technology focus on providing training for specific trades and occupations.

3. Are trade schools in Canada a good option?

Yes, trade schools in Canada are a great option for many people in Canada. They offer a faster and more affordable route to well-paid careers than traditional universities. Skilled tradespeople are also in high demand in Canada, so you are likely to find a job after graduation.

4. How much does trade school cost in Canada?

The cost of trade school in Canada varies depending on the program, institution, and province. This can range from a few thousand dollars to $20,000 or more. Some trade programs may also include work placements where you can earn an income while you study.

5. How long is trade school in Canada?

Canadian trade schools offer programs that fit your schedule. The program can be completed in anywhere from a few months to four years. Certificates and shorter programs focus on specific skills, while diplomas take longer and provide a broader base. Apprenticeships combine classroom learning with on-the-job experience and typically last 3-5 years.


Trade schools in Canada play a vital role by providing career-ready skills through practical training in high-demand fields. These programs provide a faster and more affordable alternative to university, equipping students with the practical knowledge and experience valued by employers. 

This not only provides graduates with competitive salaries and quick job entry but also addresses Canada’s shortage of skilled workers in critical sectors, such as manufacturing, healthcare, and technology.

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